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




"The God of heaven, he will prosper us...Therefore, Eliashib the high priest rose up ... and they builded..." (Neh. 2:20-31)

The people receive a small glimpse of the vision and "got with the program." Nehemiah's name is not even mentioned in the chapter! (The Nehemiah of chapter 3 is another Nehemiah; compare 1:1 and 3:16) "Many hands make light work." There are a number of lessons that we can learn from this chapter.


I. The Pattern

II. The People
III. The Places



The work was organized and directed, with the spiritual leaders taking the lead (vs. 1) and the people cooperating. God noted each worker and recorded his name in the book. Each man had a specific responsibility. Teamwork! All too often people are inspecting everyone else's work. So much could be accomplished if everyone would do something, put their shoulder to the wheel and not worry about whether everyone else is working or not. No man can do everything, but every man can do something! Of course you will never have 10P percent cooperation, there's always a few parasites and "goldbricks" around; see verse five.

"And next unto them," the phrase is used many times in the chapter. It is very difficult to be motivated to work alone.

(Rom. 12:11) says, "Not slothful in. business; fervent in spirit: serving the Lord." Our service provokes others to serve the Lord. (2 Cor. 9:2) says, "...and your zeal hath -provoked every man..."



There was a variety of workers. There were priests (1), rulers (12-19), women (12), craftsman (8,32) and even Jews from other cities (2,5,7). Some were willing to do extra work (11,19, 21,24,27,30). Some did their work at home (10,23,28-30), and this is where Christian service ought to begin. Some were more zealous that others (20). (Compare verse 11 with Ezra 10:31) and you will see that some backsliders joined in the work.

It seems that whenever God needs to have a work built that somehow he provides the wherewithal to complete the job. When the Lord instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness, he didn't ask Moses to perform a miracle, God supplied the various materials, people and skills to complete the Project, (See Ex. 35 and I Kings 7).



There is a definite spiritual lesson in each of these gates.

A. Sheep gate - Speaks of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (in. 10). This was the first gate repaired, for without the sacrifice, there is no salvation. Note that the sheep gate had no locks or bars, for the door of salvation is ever open to the sinner. This is the only gate that was sanctified, setting it apart as a special gate.

B. Fish gate - Reminds us of soul winning, being "fishers of men" (Mk. 1:17).

C. Old gate - Speaks of the old paths and the old truths of the Word of God; (Jer. 6:16 and 18:15). The people of the world are forever looking for "some new thing" (Acts 17:21), and they refuse to go back to the basic truths that really work.

D. Valley gate - Reminds us of humility before the Lord. In (Phil. 2) we see Christ descending from the glories of heaven into the valley of human limitations and even death. We do not enjoy the valley, but often God must take us there to bring a blessing to our lives.

E. Dung gate - Apparently this is the gate through which the waste and refuse of the city were taken. Imagine how difficult it would be to repair a gate in such a place. Certainly this speaks to us of the cleansing of our lives; (2 Cor. 7:1 and Isa. 1:16,17). Later some of the Jews were to complain about the rubbish; (see 4:10).

F. Gate of the Fountain - Illustrates the ministry of the Holy Spirit (see Jn. 7:37-39). It is interesting to note the order of these gates: first there is humility (the valley gate), then cleansing (the dung gate), and then the filling of the Spirit (the fountain gate).

G. Water gate - Speaks of the Word of God, which cleanses the believer; (Eph. 5:26; Ps. 119:9). Note that this is the seventh gate mentioned, and seven is the Bible number for perfection - the perfect Word of God. Note, too, that this gate needed no repairs! "Forever, 0 Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89).

H. Horse gate - Introduces the idea of warfare. Certainly there are battles in the Christian life and we must be ready to fight.
See (2 Tim. 2:1-4).

I. East gate - Makes us think of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; (Matt. 24:17). In (Eze. 10:16-22), the prophet saw God's glory depart from the temple by the East gate; (see also 11:22-25). But later (43:1-5) he saw God's glory return "from the way of the east."

J. Gate of Miphkad - Speaks of God's judgment. The Hebrew word miphkad means "appointment, account, census, mustering." It carries the idea of troops showing up for review, or an appointed place for a meeting. Certainly God is going to call all souls up for judgment one day.

As you review these gates and their order, you can see the full picture of the Christian life, from the sheep gate (salvation) to the final judgment. Praise God the Christian shall never face judgment because of his sins (See Jn. 5:24; Rom. 8:1-2).


[1]. No one man can do the work of God. A number of good team players is always more useful than a couple of all stars.

[2]. Prayer is not a substitute for hard work.

[3]. With so many involved in the work the burden never overwhelmed anyone.

[4]. Not everyone will contribute or participate.

[5]. God never will ask us to do the impossible, He will always provide the necessary grace and help.

-Page Navigation-

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13