Just as Nehemiah promised the king, he returned to Babylon at the time appointed. Nehemiah then obtained permission of the king to return again to Jerusalem. During his absence from Jerusalem Eliashib the priest had allied himself to Tobiah and had even given him one of the large temple storerooms for his headquarters. Nehemiah quickly dispatched Tobiah's belongings and returned the temple vessels to their proper location in that room.
Another thing that Nehemiah needed to set right upon his return was the peoples' apparent neglect of the Levites. Not only was the temple being used inappropriately but its ministers were also being ignored. Nehemiah instituted the temple tithe once more.
The next thing that Nehemiah set right was the observance of the Sabbath. The gates were shut in order to keep the vendors outside on the seventh day. Eventually the Levites were given the task of keeping the gates so that no one would profane the holy day.
Finally, the people and the priests were rebuked for marrying Ammonite and Moabite wives. Even Eliashib's grandson had married the daughter of Sanballat, the leader of the opposition against Nehemiah and the builders of the wall.
Does God issue any commands?
- God does not speak, but this chapter is full of incidents describing how the law of God was being broken.
Does God make any promises?
- Nehemiah described the promised curse of God upon their fathers that they were in danger of experiencing for themselves because of their disregard for God's law, including ignoring the Sabbath.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Nehemiah is a type of Christ. He set out to purify Jerusalem, the priesthood, and the inhabitants of the land.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- At the end of the book (verse 30) Nehemiah said, "Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business." Jesus cleanses those that are His from all strangers and one day He will appoint the ward, or assign the inheritance, of each one of us, the believer-priests. This summary comes at the end of the book of Nehemiah. Likewise, the summary of all history is contained at the end of the Bible in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.