Nehemiah 7

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Read Nehemiah 7

After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed. I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do. I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.”

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:

These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of Israel:

the descendants of Parosh2,172
of Shephatiah372
10 of Arah652
11 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab)2,818
12 of Elam1,254
13 of Zattu845
14 of Zakkai760
15 of Binnui648
16 of Bebai628
17 of Azgad2,322
18 of Adonikam667
19 of Bigvai2,067
20 of Adin655
21 of Ater (through Hezekiah)98
22 of Hashum328
23 of Bezai324
24 of Hariph112
25 of Gibeon95
26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah188
27 of Anathoth128
28 of Beth Azmaveth42
29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth743
30 of Ramah and Geba621
31 of Mikmash122
32 of Bethel and Ai123
33 of the other Nebo52
34 of the other Elam1,254
35 of Harim320
36 of Jericho345
37 of Lod, Hadid and Ono721
38 of Senaah3,930

39 The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua)973
40 of Immer1,052
41 of Pashhur1,247
42 of Harim1,017

43 The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel through the line of Hodaviah)74

44 The musicians:

the descendants of Asaph148

45 The gatekeepers:

the descendants of
Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai138

46 The temple servants:

the descendants of
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
47 Keros, Sia, Padon,
48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,
53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
56 Neziah and Hatipha

57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of
Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,
58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
59 Shephatiah, Hattil,
Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon
60 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon392

61 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:

62 the descendants of
Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda642

63 And from among the priests:

the descendants of
Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name).

64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole company numbered 42,360, 67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. 68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules, 69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests. 71 Some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minaseof silver and 67 garments for priests.

73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns.

Ezra Reads the Law

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,

Go Deeper

Nehemiah was given a remarkable amount of authority and influence in his role as governor of Judah. As we have seen in previous chapters, as vital as this task was, it faced opposition every step of the way. In this chapter, Nehemiah is divinely prompted to summon the people for enrollment. This prompting and re-enrollment was the precursor for the life changes and re-dedication that occurs in the next few chapters of this book. Nehemiah wanted people to remember Whose they were, how far God had brought them, and what God had called them to do before they moved forward.

Nehemiah was faithful to see the project through to completion. He kept his team focused through leadership centered around the Word of the Lord and the calling God had placed on their lives. The wall was finished; the project completed. However, Nehemiah remembered that the final strength or weakness of a city is its people. Because of this, he put two individuals, Hanani and Hananiah, who had been faithful previously, and who had consistently shown their love for the Lord, in charge of the city while they continued to rebuild and while Nehemiah tended to other duties. This word “faithful” is where we should focus our minds as we read today.

Luke 16:10 says “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Nehemiah, Hanani, and Hananiah were faithful to complete the tasks placed before them by the Lord and care for God’s people. Due to this faithfulness, they were given positions of authority to play a larger part in God’s plan for Jerusalem and His people.

Imagine how many frustrating, time-consuming, and downright annoying tasks these three individuals had to face in exile and while rebuilding the wall. Many would have tapped-out and called it a day or openly complained about their situation. Instead, these individuals were faithful to complete God’s calling on their lives to the best of their ability and steward the lives of those who had been entrusted into their care.

God is calling you to be faithful and excellent in the stage of life He has currently placed you, like Nehemiah, Hanani, and Hananiah. It may not seem like it, but God has you where you are for a specific reason. It may seem like you are just “building a wall” (answering emails, grading papers, taking care of your children), but your faithfulness now will pay massive dividends in the Kingdom of God for all of eternity. Steward well. Trust God. Strive for faithfulness.

Questions

  1. How can you be a better steward of the opportunities and leadership God has given you?
  2. What tasks has God given you that you could do more excellently and faithfully?
  3. Who are individuals in your life that can be your Hanani and Hananiah that you can link arms with and pursue God’s calling together?

Try This

Just as Nehemiah felt prompted by God to call everyone together to remember whose they were, how far God had brought them, and what God had called them to do, it is important that we do the same. Take some time now to reflect on who God says you are, where you used to be, how far God has brought you, where you believe God is taking you, and how you can faithfully fulfill God’s calling on your life today.

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2 thoughts on “Nehemiah 7”

  1. Nehemiah was a brilliant, servant-leader. He paired God’s leadership with prayerful obedience, faithful work, & common sense. This combination saw the fulfillment of a grueling task ordained by God. Now the “real” work was about to begin, capturing the hearts of the people to worship only the one true God. My prayer for us today is:
    Father, your Word is more powerful than any 2 edged sword. Would you pierce our hearts and plant seeds of truth that will take deep root, grow, and produce life within us that sustains and trumps any foe we come against? May we flourish in every season despite the odds, continuing to bring glory and honor to your Name!

  2. It says that God put it on Nehemiah’s heart to summon the people together. Nehemiah simply obeyed and demonstrated his faithfulness. God prompts us similarly, today. Whether to share our faith with a friend, drop off a meal for a family with a new baby on our street, or serve in the kids ministry at our church, He is constantly prompting & stirring our heart for His purposes. He had Nehemiah right where He wanted him- in a place where he could most be used by God to call the newly returned Israelites back to faithfulness. We should view our lives similarly- we are where we are for a reason! Whether it’s the park with our kids, the office space, a ministry program, we have a job to do. Let’s not miss it. Let’s ask God to help us pay attention to HIS stirrings & promptings. And then, let’s be courageous and faithful to obey His voice.

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