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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

The Book of Nehemiah - Introduction

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are part of the same writing; the Introduction to Ezra treats literary and chronological problems of Nehemiah too.

The events described in the Book of Nehemiah (except chs. 8–9 ) took place during the reign of the Persian king, Artaxerxes I (464–424 B.C.E.). Nehemiah, who lived in Susa, the Persian capital, made two visits to Jerusalem. The first was in 445/444 B.C.E. ( 1.1; 2.1 ), and lasted for twelve years (until 433/432); see 5.14 . The second visit was some time after this, but before the death of Artaxerxes I ( 13.6–7 ).

The material here, like that in Ezra, consists of several distinct genres. Nehemiah's memoirs provide personal reflections on the events of the day, a number of prayers, and accounts of his determination to ameliorate the position of the downtrodden Judeans. In addition, there are census lists, a psalm of confession and repentance, and a record of rededication to the service of God.

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