The book of Nehemiah is about starting over again. Nehemiah, one of Israel's great leaders, tells firsthand the powerful story of the rebuilding of ancient Jerusalem's walls after the exile. This rebuilding, in the face of great odds, represented the people's renewal of faith, their overcoming of national shame and the reforming of their conduct.
In sizing up Nehemiah the man, Raymond Brown surmises: "He must surely be regarded as one of the most inventive and resilient personalities in the rich tapestry of Old Testament biography."
Brown vividly sketches Nehemiah's historical and social setting and demonstrates the striking relevance for today of his dominant themes: Nehemiah's doctrine of God, his passion for Scripture, his experience of prayer and his example of leadership.
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A. Rebuilding the Walls - 1:1 - 7:73
1. The servant's preparation - 1:1-11
2. The servant's guidance - 2:1-10
3. The servant's strategy - 2:11-20
4. The servant's partners - 3:1-32
5. The servant's confidence - 4:1-23
6. The servant's compassion - 5:1-19
7. The servant's protection - 6:1-19
8. The servant's convictions - 7:1-73
B. Reforming the Community - 8:1-13:31
9. 'Bring Out the Book' - 8:1-18
10. Discovering more about God - 9:1-37
11. 'But in your great mercy' - 9:1-37
12. 'Making a binding agreement' - 9:38-10:29
13. Being specific - 10:30-39
14. Vocal archives - 11:1-12:26
15. Our 'chief end' - 12:27-47
16. 'There it was found written' - 13:4-31
17. Temple, market-place and home - 13:4-31
18. Patterns of leadership - 13:4-31