Teaching and Study Notes...

Nehemiah

A Time Span




Genesis chapters 1 – 6



Genesis 3:21 The first shedding of blood by sacrifice - (The first recorded sacrifice)


Gen 4:4 The first murder


Gen 4:9 - 16 The discussion between God and Cain and The Protection of Cain


C/f., Romans 10:8 – 13 The salvation of Mankind



Elohim - His Judgement



The Law must be satisfied – John 3:16 - 17


Elohim – His Mercy


The sacrificial system is introduced



The Blood – Leviticus 17:11



Elohim – His Grace


The shedding of Blood


The Four Horned altar within the Temple


C/f., The Veil of the Temple - NT ‘is torn in two’


The Day of Atonement


Note: The New Testament and the Cross of Christ shows the Judgement, Mercy and Grace of Elohim.


Hebrews 4:16 -


Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help in time of need.



We can boldly approach the Throne -



By Grace we have been washed by the Blood of the lamb



Elohim raises prominent people for His purposes...



>

Abraham – Obeyed God and a new race was born


Joseph – Saved his people and other nations


Moses – Killed an Egyptian and led his people out of Egypt


Esther - Became a Queen ‘for such a time as this’


Deborah - Uses a tent peg and Slays a King


Joshua – Conquered a country


Gideon – Raised an army


David – Established a city


Solomon – Built a temple



1st Temple Judaism



The Temple & The Ark of Covenant



We have to ask just what was so important about the 1st temple?


We must also note that 'Solomon's Temple', was also known as the First Temple,

before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC



The Temple was constructed under Solomon, David’s son after his death, when he became king of the Israelites.


It was a temple which was dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel and which housed the Ark of the Covenant.


The Shekinah {the Dwelling Place} – Between the Cherubim and over the mercy seat the place of communication with God. See Judges 25:22


(Shekhinah (alternative transliterations Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah,) is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew language word that means the dwelling or settling,


The tabernacle denoted the dwelling or settling presence of God (cf. divine presence, The Shekinah Glory), especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.


Originally, The portable shrine, called the Ark of the Covenant, was housed in the Tabernacle.



[Exodus 25:10-22]



And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof,

and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it,

and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it,

and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it,

and two rings in the other side of it. And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.

And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark that the ark may be borne with them.

The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.

And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof,

and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold;

of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end,

and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings,

and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

And thou shalt put the mercy seat aboveupon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall

give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat,

from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony,

of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.



The Ark of the Covenant - Ārōn Hāb’rīt, - a chest


Basically, as explained above this was a 'Wooden Chest' overlaid with Gold and made out of Shittim Wood which Contained the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, Aaron's rod and a jar of manna.


Compare [Exodus 16:33–34]; [Numbers 17: 25-26]


Compare also [Exodus 40:20] – testimony - And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:


Hebrews 9:4


Which had the golden censer, and the Ark of the Covenant overlaid roundabout with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;


Compare also... 1 Kings 8:9 Which is 'Categoric' in declaring that the Ark contained only the two Tablets of the Law.


There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.


God communicated with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover.



During the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, the Ark was carried by the priests some 2,000 cubits in advance of the people and their army, or host.


When carried, the Ark was always wrapped in a veil, in tachash skins...


Numbers 4:5 – 6 ‘Badgers KJV’


Tachash skins are a type of animal skins referred to in the Bible


Exodus 25:5, 26:14, 35:7, 35:23, 36:19 and 39:34; Numbers 4:6,8,10-12,14,25 and Ezekiel 16:10


Used as the outer covering of the tent of the Tabernacle and to wrap sacred objects used within the Tabernacle for transport.


What the word 'tachash' refers to is a matter of some debate. According to the Babylonian Talmud and Rashi's commentary, the tachash was a kosher, multi-colored, one horned desert animal which came into existence to be used to build the Tabernacle and ceased to exist afterward. The King James Version of the Bible translates the word tachash as badger.


The Ark was also covered with a blue cloth, and was carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the priests who carried it.


King David, unifies Israel, and brings the Ark to Jerusalem, intending to build a temple to house the Ark in a permanent place. David buy’s a threshing-floor for the site of the Temple


1 Chronicles 15:1 - And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent


1 Chronicles 21:24 – 26


And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD,

nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built

there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from

heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.>/p>


1 Chronicles 22:8 - 10


But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my

name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will

give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He

shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.



God say’s no! He would not be permitted to build a temple.

The task of building therefore passed to David's son and successor, Solomon.



(605 to 562 BC)



1 Kings 6:1-38 – 8:1 describe the construction and dedication of the Temple under Solomon.



The Temple was plundered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar when the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem during the brief reign of

Jehoiachin c. 598 BC (see 2 Kings 24:13) - And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the

treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple

of the LORD, as the LORD had said.



A decade later, see 2 Kings 25


Nebuchadnezzar again besieged Jerusalem and after 30 months finally breached the city walls in 587 BCE, burning the Temple along

with most of the city which according to Jewish tradition, was destroyed on Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of Av (Hebrew calendar).



Nebuchadnezzar II was the eldest son, and successor, of Nabopolassar,

who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins.



The Book of Daniel - The book tells of Daniel, a Judean exile at the court of Nebuchadnezzar II



605 – 598 BC



King Nebuchadnezzar becomes king in Babylon



2 Kings 25:8


And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,

came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:



The Egyptian army is defeated and driven back, and Syria and Phoenicia are brought under the control of Babylon.

and we find that Nabopolassar died in August of that year. Nebuchadnezzar now returns to Babylon to ascend to the throne.

Further, we see that Nebuchadnezzar engaged in several military campaigns designed to increase Babylonian influence in Syria and Judah.


During the 2nd year of his reign, the King comes to Jerusalem and besieges it.

Carrying away some of the articles of the Temple, placing them in the temple of his god.



Nebuchadnezzar instructs Ashpenaz, master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants

and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and

quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah went to Babylon at this time and Babylonian names were given them...

Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed Nego.


Daniel 1:1-6


In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into

the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. And the king spake

unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed,

and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge,

and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the

learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine

which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were

of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:



These people were some of the first people to be carried into captivity.



King Nebuchadnezzar builds his image of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura.


It was 90 ft high and 9 ft wide.



He demanded everyone bow down to it or be thrown alive into a fiery furnace.



When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by their captors,

to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace.

They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as "the son of God"

(Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke.


Daniel 3:22-26


Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that

took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst

of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his

counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the

fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said,

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.

Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire


This all took place at the Palace in Susa


An attempted invasion of Egypt was met with setbacks, however,

leading to numerous rebellions among the states of the Levant, including Judah.


Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellions.


Jeremiah tells us that in the 7th year of his reign King Nebuchadnezzar took 3,023 people captive to Babylon.


Jeremiah 52:28


This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty:



597 – 595 BC



2 Kings tells us that King Jehoiakim, at the age of 36, was taken captive to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

His son, Jehoiachin aged 18, became king in his place.


2 Kings 24:7-8


...the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from

the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months.

And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.


King Jehoiachin (Junior) reigned for 3 months and 10 days, then King Nebuchadnezzar, during the 8th year

of his reign, took him, his mother, his wives, his servants, his princes, and his officers captive to Babylon.


2 Kings 24:12-15


And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants,

and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house,

and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD,

as the LORD had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour,

even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the

people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives,

and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.


It was during this time that the prophets Jeremiah, Daniel & Ezekiel prophesied.


King Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah, brother to Jehoiakim (and Jehoiachin's uncle),

king in his place changing his name to Zedekiah.


2 Kings 24:17



And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.



We see that Jeremiah, Daniel, & Ezekiel continue to prophesy during the reign of King Zedekiah.


We see Ezekiel calling the people to the high standards which are required by Elohim


Note here .... Ezekiel - 4:1-8


Note here also that:



When we look closely at 'The Book of Jeremiah' we find that it contains a

prophecy about the arising of a "destroyer of nations", commonly regarded as a

reference to Nebuchadnezzar (see Jer. 4:7), as well as an account of Nebuchadnezzar's

siege of Jerusalem and looting and destruction of the temple (see Jer. 52).


Jeremiah 1:14 – 16


Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come,

and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.


Note Jeremiah 52:1 - 34


Isaiah 40:1 – 2


Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her,

that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S

hand double for all her sins.



588 – 586 BC



In the 9th year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar and all his army came against Jerusalem and camped against it.

They built a siege wall all around Jerusalem. Jerusalem was besieged from the 9th year,

until the 11th year of the reign of King Zedekiah.


2 Kings 25:1-2


And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month,

that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it;

they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.


Ezekiel 24:1- 2ff


Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me,

saying, Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself

against Jerusalem this same day.


In the 18th year of King Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he took 832 more people captive to Babylon.


See Jeremiah 52:29


Due to rebellion, destroying both the city and the temple, and deporting many of the prominent citizens along

with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon. These events are described in the Prophets

(Nevi'im) and Writings (Ketuvim), sections of the Hebrew Bible (in the books 2 Kings and Jeremiah, and 2 Chronicles,).



After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a thirteen year siege of Tyre (585–572 BC),

which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority. According to Babylonian tradition,

Nebuchadnezzar, towards the end of his life, prophesied the impending ruin of the Chaldean Empire.



By the 19th year of the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, and the 11th year of King Zedekiah, the famine had become

so severe in Jerusalem that there was no food for the people. The city wall was broken through, and all the men

of war fled at night by way of the gate between two walls, which was by the king's garden, even though the

Chaldeans were encamped all around against the city. King Zedekiah went by way of the plain. The army of the

Chaldeans pursued the king, and they overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him.

They took King Zedekiah and brought him to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, and they pronounced judgment on him.

Then they killed the King Zedekiah's sons before his eyes, put out the eyes of King Zedekiah, bound him with

bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon and put him in prison until the day of his death.


2 Kings 25:3-7


And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of

the land. And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls,

which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward

the plain. And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his

army were scattered from him. So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they

gave judgment upon him. >And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and

bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.


Jeremiah 52:11


Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon,

and put him in prison till the day of his death.


In the 5th month, on the 7th day of the month, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard came to Jerusalem.

He burned the Temple and King Zedekiah's palace and all the houses of the great men of Jerusalem with fire.

Then the army of the Chaldeans who were with Nebuzaradan broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around.


2 Kings 25:8-9


And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of

Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: And he burnt the house

of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.


King Solomon's Temple (the first temple) stood for 378 years (964-586).

The 70 years of Babylonian captivity begins. From this date on, until 14 May 1948, Israel as a self-governing nation ceased to

exist. The children of Israel were first referred to as Jews by the Babylonians.



When the soldiers of Babylon leave Jerusalem in 586 BC


1: Jerusalem had become a desolate city


2: The Temple had been reduced to...



Fallen masonry

Charred Timber

The Altar had destroyed - laid flat



3: The City gates had been burned and destroyed


4: The City walls had been broken down..To make sure the City was insecure and to discourage rebellion – ‘Zedekiah’


5: Only the poorest of the inhabitants were left behind


6: The King was... blinded and chained – a form of humiliation



Traditionally a king defeated in battle would have had his toes and thumbs removed,

to prevent balance and the use of a sword.



7: The top ten per cent of the people were taken to Babylon, a one thousand mile walk. Modern day south western, Iran



582 – 483 BC



In the 23rd year of King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took 745 people captive to Babylon,

all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.


Jeremiah 52:30


Ezra chapter two numbers those who had been taken into captivity.


King Belshazzar of Babylon gave a great feast and drank wine from the gold and silver vessels from the Lord's Temple.


That same night King Darius, age 62, son of Ahasuerus the Mede, and Cyrus the Great king of Persia, attacked Babylon.

King Belshazzar was killed and Babylon was divided between the Medes and Persians.



Daniel 5:30


Ancient Persia is modern Iran. The modern Kurds claim descendancy from the ancient Medes.



Nebuchadnezzar died in Babylon

between the second and sixth months of the forty-third year of his reign,

and was succeeded by Amel-Marduk.



538 BC



Cyrus the Great releases the Jewish people to return home on pain of death!


As a direct result of the ‘decree’ issued by Cyrus the Great, the rebuilding of the Jewish community in Jerusalem

begins with the rebuilding of the foundations of the temple and later its completion at the hands of Ezra, Nehemiah,

Zerubbabel and Zechariah. The Scriptures indicated some 42,360 Jews plus 7,337 servants returned to Jerusalem with

Zerubbabel, Sheshbazzar, and Jeshua.


2 Chronicles 36:22-23


Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be/p><

accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all

his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth

hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.


Ezra 1:1-3


Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled,

the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put

it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms

of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you

of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the

LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.


Ezra 5:13-14


But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.

And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was

in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon,

and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;


Ezra 6:3


In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem,

Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, let the foundations thereof be strongly laid;

the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; Haggai and Zechariah prophesied while

Zerubbabel was Governor of Jerusalem.


In the 7th month, the Jews finished building the foundation of the temple, an altar and a sacrificial offering to the

Lord was made on the foundation of the temple.


At this time the Samaritans and other neighbouring nations brought such influence to bear on Cyrus's court at the

imperial capital that the government suspended their building permit.


Ezra 3:10-11


And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets,

and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.


And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth

for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation

of the house of the LORD was laid.


Ezra 4:24


Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king

of Persia.


Because of this opposition, all further work on the building of the temple was suspended until the 2nd year of Darius the

Great, about 520 BC.



<

521 – 483 BC



2nd Return from Exile



Whilst Cyrus decree’s the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem we find from the scriptures that King Artaxerxes commissioned

[who is more lenient than the decree of Cyrus] Ezra, a Jewish priest-scribe, by means of a letter of decree,

to take charge of the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the Jewish nation.


A copy of this decree may be found in... Ezra 7:13-28.


It begins...


Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.

I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their

own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire

concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;


So Ezra began his journey from Babylon in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes reign taking some four months to arrive in Jerusalem.


Ezra 7:6 – 9


This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king

granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. And there went up some of the children of Israel,

and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of

Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day

of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the

good hand of his God upon him.


Ezra encourages the people in the word


Ezra thereby left Babylon in the first month of the seventh year (~ 457 BCE) of Artaxerxes' reign, at the head of a company of Jews that included priests and Levites. They arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month of the seventh year.


In the 2nd year of King Darius I, on the 24th day of the 6th month, the Jewish governor Zerubbabel and the high priest

Jeshua, along with the rank and file of the people, began to rebuild the 2nd temple on the foundation that was laid 16 years before.



Haggai and Zerubbabel encourage the rebuilding of the temple.



Haggai 1:14 - 15


And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the

son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house

of the LORD of hosts, their God, In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.


The 2nd Jewish Temple is completed in the sixth year of Darius the king.

The Babylonian captivity ends after 70 years.


Ezra 6:14 - 15


And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah

the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to

the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the

month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.



The first Passover

since the captivity is joyfully celebrated.




470 – 445 BC



3rd Return from Exile



In the 20th year of King Artaxerxes I, Nehemiah was made governor of Jerusalem and allowed to return and rebuild the city walls.


Nehemiah 5:14



Artaxerxes allows the people to return and rebuild the walls



In Artaxerxes' 20th year (445 B.C.),



Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, apparently was also a friend of the king as in that year Artaxerxes inquired after

Nehemiah's sadness. Nehemiah related to him the plight of the Jewish people and that the city of Jerusalem was undefended.

The king sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem with letters of safe passage to the governors in Trans-Euphrates, and to Asaph, keeper

of the royal forests, to make beams for the citadel by the Temple and to rebuild the city walls


The story of Nehemiah and the 2nd Temple

opens in the luxurious surroundings of the Persian Court.



The Palace at Susa


Susa underwent a major political and ethnocultural transition when it became part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire

between 540-539 BC when it was captured by Cyrus the Great during his conquest of Elam (Susiana), of which Susa was

the capital. Under Cyrus' son Cambyses II, Susa became a centre of political power.


The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BC and 70 AD.


This ‘temple’ replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BC, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon.

Both temples were centers of Jewish sacrificial worship and are still most important today

in the politics and history of Judaism.


It was the accession of Cyrus the Great of Persia in 538 BC which made the re-establishment of the city of Jerusalem and the

rebuilding of the Temple possible.


Construction started at the original site of Solomon's Temple.


The ‘Temple’ had remained a devastated heap during the approximately 70 years of captivity.

Our ‘temples’ are in a similar state!

A new ‘Temple’ has now been instituted!


It is a living ‘Temple’ not made by human hands but born of God, through His Judgement, Mercy and Grace



1: Nehemiah 3: 1, 32; 12:39; John 5:2



The Sheep Gate



The first gate mentioned in Nehemiah chapter three is the sheep gate.


The gate was used as a means of getting the sacrificial offerings of sheep and goats to the Temple for killing.

In this respect it would have been in constant use since it was the main entrance to the Temple courtyard from the north.


This gate speaks of the very first experience we have as we come into in our Christian life – that is, a realisation

that Jesus was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.


The sheep gate then speaks to us of the cross and the sacrifice that was made for our sins.

It is the starting point of everything but you will also notice if you read the entire chapter that the sheep gate is also mentioned at the very end once

we have come full circle. That is because everything starts and ends with Jesus’ death on the cross.


The gate was used mainly as a means of getting the sacrificial offerings of sheep and goats to the Temple for

killing. In this respect it would have been in constant use since it was the main entrance to the Temple courtyard from the north.


Reading Nehemiah three we find that this was the first gate repaired, for without the sacrifice,

there is no salvation. Note: that the sheep gate had no locks or bars, for the door of salvation is ever open to the sinner.

This is the only gate that was sanctified, setting it apart as a special gate


Nehemiah 3:1


Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate;

they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it,

unto the tower of Hananeel. [KJV]


It is important to notice the actions of the high priest ‘Eliashib’ -

This name is made up two words El and Yashib.



El means 'God' and Yashib is 'to go back'.



The name has its reference in the meaning ‘to go back to God’ i.e., which is the word repent


It was ‘Eliashib’ who along with his brethren, the priests who began to build the sheep gate.


No person can have salvation without first repenting that is turn back to God.

After repentance we need the high priest whose job is to make the atonement

in the Temple on the Day of Atonement and carry the blood of the lamb to the Holy of Holies.


Hebrews 9:11 – 12


But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,

not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves,

but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us


John 1:29


"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin of the world."


Nehemiah 3:1


Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate;

they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it,

unto the tower of Hananeel. [KJV]


This Gate reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross…


John 10:1 - 18


Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down,

and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.


This was the first gate repaired, for without the sacrifice, there is no salvation.

Note: that the sheep gate had no locks or bars, for the door of salvation is ever open to the sinner.

This is the only gate that was sanctified, setting it apart as a special gate


This gate is to be found on the right of the Fish Gate {North Side} and left of the Muster Gate {West Side}.

A City Gate on the North side of Jerusalem restored by Nehemiah.


In-between the Sheep Gate and the Fish Gate you find the tower of Hananel

and in-between the Sheep Gate and the Muster Gate you find the Upper Chamber of the corner.



2: Nehemiah 3: 3 - 5, 12:39


The Fish Gate



The Fish Gate was where a city fish market was located.


The Fish gate was next to be mentioned.


It was called the fish gate because the fisherman of Galilee would bring their catch in through this gate to be sold.

For us, it speaks of evangelism since we have been called to be ‘fishers of men’.


It is a natural progression in our Christian life that after seeing that Jesus dies for our sins, that we would want to tell others about it.

Even surveys have shown that believers who have been saved less than two years win the most people to the Lord.

Their simple testimony of what Jesus has done in their lives qualifies them to be great ‘fishers of men.’


We find when looking into the scriptures that most biblical reference in respect of this gate involves some form of corruption or its results by the people of Israel.

When a society becomes corrupt it manifests within its religious


Jeremiah 32:34 - 35


But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom,

to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech;

which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.


Nehemiah 13:16 – 17


Here dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware,

and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?


Zephaniah 1:10


And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate,

and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.


2 Chronicles 33:14


Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley,

even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height,

and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.


This gate reminds us of soul-winning, being “fishers of men”


Mark 1:17


And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.


To the right of this gate you find the Sheep Gate {north Side} and two the left of this gate you find the Valley Gate

or Gate of the valley {West side}. Close to this is the Tower of the Corner or of the Ovens and leads into the Mishneh.

This area is otherwise known as the Second Quarter, this area is inside the Broad Wall or the wall of the square and the

Ancient North wall in which you find the old inner Gate of Ephraim and the Corner Gate.

The Fish Gate was restored by Nehemiah



3: Nehemiah 3: 6 - 12; 12:39



The Old Gate, Gate of the Mishneh,


or


Gate of Ephraim, Gate of the Second Quarter



This gate speaks of the old paths and the old truths of the Word of God.

The Old gate was next and this speaks to us of the old ways of truth.

A young Christian having experienced the sheep gate,

then the fish gate soon sees the need for experiencing the old gate.

This means learning the old ways of truth that never change.


Jeremiah 6:16


Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths,

where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

But they said, We will not walk therein.


Jeremiah 18:15


Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity,

and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths,

to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;


The people of the world are forever looking for “some new thing”


Acts 17:21


(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else,

but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)


They refuse to go back to the basic truths for salvation, eternal life and everyday living. Jesus Christ and salvation is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Hebrews 13:8


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


This Gate was restored by Nehemiah; the Hebrew text could be read as ‘the gate of the second quarter’.

To the right of this gate lies the ‘Gate of the Corner’ which lies within the ‘Ancient old wall’

where we find the ‘original’ Ephraim Gate. To the left lies the ‘Fish Gate’



4: 2 Chronicles 25:23



The Gate of the Corner



This gate close to the North West Corner angle of the City,

some four hundred cubits East from the ‘Old’ Ephraim Gate


2 Kings 14:13


And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah,

at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim

unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits.


2 Chronicles 25:23


And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash,

the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem,

and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.


The ‘Towers’ were built by Uzziah


2 Chronicles 26:9


Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate,

and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.


The gate is not mentioned as being restored by Nehemiah.


The gate is to the left of the ‘Old Gate of Ephraim’ within the Ancient North wall’ and the ‘Old Gate’

or the renamed ‘Gate of Ephraim’ within the ‘Broad Wall’ and to the right of the ‘Gate of the Valley



5: Nehemiah 2:13 - 15; 3:13



The Valley Gate, the Gate of the Valley



Speaks of the humility of the Lord becoming Flesh and the type of humility we should put on.


Notice here: that there is a long distance before you come to the next gate, which is the valley gate.


In Philippians 2:1-10


If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love,

if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy,

that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.


Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.


Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,

and things under the earth;


We see Christ descending from the glories of heaven into the valley of human limitation and even death.


We do not enjoy the valley, but often God must take us there to bring a blessing to our lives.


This gate leads west, south west into the Valley of Hinnom and is one thousand cubits from the Dung or Refuse Gate

which lies to its right.


On the left is the Gate of the Corner which lies within the ‘Ancient North Wall’

Close by is the Jackal’s Well which was restored by Nehemiah and its towers were built by Uzziah


2 Chronicles 26:9


Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate,

and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.



6: Nehemiah 2:13; 3:13-14; 12:31



The Refuse Gate, Dung Gate,



This gate speaks to us of the cleansing of our souls.


Again there is quite a distance to the next gate indicating that, unfortunately,

the valley experience can carry on for some time.


But the result of that experience is clearly seen in this next gate – the dung gate.

This is the gate that they would take all the refuse and rubbish out of Jerusalem,

down to the valley of Hinnom to be burned. This is what happens in our own life.

Valley experiences are used by the Lord to clear away the rubbish so that true faith,

refined by the fire, can come forth and produce fruit.


Clearing away the rubbish in our lives is never easy but the benefits of this experience

can be seen in the next gate. You will notice also that at this point of your Christian life

there is a dramatic ‘turning of the corner’ that takes place.


2 Corinthians 7:1


Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,

let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,

perfecting holiness in the fear of God.


Isaiah 1:16-18


Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.


1 John 1:7 - 10.


But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


Later some of the Jews were to complain about the rubbish; see Nehemiah 4:10.


And Judah said, the strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish;

so that we are not able to build the wall.


The ‘Dung port’ {Nehemiah 2:13} leading to the valley of Hinnom was restored by Nehemiah.

Josephus calls it the ‘Gate of the Essenes [War V.4.2] and is located in the south wall near to or at the South West Corner.


The name probably denotes the place where refuse in general was thrown.

The term ‘dung’ - is used to symbolically denote the degradation or degraded end to which a person or nation might come


2 Kings 9:37


And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel;

so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.


Psalms 83:10


Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.


Jeremiah 8:2


And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven,

whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked,

and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered,

nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.


Jeremiah 9:22 ff


Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field,

and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.


Zephaniah 1:17


And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men,

because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust,

and their flesh as the dung.


It might also be put on the face as a sign of extreme humiliation


Malachi 2:3


Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces,

even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.


Exodus 29:14


But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung,

shalt thou burn with fire without the camp:

it is a sin offering.


Leviticus 4:11


And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh,

with his head, and with his legs,

and his inwards, and his dung,


Numbers 19:5


And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh,

and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:


This gate leads into the ‘City of David’ like the ‘Potsherd Gate’, ‘Fountain Gate’ and ‘Water Gate’.



7: Jeremiah 19:2



The Potsherd Gate, East Gate, Gate Har’sith



This gate in South East corner Section of Jerusalem leads to the Valley of Hinnom and to the Potters Field

(Akeldama – ‘field of Blood’). The gate like the ‘Dung Gate’, ’Refuse Gate’ , ‘Fountain Gate’ and ‘Water Gate’

lead into the ‘City of David’.


This gate was used by the potters as a place of ‘refuse’ outside the City wall.


East Gate [Nehemiah 3:29]


After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house.

After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East gate.

After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph,

another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.


Makes us think of the second coming of Jesus Christ,


Matthew 24:27


For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west;

so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.


In Ezekiel 10:16-22


And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them:

and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth,

the same wheels also turned not from beside them.


When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also:

for the spirit of the living creature was in them.


Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house,

and stood over the cherubims.


And the cherubims lifted up their wings,

and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them,

and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house;

and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.


This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar;

and I knew that they were the cherubims. Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings;

and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.


And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar,

their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.


Ezekiel 11:22-25


Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them;

and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city,

and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.

Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea,

to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.

Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had shewed


The prophet saw God’s glory depart from the temple by the east gate, But later…


Ezekiel 43:1-5


Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east:

and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.

And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw,

even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city:

and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.

And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.

So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.


Ezekiel saw God’s glory return “from the way of the east.”


Mentioned in Nehemiah but not as one of the structures which he repaired


[Ezek 10:19; 11:1].


To its left is the ‘Fountain Gate’ and on its right is the ‘Dung or Refuse Gate – ‘Gate of the Essenes’.



8: Nehemiah 3: 15 – 25



The Fountain Gate



Illustrates the ministry of the Holy Spirit;


The fountain gate is located extremely close to the dung gate.


In other words,

after a valley type experience where rubbish in our lives is cleared out and true faith comes forth,

then the fountains begin to flow and it doesn’t take long!


This speaks to us of the living waters of the Holy Spirit that cleanse our lives and empower us for our Christian life.


John 7:37-39


In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying,

If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me,

as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:

for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

It is interesting to note the order of these gates: first, there is humility (the valley gate),

then cleansing (the dung gate), and then the filling of the Spirit (the fountain gate).


This gate, within the South East section of Jerusalem leads like the Water Gate, Potsherd or East Gate, Dung Gate

[Gate of the Essenes] into the ‘City of David and was restored by Nehemiah {2:14; 3:15;12:37}.

[See 2 Kings 25:4; Jeremiah 39:4; 52:7 with reference to ‘the gate between the two walls’].

On its left is the ‘Water Gate’ and on its right is the Potsherd Gate (Jeremiah 19:2)



9: Nehemiah 3:26 - 27; 12:37



The Water Gate



Speaks of the Word of God


The next gate we arrive at is the water gate.

The water gate is a picture of the word of God and it’s effect in our life. Ephesian 5:26


It is no coincidence that this gate was located next to the fountain gate as the two often go together.

The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the word of God alive to us personally, allowing cleansing,

encouragement and direction to take place in our life.


Psalm. 119:9


BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.


Note: - this gate needed no repairs!


Psalm. 119:89


LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.


Close to the Spring of Gihon, this gate on the east side of Jerusalem was restored by Nehemiah.

This gate was possibly located in the rampart above the ‘Spring of Gihon’ –

it was here that Ezra here read the ‘Law’ to the people gathered at the entrance of the Gate.

Here also booths were erected for the ‘Feast of the Tabernacles’


Nehemiah 8:1 - 3


And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate;

and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding,

upon the first day of the seventh month.


And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday,

before the men and the women, and those that could understand;

and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.


Nehemiah 3:16


So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house,

and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate,

and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.


The Gate gives entrance to the ‘City of David’, the ‘Sepulchres’

and is close to the ‘Tunnel Aqueduct which leads from the ‘Spring of Gihon’ to the ‘Pool of Siloam’

and the ‘Kings Pool’ which is close to ‘Stairs’ of the ‘City of David.

On the left hand side is ‘Ophel’ and the ‘Horse Gate’ whilst on the right we find the ‘Aqueduct’,

the ‘Stairs to the City of David’ and the Fountain Gate.



10: Nehemiah 3: 28



The Horse Gate



Introduces the idea of warfare - certainly there are battles in the Christian life,

and we must be ready to fight.


2 Timothy 2:1-4


Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses,

the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;

that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.


The horse gate speaks to us of warfare as horses were used in battle and became a symbol of war.


Revelation 19:11

‘I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,

and in righteousness does He judge and make war.’


Spiritual warfare, as we will see in this entire study on Nehemiah, is a requirement of every Christian because we are all in a battle


The last three gates are also prophetic I believe of the end times return of Jesus Christ.

You will notice that all three gates are very close together and so are the events which they symbolise.

Prophetically, the horse gate speaks of the day of the Lord and the end time judgement as recorded in the book of Revelation chapters 6-19.


Revelation 17:14


These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords

,

Spiritual warfare,and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.


Horses are symbolic of war:


Revelation 19:11-13


And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,

Spiritual warfare,and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire,

and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.


Ephesians 6:12


For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5


For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,

but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV


Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,

they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.


Ephesians 6:13-18 NIV


Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand.


Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,

and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith,

wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.


And take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,

and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


2 Corinthians. 10:4 - 5


(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,

but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


This gate opens to the Kidron,

on the South East angle of the Temple area leading into the Palace area {Jer 31:40} repaired by Nehemiah.

Close to this gate is ‘Ophel’ “mound” – a quarter of Ancient Jerusalem [see the late kings of Judah


(2 Chronicles 27:3; 33:14) – {see Nehemiah 3:26-27; 11:21}


North East Corner of the ‘City of David’} –

(see Josephus War V.4,2; 4.1 in relation of its proximity to the temple).


On the left we find the ‘Miphkad Gate’ and to the right we find the ‘Water Gate’

which leads into the ‘City of David’ and the ‘Sepulchres of David’



11: Nehemiah 3: 31-32; 12:39



The Miphkad Gate, Muster Gate, Recruiting Gate, Inspection Gate, Prison Gate



This Gate speaks of God’s judgment.


The final gate is the inspection gate.

This gate speaks to us of the Judgement seat of Christ where our lives are inspected and rewarded appropriately.

In our Christian experience we should be living with this in mind.

We are called to live our lives with eternity in view,

caring more for the things of eternity than the temporal that we see around us.

Prophetically this gate also speaks of the judgement of the nations that takes place when Jesus returns.


This is recorded in the sheep and the goat’s judgement in Matthew 25:31-46.


The Inspection Gate as with the East Gate, very little is known about it.

In fact, this particular gate isn't mentioned anywhere else in the Bible


What does this Inspection Gate signify for us today?


The answer to this question can be found in...


Matthew 25:31-34


When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,

then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations:

and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: [KJV]


The Hebrew word miphkad means “appointment, account, census, mustering.”

It carries the idea of troops showing up for review.

Certainly God is going to call all souls up for judgment one day.


Romans 14:10


But why dost thou judge thy brother?

or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?

for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.


1 Corinthians 3:10-20


According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder,><

I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.


If any man's work1 abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth inyou?

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.


Let no man deceive himself.


If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taket the wise in their own craftiness.

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.


2 Corinthians 5:10


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;

that every one may receive the things done in his body,

according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.


Revelation 20:11-15


And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;

and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.


And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:

and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


The Prison Gate - possibly a gate of the compound, note the context


Nehemiah 12:39


And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel,

and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.

And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel,

and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.


To the left we find the Upper chamber of the Corner and the Sheep Gate, whilst to the right we find the Horse Gate.

This gate allowed access like the Sheep Gate and the Horse Gate to the Palace area and the Temple


This was the Gate of the lookout or inspection found on North East section of Jerusalem.



12: Nehemiah 8:16



Ephraim Gate, Benjamin Gate,



Jeremiah 37:13


And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah,

the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans.


Jeremiah 38:7


Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house,

heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin;


This gate is one the ‘oldest’ ramparts of Jerusalem, four hundred cubits East of the Corner Gate.


2 Kings 14:13


And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah,

the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah,

at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem,

and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate,

four hundred cubits.


2 Chronicles 25:23


And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh,

and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate,

four hundred cubits.


The name was transferred to the corresponding gate in the second wall restored by Nehemiah.


Nehemiah 12:39,


And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel,

and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.


Note: Nehemiah 12:30


And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.


Look at Nehemiah 12:29 – 47, look at the route the companies took, the blessing, purification and praxis.



Some questions to ask..



What type of text is it?


Where can I find more information about the text?


Who wrote the text?


Who was the intended reader – ie., Who is the writer speaking to [is it an individual or a group of people?


What is the point that the author is making ie., what is the purpose of the text?


How was the text transmitted to others?


When was the text written?


Where was the text written ie., what is the cultural background of the text?


Would their cultural experience or background have helped or hindered their understanding of this text?




Specific question about the text.



Is the statement or text you are reading simply a ‘fact’?


Is it simply written in the first person, for example how is the text being presented to you as you read it?


Is the text informing you of a point of information or simply causing you to stop and think?


Is the text a statement which questions the readers spiritual position?


Is the text part of a larger context and if so what is being said?


Is the text bringing clarity to a previous text?


Is the text a statement by the author which continues from a previous chapter?


Is the text a statement which has relevance today, if so, in what way and can the text be applied within my own cultural understanding?


Would members of non-Christian groups have had access to this text?


Would members of other religious groups (ie., Pharisees / Sadducees or Zealots etc) have had access to this text?


Ask yourself, would any other individuals or grouof individuals have been expected to read or have had opportunity to read this text? Ie., would it have been a private document?



In the light of these questions:



Is your new understanding about this text: for example, about the way this text would have been interpreted by the original reader?


About the way they would have understood the text?


Note:


There is a great difference between interpreting a text and that of understanding a text: it is important to note that incorrect interpretation will give an incorrect understanding and a misguided view of scriptural integrity leading to incorrect spiritual lifestyle. Discuss the importance of correct interpretation of text.



Ask yourself how the reader would have reacted to the text?


Put yourself in the position of the original reader, how would you have reacted to the text.


What does the text say to you personally?


Ask yourself, what practical application does this text have in relation to my personal spiritual life, or the life of my church group?


Are there any other questions that you personally could ask about this text and what it is saying?


Ask yourself if questions like this are important to the individual reader and the ministry of the church today?



Christian Biblical Scriptures

Billy Bray, a famous Cornish Evangelist speaking of his conversion tells us that he "... shouted for Joy. I Praised God with my whole heart for what he had done for a poor sinner like me; for I could say, The Lord hath pardoned all my sins. I think this was in November, 1823, but what day I do not know. I remember this that everything looked new to me, the people, the fields, the cattle, the trees. I was like a man in a new world... ... they said I was a mad man but they meant I was a glad man, and glory be to God! I have been glad ever since." - Bray, B., (1962), Billy Bray The Kings Son, The Epworth Press, City Road London E.C.1, Pages 19-20

Lee Strobel explains that 'Zechariah 2:10-13 predicts a time when "many nations will be joined with the Lord" and become his people. The New Testament authors certainly believed that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy... ...The inclusiveness of Jesus' ministry, his teachings and the outreach of his church are evidence that salvation comes through faith, not cultural pedigree. Although this concept may have shocked many who adhered to Jewish tradition, it gave hope to people who had never experienced hope.' - Strobel, L., (1984), The Case for Christ Study Bible: Investigating the Evidence for Belief, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, USA., page 1290

Lee Strobel tells us that "...This central message of the bible portrays Jesus and our redemption through his blood. Finally once and for all, he dealt with the issues of our guilt, our loneliness and ore alienation from God. Through his atoning death and ressurection, he opened up heaven for everyone who follows him.' - Strobel, L., (1984), The Case for Christ Study Bible: Investigating the Evidence for Belief, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, USA., page 1464.