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Nehemiah
Nehemiah
is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia[1] (c. 5th century BC). The name is pronounced /ˌniːəˈmaɪə/ or /ˌniːhəˈmaɪə/ in English. It is in Hebrew: נְחֶמְיָה‬, Modern Nəḥemya, Tiberian Neẖemeyā, "Yahweh comforts", a long version of the name "Nahum" which also means comforter.[1] According to most scholars, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
was a real historical figure and the Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Memoir, a name given by scholars to certain portions of the book written in the first person, is historically reliable.[2][3][4]

Contents

1 Book of Nehemiah 2 Rabbinic literature 3 Art 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Book of Nehemiah[edit] In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, (445/444 BC), Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king.[5] Learning that the remnant of Jews in Judah were in distress and that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he asked the king for permission to return and rebuild the city.[6] Artaxerxes sent him to Judah as governor of the province with a mission to rebuild, letters explaining his support for the venture, and provision for timber from the king's forest.[7] Once there, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
defied the opposition of Judah's enemies on all sides—Samaritans, Ammonites, Arabs
Arabs
and Philistines—and rebuilt the walls within 52 days, from the Sheep Gate in the North, the Hananeel Tower at the North West corner, the Fish Gate in the West, the Furnaces Tower at the Temple Mount's South West corner, the Dung Gate in the South, the East Gate and the gate beneath the Golden Gate in the East. Appearing in the Queen's presence[8] may indicate his being a eunuch,[9] and in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, he is described as such: eunochos (eunuch), rather than oinochoos (wine-cup-bearer). If so the attempt by his enemy Shemaiah to trick him into entering the Temple is aimed at making him break Jewish law, rather than simply hide from assassins.[10] He then took measures to repopulate the city and purify the Jewish community, enforcing the cancellation of debt, assisting Ezra
Ezra
to promulgate the law of Moses, and enforcing the divorce of Jewish men from their non-Jewish wives.

Gustave Doré, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Views the Ruins of Jerusalem's Walls, 1866.

After 12 years as governor, during which he ruled with justice and righteousness, he returned to the king in Susa. After some time in Susa
Susa
he returned to Jerusalem, only to find that the people had fallen back into their evil ways. Non-Jews were permitted to conduct business inside Jerusalem on the Sabbath and to keep rooms in the Temple. Greatly angered, he purified the Temple and the priests and Levites and enforced the observance of the law of Moses. Rabbinic literature[edit] Nehemiah
Nehemiah
is identified in one aggadah with Zerubbabel, the latter name being considered an epithet of Nehemiah
Nehemiah
and as indicating that he was born at Babylon.[11] However, rabbi Isaiah di Trani, in his commentary to the book of Nehemiah, writes as factual that Nehemiah
Nehemiah
was a Kohen.[12] With Ezra, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
marks the spring-time in the national history of Judaism (Cant. R. ii. 12). A certain mishnah is declared by the Rabbis to have originated in the school of Nehemiah
Nehemiah
(Shab. 123b). Still, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
is blamed by the Rabbis for his seemingly boastful expression, "Think upon me, my God, for good" (Neh. v. 19, xiii. 31), and for his disparagement of his predecessors (ib. v. 15), among whom was Daniel. The Rabbis think that these two faults were the reason that this book is not mentioned under its own name, but forms part of the Book of Ezra
Ezra
(Sanh. 93b). [Although it seems this was true at the time the Talmud was compiled, it is not the case in modern Hebrew Bibles, in which Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
each has his own book.] According to Baba Bathra 15a Nehemiah
Nehemiah
completed the Book of Chronicles, which was written by Ezra.[13] Art[edit] Samuel Taylor Coleridge commented on the dearth of any classical paintings featuring Nehemiah.[14] See also[edit]

Governors of Yehud Medinata Sanballat the Horonite Tobiah (Ammonite)

References[edit]

^ a b Gesenius, Friedrich Wilhelm (1846). Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon. Baker Book House; 7th edition, 1979. p. 544. ISBN 0801037360.  ^ For confirmation that many scholars share this view, see Anne Fitzpatrick (2009). Zuleika Rodgers; Margaret Daly-Denton; Anne Fitzpatrick Mckinley, eds. "What did Nehemiah
Nehemiah
do for Judaism," in A Wandering Galilean: Essays in Honour of Seán Freyne. BRILL. pp. 93–. ISBN 90-04-17355-2.  ^ For confirmation that most scholars share this view, see Jack Pastor (2010). Menahem Mor; Friedrick V. Reiterer, eds. "The Contribution of the Samaria Papyri from Wadi Daliyeh to the Study of Economics in the Persian Period," in Samaritans: Past and Present: Current Studies. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-3-11-019497-5.  ^ For an author who disagrees with the scholarly majority position on the historicity of Nehemiah
Nehemiah
and Ezra, but acknowledges the existence of that majority, see Philip R. Davies (3 September 2014). Rethinking Biblical Scholarship: Changing Perspectives 4. Taylor & Francis. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-317-54443-2. The essential historicity of the events described [in Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah] has rarely been questioned.  ^ On the date, see Ezra-Nehemiah: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press. 1 January 1988. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-664-22186-7.  ^ Nehemiah
Nehemiah
1:1-2:5 ^ Nehemiah
Nehemiah
2:6-9 ^ Neh 2:6 ^ R. J. Coggins. The books of Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 73; also F. Charles Fensham, The Books of Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982), 140 ^ John Barton, The Oxford Bible commentary, Oxford University Press, 2001 ^ "Zera'+ Babel"; from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 38a. See the Soncino translation [1]. ^ Published by R. Mass, Jerusalem 5738 HC ^ "Babylonian Talmud: Baba Bathra 15". halakhah.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.  ^ Paley, Morton D. (10 July 2008). "Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Fine Arts". OUP Oxford. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via Google Books. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Nehemiah". Easton's Bible Dictionary
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 

Further reading[edit]

Barr, James. 'History of Israel' in History and Ideology in the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 87 Holman Bible Dictionary, Persia Lester Grabbe. Ezra, in Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (ed. James D. G. Dunn, John William Rogerson, Eerdmans, 2003) p. 320-1 Pakkala, Juha. " Ezra
Ezra
the scribe: the development of Ezra
Ezra
7-10 and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
8" (Walter de Gruyter, 2004) pp. 225–7 Schulte, Lucas L. My Shepherd, though You Do not Know Me: The Persian Royal Propaganda Model in the Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Memoir (Leuven: Peeters, 2016), 197-204. Williamson, H. G. M. Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
(Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987), 17 Wright, Jacob. "Rebuilding identity: the Nehemiah-memoir and its earliest readers" (Walter de Gruyter, 2004) p. 340

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nehemiah.

Jewish Encyclopedia: Nehemiah The Wall that Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Built Biblical Archaeology Review Israel Finkelstein Jerusalem in the Persian (and Early Hellenistic) Period and the Wall of Nehemiah Israel Finkelstein. Archaeology and the List of Returnees in the Books of Ezra
Ezra

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