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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Nehemiah

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 13

Book Overview - Nehemiah

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH

January 2013Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme - How to Serve the Lord with All Our Strength

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah - The tragic events of Israel's Babylonian exile served as the fertile soil for regenerating a nation that was transformed, no longer as much politically oriented as it was religiously focused, being led by priests and governors; thus, these events produced a nation that was more priestly than political. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah reveal how a restored Israel became focused upon religious conformity rather than political enterprises. This narrative material reveals that God was more concerned about the hearts of His people when they returned from exile than he was about the shame and ridicule that they had to endure from outsiders. They were no longer summoned to battle to conquest heathen nations; but instead, they were called to sanctify themselves in the midst of the nations to which they had been scattered. 1] The Holy Scriptures would never again become misplaced and lost in clutter amidst dusty rooms in the Temple, as in the days prior to Josiah's reform ( 2 Kings 22:1-20). The Scriptures would be canonized during this inter-biblical period of Jewish history, treasured above all else, as elders carefully taught to their children how to obey the Law. The great manifestations of divine miracles had now largely subsided in which God had continually delivered His wayward people prior to the Captivity. Israel now clung to her Jewish traditions without compromise in the midst of great persecutions, demonstrating a great intolerance for paganism. The nations knew the Jews as a people judged by God, rather than a glorious people of worship under Solomon's reign. Nevertheless, the Jews were now a holy people unto the Lord, anxiously awaiting the coming of the Messiah.

1] W. Schultz, The Book of Ezra , trans. Charles A. Briggs, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students, ed. John Peter Lange (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1877), 1.

This series of events parallels modern-day ministers of the Gospel who after becoming great, have subsequently fallen, and then resurrect to become better servants of God, although their ministries have become greatly reduced in size. Such modern-day evangelists as Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker became more pleasing to the Lord after their fall and repentance than during the peak of their glorious ministries when sins and weaknesses remained undisclosed; and not only they, but also many of us as believers have backslidden, found repentance, and gained a greater walk with the Lord than in the past. Our new zeal for the Lord moves us to greater walk with the Lord than before, as we lay aside worldly pursuits and seek those things that are above. Thus, many of us can identify with Ezra's long journey home to Jerusalem and Nehemiah's passion to restore genuine worship of the Lord.

Introductory Material- The introduction to the book of Nehemiah will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 2] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

2] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

HISTORICAL SETTING

"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture

if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."

(J. Hampton Keathley) 3]

3] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the book of Nehemiah will provide a discussion on its title, historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the Jewish tradition that Ezra the scribe was the most likely author of the book of Nehemiah.

I. The Title

The Masoretic scribes named Ezra -Nehemiah by the single title "Ezra." 4] Thus, the Babylonian Talmud says that Ezra wrote his book and the book of Chronicles, and that Nehemiah , the son of Hachaliah, finished his work, which is a reference to the book of Nehemiah as well. The Jews recognized a distinction between Ezra and Nehemiah , but identified them under one title in ancient times.

4] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

"And who wrote all the books? Moses wrote his book and a portion of Bil'am , xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning: ‘And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died.' Samuel wrote his book, Judges , and Ruth. David wrote Psalm , with the assistance of ten elders, viz.: Adam the First, Malachi Zedek, Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamentations. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah ,, Proverbs ,, Song of Solomon , and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel , the Twelve Prophets, Daniel , and the Book of Esther. Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh's theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra's book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah." (Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) 5]

5] Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.

J. Barton Payne tells us that the oldest manuscripts containing the LXX (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus) combine Ezra and Nehemiah , while later versions of the LXX separate them, entitling them 1,2Ezra, perhaps from the influence of the Church fathers. 6] John Gill adds that the Arabic versions entitled them 1,2Ezra. 7]

6] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

7] John Gill, Ezra , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), "Introduction."

The Jewish historian Josephus (A.D 37-100) counts the canonical books of the Old Testament as twenty-two, which suggests that Ezra and Nehemiah were counted as one book by the Jews.

"For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another [as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; (39) and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; (40) but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life." (Against Apion 18)

Melito, bishop of Sardis (d. c 190) calls them by one title "Edras." 8] Origen (A.D. c 185 - c 254) says Ezra and Nehemiah are called 1,2Edras, which the Hebrew Bible combines into one book called "Ezra." 9] Payne says Jerome (A.D 347-420) separated the two books in his Latin Vulgate, calling Nehemiah "liber secundus Esdrae." Payne says the Wycliffe"s Bible (1382) calls them "The First and Second Book of Esdras." 10] Payne says the Hebrew Bible held its tradition of one title until 1448 , 11] at which time we have the first testimony of a Hebrew manuscript separating these books into two titles, followed by the separation of the two books in Bomberg's printed edition of 1525. 12] Luther's Bible of 1530 gives the two distinct titles "Das Büch Esra" and "Das Büch Nehemia." 13] The Coverdale Bible (1535) gives the titles as "The First Boke of Esdras" and "The Second Boke of Esdras, otherwyse called the Boke of Nehemias." 14] The Geneva Bible of 1560 entitled the books "Ezra" and "Nehemiah." 15] The Authorized Version of 1611followed this tradition, using the names "Ezra" and "The Booke of Nehemiah." 16] While the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were popularly called 1,2Edras as late as the fifteenth century by Jews and Christians alike, the two modern Hebrew titles ( עזרא) (Esra) and ( נחמיה) (Nehemia) can be found in the standard work Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 17] and modern English Bibles entitle them Ezra and Nehemiah.

8] Eusebius cites Melito, bishop of Sardis, saying, "Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis ,, Exodus ,, Numbers ,, Leviticus , Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges , Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalm of David, the Proverbs of Song of Solomon , Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes ,, Song of Solomon , Job; of Prophets, Isaiah , Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel ,, Ezekiel , Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books. Such are the words of Melito."

9] Eusebius cites Origen, who says, "Esdras, First and Second in one, Ezra , that Isaiah , ‘An assistant'[ βοηθός]." (Ecclesiastical History 6252)

10] The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, with the Apocryphal Books, in the Earliest English Versions Made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and His Followers, 4vols, eds. Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1850).

11] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

12] Mikraot Gedolot, ed. Jacob ben Ḥayyim of Tunis (Venice: David Bomberg, 1525).

13] Martin Luther, Die gantze Bibel der ursprgliche[n] Ebraischenn unnd Griechischenn warheyt nach, auffs aller trewlichest vertetschet (Zrich, 1530).

14] The Holy Scriptures Faithfully and Truly Translated by Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Ereter, 1535 (London: Samuel Bagster, 1838).

15] The Bible: That Isaiah , the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament, Translated According to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the Best Translations in Divers Languages (London, 1579, 1599, 1615).

16] The Holy Bible A Facimile in a Reduced Size of the Authorized Version Published in the Year 1611 (Oxford: The Oxford University Press, 1611).

17] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, eds. A. Alt, O. Eifelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c 1967-77).

II. Historical Background

A. The Historical Times of Ezra and Nehemiah - Ezra and Nehemiah ministered during the reign of Artaxerxes I (465 to 424 B.C.), the third son of Xerxes, and was commonly called Longimanus. 18]

18] R. Dick Wilson, "Artaxerxes," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

The book of Nehemiah commands the position as the last historical book of the Old Testament, 19] and with its closing, the Jews waited four hundred years for their next divine prophecy, which took place when the angel appeared to Zechariah in the Temple to announce the birth of John the Baptist ( Luke 1:5-25).

19] Matthew Henry, An Exposition, with Practical Observations, of the Book of Nehemiah, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

B. The Biography of Nehemiah - Nehemiah is first introduced to us as the son of Hachaliah ( Nehemiah 1:1; Nehemiah 10:1), neither of whom are mentioned outside the book of Nehemiah. 20] While some commentators suggest he had a brother named Hanani ( Nehemiah 1:2; Nehemiah 7:2), 21] Rashi (Jarchi) explains that he was rather a Jewish "companion," 22] of like nationality only. Josephus tells us Nehemiah was carried captive from the land of Israel, saying, "Now there was one of those Jews who had been carried captive, who was cupbearer to King Xerxes; his name was Nehemiah." (Antiquities 1156)

20] We find an individual named "Nehemiah" in Ezra 2:2, but scholars generally doubt this is the same Nehemiah named after his book.

21] George Rawlinson, Nehemiah , in The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 3, ed. F. C. Cook (London: John Murray, 1873), 429.

22] Rashi, Commentary on the Tanakh, in The Judaica Press Complete Tanach (Judaica Press, 1998) [on-line]; accessed 25 November 2010; available from http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16508/showrashi/true; Internet, comments on Nehemiah 1:2.

Nehemiah 1:1, "The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,"

Nehemiah 10:1, "Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah , the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,"

Nehemiah 1:2, "That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem."

Nehemiah 7:2, "That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful Prayer of Manasseh , and feared God above many."

It is probably that he was a priest of the tribe of Levi, since he appears to be listed among them in the KJV of Nehemiah 10:1-8. This view is supported by Jewish tradition, which tells us he offered sacrifices upon the altar after the Temple had been rebuilt ( 2 Maccabees 1:18), suggesting to Matthew Henry that he was of a priest. 23] R. Dick Wilson says this view finds its way into the "Syriac and Arabic versions of Nehemiah 10:1, which read: ‘Nehemiah the elder, the son of Hananiah the chief of the priests'; and by the Latin Vulgate (Jerome"s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) of 2 Maccabees 1:21, where he is called ‘Nehemiah the priest'…" 24]

23] Matthew Henry, The Book of Nehemiah, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Nehemiah 1:1.

24] R. Dick Wilson, " Nehemiah ," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Nehemiah 10:1-8, "Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah , the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah…Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests."

2 Maccabees 1:18, "Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the temple and the altar."

Nehemiah served as the cupbearer to Artaxerxes king of Persia ( Nehemiah 1:11), who reigned from 465 to 424 B.C, a point for arguing that he must have been of noble birth rather than a priest. 25] The Scriptures tell us that Nehemiah later served as governor over the Jews for approximately twelve years ( Nehemiah 1:1; Nehemiah 13:6), from 445 to 433 B.C.

25] R. Dick Wilson, " Nehemiah ," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Nehemiah 1:11, "O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king"s cupbearer."

Nehemiah 1:1, "The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,"

Nehemiah 13:6, "But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:"

We find mention of Nehemiah and historical figures and events mentioned by him in the Elephantine Papyri of the fifth century B.C, 26] 2 Maccabees 1:18-36; 2 Maccabees 2:13, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) Sirach 49:13, and Josephus (Antiquities 1156-8; 1171-2). 27]

26] The Elephantine Papyrus no 30 mentions Sanballat, the adversary of Nehemiah , as a leading figure in Samaria. A. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1923), 108-110.

27] Josephus writes, "Now there was one of those Jews who had been carried captive, who was cupbearer to King Xerxes; his name was Nehemiah." (Antiquities 1156) Josephus mentions Sanballat, the adversary of Nehemiah (Antiquities 1172).

Sirach 49:13, "And among the elect was Neemias, whose renown is great, who raised up for us the walls that were fallen, and set up the gates and the bars, and raised up our ruins again."

Josephus tells us that Nehemiah dies as an old man. 28]

28] Josephus writes, "So when Nehemiah had done many other excellent things, and things worthy of commendation, in a glorious manner, he came to a great age, and then died. He was a man of a good and righteous disposition, and very ambitious to make his own nation happy; and he hath left the walls of Jerusalem as an eternal monument for himself. Now this was done in the days of Xerxes." (Antiquities 1158)

III. Authorship

A. External Evidence - We find internal evidence that Nehemiah wrote at least a portion of his book ( Nehemiah 9:38).

Nehemiah 9:38, "And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it."

B. External Evidence - We are able to find clues as to the authorship of the book of Ezra outside of biblical literature when we look at other ancient Jewish literature. We find external testimony that Nehemiah authored his book ( 2 Maccabees 2:13).

2 Maccabees 2:13, "The same things also were reported in the writings and commentaries of Neemias; and how he founding a library gathered together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings concerning the holy gifts."

The Babylonian Talmud says that Ezra wrote his book and the book of Chronicles, and that Nehemiah , the son of Hachaliah, finished his work, which is a reference to the book of Nehemiah , since the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were collected together and called by one title "Ezra" by the ancient Jews.

"And who wrote all the books? Moses wrote his book and a portion of Bil'am , xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning: ‘And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died.' Samuel wrote his book, Judges , and Ruth. David wrote Psalm , with the assistance of ten elders, viz.: Adam the First, Malachi Zedek, Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamentations. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah ,, Proverbs ,, Song of Solomon , and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel , the Twelve Prophets, Daniel , and the Book of Esther. Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh's theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra's book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah." (Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) 29]

29] Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.

IV. Date

A. Internal Evidence- Note the phrase "unto this day" in the book of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 9:32, "Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day."

V. Recipients

VI. Occasion

LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)

"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.

If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."

(Thomas Schreiner) 30]

30] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.

Within the historical setting of the Babylonian Captivity of the nation of Israel, the author of the book of Nehemiah chose to write using the literary style of the historical narrative. Thus, the book of Nehemiah is assigned to the literary genre called "historical narrative literature."

A. A List of Prayers of Nehemiah and the Levites in the book of Nehemiah - The book of Nehemiah is interspersed with prayers.

1. Nehemiah 1:4-11 - Prayer for mercy in King is sight.

2. Nehemiah 4:4-5 - Prayer against those opposing building.

3. Nehemiah 4:9

4. Nehemiah 5:19 - Prayer of thinking upon us for good.

5. Nehemiah 6:9 - Prayer for strengthening.

6. Nehemiah 6:14 - Prayer of thinking upon them according to their (evil) works.

7. Nehemiah 9:4-38 - Levites' prayer and covenant with God.

8. Nehemiah 13:14 - Prayer of remembrance for his good deeds.

9. Nehemiah 13:22 - Prayer of remembrance for his good deeds and for mercy.

10. Nehemiah 13:29 - Prayer of remembrance for their evil.

11. Nehemiah 13:31 - Prayer of remembrance for his good.

B. A List of the Names of God in the Book of Nehemiah - The names of God used in a book of the Holy Bible reflects its theme. The names in the book of Nehemiah reflect the theme of a repentant people petitioning a merciful God to restore their nation.

1. The God of heaven ( Nehemiah 1:4)

2. O Lord God of Heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments ( Nehemiah 1:5).

3. O Lord ( Nehemiah 1:11)

4. my God ( Nehemiah 2:8)

5. O our God ( Nehemiah 4:4)

6. our God ( Nehemiah 4:9)

7. The Lord your God ( Nehemiah 8:9)

8. our Lord, the LORD is your strength ( Nehemiah 8:10)

9. The Lord their God ( Nehemiah 9:3)

10. Lord alone ( Nehemiah 9:6)

11. The Lord the God, who didst choose Abram...for thou are righteous ( Nehemiah 9:7-11)

12. A God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not ( Nehemiah 9:17)

13. A gracious and merciful God ( Nehemiah 9:31)

14. our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who

keepest covenant and mercy ( Nehemiah 9:32)

15. The Lord our God ( Nehemiah 10:34)

16. O my God ( Nehemiah 13:14)

THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."

(Andreas Ksenberger) 31]

31] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.

Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the book of Nehemiah , an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the book of Nehemiah for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.

VII. Purpose

VIII. Thematic Scheme

IX. Literary Structure

X. Outline of Book

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

Espin, E. T. and J. F. Thrupp. Numbers. In The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 1, part 1. Ed. F. C. Cook. London: John Murray, 1871.

Gill, John. Ezra. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Gill, John. Numbers. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Henry, Matthew. The Book of Nehemiah. In Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Metzger, Bruce M, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007.

Payne, J. Barton. Ezra -Nehemiah. In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4. Eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992. In Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001.

Rawlinson, George. Nehemiah. In The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 3. Ed. F. C. Cook. London: John Murray, 1873.

Schultz, W. The Book of Ezra. Trans. Charles A. Briggs. In A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students. Ed. John Peter Lange. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1877.

Yamauchi, Edwin. Ezra , Nehemiah. In vol 4of The Expositor's Bible Commentary. Ed. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992. In Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001.

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abrahams, I. "Time." In A Dictionary of the Bible Dealing with its Literature, Language and Contents Including the Biblical Theology. Ed. James Hastings, vol 4. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.

The Bible: That Isaiah , the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament, Translated According to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the Best Translations in Divers Languages. London, 1579, 1599, 1615.

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Eds. A. Alt, O. Eifelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c 1967-77.

Bowman, Raymond A. and Charles W. Gilkey. The Book of Ezra and the Book of Nehemiah. In The Interpreter's Bible, vol 3. Ed. George Arthur Buttrick. New York: Abingdon Press, 1954.

Bruce, F. F. The Books and the Parchments. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963.

Bullinger, E. W. "Appendix 30: Massrah." In The Companion Bible Being The Authorized Version of 1611With The Structures And Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive And With 198 Appendixes. London: Oxford University Press, c 1909-22.

Cowley, A. Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1923.

Gunkel, Hermann. The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction. Trans. Thomas M. Horner. In Biblical Series, vol 19. Ed. John Reumann. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967.

The Holy Bible A Facimile in a Reduced Size of the Authorized Version Published in the Year 1611. Oxford: The Oxford University Press, 1611.

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, with the Apocryphal Books, in the Earliest English Versions Made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and His Followers, 4vols. Eds. Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1850.

The Holy Scriptures Faithfully and Truly Translated by Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Ereter, 1535. London: Samuel Bagster, 1838.

Joyner, Rick. The Call, Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999.

Schreiner, Thomas R. Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011.

Keathley, III, J. Hampton. "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah." (Bible.org) [on-line]. Accessed 23May 2012. Available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Kenyon, Kathleen Mary. Digging up Jerusalem. London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1974.

Ksenberger, Andreas J. Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011.

Mikraot Gedolot. Ed. Jacob ben Ḥayyim of Tunis. Venice: David Bomberg, 1525.

Ovid. Metamorphoses, vol 2. Trans. Frank J. Miller. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1958.

Porter, H. "Kislev," and "Calendar." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Rashi. Commentary on the Tanakh. In The Judaica Press Complete Tanach (Judaica Press, 1998) [on-line]. Accessed 25 November 2010. Available from http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16508/showrashi/true; Internet.

Roberts, Frances J. Come Away My Beloved. Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973.

Rodkinson, Michael L. New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 13. New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902.

Schreiner, Thomas R. Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011.

Watson, J. S. and Henry Dale. Cryopaedia, or Institutes of Cyrus, and the Hellenics, or Grecian History. New York: George Bell and Sons, 1880.

Wilson, R. Dick. "Artaxerxes." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Wilson, R. Dick. "Nehemiah." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Wilson, R. Dick. "Sanballat." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Youngblood, R. F, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson"s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM], Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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