16: Nehemiah: The Book of Reconstruction

A contemporary of Ezra, Nehemiah leads the third and final wave of Babylonian exiles back to Jerusalem in 444 B.C. He rallies his fellow countrymen to rebuild the devastated walls of Jerusalem. Despite serious opposition from various factions, the job is completed in only 52 days (Ch. 1-7). After this reconstruction project, Nehemiah and Ezra lead the people to renew the covenant and make spiritual reforms (Ch. 8-13).

Nehemiah is a courageous visionary who is resourceful, selfless, prayerful, and obedient. His ministry focuses on Judah’s political, moral, and spiritual restoration. 

Essay Questions

1. List the individuals who attempt to hinder Nehemiah’s efforts to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Describe Nehemiah’s attitude and response to those who oppose him (Ch. 4-6).

2. Describe the attitude of the surrounding nations when they learn the walls have been rebuilt (6:15-16).

3. Compare and contrast Nehemiah 7:5-73 with Ezra 2:1-70. What can we learn from these two similar passages?

4. Based on his prayers recorded throughout his book, describe Nehemiah’s prayer life. What are his priorities? What spiritual, moral, and leadership principles are imbedded in his prayers? 

5. Describe the attitude of the people during the dedication of the rebuilt walls (Ch. 12).

6. There were three groups of returnees to Jerusalem from Babylon. The first wave was led by Zerubbabel in 528 B.C. Ezra led another group back in 457 B.C. Nehemiah brought back a third company of people in 444 B.C. How many years transpired between the first and third groups?

7. What document is read in chapter eight and how do the people respond to it?

8. What problem is dealt with in the last chapter of Nehemiah that Ezra also faced (Ezra 9-10)?

9. From events in Nehemiah, list ways in which the Lord bestows favor and blessing on those who are faithful to Him. List some benefits Believers receive who pursue a vibrant relationship with God.


Maxim of the Moment

If you risk nothing, you risk everything. - Geena Davis