It is our hope that this outline of Nehemiah will assist you as you study God’s Word.
Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra. While Ezra was a scribe and a priest, Nehemiah was neither. Rather, he was a cupbearer to king Artaxerxes (464-424 B.C.). But then, one does not need to be anyone special to be used by God. Nehemiah received a report from his brothers that Jerusalem was in bad shape. The people were in distress and reproach and the wall was broken down and its gates burnt with fire. Nehemiah prayed. God listened.
Nehemiah is the last of the books of the Old Testament if they are arranged in strict chronological order. Haggai (520 B.C.) and Zechariah (520-518 B.C.) were nearly 100 years earlier. Ezra was an early contemporary of Nehemiah but Ezra records no events later than 457 B.C. Nehemiah begins about 12 years later. Malachi most likely prophesied in 432 B.C., a time Nehemiah was absent from Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s return takes us up to 430 B.C., being the last record of God to man prior to the coming of Christ.
Nehemiah is a very New Testament book in its approach to guidance and spirituality. The proper interaction between prayer and action is explained by great example.
Nehemiah establishes the date of the beginning of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. The decree to rebuild the city was given as 444 B.C., Nisan 1 (Nehemiah 2:1), or March 5, 444 B.C.
Date: 445 B.C. to 430 B.C.
Divisions: The book of Nehemiah may be divided as follows:
I. Restoring Secular Defenses 1-7
- By Reverent Entreaties Chapter 1
- By Rational Expeditions Chapter 2
- By Resourceful Entrepreneurs Chapter 3
- By Relentless Endeavors Chapter 4
- By Righteous Earnings Chapter 5
- By Resolute Excellence Chapter 6
- By Resurgent Exiles Chapter 7
II. Restoring Spiritual Desire 8-13
- By Considering God’s Word Chapter 8
- By Confessing Their Sin Chapter 9
- By Committing Their Lives Chapter 10
- By Continuing in Community Chapter 11
- By Consecrating Their Praise Chapter 12
- By Cleansing Their Practices Chapter 13
Key Word: Prayer.
Fourteen prayers are contained in the book. (1:4-11; 2:4; 4:4-5; 4:9; 5:19; 6:9; 6:14; 8:6; 9:2-3; 9:5-38; 13:14; 13:22; 13:29; 13:31)
Key Passage: Nehemiah 2:12
Key Lesson: In everything by prayer.