Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

Chapter 11-12 -Good news and bad news.  Nehemiah was concerned about the lack of population that had returned to Jerusalem.  The good news is many began coming.  Nehemiah highlights the list of people to show the Levitical line and how it matched before they were taken into captivity. If you skim like me you might miss that the Tribes of Israel were regathering (just like the prophets said).

Nehemiah describes the dedication of the wall and the revival of HIs people.  God instituted these celebrations as a way to commemorate His Provisions, to teach the generation to come, but also to build community.

43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.  ❤

Chapter 13   Now the bad news- they disobeyed the Lord and broke their promises.

  • verse 4-14 they failed to keep the Temple Holy
  • verse 15-22 they failed to keep the Sabbath Holy
  • verse 23-28 they failed to keep their marriages Holy

When the people began to regather they specifically chose to live outside the city limits where they could live a “less strict life”- Feel free to let your Holy Spirit apply that to your own life 🧐

Nehemiah returned again to restore order.  (We really do need Godly leadership in our lives and our country).

Well, my sweet friends…you have finished the History of the Old Testament.  We have our last prophecy book to read-Malachi.  This will be a bridge book connecting the OT to the NT through John the Baptist.

So as you reflect-you can see why it is important to read Chronologically.  Look at this and see where Ezra and Nehemiah are.  If you tried reading your Bible in the past and were confused…now you know why.

Reading it like this you see God’s character, His Promises, His Love, His commitment, His Forgiveness-And that gives me Hope.

And we end with Praise.  An Ascent song as they come to the Temple to Praise HIm:

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

Nehemiah 8-10

Chapter 8.  If I was ever called to write a study of one book or actually one chapter it would be Nehemiah 8.  We want revival.  We want change.  We want the world to live according to the Lord.  We want our children to be set apart.  There is only one way for that to happen: through the direct Word of God.

all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.

Could you imagine? People coming together to say “teach us the scripture”.  Teach US the law.  Not so we can throw a stone at the world but so that we should learn how WE are supposed to live.  This is a HUGE moment.  During captivity, the temple was destroyed.  The captives still gathered to learn the scriptures by building areas called Synagogues.  They were “teaching” centers (proper worship of sacrifice could ONLY be done by a priest at the Temple, so they just used the Synagogues like we use Sunday School).  I truly believe that Godly stories were passed down or the message from the prophets were scattered through these Synagogues BUT now we have the Book of the Law!  This day will continue the teaching of the Word…(however like everything,  by the time Jesus comes, it will be “well the Rabi said…” and less “what the Lord said”.  BE very careful in your studies.  I know this blog has been maps, genealogies,  and timelines (boring)…I don’t make an application or encourage or rebuke because that is the Word’s job! 2 Timothy 3:16

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

But that does not mean you don’t inquire or listen to other’s teachings,  read a different translation (read what is clear to you), or dig into workbooks and BIble studies….you should!  

They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.

Ezra at the Water Gate

When the people heard what we call: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy…they wept!  Why?? because they learned how far from the scriptures they had become.  This is that Christianese word that I had to look up in a dictionary in 2005: SANCTIFICATION.  That moment that you see yourself through the lens of the scripture should make you weep!  HOWEVER, this is a moment to rejoice: you are changing for His purposes.

“This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

As Ezra continues to read:

14 They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month 15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.

???  “They found”…was this something new to them?  Sadly Yes.  The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Booths and Sukkot, is the seventh and last feast that the Lord commanded Israel to observe and one of the three feasts that Jews were to observe each year by going to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose”. (By the way it is this week- September 20-27 was Sukkot.  How cool is that!!!) The feast begins five days after the Day of Atonement and at the time the fall harvest had just been completed. It was a time of joyous celebration as the Israelites celebrated God’s continued provision for them in the current harvest and remembered His provision and protection during the 40 years in the wilderness after Egypt.

Marion Bible Fellowship | Biblical Feasts and Holidays

We look forward to the fulfillment of this feast as Christians in the second coming.  We too need to commemorate His Providence in our lives.  However, as Ezra was reading it, the people realized they had not been celebrating God’s Providence of providing for them through their 40 years of wandering. (They were given many reminders). OR TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN. (click on them if you want)

Deuteronomy 16

Deuteronomy 31

Leviticus 33

It was at the Feast of Tabernacle that Jesus says in John 7:37

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”

Chapter 9-

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

2 things here: Reading the Word of God so He shines a light on our sins AND confessing.  (By the way, a quarter of a day is 3 hours) So I need to stop looking at the clock in church when he goes late.   Reading your Bible and confession is not a “one and done” moment.

Then in 30 verses, we are given a summary of their History.  I hung on to every word.  I love how as we wrap up the OT, God Summarizes  65 books in 30 scriptures.  (we still have Malachi to read).  If you skipped chapter 9 click here for the summary.

Chapter 10-

Next, they commit to living according to God’s ways.  (Ummm I say that all the time)  In my classroom, this is called a “behavior contract”.

  1. We will not intermarry
  2. We will keep the Sabbath and the Sabbatical year
  3. Support the temple financially
  4. Give their tithes and firstfruits to God

Finally: the last verse is:

“We will not neglect the house of our God.”

Basically “We have our priorities straight!!”

Nehemiah 6-7

I am going to keep this super short because tomorrow is one of my favorite chapters….and I will not be able to contain myself.  Nehemiah records 3 separate plots against him

Chapter 6:

  1. The plot to distract him (verse 1-4)-if he went with them to Ono, he would have been gone several day (and I assume they would have attacked Jerusalem.
  2. The plot to discredit him (5-9)-it was an open letter to the Jews to cause strife and division
  3. The plot to deceive him (10-14)-Nehemiah knew the Word of God and knew a foreigner could not take refuge in the temple

6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

Chapter 7-Notice Nehemiah tells them to open the gates late.  During the “light”.  It is important that we protect God’s work by not letting the enemy in.

1 Peter: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The record of people is not who was at the temple that day BUT who came back years ago through the exile.  Think of it this way: have you ever gone to an event where you had to look for your name on a list to see where to go?  Your heart would skip a beat if suddenly your name was left off the list.  It was very important that as Jewish people continued to return to Jerusalem that they had a family name on the list.

Nehemiah 1-5

Zerubbabel - Google Search | Nehemiah, Bible teachings, Bible study

The name Nehemiah means “The Lord Comforts”.  He is a common man in a unique position.  He is the cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes.  A cupbearer sounds terrible “taste this and see if it is poisonous” as a job, it brought many comforts.  He traveled with the King and lived a very comfortable life.  Nehemiah was born during the captivity and had never seen the original temple.

He is a man of character, persistence, and prayer.  He is a planner and a motivator.  He is not a man to say “You should build a wall”.  He says “Let US build a wall”.    Teamwork makes the dream work!  The beginning of Nehemiah begins in Susa (sound familiar?? Esther!).  The Persian Kings built homes to “holiday” for the winter months.  I guess like Florida to us.

Chapter 1:  We begin in late Fall 445 BC.  He inquires about the progress of the rebuilding of the temple and he does not get an encouraging report.

“Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

He responds in fasting and prayer.   Stop for a minute and read this:  Nehemiah is referring to the warning given to Moses. Click here for Leviticus 26 recap.  (It’s worth the read)

Chapter 2 is 4 months later!  Oh the humanity…I want my prayers answered that day!

Nehemiah was sad before the King and requested to go to Jerusalem.  This may not seem like a big deal to you but it carried the death penalty!  People were only to be pleased in front of the king. But like we have seen before from other pagan kings…The Lord controls their hearts when He needs to fulfill His purpose.   Proverb 21:1 says:

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.

The king asked him “how long will it take”.  The Bible doesn’t record his answer (in my head Nehemiah said “as long as it takes sir”.  But we do know that the trip takes 12 years.    THEN (man, I love Nehemiah’s moxy!) he says….”oh and while I am asking for favors even though I am not even a free man can I get some stuff from you!”

  • Can I get a letter so that my enemies will let me pass through the land?
  • Oh, and can I get a letter to stop at the lumber yard and pick up some wood and put it on your tab?
  • Last, can some of your army come and protect me on my travels?

Again…the Lord controls the hearts of kings!


Even though Nehemiah believed the report, he went out at night to inspect it.Nehemiah—Leader of Wall-builders | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

Chapter 3- “Next to”  note that it says this 16 times.   They were a team.

Chapter 4-Opposition! (I do not need to make any personal application to this for you…why we stop moving forward at times when doing the Lord’s work)  It’s not supposed to be easy-it’s supposed to be worth it!

1 Timothy 6:12 

1Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

  1. Ridicule- Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
  2. Discouragement: 10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”–  Oh did you see that!  They let the enemy whispered in their ear and they believed it!
  3. Greed:(chapter 5:)10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! 11 Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”

Stone wall & Revival: What happened when Nehemiah prayed ~ Christi Gee

Nehemiah Overview

I could write a post about the overview of Nehemiah BUT instead, I want you to look at these.  Maybe some of you could look at these pictures in January and think “Yup, I can read that”.  BUT I am thinking many of us maybe said “I have no idea how to read this or I forgot about most of that!”  So on this Saturday night, I want you to sit back, and look at some visuals since this is the LAST historical book of the Old Testament!! (Not posting easy ones like the Red Sea, burning bush, Jonah (fish)…)

An Impossible Situation? « First Baptist Church, Abbeville, Alabama | Bible timeline, Bible study scripture, Bible study verses

An Old Testament Timeline | the art of constructing



Now I am going to put some random visuals so that you can say “Oh my stars…I know what that picture represents in the Bible!”

Family Tree from Abraham to Jesus Chart | Bible genealogy, Bible facts, Bible family tree


2. Israel's Exodus from Egypt and Entry into Canaan

Division of the Promised Land to the 12 Tribes of Israel Map

STUDY 3: The Tabernacle Construction: The Holy & The Most Holy – BIBLE Students DAILY

The High Priest - Rose of Sharon Chavatzelet HaSharon חבצלת השרון

Transition to Judges | Graig's Bible Blog

solomon's temple - Buscar con Google | Solomons temple, Temple in jerusalem, Temple

Login - Read The Bible | Old testament bible, Kings of israel, Understanding the bible

Route 66 Timeline of Bible Prophets who wrote books Diagram | Quizlet

Assyrian & Babylonian Captivity & Exile of Israel & Judah Map

Image result for king nebuchadnezzar statue | Bible prophecy, Beast of revelation, Prophecy


Who was Alexander the Great? Learn 10 Facts About the Macedonian King

Ha!  Gotcha…this is one for NEXT Week!!—-This is the Silent Years!

Sunday, Sep 26: Neh 1-5
Monday, Sep 27: Neh 6-7
Tuesday, Sep 28: Neh 8-10
Wednesday, Sep 29: Neh 11-13; Ps 126
Thursday, Sep 30: Malachi