Journey Through The Scriptures


Lesson 6: Further Reformsand a Dedication!

(Scripture to Read: Nehemiah 11:112:47)

Now that Jerusalem had been rebuilt, it was time to repopulate the city (interestingly, Nehemiah 11:1 is the first reference to Jerusalem as “the holy city” in Scripture). Nehemiah had noted earlier, “The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it” (7:4). So Nehemiah devised a plan to bring one-tenth of the returned exiles into Jerusalem to fill the city. Those who volunteered to live in Jerusalem were commended for their courageous decision to be among those who contributed to the city’s revitalization.

Once again, Nehemiah was careful to record people’s names and their villages. Often readers of the Bible wonder why the Scripture includes such detailed lists. We may think of their importance in this way. Imagine that you went to “city hall” on a matter of business, only to discover that your local officials had not bothered to record the boundaries of your property, or even your ownership of it! These lists were the record of such matters, and more importantly, they helped establish priestly descent for Israel’s worship. The dedication service Nehemiah organized in Jerusalem would rival any Olympic opening ceremony. The leaders stood on top of the city’s new walls, while two choirs marched in opposite directions singing praises to God. The sound of their praise could be heard far away, a fitting tribute to the Lord!

Study Questions

  1. Why was it necessary to select where people would live?
  2. Why were those who volunteered to live in Jerusalem praised for their decision?
  3. Why do you think the dedication service for the walls of Jerusalem was conducted largely on top of those walls?
  4. What was the significance of the storerooms (12:44) that Nehemiah established in the Temple?

Something to Think About

Perhaps this would be a good time for you to “march around the walls” of your life, as it were, taking account of all that God has given you and thanking Him for His blessings and provision of your needs.