Daily Bible Reading for December 2, 2014, with Commentary: Nehemiah 5-9
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Context: In chapter 5, Nehemiah deals with financial concerns of the people. Judah did not have a strong economy. Rebuilding the wall was straining that economy and the food supply. Nehemiah quickly works towards a resolution and sets an example through his actions. Rebuilding the wall was not a popular action in the eyes of other nations. They had previously attempted to ridicule the Israelites into stopping their work. When that planned failed, they tried to lure Nehemiah into a trap. Nehemiah refused to meet with them, instead relying on the Lord. Under Nehemiah’s guidance, the Israelites were able to complete the wall. Recorded again in chapter 7, is a chronology of those who returned. Why? Because the Lord wanted their names remembered. Nehemiah also appointed men and women to specific positions to restore proper worship in the temple. In chapter 8, Ezra read the Law, given to people by Moses, who received it from the Lord. Through the reading of the Law, the Israelites recognized their sins and repented before the Lord.
World History: Around the time the Israelites finished building the wall, Rome became a Republic, starting them on the path that would lead them to become the most powerful nation in the world.