Title of the Book: In both Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, Ezra and Nehemiah are considered as one book because
- They have same genealogical list: Ez.2:2-16 and Neh.7:6-63
- The ministry of Ezra (7-10) is continued in Nehemiah (8-10)
- The usage of “I” sections confirm in both Ezra 71-0 and Nehemiah
- The title of the book is based on the main character of the book.
- Jewish Traditions: Ezra as Priestly Scribe
- As we have more similarities between Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles, the writer of Chronicles would be the author
- Someone who was familiar with Nehemiah’s memoirs
Date: Post exilic Period
- A. This book continues the history which began in Chronicles and Ezra. They document the reestablishment of the Covenant community in the Promised Land.
- B. As Ezra was concerned with the spiritual, covenantal life of the new community, Nehemiah was concerned with the protective wall around the city and the administrative aspect of the city. However, Nehemiah is as "spiritual" and faithful as Ezra. Both trust in YHWH and His presence, power, and plan.
- C. Both Ezra and Nehemiah are concerned with covenant (Mosaic) fidelity. The sins of the people of God, except for idolatry, are continued in the post-exilic community.
- D. In the post-exilic books God is present, but not visually/physically confirmed (i.e., the unseen hand). God's will is seen through decisions of pagan kings and thwarting of local opposition. God's presence is a matter of faith and obedience. His word (Torah) becomes key
- The Character of God
- God is universally sovereign.
- God is holy.
- God is compassionate, merciful, gracious, good and forgiving.
- God is great, awesome and uniquely powerful.
- God is intimately near.
- God is faithful to his covenant promises.
- God is just.
- The Covenant people of God and separation
- The emphasis on the Scripture
- The emphasis on Prayer
Key Words: Wall and Law
Key Theme: God’s work
Key Phrase: Remember me, O God (4x)
Key Verse: “ Remember me, O God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the House of my God, and for the offices thereof.” Neh. 13:14
Key Lesson: To keep on doing God’s work, ask God, not man, to remember what you have done.
A. Nehemiah rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem (made the city smaller), 1:1-7:73
B. The spiritual reforms of Ezra (a continuation of Ezra 7-10), 8:1-10:39
C. The administrative reforms of Nehemiah, 11-13