Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.
Bible Study: Nehemiah: Restoration & Redemption
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Return from exile
First stage (Ezra 1-6)
- Edict of return – Ezra 1
- List of returnees – Ezra 2; leading role for Zerubbable (Ezra 2:2); aprox. 50,000
- Rebuilding & rededicating the altar – Ezra 3:1-6; Mosaic worship restored
- Laying the temple foundation – Ezra 3:7-13; about 6 months after altar dedication
- Opposition to rebuilding – Ezra 4:1-23; work stops for approx. 10 years
- Encouragement from Haggai & Zechariah – Ezra 5:1-6:15; work resumes in 520 BC
- Completed temple is dedicated – Ezra 6:16-18 and Passover celebrated – Ezra 6:19-22
Second Stage (Ezra 7-10)
- Ezra’s return 458 BC
- Ezra’s commission – Ezra 7:1-28; enforcement of Mosaic law
- Ezra’s journey – Ezra 8:1-36; divine protection; leads to worship
- Ezra handles problems of intermarraige – Ezra 9:1-10:44
Third Stage (Nehemiah)
- Nehemiah learns of Jerusalem’s plight (445 BC) – Nehemiah 1:1-11
- Nehemiah’s commission to return to Jerusalem – Neh 2:1-20
- Building Jerusalem’s walls amidst opposition – Nehemiah 3:1-6:19
- Reading an exposition of the Law – Nehemiah 8:1-18
- Covenant renewal – Nehemiah 9:1-10:30
- Dedication of Jerusalem’s city wall – Nehemiah 12:27-47
- Nehemiah’s second administration (returns in 432 BC to a bad situation) – Nehemiah 13
Genre: Understanding Narrative
Background & Outlines
Introduction to the Exile & Return
Chart: Bible History at a glance
Simple overview of biblical history
Introduction to Exile & Return
Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline
Kings of Persia in Biblical Times
Kings of Babylon in Biblical times
Kings of Assyria in Biblical times
Ray C Stedman: Overview of the Book
John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background
James van Dine: Analysis of Ezra-Nehemiah
David Malick: An Introduction to the Books of Ezra-Nehemiah
Maps from Holman Bible Atlas
The copyright for these maps is held by Holman Bible Atlas. Contact them for use.
Exile; Palestine in the Post-Exilic Period
World Powers of the 6th century BCE
The Conquests of Cyrus the Great
The Return of the Jewish Exiles to Judah
ESV Study Bible
Adversaries Hinder Work in Ezra
Kings of Persia in Ezra–Nehemiah
Maps from Bible-History Online
The copyright for these maps is held by Bible-History-Online.com. Contact them for use.
Assyrian Captivity of the 10 Tribes
Babylonian, Mede and Persian Empires
Occurrences are based on New American Standard Text. “4x/3v” means the word appears 4 times in 3 verses. “3x” means the word appears 3 times in 3 verses.
God (67x) – Strong’s H430, H410
people (39x) – Strong’s H5971a in Neh 1:10; Neh 4:6; Neh 4:13; Neh 4:14; Neh 4:19; Neh 4:22; Neh 5:1; Neh 5:13; Neh 5:15; Neh 5:18; Neh 5:19; Neh 7:4; Neh 7:5; Neh 7:6; Neh 7:7; Neh 7:72; Neh 7:73; Neh 8:1; Neh 8:3; Neh 8:5; Neh 8:6; Neh 8:7; Neh 8:9; Neh 8:11; Neh 8:12; Neh 8:13; Neh 8:16; Neh 9:10; Neh 9:32; Neh 10:14; Neh 10:28; Neh 10:34; Neh 11:1; Neh 11:2; Neh 11:24; Neh 12:30; Neh 12:38; Neh 13:1; Neh 13:24.
house (36x) – Strong’s H1004 in Neh 1:6; Neh 2:8; Neh 3:10; Neh 3:16; Neh 3:20; Neh 3:21; Neh 3:23; Neh 3:24; Neh 3:25; Neh 3:28; Neh 3:29; Neh 3:31; Neh 4:16; Neh 5:13; Neh 6:10; Neh 7:3; Neh 7:39; Neh 8:16; Neh 10:32; Neh 10:33; Neh 10:34; Neh 10:35; Neh 10:36; Neh 10:37; Neh 10:38; Neh 10:39; Neh 11:11; Neh 11:16; Neh 11:22; Neh 12:37; Neh 12:40; Neh 13:4; Neh 13:7; Neh 13:9; Neh 13:11; Neh 13:14.
wall (28v) – Strong’s H2346 in Neh 1:3; Neh 2:8; Neh 2:15; Neh 2:17; Neh 3:1; Neh 3:8; Neh 3:13; Neh 3:15; Neh 3:27; Neh 4:1; Neh 4:3; Neh 4:6; Neh 4:10; Neh 4:13; Neh 4:15; Neh 4:17; Neh 4:19; Neh 5:16; Neh 6:1; Neh 6:6; Neh 6:15; Neh 7:1; Neh 12:27; Neh 12:30; Neh 12:31; Neh 12:37; Neh 12:38; Neh 13:21; walls (2x) – in Neh 2:13; Neh 4:7.
gate (28x/20v) – Strong’s H8179 in Neh 2:13; Neh 2:14; Neh 2:15; Neh 3:1; Neh 3:3; Neh 3:6; Neh 3:13; Neh 3:14; Neh 3:15; Neh 3:26; Neh 3:28; Neh 3:29; Neh 3:31; Neh 3:32; Neh 8:1; Neh 8:3; Neh 8:16; Neh 12:31; Neh 12:37; Neh 12:39.
repairs (27x/19v) – Strong’s H2388 in Neh 3:4; Neh 3:5; Neh 3:7; Neh 3:8; Neh 3:9; Neh 3:10; Neh 3:12; Neh 3:16; Neh 3:17; Neh 3:18; Neh 3:22; Neh 3:23; Neh 3:25; Neh 3:26; Neh 3:28; Neh 3:29; Neh 3:30; Neh 3:31; Neh 3:32; / repaired (11x) – Strong’s H2388 in Neh 3:6; Neh 3:11; Neh 3:13; Neh 3:14; Neh 3:15; Neh 3:19; Neh 3:20; Neh 3:21; Neh 3:24; Neh 3:27; Neh 3:30 ;
repair (1x) – Strong’s H724 in Neh 4:7.
build (2x) – Strong’s H1129 in Neh 2:18; Ne 2:20.
law (22x) – Strongs H8451 in Neh 8:1; Neh 8:2; Neh 8:3; Neh 8:7; Neh 8:8; Neh 8:9; Neh 8:13; Neh 8:14; Neh 8:18; Neh 9:3; Neh 9:14; Neh 9:26; Neh 9:29; Neh 9:34; Neh 10:28; Neh 10:29; Neh 10:34; Neh 10:36; Neh 12:44; Neh 13:3; Neh 13:28.
commandments (9x) – Strong’s H4687 in Neh 1:5; Neh 1:7; Neh 1:9; Neh 9:13; Neh 9:14; Neh 9:16; Neh 9:29; Neh 9:34; Neh 10:29; command (1x)- in Neh 12:47; command (1x) – Strong’s H5921 in Neh 11:9.
ordinances (4x) – Strong’s H4941 in Neh 1:7; Neh 9:13; Neh 9:29; Neh 10:29.
remember (9x) – Strong’s H2142 in Neh 1:8; Neh 4:14; Neh 5:19; Neh 6:14; Neh 9:17; Neh 13:14; Neh 13:22; Neh 13:29; Neh 13:31.
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Nehemiah, Theology of
Holman Bible Dictionary: Nehemiah
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Nehemiah
McClintock and Strong: Nehemiah; Nehemiah, Book of
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Nehemiah Book of; Nehemiah
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Nehemiah; Ezra-Nehemiah, Book of
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Nehemiah; Nehemiah, Book of
Nehemiah means “Consolation; repentance of the Lord” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names
BibleHistory.com: Chronology of the Prophets
BibleHistory.com: Kings of the Assyrian Empire
BibleHistory.com: Kings of the Babylonian Empire
BibleHistory.com: Kings of the Persian Empire
Commentaries & Study Bibles
Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Nehemiah – Ligonier.org
Best Commentaries on Ezra-Nehemiah – Tim Challies
Commentary Reviews: Ezra/Nehemiah
Paul Apple: Nehemiah Commentary
Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible
Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible: Nehemiah
Matthew Henry’s Complete Complete Commentary on the Bible: Nehemiah
Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Nehemiah
The Place of Nehemiah in the Canon of Scripture: Wise Builder – Stephen G Dempster
God as Restorer: A Theological Overview of the Book of Nehemiah – Tiberius Rata
The Book of Nehemiah in Its Biblical and Historical Context – Terry J Betts
Nehemiah 12: Restoring the City of God or How to Preach a List of Names – Peter J Gentry
The Message of Nehemiah: Rebuilding – Mark Dever
Stephen Dray, “Nehemiah: an Applied Overview,” Evangel 24.3 (Autumn 2006): 66-70
H.L. Ellison, From Babylon to Bethlehem. The People of God from the Exile to the Messiah. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, Ltd., 1976. Pbk. ISBN: 0853641900. pp.28-40
Archibald H. Sayce [1845-1933], An Introduction to the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, 5th edn., 1910. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1885
M.J. Boda, “Praying the Tradition: The Origin and Use of Tradition in Nehemiah 9,” Tyndale Bulletin 48.1 (1997): 179-182
Steve Brady, “Restoring Your Vision-With Nehemiah,” Evangel12:2 (1994): 34-36
Steve Brady, “Restoring Your Vision 2,” Evangel 12:3 (1994): 66-68.–
Steve Brady, “Restoring Your Vision – With Nehemiah ,” Evangel13:1 (1995): 2-5
Alberto R.W. Green, “The Date of Nehemiah: a Re-examination,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 28.3 (Autumn 1990): 195-209
Carl G. Tuland, “‘ZB in Nehemiah 3:8: a reconsideration of maximalist and minimalist views,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 5.2 (July 1967): 158-180
Gary R. Williams, “Contextual Influences in Readings of Nehemiah 5: A Case Study,” Tyndale Bulletin 53.1 (2002): 57-74
H.G.M. Williamson, “The Governors of Judah Under the Persians,” Tyndale Bulletin 39 (1988): 59-82
H.G.M. Williamson, “Ezra and Nehemiah in the Light of the Texts from Persepolis,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 1 (1991): 41-61
John Stafford Wright [1905-1985], “Ezra and Nehemiah,” The Evangelical Quarterly 12.1 (Jan. 1940): 35-47
Edwin M. Yamauchi, “The reverse order of Ezra/Nehemiah Reconsidered,” Themelios 5.3 (1980): 7-13
Chart: A Chronological and Literary Harmony of Ezra & Nehemiah
Book of Nehemiah – Bible Survey
What can we learn from the life of Ezra?
What can we learn from the life of Nehemiah?
Why was it important to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem?
Who were Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem?
Should we stand when the Bible is read?
Why are the numbers in Ezra so different from Nehemiah?
What was/is the importance of the gates of Jerusalem?
Who was Artaxerxes in the Bible?
Should we stand when the Bible is read?
What was the significance of gatekeepers in the Bible?
What is the connection between prayer and fasting?
Nehemiah: Diagrams of the Gates
Excerpts on the gates from OT Reflections of Christ – Nehemiah
The Sheep Gate (Neh 3:1) – This was the gate of sacrifice, which is always the starting point in the life of the believer. The apostle Paul said, ”For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures… ” (1Cor 15:3). Revelation 5 depicts a graphic scene in heaven, when four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fall down before the Lamb. They sing ”a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev 5:9). God’s great work for time and eternity centers in the sacrifice of His Son, the Lamb of God, at Calvary.
The Fish Gate (Nehemiah 3:3) – Having received salvation through the sacrifice of Christ, we are to become fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).
The Old Gate (Nehemiah 3:6) – Every believer is to stay with the old paths, affirming and practicing the ”faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
The Valley Gate (Nehemiah 3:13) – Humility is to be a trait of every follower of Christ. ”Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… ” (Php 2:5-8).
The Dung Gate (Nehemiah 3:14) – This was the place where refuse was cast out of the city. Every Christian needs a ”garbage dump.” The apostle Paul had one, for he wrote these words to the Philippians: ”Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Php 3:8,9).
The Fountain Gate (Nehemiah 3:15) – This gate speaks of the overflowing life, the ”rivers of living water” made possible by the Holy Spirit (John 7:38).
The Water Gate (Nehemiah 3:26) – Interestingly, this gate did not need repair. Water is a type of the Word of God. His Word never needs repair, for it is pure, refreshing, enduring. ”Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Eph 5:25,26).
The Horse Gate (Nehemiah 3:28) – The horse in Scripture often speaks of war. Christians are in a continual warfare. God has provided sufficient equipment– the panoply of power, the full armor described in Ephesians 6:10-18.
The East Gate (Nehemiah 3:29) – This was the gate through which the shekinah glory [had departed from] Israel (Ezekiel 10). When that transcendant glory returns, it will also be from the east. ”And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and His voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with His glory” (Eze 43:2). The east gate therefore speaks of the return of our Lord to this earth. When He comes again, His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
The Hammiphkad Gate (Nehemiah 3:31) – The Hebrew word signifies [a meeting place of] judgment. How suggestive this is of the judgments that await this earth and all who live upon it! The nations of the world will be summoned to judgment in the valley of Megiddo.
Series: Resources by Book
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