Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Nehemiah-Building City Walls While Bullies Watched

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 3-4

From Nehemiah's Journal

My name is Nehemiah. I have been a servant in Babylon for a long time. I was cupbearer to the king. 

I was sent to Jerusalem to insure the people rebuilt the walls. Once I arrived, I inspected the city's main protection, the walls which were supposed to be designed to keep trouble away. 

They walls had crumbled. Pieces were scattered. Last time I wrote, I shared with you about the challenge I had convincing those who live in Jerusalem to get busy and build the walls. After a time of talking and praying, the people finally agreed. They just needed a little nudge.

The city walls we needed to build had the shape of a right foot. At the top, where the toes would be, were the (from left to right) the old gate (where the big toe would be), the Fish Gate, where the next toe to the right would be, the Sheep Gate, in the center, the Master gate, where the fourth toe would be, and the East gate, where the little toe would be. 

Of course the real walls were much bigger than a person's foot. These walls surrounded the great city of Jerusalem!

Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started work to rebuild the Sheep Gate. When they finished, they dedicated the entrance to God and set the doors in place. They rebuilt that section of wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred to the right and the Tower of Hananel to the left.

Men from Jericho built the adjoining sections and Zaccur built next to them.

The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put the doors and bolds and bars in place. 

A Jerusalem gate. They are not small!!
Photo Courtesy
Meremoth repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam made repairs. Next to Meshullam, Zadok also made repairs.  The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors .

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. 

He made fun of the Jews, and in the presence of his own associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall?" He paced in front of our workers and shouted more. "Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day?" He walked close to the workers and taunted them. "Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble--burned and useless as they are?"

He laughed.

Unfortunately the workers heard everything he said. His words hurt their spirits. I was afraid they'd give up again.

Come back next time to see what happens.
sources: New International Version, New King James Version 
1. What was the first gate worked on?
2. Who rebuilt it?
3. What might have slowed the men from working?
4. What looks like a right foot?
5. Do you think the men will stop working again?

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!