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Nehemiah: Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem

Nehemiah prays about the walls of Jerusalem.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
Nehemiah worked as a trusted cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, who ruled over the mighty empire of the Medes and Persians. – Slide 1
Nehemiah was a Jew living in Susa. Many years before, the Jews had been taken as captives by the Babylonians. When the Medes and Persians then defeated the Babylonians, many Jews, like Nehemiah, resettled in this new empire. Some Jews had returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple. – Slide 2
One day Nehemiah was visited by Hanani, one of his brothers, who lived in Jerusalem. Nehemiah asked them about the city and the Jews living there. – Slide 3
They explained that the walls that had been knocked down were still rubble. The city gates that had been set on fire had not been replaced. – Slide 4
The Jews in the city had no protection and were living in great trouble and disgrace. When Nehemiah heard these things he sat down and wept. – Slide 5
For several days he mourned, fasted and prayed. He confessed his sin and the sin of his people. He knew that God had promised that if His people turned back to Him and obeyed Him then God would return them to their land. Nehemiah asked God for an opportunity to speak to the King about the situation. – Slide 6
Some time later, Nehemiah was serving wine to the King when the king asked, ‘Why do you look so sad?’ ‘May the king live forever!’ replied Nehemiah. ‘Why should my face not look sad when Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?’ ‘What is it you want?’ asked the king. – Slide 7
The King gave Nehemiah all he asked for including royal letters of safe conduct and an armed escort. He was also given permission to take timber from the royal park to build new city gates. – Slide 8
Nehemiah set off on the long journey to Jerusalem. – Slide 9
When he finally arrived he rested for three days and didn’t tell anyone about his plans to rebuild the city walls. – Slide 10
Then, accompanied by a few others, he set out one night to secretly inspect the walls. – Slide 11
He started from the Valley Gate and headed towards the Dung Gate. The walls were in ruins and the gates burned. Soon his way was blocked with rubble and he had to detour around it to inspect the rest of the ruined walls. – Slide 12
Then he called a meeting of the leaders and those who could do the work. ‘You see the trouble we are in and the ruins. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so we will no longer be in disgrace.’ Nehemiah explained how God was with him and that he had the backing of the King too. – Slide 13
They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ The work began at once. – Slide 14
But there were enemies of the Jews who did not want the wall rebuilt. Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab mocked and ridiculed the workers. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’ Nehemiah replied, ‘God will give us success. We, his servants, will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim to it.’ – Slide 15
To find out what happens next download: Nehemiah: Overcoming opposition to rebuilding the walls. – Slide 16