Nehemiah 7 Commentary

Nehemiah 7 Commentary

The godly Nehemiah knows the value of a God-fearing man. So Hanani and Hananiah are elevated to the position of mayor and deputy mayor respectively. When godly men are in charge, integrity and godliness become important qualifications.

Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. Verse 4.

This kind of information is important to historians and statisticians. But the saint has a greater interest as the current state of Jerusalem provides evidence of God’s judgment on the nation. Jerusalem should be prosperous and buzzing with many people. A large and prosperous population is evidence of the LORD’s blessing.

Back in the Garden of peace and tranquility, the LORD had blessed humanity with the blessing of increase, prosperity, and dominion. But here we are, at a point in Israel’s history, where nearly everything has fallen apart. And Israel’s idolatry is responsible!

Then we have them coming back. It should be a bang! The prophets spoke glowingly of these times. Particularly, the prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when “Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations — their kings led in triumphal procession.” Isaiah 60 verse 11.

You know Nehemiah’s time is not exactly the time spoken of by Isaiah. Nehemiah doesn’t want the gates to remain open. There is so much insecurity. Is the prophet talking about the time of the Messiah when perfect peace would reign? The saint is reminded of the peace that the LORD Jesus talked about. Not like the peace of the world. It is a special kind of peace that will find its full expression when the LORD restores the Garden of peace and tranquility, as explained in the last chapter of the Book of Revelation.

In view of the New Testament, the restoration of Jerusalem is simply a shadow operation of the real restoration that would come with the Messiah. But it was real. The exiles are numbered and recorded. It is like reading the list in the Book of Life. They give generously towards the restoration works. And Ezra prepares to read from the Book of the Law. The chapter ends with a comma. Very strange.

Probably all life is like that. There is truly no end until the Law becomes important. Without the Law, an individual’s life ends with a comma.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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