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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Nehemiah (nç'he-mî'ah), comforted of Jehovah. 1. A Jew of piety and zeal, born during the exile; but his family and tribe are not known. Raised to the office of cup-bearer to the Persian monarch, Nehemiah did not forget his desolated country, and was commissioned, at his own request, to visit Jerusalem and rebuild the city; which he accomplished under the most perplexing difficulties. The twentieth year of Artaxerxes, when Nehemiah went to Jerusalem, is usually fixed in b.c. 444; others, with some degree of probability, fix it to b.c. 451 Nehemiah 1:1; Nehemiah 7:2. Nehemiah was made tirshatha = "governor" of Judea, under Artaxerxes Longimanus. Nehemiah 8:9; Nehemiah 10:1; Nehemiah 12:26. He is also called the pechah, whence the modern pasha, a governor of a province. Nehemiah 12:26. Nehemiah was governor of Jerusalem twelve years, Nehemiah 5:14-19; and then returned to the Persian court, where he remained "certain days." Nehemiah 13:6. After nine or ten months he returned to Jerusalem, as governor, the second time; and corrected the abuses which had crept in during his absence. Nehemiah 13:7-31; Malachi 2:9-17; Malachi 3:6-12. He remained in power till the restoration of affairs in Jerusalem, probably about ten years; and died at an advanced age, probably in that city.

Nehemiah, Book of, is the 16th in the order of the books of the Old Testament. It supplements the book of Ezra. It relates Nehemiah's great work of rebuilding Jerusalem and the reclamation of the customs and laws of Moses, which had fallen into disuse. The account of the walls and gates in chap. 3 is among the most valuable documents for the settlement of the topography of ancient Jerusalem. The registers and lists of names are also of value. Nehemiah is the author of the first seven chapters, and part of the twelfth and thirteenth. The change from the use of the first person to that of the third in the remaining chapters, and the fact that some names in the lists were not extant till after Nehemiah's death, point to some other hand as their author, 2. One who returned in the first expedition from Babylon under Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7. 3. The son of Azbuk, who helped to repair the gates of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3:16.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Nehemiah'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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