The book of Nehemiah is a sequel to that of Ezra. Nehemiah was commissioned by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, to be the governor of Jerusalem and was given permission to rebuild the walls of the city. Arriving at Jerusalem, Nehemiah made a private survey of what needed to be done, and then set out with energy to accomplish the task with practical wisdom, determination, and much opposition. In spite of hostile opposition the monumental task was accomplished in just fifty two days.
Ezra and Nehemiah stood shoulder to shoulder in the great work of consecration and consolidation which followed after the walls were repaired. By lot, one in ten people outside Jerusalem was moved into the city to populate the city. Then followed a religious revival. This brought the people back to the Word, to the searching of their hearts, to confession, and a renewal of the covenant.
The dedication spoken of in chapter 12 was delayed somewhat, while Nehemiah was temporarily absent from the city. Chapter 12:27-47 states that it was twelve years after the walls were completed. When he returned to Jerusalem he found that old sins had crept back into the lives of the people and had to be dealt with, which he did without delay.
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