Read for This Week’s Study: Neh. 8:1-8, Deut. 31:9-13, Matt. 17:5, Acts 8:26-38, Neh. 8:9-12, Lev. 23:39-43.
Memory Text: “So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8, NKJV).
The Jerusalem wall was finished. With the placement of the gates, the Israelites, under the leadership of Nehemiah, had thus completed the main task. When the wall was completed, the surrounding nations were in awe and recognized that this “was done by . . . God” (Neh. 6:16, NKJV). The enemies realized that the God of Israel was real because, despite the incredible opposition and hatred the Israelites experienced, they still had completed the work they had set out to do.
Following the completion of the wall, Nehemiah appointed a governor of Jerusalem (his brother Hanani) and a leader of the citadel (Hananiah). Both men were chosen based on integrity, trustworthiness, and reverence for God (Neh. 7:2) rather than on genealogy. The wall was completed during the month of Elul (6th month; Neh. 6:15).
What was to be the next order of business? The following chapters of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8-10) describe an important series of events in the month of Tishri, the 7th month (Neh. 8:2). In these texts we can see examples of how the children of Israel were determined to obey the Word of God and how they rejoiced in it.