Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611



Nehemiah was taught by Dr. James Modlish





"...So that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off." (Neh. 12:43) This statement sort of sums up the spiritual and psychological climate that had been established in Jerusalem. Happiness and joy are infectious sort of things. People who enjoy life are always in demand. On the contrary, those that continually display negative attitudes, gripe, complain and spend most of their time feeling sorry for themselves, tend to isolate themselves from all but those who are just like them.

We live in a distressing time. High unemployment, world unrest, violent crimes on the increase, threatening world famine all serve to "dampen" one's spirits. Let us all be honest, there certainly is plenty to be anxious about. It is a documental fact that over half of those occupying hospital beds are there because of "mental" or 'emotional' disorders. People in health care professions are extremely alarmed at the rapid increase in the rate of suicides. Suicide is the number two cause of death among young adults. Yet in spite of all this, God wants his children to be happy and experience "the joy of the Lord."

Nehemiah 12 helps us to see things from God's perspective. If we can see things the way God sees them in this life, certainly the friction generated by living in a confused world will be lessened.



I. The priests and Levites who went up with Zerubbabel. (1-9)

II. The descent of the priests. (10-21)
III. The chief Levites. (22-26)
IV. The dedication of the walls. (27-43)
V. Restoration of the temple order. (44-47)



The chapter opens with yet another list of names. It shows us Nehemiah's concern to maintain the authenticity of the rules and traditions of his people. Nehemiah goes back ninety years to Zerubbabel and surveys the history of the priestly and Levitical families to his own time. (See Ezra 2:2; 3:2,8; 4:2,3; 5:2)

As we examine this text, we must be reminded of those who have gone before us and their labor in the Lord. Their lives and examples should serve to motivate us to "fight the good fight of faith." One cannot help but being humbled reading the biographies of men like Brainerd, Judson, Taylor, Carey, Wesley, Luther, Wycliffe, etc. Foxes Book of Martyrs will stir one's heart to realize the small price we have paid for the cause of Christ. Paul said to the (Heb. in 12:4), "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood..."



Chapter twelve teaches that there are various kinds of ministries in the Lord's service. Every Levite was not a priest, and every priest could not be the high priest. Because of their number, David had divided the priesthood into courses, some were assigned what we would consider menial tasks, while others enjoyed more prestigious positions. Yet, each one was important. Each one contributed to the work of the whole.- Paul develops this point under the inspiration of the Spirit of God in (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11, 12-30). Not everyone has the same function in the Body of Christ, yet all are important and perform a vital function in the overall working of the body to bring honor, glory and praise to Our Lord.

In looking at these lists one would be a fool not to think that God keeps accurate records. Consider the care, accuracy and preservation in these lists and genealogies. God keeps accurate books, (Mal. 3:16; Ps. 56:8; 139:16; Isa. 4:3).



We might take this opportunity to capitalize on a concept explored in our study of chapter eleven. The people had leadership in both the secular, Nehemiah, the governor" and the spiritual, "Ezra, the priest, the scribe." The proper biblical balance is illustrated in the character of these men. Nehemiah was a politician who was a spiritual man; and Nehemiah was a spiritual man holding a religious office who exhibited a genuine interest in the political welfare of the people.



For this solemn yet joyful occasion, the priests and Levites purify themselves. In doing so they set themselves apart to God. The purification process extends to the people, the gates of the city and the wall itself. The people probably wash their clothes (Ex. 19:10,14) and bathe themselves (Num. 8:5-8; 19:12,19). The gates and the wall are ritually cleansed with hyssop (2 Chr. 29:5ff; Lev. 14:48-53). All of this is done to remind the Israelites that they and all that they have, belong to the Lord.

When everything is ready, Nehemiah divide the people and their leaders, the priests and the Levites, into two groups, These groups form two large choirs. With Ezra at the head of one group and Nehemiah leading the other, they walk through the streets, mount the walls, circle the city, and meet together over against the temple.

The dedication of the wall is the climax to the months of hardship the people have endured. The dedication of the wall marks a new beginning, it serves as a rallying point for the people. They walk around the very walls they've helped to build. This experience welds them together and gives them a sense of unity and accomplishment. A common venture, undertaken for the common good, has a tremendous binding affect. In the case of Israel, building the wall has restored their confidence in Jehovah and given them some national prestige. There was a sense of corporate strength. The result for all, a God-given joy, a spirit of rejoicing. Joy, J.O.Y., Jesus, Others, Yourself. Their love for the Lord and for one another caused them to subordinate their own personal desires to the good of the whole. Holiness must precede happiness.



God's original plan and order for Israel had been abandoned for hundreds of years. Nehemiah and Ezra had each played an important role in bringing Israel closer to what it was supposed to be, than had been since the days of Joshua.

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