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The Book
of Nehemiah

summaries and outlines


Book Summary

Nehemiah was a Hebrew in Persia when the word reached him that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. He grew anxious knowing there was no wall to protect the city. Nehemiah invited God to use him to save the city. God answered his prayer by softening the heart of the Persian king, Artaxerxes, who gave not only his blessing, but also supplies to be used in the project. Nehemiah is given permission by the king to return to Jerusalem, where he is made governor. In spite of opposition and accusations the wall was built and the enemies silenced. He reestablishes true worship through prayer and by encouraging the people to revival by reading and adhering to the Word of God


The Bible - Numbers


Nehemiah (“Jehovah comforts”) is a famous cupbearer, who never appears in Scripture outside of this book. .

Both the Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Latin Vulgate named this book “Second Ezra.” Even though the two books of Ezra and Nehemiah are separate in most English Bibles, they may have once been joined together in a single unit as currently in the Hebrew texts. New Testament writers do not quote Nehemiah.

[Source: John MacArthur Study Bible, Copyright © 1997, 2006, 2019 by Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved..]


Author and Date of Writing

Though much of this book was clearly drawn from Nehemiah’s personal diaries and written from his first person perspective (1:1–7:5; 12:27–43; 13:4–31), both Jewish and Christian traditions recognize Ezra as the author.

TThe events in Nehemiah 1 commence late in the year 446 B.C., the 20th year of the Persian king, Artaxerxes (464–423 B.C.). The book follows chronologically from Nehemiah’s first term as governor of Jerusalem ca. 445–433 B.C. (Neh. 1–12) to his second term, possibly beginning ca. 424 B.C. (Neh. 13). Nehemiah was written by Ezra sometime during or after Nehemiah’s second term, but no later than 400 B.C.

[Source: John MacArthur Study Bible, Copyright © 1997, 2006, 2019 by Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved..]

Nehemiah Outline

I. The arrival of Nehemiah 1:1—2:20

  1. Nehemiah learns of the conditions of Jerusalem, (Nehemiah 1:1–3)
  2. Nehemiah’s sorrow and prayer, (Nehemiah 1:4–11)
  3. Nehemiah convinced to return, (Nehemiah 2:1–10)
  4. Nehemiah surveys the situation, (Nehemiah 2:11–20)

II. The building of the wall 3:1—7:73

  1. The people who rebuilt the wall, Nehemiah 3:1–32
  2. Opposition encountered, Nehemiah 4:1–3
  3. Nehemiah’s prayer, Nehemiah 4:4–12
  4. The building continues, Nehemiah 4:13–23
  5. The problem of debt, Nehemiah 5:1–19
  6. More opposition encountered, Nehemiah 6:1–14
  7. The wall completed, Nehemiah 6:15–19
  8. The list of those who returned, Nehemiah 7:1–73

II. The reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah 8:1—13:31

  1. The law explained, (Nehemiah 8:1–12
  2. Feast restored, (Nehemiah 8:13–18
  3. Confession and covenant of priests and Levites, (Nehemiah 9:1–38
  4. List of those who sealed covenant, (Nehemiah 10:1–39
  5. List of exiles, (Nehemiah 11:1-36  and Nehemiah 12:1-26)
  6. Dedication of walls, (Nehemiah 12:27–47)
  7. Reforms of Nehemiah, (Nehemiah 13:1–31)
Adapted from: King James Study Bible, Copyright © , 2013 by Thomas Nelson.

References and Sources:

Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem, illustration by Adolf Hult, 1919, Painting  

By Hult, Adolf, 1869-1943;Augustana synod. [from old catalog] – book page:, No restrictions,