N e h e m i a
means 'comforted by God'. Written B.C.E.
434 The son of Hachaliah.(Nehemiah.
a captive and young cupbearer/attendant in Persia
under king Artaxerxes Longimanus,
with whom he was on friendly terms. attendant. Nehemiah was permitted to
leave the royal palace at Shushan to return to and rebuild Jerusalem. He
was probably of the tribe
Nehemiah was the Tirshata,
a word probably of Persian
origin, meaning 'severity', denoting
a high civil.dignity,
such as a governor. The Persian governor of Judea is also called Tirshata:.Ezra
2:63; Nehemiah 7:65,70.
was his contemporary.
"Nehemiah lived at ease and
in honour, but does not forget that his brethren are in distress.
"Through his brother Hanani
and perhaps from other sources he heard of the mournful and desolate condition
of the Holy City Jerusalem and was filled with sadness of heart. For many
days he fasted and mourned and prayed for the place of his fathers' sepulchres.
At length the king observed his sadness of countenance and asked the reason
of it. Nehemiah explained it all to the king and obtained his permission
to go up to Jerusalem and there to act as Tirshatha or governor of Judea.
He went up in the spring of B.C.E. 446, eleven years after Ezra,
with a strong escort supplied by the king and with letters to all the pashas
of the provinces through which he had to pass, as also to Asaph, keeper
of the royal forests, directing him to assist Nehemiah. On his arrival
he set himself to survey the city and to form a plan for its restoration,
a plan which he carried out with great skill and energy, so that the whole
was completed in about six months. He remained in Judea for thirteen years
as governor, carrying out many reforms. At the close of this important
period of his public life, he returned to Persia to the service of his
royal master at Shushan or Ecbatana. Very soon after this the old corrupt
state of things returned.
now appeared among the people with words of stern reproof and solemn warning
and Nehemiah again returned from Persia, after an absence of some two years
and was grieved to see the widespread moral degeneracy that had taken place
during his absence. He set himself with vigour to rectify the flagrant
abuses that had sprung up and restored the orderly administration of public
worship and the outward observance of the law
of Moses. Of his subsequent history we know nothing. Probably he remained
at his post as governor till his death, about B.C.E. 413, in a good old
age. The place of his death and burial is, however, unknown.
"He resembled Ezra in his
fiery zeal, in his active spirit of enterprise and in the piety
of his life. His practical sagacity
and high courage were very markedly shown in the arrangement with which
he carried through the rebuilding of the wall at Jerusalem. The piety of
his heart, his deeply spiritual spirit and constant sense of communion
with and absolute dependence upon God, are strikingly exhibited, first
in the long prayer recorded in chapter 1:5-11 and secondly and most remarkably
in what have been called his 'interjectional.(sudden
those short but moving addresses to Almighty God which occur so frequently
in his writings, the instinctive outpouring of a heart deeply moved, but
ever resting itself upon God.
"Judea after this was annexed
to the satrapy.(the
territory or sphere under the rule of a satrap; a nation, state, territory,
or area controlled as if by a satrap, which is a governor of a province
in ancient Persia, a ruler, a subordinate bureaucrat or an official).of
Coele-Syria and was governed by the high priest under the jurisdiction
of the governor of Syria and the internal government of the country became
more and more a hierarchy."....comprised
with Rawlinson and Eastons's
E s t h e r.(*):
Written B.C.E. 509. The queen
of Ahasuerus and heroine of the
book that bears her name. Esther appears in the Bible as a 'woman
of deep piety,
faith, courage, patriotism and caution, combined with resolution; a dutiful
daughter to her adopted father, docile,
she resided with her cousin Mordecai, who held some office in the household
of the Persian
king at Shushan in the palace'.
Ahasuerus having divorced
Vashti, chose Esther to be his wife. Soon after this he gave Haman the
Agagite, his prime minister, power and authority to kill and extirpate
all the Jews throughout the Persian empire. By the interposition
of Esther this terrible catastrophe
There must have been a singular
grace and charm in her aspect and manners, since 'she obtained favour in
the sight of all them that looked upon her':.Esther
2:15. That she was raised up as an instrument in the hand of God to
avert the destruction of the Jewish people and to afford them protection
and forward their wealth and peace in their captivity, is also manifest
from the Scripture account.
J o b.(*):
Written B.C.E. 1491. He lived
soon after Abraham or perhaps before
that patriarch. Most likely this book was written by Job himself and it
is the most ancient book in existence.
The lessons of Job: One's
with the Creator should not be based on one's daily experiences, whether
good or bad. He allowed his righteousness
to replace the position of God's superiority in his life. His mind was
on the righteousness that he understood and not on the greatness
of God, but for only a while.
When his friends confronted
him in all his severe
troubles, they approached it as "there is something wrong you are doing
Job and won't admit too, as you are righteous in your own eyes". In this
they were wrong:.Job
42:7,8. Written about 2166-1876 BCE. Job's
P s a l m s.(*):
Written B.C.E. 1015, about
1000 years before Emmanuel's time in the New
are the production of various authors. A psalm is a sacred
song; a hymn.
Some favorite ones written long ago.
Only a portion of the Book
of Psalms claims David as
its author. It is especially to David and his contemporaries
that we owe this precious
book. In the 'titles' of the Psalms, 73 of the 150 are ascribed
to David. Many were written by Asaph.
Peter and John.(Acts
the New Testament ascribe to him also the second
psalm, which is one of the 48 that are anonymous.
Psalteries are musical instruments
such as a lyre
or a harp with
twelve strings which were used with other musical instruments:.2Samuel
6:5; 1Chronicles 13:8;
5:12; Psalms 33:2; 150:3.
to stringed instruments that would accompany such songs.
5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching
and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with grace in your hearts to the Lord."