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Questions & Answers: The Book of Nehemiah

The Nehemiah Project 001

Its purpose is based on the book of Nehemiah.

The Book of Nehemiah: based on scripture only


1: Who was Nehemiah (the son of Hachaliah)?

 Nehemiah was a layman, the cupbearer to the king of Persia. The Bible doesn't tell us what tribe he was from; most think he was of the tribe of Judah. 

2: Who gave Nehemiah the disturbing news that the relic that had returned to Judah was in disrepute and that the walls and gates were in need of repair? 

Hanani and certain other men that had returned to Persia (from Judah). “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3

3: Did Nehemiah have a brother named: Hanani (Nehemiah 1:2; 7:2)

We find (at least three) Hanani’s in the Bible. The Hanani in the book of Nehemiah could be Nehemiah’s brother or he could just be one of the brethren; no one knows for sure. Dr. McGee believes that Hanani was a brethren (a fellow Jew) and not a “brother.”  Hanani means: God has gratified me," or "God is gracious."      

“Of Heman: the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth:” 1 Chronicles 25:4

 “And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.” 1 Kings 16:7

 “That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 1:2

“That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.” Nehemiah 7:2

Smith’s Dictionary says of Hanani: “One of the sons of Heman, and head of the eighteenth course of the service. (1 Chronicles 25:4, 25) A seer who rebuked (B.C. 941) Asa king of Judah. (2 Chronicles 16:7) For this he was imprisoned. ver. 10 He or another Hanani was the father of Jehu the seer, who testified against Baasha, (1 Kings 16:1,7) and Jehoshaphat. (2 Chronicles 19:2; 20:34) One of the priests who in the time of Ezra had taken strange wives. (Ezra 10:20)

A brother of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:2), who was made governor of Jerusalem under Nehemiah. Ch. (Nehemiah 7:2) A priest mentioned in (Nehemiah 12:36)”

4: Was Nehemiah a eunuch?

The Bible doesn’t say whether or not Nehemiah was a eunuch; some assume that he was, because he was the “cupbearer” to the king and he had favor with the king’s wife.

Cupbearer: “an officer of high rank with Egyptian, Persian and Assyrian as well as Jewish monarchs. (1 Kings 10:5) It was his duty to fill the kings cup and present it to him personally. (Nehemiah 1:11) The chief cupbearer, or butler, to the king of Egypt was the means of raising Joseph to his high position. (Genesis 40:1 Genesis 40:21; 41:9)” Smiths dictionary

5: Was Nehemiah born in Persia?

We don’t know (because the Bible doesn’t say where he was born). It sounds as though Nehemiah was born during the captivity of the Jews (in Persia). 

6: In 444 B.C., Nehemiah oversaw the transformation of the wall and gates of Jerusalem; how long did it take his team to finish that project?

Fifty-two days. (See: Nehemiah 6:15)

7: How long was Nehemiah in Judah before returning to Persia, the first time?

12 years. “Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is], twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.” Nehemiah 5:14

8: Who wrote the book of Nehemiah?

No one knows. Nehemiah was originally part of the book of Ezra; some scholars credit Ezra, for writing both Ezra and Nehemiah.

9: What was Nehemiah’s census, total?

42,360 “The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,” Nehemiah 7:66

10: While Nehemiah was Governor of Judah did the people gather to hear the reading of the Word of God?

Yes. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8