Book of Nehemiah

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The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Old Testament, historically regarded as a continuation of the Book of Ezra, and is sometimes called the second book of Ezra.

Traditionally, the author of this book is believed to be Nehemiah himself. There are portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). Some, following the traditional attribution to Nehemiah, suppose that these portions may have been written by Ezra (of this, however, there is no distinct evidence), and had their place assigned them in the book probably by Nehemiah, as the responsible author of the whole book, with the exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23.

The date at which the book was written was probably about 431 - 430 BC, when Nehemiah had returned the second time to Jerusalem after his visit to Persia.

The book consists of four parts:

  1. An account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and of the register Nehemiah had found of those who had returned from Babylon (ch. 1-7).
  2. An account of the state of religion among the Jews during this time (8-10).
  3. Increase of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the census of the adult male population, and names of the chiefs, together with lists of priests and Levites (11-12:1-26).
  4. Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the arrangement of the temple officers, and the reforms carried out by Nehemiah (12:27-ch. 13).

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