1. Author - Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah - 1:1 - cupbearer to King Artaxerxes - 2:1 - who was appointed as governor
over the land of Judah - 5:14
2. Date - 445-444 B.C
3. Setting - Nehemiah was the cupbearer to Artaxerxes I Longimanus. He had heard his homeland was destroyed and
decayed and determined that he was responsible to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Not only did he accomplish
the task in just 52 days, but he put the people of God back in touch with the commandments of the Lord.
II. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
1. Key Verses: 1:11; 2:20; 4:6; 20; 8:20
2. Theme: Nehemiah must inspire a goup of uncommitted people to believe the Lord once again. The message is greater
than just the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He and the people had to contend with the frequent physical and emotional
attacks of the enemies: then with internal problems of their own making.
1) Nehemiah prepares for the task:
a. By prayer to God: 1:4-11
b. By intercession with Artaxerxes: 2:1-8
c. By looking at the task himself: 2:9-16
d. By exhorting the people: 2:17-18
2) Opposition to the work:
a. By the foreign officials: 2:19-20; 4:1-8
b. Because of abuse by Jewish rulers: 5:1-5
c. By attempted compromise: 6:1-9
d. By treachery: 6:10-14
3) How Nehemiah met the challenges to the work:
a. By trusting God: 2:20
b. By having a plan of work: 3:1-32
c. By being prepared: 4:9; 13-14; 19-23
d. By correcting the evil within: 5:9-13
e. By setting an example of giving: 5:14-19
f. By not being afraid: 6:11-13
4) The work is completed: 6:15-16
5) Order is restored in Jerusalem
a. Reading of the Law: 8:1-8; 18
b. The Levites praise God: 9:4-37
c. Israel renews its covenant to follow God's law: 9:38; 10:28-39
d. Separation from the heathen: 13:1-3; 7-8; 23-29
III. ABOUT THE MESSIAH
The decree of Artaxerxes (2:1-8) marks the beginning point of the seventy weeks prophecy about the coming of Messiah.
(See Daniel 9:25-27).
IV. APPLICATIONS - LESSONS
1. God hears prayers and responds to them - 1:11; 4:9
2. The God of heaven will give us (His) success - 2:20
3. We can accomplish God's work if we, His people, have a mind to work - 4:6
4. Always remember that the Lord is great and awesome - 4:14;
5. Our God will fight for us - 4:29
6. Our enemies will recognize that the work we do for God has been accomplished with the help of our God - 9:10
7. We are able to rejoice because God gives us joy - 12:43
1. Give some reasons why it would be important for God to hear our prayers?
2. What would be wrong or harmful about "usury" (loaning money to a brother at interest)?
3. Give some qualities about the man Nehemiah which made him a good leader/
4. Who are some of the villians (bad people) in the book of Nehemiah? What was the result of their rebellion?
5. Why would Nehemiah be so concerned about the children of Israel inter-marrying with other nations surrounding
Israel? Be specific.