Nehemiah had been praying about 4 months when he was given the opportunity to speak to the king about the need in Jerusalem. His first prayer, the one found in chapter 1, was probably prayed many times during those months, but his second prayer, the one found in chapter 2, was devised hurriedly. Even if it was a quick prayer it seems obvious by the answers that Nehemiah gave to the king and the requests he made of Artaxerxes that he had been considering travel plans and material lists prior to this opportunity. He was ready when God opened the door for him to make his petition to the king.
Once he was in Jerusalem Nehemiah made a preliminary survey on the third evening after entering the city. He had not yet told anyone his purpose for being there. He waited until he had grasped the situation before telling the officials, priests, nobles, and other Jews why he had come.
Does God issue any commands?
- No, God did not speak in this chapter.
Does God make any promises?
- God made Nehemiah no promises, but He did grant him favor with Artaxerxes when he made his request. (2:8, 18)
- When confronted by adversaries in Jerusalem, Nehemiah believed that God would prosper the builders. His belief was based upon the prayers that God had answered.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Jesus is the God of heaven.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- Nehemiah told the foreigners that attempted to discourage the builders that they had no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem. The same is true about the New Jerusalem. Those who have no citizenship in Heaven have no portion, nor right, nor memorial there. Only those who are God's children, meaning those who have been made citizens through the blood of Jesus Christ, will inherit the New Jerusalem.