BIBLE: Nehemiah Chapter 1 – Headline “A Cup of Tears”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Nehemiah 1

God weaves the stories of Nehemiah, Esther and Daniel into “the Cupbearer, the Queen, and the Dream Sayer”; all of which are books of the Bible:

Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes in the book of Esther. She had considerable influence on his decisions, both to have Haman and his family hung, but also to hear the request of Nehemiah and enable him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah and Esther were contemporaries

Daniel prophesied this event in Daniel chapter 9
See Timeline BC

See Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

  • Daniel 9:25-26
    “Know therefore and understand,
    That from the going forth of the command
    To restore and build Jerusalem (Nehemiah the cupbearer’s request)

    Until Messiah the Prince (Jesus Yeshua the Messiah, the Prince of the Father),
    There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks (A total of sixty nine “weeks or sevens”);

    The street shall be built again, and the wall,
    Even in troublesome times.

    “And after the sixty-two weeks (is finished)
    Messiah shall be cut off (crucified), but not for Himself (for the sins of the people);
    [Insert a place marker here] And the people of the prince who is to come
    Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
    The end of it shall be with a flood (an army)

Nehemiah Prays for His People

Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
It came to pass in the month of Chislev (Kislev, the Ninth Jewish Month, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan (Or Susa) the citadel (Or fortified palace, and so elsewhere in the book),
Nehemiah 1:that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
Nehemiah 1:So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God (‘ĕlōhîm) of heaven.
  • “Crying is the only way your eyes speak when your mouth can’t explain” ~unknown

The Prayer of Nehemiah as he Remembers the Covenant

Nehemiah 1:And I said: “I pray, Lord God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm) of heaven, O great and awesome God (‘ēl), You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You (Lit. Him) and observe Your (Lit. His) commandments,
  • Compare with Daniel’s Prayer:
    • Daniel 9:And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,
Nehemiah 1:please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.
  • Daniel’s Prayer:
    • Daniel 9:we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
Nehemiah 1:We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.
  • Daniel’s Prayer:
    • Daniel 9:10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.
Nehemiah 1:Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful (act treacherously), I will scatter you among the nations;
  • Daniel’s Prayer:
    • Daniel 9:13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us;
  • The Jews have been scattered among the nations from the time of the Babylonian conquest until May 15,1948 with temporary reprieves from the time of the Maccabbees until Titus when they were once again taken into captivity.
    • “I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions.” Ezekiel 36:19 NIV
    • “Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries” Ezekiel 20:23
    • “Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods — gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.” Deuteronomy 28:64 NIV
    • For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince (ruler), without sacrifice or sacred pillar (temple), without ephod (priestly garment) or teraphim (idols). Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days. Hosea 3:4-5
    • You have given us up like sheep intended for food, And have scattered us among the nations. Psalm 44:11
    • “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Ezekiel 6:8
    • So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. Ezekiel 36:19
    • “But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.” Zechariah 7:14
    • “Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel in which is no pleasure.” Hosea 8:8
    • “I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.” Jeremiah 9:16
    • My God will cast them away, Because they did not obey Him; And they shall be wanderers among the nations. Hosea 9:17
    • Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “ Behold, I will refine them and try them; For how shall I deal with the daughter of My people? Jeremiah 9:7
  • The Jewish meaning of being “scattered” is related to the word “scat or skat” which is dung or feces. The concept is one of being separated and eliminated over the fields of the world.
    • Malachi 2:3 KJV
      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 (scatter you) with it.
Nehemiah 1:but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
  • Many Jews have been brought back to their homeland. However; there is one more scattering to come when the Jews welcome the Antichrist as their Messiah setting off the seven year tribulation. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will return to earth to destroy the Antichrist, to set up His kingdom, and to regather the Jews for the last time.
Nehemiah 1:10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.
Nehemiah 1:11 O Lord (‘ăḏōnāy), I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man (the king Artaxerxes).”
For I was the king’s cupbearer.
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