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Nehemiah 1

Neh 1, Ne 1

Nehemiah 1

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

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Summary and the Meaning of Chapter 1 of Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah is the 16th book of the Old Testament and is considered to be a part of the historical books. It is believed to have been written by Nehemiah himself and covers a period of about 12 years (445-433 BC). The book tells the story of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and the restoration of the city after the exile of the Israelites. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the book, setting the stage for the events that will follow.

The main theme of Nehemiah Chapter 1 is the importance of prayer and God's faithfulness to His people. The chapter begins with Nehemiah, who was a cupbearer to the king of Persia, receiving news about the state of Jerusalem. He learns that the walls of the city are broken down and the gates have been burned, leaving the city vulnerable to attacks from enemies. This news greatly troubles Nehemiah and he is moved to tears. He immediately turns to God in prayer, acknowledging His power and faithfulness.

Nehemiah's Prayer

Nehemiah's prayer is a model of humility and trust in God. He begins by addressing God as the "Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God" (Nehemiah 1:5). This shows his reverence and acknowledgement of God's sovereignty. He then proceeds to confess the sins of the Israelites and his own family, acknowledging that they had disobeyed God's commandments and had brought this calamity upon themselves. Despite their disobedience, Nehemiah recognizes God's mercy and promises of restoration for His people.

Nehemiah's prayer also displays his deep concern for the people of Jerusalem. He identifies himself as a part of the Israelite community and takes responsibility for their actions. He pleads with God to hear his prayers and the prayers of his people, asking for forgiveness and restoration. This shows Nehemiah's compassion and love for his people, and his desire to see them restored to their rightful place in the land of Israel.

God's Response

God responds to Nehemiah's prayer by providing a way for the restoration of Jerusalem. He softens the heart of the king of Persia, Artaxerxes, and allows Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the walls. This is a clear demonstration of God's faithfulness to His people. Despite their sins and disobedience, God hears their prayers and provides a way for their restoration.

God's response also shows the importance of human agency in carrying out His plans. He uses Nehemiah, a faithful and willing servant, to carry out His work. This shows that God works through His people to bring about His purposes.

The Meaning of Chapter 1

The first chapter of Nehemiah sets the tone for the rest of the book. It emphasizes the importance of prayer and God's faithfulness to His people. It also highlights the importance of human agency in carrying out God's plans.

Furthermore, chapter 1 serves as a reminder that God is always in control, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. The broken walls of Jerusalem represent the brokenness of God's people and their relationship with Him. However, through Nehemiah's prayer and God's response, we see that there is always hope for restoration and healing.

Chapter 1 also teaches us the importance of taking responsibility for our actions and the actions of our community. Nehemiah does not distance himself from the sins of the Israelites, but instead, he takes responsibility and seeks forgiveness and restoration on their behalf. This is a reminder that we are all connected and responsible for each other, and that we should pray for the well-being of our communities and nations.

In conclusion, chapter 1 of Nehemiah sets the foundation for the rest of the book. It teaches us the importance of prayer, God's faithfulness, and human agency in carrying out God's plans. It also serves as a reminder of the hope and restoration that is possible through God's mercy and grace.

This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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