Old Testament Story List


In the palace of Artaxerxes was a young noble, the king's cupbearer, named Nehemiah. One day Nehemiah's brother returned from the land of Judah. Nehemiah asked eagerly about Jerusalem and the people who had gone back to rebuild the temple of the Lord.

Nehemiah's brother shook his head sadly and said, "Things are not

going well in Jerusalem. The walls of that great city have never been repaired. The place is still in ruins. It is a shame that such a glorious city lies in waste. The people who live there are now poor and greatly troubled by their enemies."

Nehemiah went to the king and asked, "If it please the king, and if I have found favor in your eyes, I ask that you send me to Jerusalem to rebuild the city of my fathers." The king agreed and with Nehemiah he sent captains and soldiers from his army.

When Nehemiah and his men came to Jerusalem, they rested for three days. Then one night Nehemiah took a few soldiers and rode around the broken down walls. He found the broken stones lying in heaps. In some places his horse could not even find a path.

In the morning, Nehemiah told the rulers and the priests why he had come. When he told how God had answered prayer in letter him come to Jerusalem, the leaders said, "Let us arise and build the wall."

The people cleared out the rubbish and gathered huge stones. While some worked on long stretches of the wall, others repaired the wall that was in front of their homes..

Now Sanballat and Tobiah were enemies of the Jews. When these two heard what was going on in Jerusalem, they were very angry. If the city were strengthened, they would not be able to get in and oppress the people. Together the two planned every way the could to bother the workers.

They wrote letters to Nehemiah, saying, "You have come to rebuild Jerusalem and make yourself king over the city. Then you plan to rebel against the king of Persia."

"I have not come for such a purpose," Nehemiah replied and went on with  his work.

This only made the enemies angrier. They planned next to attack Jerusalem. When Nehemiah heard about their plan, he armed his men with swords and spears. Some worked on the wall with one hand and held a spear in the other. Night and day guards stood on the wall to watch for the enemy. Because the enemy heard that the men of the city were armed, they did not attack.

At last the walls were finished, but the doors had not been put on the gates. Now Sanballat and Tobiah decided to act friendly toward Nehemiah and get him out of the city. They sent a messenger to tell Nehemiah, "Come and meet with us in one of the villages on the plain."

Nehemiah decided this was only a trick. "This work is important and  I cannot stop to meet with you," he said.

After fifty-two days of hard work, the entire wall was finished. How thankful the people were for Nehemiah. He had encouraged them and helped them to rebuild the all of their ruined city.

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