Nehemiah 2:1-11. The King Sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem
The favor in which Nehemiah was held by King Artaxerxes is evident not only in that he granted him permission to return but also in that he gave him guards, an escort, and a safe conduct through the lands on his return to Judah "beyond the river," or west of the Euphrates. The king also granted him permission to use timber from the royal forests to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem as well as the gates and his own house.
Nehemiah 1:2-4. What did Nehemiah do for the Jews in Jerusalem? Why?
Nehemiah 1:8. What had the Lord promised Moses?
Nehemiah 1:11. What did Nehemiah ask of the Lord?
Nehemiah 2:4-8. What did Nehemiah ask of the King?
Nehemiah 2:10. Who Was Sanballat?
Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, and the governors of other nearby areas opposed the plans of the Jews for Jerusalem and resented the protection given them by the Persian king. A deep bitterness had developed between the Samaritans and the Jews who had returned with Zerubbabel (see Notes and Commentary on Ezra 4). For Nehemiah to return with full power from the emperor to refortify Jerusalem was a great setback for the Samaritans, and they openly opposed it. Sanballat of Samaria led this group (see v. 19) and made it necessary for Nehemiah to arm those who worked on the walls of Jerusalem (see chapters 4 and 6).
Nehemiah 2:10. How did Sanballat and Tobiah receive the news about Nehemiah?
Nehemiah 2:12-16. Nehemiah's Night Journey around the Walls Nehemiah wrote in such detail about his night reconnaissance and the later reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem that we have a good idea of the actual sites of much that he reported. The accompanying map shows the estimated locations.
See Maps, "Jerusalem," for a comparison of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time with the city in Jesus' time.
Nehemiah 2:17-18. What did Nehemiah say to the rulers in Jerusalem?
Nehemiah 2:18. How did the rulers respond?
Nehemiah 3:1-32. Who are listed in Nehemiah 3?
Nehemiah 4:7-8. What did Sanballat and Tobiah conspire to do?
Nehemiah 4:9. What did the men of Judah do?
Nehemiah 4:14. What did Nehemiah say to them? (See also Alma 46:12)
Nehemiah 4:16-18. "The Other Hand Held a Weapon"
The names of the families assigned to repair the walls and gates are given in Nehemiah 3. But the leaders of the surrounding communities were angry that the Jews were fortifying Jerusalem and resuming their former religious practices. Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, was especially angry. But the plan they laid to attack and prevent the repair of the walls, now about halfway up (see Nehemiah 4:6), was frustrated by Nehemiah, who had those who guarded and those who labored arm themselves by day and by night (see vv. 21-22). Nehemiah's encouragement to the Jews to defend their families and homes (see v. 14) is similar to the charge Moroni gave in the Book of Mormon (see Alma 43:46-47; 46:12).
Nehemiah 4:16-23. How did the workers prepare to defend themselves?
Nehemiah 5. Nehemiah Demanded Social Reforms among His People
Nehemiah's true greatness shines forth in these verses. One of the reasons the Jews were still in great poverty was the unrighteous oppression of the people by their previous rulers. Nehemiah could have glutted himself in the same manner, but instead he became angry about the over taxation (the king's tribute), usury (interest), slavery, and the confiscation of private property.
Although his predecessors "were chargeable unto the people" (Nehemiah 5:15) or, in other words, laid a heavy burden upon the people, Nehemiah showed his greatness as the governor by not accepting a salary from the taxes of the people. He was wealthy and chose to serve without remuneration.
The righteous kings in the Book of Mormon had the same sense of public morality and worked for their livelihood rather than burdening their people (see Mosiah 2:14; 29:40).
Nehemiah 5:1-6. Why did Nehemiah become very angry?
Nehemiah 5:10-11. What did Nehemiah ask the nobles to do?
Nehemiah 5:12. Why did Nehemiah call the priests?
Nehemiah 5:14-19. What did Nehemiah do that was different from what the previous governors had done? (See also Nehemiah 5:15a)
Nehemiah 6:2. Why did Sanballat and Tobiah want to meet Nehemiah?
Nehemiah 6:16. Why were all the enemies of Nehemiah and the Jews disappointed?
Nehemiah 6:17-19. Why did Tobiah send letters to the nobles in Judah and to Nehemiah?
Nehemiah 7:2. Why did Nehemiah give Hanani and Hananiah charge of Jerusalem?
Nehemiah 7:3. What did Nehemiah say to them?
Nehemiah 7:7. Whose genealogy is in Nehemiah 7?
Nehemiah 7:63-64. Why were some priests denied the priesthood?
Nehemiah 7:65. When would they receive the priesthood?
Nehemiah 8:2-3. What did Ezra read to the people? (See also Deuteronomy 31:10-13)
Nehemiah 8:8. How was the book read? (See also Nehemiah 8:8c)
Nehemiah 8:9. Why did the people weep?
Nehemiah 8:18. What event was held on the eighth day?
Nehemiah 9:3. What did the people do on the twenty-fourth day of the month?
Nehemiah 9:5-30. List several things the Jews recited that the Lord had done for them.
Nehemiah 9:32-38. Why did the people make "a sure covenant"? (Nehemiah 9:38)
Nehemiah 10:29-31, 37. What four things did the people covenant to do? (See also Nehemiah 10:29a)
Nehemiah 11:12. How was it decided who should dwell in Jerusalem?
Nehemiah 12:1. Who are those named in Nehemiah 12?
Nehemiah 12:27. What was dedicated?
Nehemiah 12:44-45. What offices were appointed in the temple?
Nehemiah 13:1-3. Why was the "mixed multitude" separated from Israel? (Nehemiah 13:3)
Nehemiah 13:4-5. What had Eliashib the priest done for Tobiah?
Nehemiah 13:7-13. What did Nehemiah do upon his return from the king?
Nehemiah 13:15-21. Why did the merchants come no more upon the Sabbath?
Nehemiah 13:23-30. What did Nehemiah do about intermarriage?