Big picture: Another wave of exilees is retuning to Jerusalem. Under the guidance of Nehemiah, the governor, they work furiously to rebuild the city walls. And I do mean furiously. The Bible claims the walls were reconstructed in 52 days. (Nehemiah 6:13) That’s awfully impressive. Nowadays you can’t even secure a building permit in that length of time.
Small picture: The building project encountered a lot of opposition. What’s interesting about this to me is that the Bible doesn’t really record why these factions were upset about the new walls, just that they tried to halt its construction with increasingly harsh intimidation tactics.
Let’s face it, the Book of Nehemiah is not the most interesting record in the Bible. (It may be more titillating if you happen to be a civil engineer.) But I’m glad it’s in the canon. It’s a testament to the hard-won nature of community and the stubborn tenacity of the Jewish people.
#Twible overview of Nehemiah: Engineers’ Bible. We CAN rebuild it. We have the tech. City will be better, stronger, faster & more bionic.
#Twible Neh 1: Praying Nehemiah tears up @ idea of scorched Jerusalem & vows to become Rebuilderman action hero, sans cape. Capes are vain.
#Twible Neh 2: Neh inspects ruins of destroyed walls & gates. Wants to restore it all, esp Dung Gate. B/c poop happens, even in the Bible.
#Twible Neh 3: New city’ll have Sheep Gate, Fish Gate, Old Gate, Valley Gate… Wait, I thought we wanted to be LESS welcoming to attackers?
#Twible Neh 4: Every good building project’s gonna attract its share of protesters. Neh puts ½ of constr crew on guard duty. Take that, naysayers!
#Twible Neh 5: [Author query: This chapter is out of place here. Would you consider moving it after ch 13 for better flow? Thx. -Bible Eds.]
#Twible Neh 6: Protesters step it up. Not just “Builders Go Home” signs now, but death threats. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.