Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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- The concept of Paradise is defined as rest from fear, anxiety, and worry while being surrounded by peace, beauty, and love.
- The concept of resting is a type of Paradise. Jerusalem was designed to be a place of rest.
- The Garden of Eden was a place of rest.
- The Promised Land was to be a place of rest.
- The Sabbath is a day of rest.
- The Millennium is a time of rest.
- Heaven will be a place of rest.
- Jeru – City of – Salem – Peace
But … like the Garden of Eden, Paradise fell and Nehemiah is mourning.
Nehemiah Sent to Judah
Nehemiah 2:1 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king.
- King Artaxerxes Longimanus (“Long Arm” – due to the extent of his kingdom).
- At its height, it encompassed the areas of modern-day Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Now I (Nehemiah) had never been sad in his presence before.
- Hebrew meaning of being “Sad”: raʿ H7451 is connected to the “evil” one.
Nehemiah 2:2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.”
So I became dreadfully (Lit. very much) afraid,
Nehemiah 2:3 and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”
Nehemiah 2:4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”
So I prayed to the God (‘ĕlōhîm) of heaven.
- It is a fearful thing to take the chance of angering the king.
Nehemiah 2:5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
Nehemiah 2:6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
- A female would not be mentioned in scripture unless she is of spiritual significance. In this instance the Queen is none other than Esther of the book of Esther.
Nehemiah 2:7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River (The Euphrates), that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah,
Nehemiah 2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel (palace) which pertains to the temple (Lit. house), for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God (‘ĕlōhîm) upon me.
Nehemiah 2:9 Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Nehemiah 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official (Lit. servant) heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.
Nehemiah Views the Wall of Jerusalem
Nehemiah 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days.
- There is something special about three days: The Passover lamb was inspected for spot or blemish for three days, Jesus rose from the dead after three days, Jonah was spewed up from the belly of the Sea Monster after three days, Abraham took Isaac for a sacrifice in a three day journey, Ninevah was a three day journey…and many other incidents in scripture – all of which mean:
- It’s time to separate the clean from the unclean.
- Three is the number of the Trinity. To be Holy means to be separated. God is separated from man. In His trinity He is “Holy, Holy, Holy”.
- Being “holy” is being “separated”. In three days the clean are separated from the unclean.
Nehemiah 2:12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God (‘ĕlōhîm) had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode.
Nehemiah 2:13 And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse (Dung) Gate, and viewed (examined) the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire.
Nehemiah 2:14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass.
Nehemiah 2:15 So I went up in the night by the valley (torrent valley, wadi), and viewed (examined) the wall; then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.
Nehemiah 2:16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others who did the work.
Nehemiah 2:17 Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste (desolate), and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”
Nehemiah 2:18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me.
So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set (Lit. strengthened) their hands to this good work.
Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?”
- A trinity of evil men: Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem who are the instigators of great trouble for those engaging in God’s work; The “Unclean”.