Day 261 (Sept. 18): Community effort to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, half of construction force stand guard because of enemies opposing rebuilding, Nehemiah orders nobles and officials to pay back interest they charge to their relatives for loans made because of famine, Nehemiah foils Tobiah’s and Sanballat’s plan to defeat him, builders complete wall and stand guard

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

Nehemiah 3-7:3

Questions & Observations

Q. Ezra was on the forefront of our readings, but then Nehemiah came into the picture and we don’t hear anything from Ezra anymore.  Any idea what happened to him?

A. Well, we moved into a new book, didn’t we?  Just kidding.  Ezra is around, and will be mentioned again, but this is Nehemiah telling his own story, especially as it relates to the repairs of the wall.  Ezra’s concern has been much more with the Temple and the priests, while Nehemiah is doing a bit more nuts and bolts type repairs.

Q. (Nehemiah 3:1-32): I don’t think we need to remember who built what section of the wall.  But, I do think the community effort is important to notice.  Then, about the building materials themselves, do you have any idea what their bolts were made out of?  I guess they well knew how to work with metal.  And the wall was made of sun-dried clay bricks?

A. Most likely they used rock from the local quarries (some of which have been discovered outside of Jerusalem), that was carried in by hand or on simple carts.  As to the bolts, they were most likely made of iron, possibly with bronze mixed in, and forged by local blacksmiths.

Q. (4:1-23): Where were Sanballat and Tobiah living?

A. Most likely they did not live in Jerusalem.  They had to be informed of the repairs if they could see them in the city itself.  The implication that Tobiah was corresponding with the elders of the Jews would also indicate to me he did not live within the city; otherwise he would just go speak to them directly.

O. (6:1-14): Oh, what drama!

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