Outline of Nehemiah

Reconstruction and Reform

I. The Building of the Wall, Nehemiah 1:7-7:73
1. The Expedition of Nehemiah to Jerusalem, Neh_1:1-11; Neh_2:1-20
 2. The Assigning of the Workers and Their Tasks, Neh_3:1-32
 3. The Opposition of Tobiah, Sanballat, and Geshem, Neh_4:1-23; Neh_6:1-19
 4. Nehemiah’s Reform of Unjust Usury among the Jews, Neh_5:1-19
 5. The Completion of the Wall and Census of the City, Neh_7:1-73
II. Renewing the Religious Life; Reform, Nehemiah 8-13
1. The Public Reading of the Law; Feast of Tabernacles, Neh_8:1-18
 2. The Renewing of the Covenant, Neh_9:1-38; Neh_10:1-39
a. The National Fast, Neh_9:1-3
 b. The Prayer of the Levites, Neh_9:4-37
 c. The Sealing of the Covenant, Neh_9:38; Neh_10:1-39
3. Distribution of Population; Census of the Priests,  Neh_11:1-36; Neh_12:1-26
 4. The Dedication of the Wall, Neh_12:27-47
 5. The Cleansing of the Temple; Sabbath and Marriage Reforms, Neh_13:1-31

Introduction to Nehemiah

Ezra continued his labors in Jerusalem for some twelve years after the events recorded in his narrative, and actively cooperated with Nehemiah, to whose history we now turn. Indeed, though this book was largely written by him whose name it bears, certain portions of it were probably written by the ready scribe, Ezra, who spent the closing years of his life in collecting the sacred books into one volume, and completing the canon of Scripture. Nehemiah was born in exile. In early life he was exposed to great temptation, although the appointment which he held in the Persian court was an honorable one. But he remained faithful, devout, simple-hearted, patriotic, and godly; he was evidently valued by the heathen monarch as a good and faithful servant-“an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.”

He arrived at Jerusalem thirteen years after Ezra, with the rank of governor of the province, and with full authority to rebuild the walls, which, notwithstanding the erection of the Temple, still lay waste. His administration lasted some thirty-six years. The secret of his efficiency lay in his constant bringing of all the problems before God, and of this habit we shall have abundant evidence as we proceed. The book abounds in expressions of his sincerity. Nehemiah was a simple-hearted man, characterized chiefly by humility and purity of motive, and revealing the mighty power that can be exerted by one who has no purpose in life and no power that is not centered in God.