A plan to resettle Jerusalem began to be revealed in chapter 7 when we were told that the walls were completed. It was then that it was noted that the houses were not yet built and the inhabitants were few. This led to the searching of the genealogy records for those living in the surrounding area.
In this chapter we are told that the rulers were offered permanent housing within the city. Some families volunteered to move there. The remaining homes were filled by drawing lots. Ten percent of the area population was then able to move within the confines of the walls. Evidently it was not something that everyone desired to do since the people thanked those who voluntarily made the move. We are given the names of certain men of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi that moved into Jerusalem.
The Nethinims and the musicians such as the sons of Asaph returned to the ceremonial duties of their ancestors as originally appointed under the kings of Judah beginning with King David. Many of them dwelt at Jerusalem with the priests and Levites since they were involved in Temple service. The rest lived upon their family inheritances in the outlying towns.
Does God issue any commands?
- God does not speak.
Does God make any promises?
- God does not speak.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- A portion of all inhabitants of the earth will inherit the New Jerusalem because Jesus has made provision for them. We do not know what percentage of all humans will ultimately be there, but it is sure to be a small percentage such as happened in the time of Nehemiah.
- The Nethinims and sons of Asaph continued their appointed positions as assigned by the king. Jesus is our King and He has assigned His followers a work to be done. That assignment has not been revoked even though 2000 years have passed since Jesus gave the Great Commission.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- Many of the Hebrews returned to the lands of their ancestors, lands passed down through generations since the time of the conquest of Joshua following the Exodus. Although it seems hard to believe, Revelation tells us that God has not forgotten the 12 tribes nor their possessions and inheritance. They will one day inherit all that God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We may not be able to trace the tribal lineages but God's records are perfect!