About this Bible Study........The King James Version of
the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard
for modern English readers to understand. In this study, you will find
notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We
recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses
in their KJV form.
The Persian Empire covered many areas. It included the
modern-day countries of Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.
The Persian kings named in the Bible
were Cyrus, Ahasruerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius.
The Book of Nehemiah
God allowed the people from Babylon to take the tribe of Judah,
the Jews, away. They took them back to Babylon. The Jews lived in Babylon for
about 70 years. Then, Cyrus became king of Persia (now called Iran). Persia
defeated Babylon, and Cyrus said that the Jews could return to Jerusalem.
Ezra was a scribe (secretary, historian). He wrote down the
history of the Jews going back to Jerusalem. He also led some of the Jews back
Nehemiah also went back to Jerusalem. He was sad because Jerusalem had not
been repaired. He led the Jews to rebuild the wall around the city. Later, he became the governor of Judah.
People who study the Bible believe that Ezra wrote both books of the Bible: Ezra
Nehemiah is upset to learn about the condition of Jerusalem.
The Persian king lets Nehemiah go back to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah works with the other Jews to build the wall around Jerusalem
Nehemiah learns that Jerusalem has not been
Sushan is the name
of the city where the Persian king lived. It was the name for
the city named Susa.
Susa is in the country we now call
This part of the Bible is
from Nehemiah. His father's name was Hachaliah. His story starts in
the ninth month of the year (named Chisleu or Kislev). It was the 20th year
that Artaxerxes was the king of Persia. Nehemiah worked in the king's palace
in the city of Shushan.
 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came
to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the
One of Nehemiah's brothers or
friends came to see him. Some of the Jewish men were with him. Nehemiah
asked about the Jews that went back to Jerusalem. He wanted to know how they
were doing. They told him that the Jews in Jerusalem were not doing well.
The wall in Jerusalem was still broken down. The gates had been burned with
 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men
of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were
left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there
in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem
also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
very upset that the Jewish people in Jerusalem were not doing well. He sat
down and cried. He fasted (did not eat) and prayed to God in Heaven.
Nehemiah prayed and said to God that He was the God of Heaven. He said that
God keeps His promises and has mercy for the people who love him and obey
 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept,
and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible
God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his
He asked God to pay attention to his prayer. He is
praying during the day and during the night. He is praying for the
Jewish people. He said that they have sinned against God. He said his
father's family sinned, too.
 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest
hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night,
for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the
children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my
father's house have sinned.
He said that they have treated God badly. They did
not obey His laws and rules that He gave to Moses.
 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the
commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst
thy servant Moses.
Nehemiah asked God to remember what He told Moses.
He told Moses that if the Israelites did not obey His laws, He would send
them away to other countries. But if they would obey His laws, He
would bring them all back to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is God's city.
 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant
Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the
 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though
there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I
gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have
chosen to set my name there.
He said that the Jews are God's people and will
work for God. God has saved them because He is strong.
 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by
thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
He asks God to hear his prayer and the prayers of
other Jewish people. They want to serve and work for God. He asked God
to help him that day. Nehemiah worked as the King of Persia's helper. He
asked God for the king to feel mercy toward him.
 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of
thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name:
and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the
sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
Nehemiah asks the king if he can go back to Jerusalem.
In the 9th month of the year (that
month was named Nisan), Nehemiah went to see the king. It was the 20th year
that Artaxerxes was the king. Nehemiah took some wine to the king.
Nehemiah felt very sad. It was the first time he felt sad when he was with
 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of
Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and
gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
The king asked Nehemiah why he was sad. Nehemiah
wasn't sick, so the king said he was depressed. Nehemiah was afraid.
 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou
art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore
Nehemiah answered the king. He said he hoped the
king would live forever. He said he was sad because of Jerusalem. Jerusalem
was the place where his ancestors were buried. Now the city is in
ruins (destroyed), and the gates are burned.
 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my
countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres,
lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
The king wanted to know what Nehemiah wanted.
Nehemiah prayed to God. Then, he told the king that he wanted the king to
send him back to Judah. He wanted to go back to Judah so he can build
 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed
to the God of heaven.
 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have
found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the
city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
The queen was there sitting by the king. The
king asked him how long it took to travel to Jerusalem. He also asked him
when he would come back to Persia. Nehemiah told the king when he would come
back. Then the king said he could go to Jerusalem.
 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long
shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to
send me; and I set him a time.
Nehemiah asked the king to give him special
letters. He would give the letters to the governors of Persia's land on the
other side of the Euphrates River. Then the governors will let him travel to
 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be
given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over
till I come into Judah;
He also asked for a special letter. The letter was
for the man who was in charge of the king's forest. The man's name was Asaph.
When Nehemiah gave Asaph the letter, Asaph would give him wood. Nehemiah
would use the wood in Jerusalem. He would use the wood for the gates around
the temple area, the city wall, and to make a house for himself. The king
gave him the letters because God was helping Nehemiah.
 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may
give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained
to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall
enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God
Nehemiah travels back to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah started on his trip. The king of Persia
sent some soldiers and army captains with him. They arrived at the areas on
the other side of the Euphrates River. He gave the king's letters to the
 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's
letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Two of the leaders were not happy about Nehemiah.
The men were named Sanballat and Tobiah. Sanballat was from one of the areas
named Horon. Tobiah was from the group of people named the Ammonites. They
did not like Nehemiah coming to see about the Jews in Jerusalem.
 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite,
heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek
the welfare of the children of Israel.
Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem and
stayed there for 3 days.  So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
Nehemiah secretly looks around Jerusalem.
One night, Nehemiah and a few men got up. God
wanted Nehemiah to help the Jews build in Jerusalem, but Nehemiah didn't
tell any of the men that. He didn't take any animals with him except the
donkey he was riding.
 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I
any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was
there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
He went to check on some of the
places in Jerusalem. He went out the gate of the valley in front of the well
that was shaped like a dragon. He was by the place where they took out
garbage. He saw the walls of the city of Jerusalem. They were broken down,
and the gates were burned with fire.
 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the
dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which
were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
He went to see the gate of the fountain and the
king's pool. It was too narrow for his donkey to walk through.
 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but
there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
While it was dark, he went up by the creek and
looked at the wall. Then he went back in through the gate to the place where
he was staying.
 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and
turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
None of the city leaders knew that he went to look
around. He hadn't told anyone that he wanted to fix the walls. He had not
told the Jews, the priest, the rich men, the leaders, or the workers.  And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did;
neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the
nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
Nehemiah tells the other Jews about his plan to rebuild the wall around
Nehemiah told the other people in Jerusalem about his plan. He told them
that Jerusalem is not good right now. The gates were burned. He asked them
to help him build the walls again. Then the Jews will not be thought of
 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how
Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and
let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
Nehemiah told them that God was helping him. He
told them that the king of Persia said he could build Jerusalem again. The
other people agreed with Nehemiah. They would help him build Jerusalem
 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also
the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up
and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
Three of the men in Jerusalem who were not Jewish
laughed and made fun about this. They asked why they were doing that. They
asked if they were rebelling (fighting against) the king of Perisa. The
men's names were Sanballat (from the area of Horon), Tobiah (an Ammonite),
and Geshem (from the place named Arabia).
 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite,
and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us,
and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
Nehemiah told them that God in heaven will help
them. They would work for God and build Jerusalem. He said that the 3 men
have no part of Jerusalem. They have no rights there. Their ancestors did
not live there.
 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will
prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no
portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
The Jews build the wall and gates around
Eliashib was the leader
of the priests. He and the other priests built the sheep gate. They had a
ceremony and made it holy. They put on the doors of the gate. They built the
wall to the
tower named Meah. They made it holy, then continued to build to the tower
named Hananeel.  Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his
brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it,
and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it,
unto the tower of Hananeel.
The men from Jericho worked next to the priests.
The man named Zaccur (his father was Imri) worked next to the men from
 And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded
Zaccur the son of Imri.
The men from Hassenaah's family built the fish gate. The put up the
beams, doors, locks, and bars.
 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the
beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars
Meremoth (his father was Urijah, and Urijah's
father was Koz) worked next to Hassenaah's family. The next worker was
Meshullam (his father was Berechiah, and Berechiah's father was
Meshezabeel). Next was Zadok (his father's name was Baana).
 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz.
And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of
Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.
The group of people named the Tekoites was next.
They repaired the wall but their leaders did not work for the Lord God.
 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their
necks to the work of their Lord.
Jehoiada (his father was Paseah) and Meshullam (his
father was Besodeiah) repaired the old gate. They put the beams up and set
up the doors, locks, and bars.
 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam
the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors
thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
Here are other web sites with very
good maps of Jerusalem and the wall and gates that Nehemiah and the
The next men were
Melatiah (from the group of people named the Gibeonites), Jadon (from the
group of people named the Meronothites), and the men from the places named
Gibeon and Mizpah. These men worked to the governor's throne (he was the
governor of the areas on the eastern side of the Euphrates River).
 And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the
Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the
governor on this side the river.
The next man was Uzziel (his father was Harhaiah who made things with gold).
Next was Hananiah (his father was a man who used spices to make oils). They
worked to the broad (wide) wall.
 Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths.
Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and
they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.
Jerusalem and some of the other
cities had 2 leaders.
The next man
working on the wall was Rephaiah (his father was Hur). He was the leader of
half of Jerusalem.  And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the
ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.
The next man was Jedaiah (his father was Harumaph).
He repaired the wall near his house. Next was Hattush (his father was
 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over
against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.
These men repaired the next part and also the tower
of the furnaces: Malchijah (his father was Harim) and Hashub (his father was
 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired
the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
The next part was repaired by Shallum (his father
was Halohesh). Shallum was the leader of the other half of Jerusalem. His
daughters helped him work.  And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the
ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
Hanun and the people who lived in Zanoah repaired
the valley gate. They put on the doors, locks, and bars. They also worked on
1,000 cubits (about 1,500 feet) of the wall that met the dung gate.
 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they
built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars
thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.
This video shows the Jaffa gate and how the wall
around Jerusalem looks now.
father was Rechab) repaired the dung gate. Malachiah was the leader of part
of Beth-haccerem (a big city near Jerusalem). Malachiah built the gate and put
on the doors, locks, and bars.
 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of
part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks
thereof, and the bars thereof.
Shallum (his father was Col-hozeh) repaired the gate of the fountain.
Shallum was the leader of part of Mizpah (a city near Jerusalem). He set up
a cover over the gate. He set up the gate's doors, locks, and bars. He
repaired the part of the wall from the gate to the pool of Siloah (near the
king's garden). This part of the wall went to the stairs that go down from
the part of Jerusalem that David lived in.
 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the
ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors
thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool
of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the
city of David.
Another man named
Nehemiah (his father was Azbuk) worked on the wall. This Nehemiah was the
leader of half of the city named Beth-zur. He repaired the wall that was
near David's burial rock. His part of the wall went to a pool that King
Hezekiah made and the place where soldiers lived.
 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half
part of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and
to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.
Two Levite men repaired the next part. They were Rehum (his father was Bani)
and Hashabiah (he was the leader of half of the place named Keilah).
 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him
repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
Another Levite repaired the next part. He was Bavai
(his father was Henadad). He was the other leader of half of Keilah.
 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler
of the half part of Keilah.
The next part of the wall went up to the place
where they kept the army's weapons. The man who repaired this part was
Ezer (the son of Jeshua). He was the leader of Mizpah.
 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah,
another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the
The next part was repaired by Baruch (his father
was Zabbai). He worked hard and repaired the part of the wall that
went to the door of the high priest's house. The high priest was Eliashib.
 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece,
from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high
Meremoth (his father was Urijah and his grandfather
was Koz) repaired the next part. He repaired the part from the door of
Eliashib's house to the end of the house.
 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another
piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house
The next part was repaired by priests who came from
the flat areas.  And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.
Benjamin and Hashub fixed the part by their homes.
Azariah (his father was Maaseiah and his grandfather was Ananiah) fixed the
part by his house.
 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After
him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.
Binnui (his father was Henadad) repaired the next
part. He repaired the part from Azariah's house to the corner.
 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the
house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.
Palal (his father was Uzai) fixed the next part. He
fixed the part by the tower near the king's house. It was near the prison.
Pedaiah (his father was Parosh) fixed the next part.
 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the
tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of
the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.
The Nethinims (temple workers) lived in the area
named Ophel. They fixed the wall in that area to the tower by
the water gate.
 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the
water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.
The men from the place named Tekoa fixed the next
part. They fixed the part that went by the big tower to the area of Ophel.
 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great
tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.
The priests repaired the wall from the horse gate.
They lived in this area, and each priest fixed the wall near his house.
 From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against
The man named Zadok (his father was Immer) fixed
the part of the wall by his house. Shemaiah (his father was
Shechaniah) fixed the next part. Shemaiah was in charge of the east gate.
 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house.
After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the
Two men repaired the next part. They were Hananiah
(his father was Shelemiah) and Hanun (his father was Zalaph, and Hanun had 5
older brothers). Meshullam (his father was Berechiah) fixed the part near
 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth
son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of
Berechiah over against his chamber.
Malchiah (his father made gold items) fixed the next part. This part was by
the temple workers' place and the merchants' (people who sold things) place.
It was by the Miphkad gate. It went to the corner.
 After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the
Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the
going up of the corner.
The goldsmiths (men who made gold items) and
merchants (men who sold things) fixed the next part. It was from the corner
to the sheep gate.
 And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the
goldsmiths and the merchants.