Nehemiah 11 Commentary
Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. Chapter 7 verse 4.
Probably in order to solve the above problem, chapter 11 begins with a decision to ensure Jerusalem has enough numbers. For Israel, state governance and spirituality were the same. Today, civic leaders would be worried about Jerusalem’s poor numbers but without the spiritual understanding that Israel uniquely possessed.
Israel’s diminished numbers were a sign of God’s wrath on the nation. It was a direct minus on the blessing of increase.
The chapter continues the cycle of lists and names. These are the names of individuals. Individuals are important to the LORD. There is divine interest in the saint’s name as well as their location. Your area of residence, your workplace, the means by which you get to work; these details may appear unimportant to others but they are important to your God.
Each life is important. We are not counted; we are numbered. Civic leaders would be happy to know that there are 100 people along X Street. The LORD would have a long list of individual names. Next to each name would be more details like the number of your hair. The Psalmist gives us an impression of a file for each individual. It contains every detail possible for every life that the LORD created.
Yes, it was a form of identification but importantly, the LORD knows each person’s father. Each individual is known by name.
Our lack of spirituality means our understanding of life and the world around us is summarized, and consequently limited and largely wrong. Joe Biden is actually Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. With this full name, we probably now know that his father was Joseph Robinette Biden. But the Bible would do more by telling us who fathered Joseph Robinette Biden Sr. If you think deeply about today’s world norms, you easily appreciate where mortals are coming from; and importantly, where they should be heading.
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