Nehemiah


Nehemiah
/nee'euh muy"euh/, n.
1. a Hebrew leader of the 5th century B.C.
2. a book of the Bible bearing his name. Abbr.: Neh.
3. a male given name.
Also, Douay Bible, Nehemias /nee'euh muy"euhs/ (for defs. 1, 2).

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flourished 5th century BC

Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

His story is told in the biblical book of Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to the Persian ruler Artaxerxes I soon after the end of the Babylonian Exile, when the Temple of Jerusalem had been rebuilt but the Jewish community was still weak and fragmented. Around 444 BC he was put in charge of Jerusalem's reconstruction, and he organized the rebuilding of the city walls. He also revived adherence to Mosaic law and forbade intermarriage with non-Jews. His work as a reformer was later continued by Ezra.

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▪ Jewish leader
also spelled  Nehemias  
flourished 5th century BC

      Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the mid-5th century BC after his release from captivity by the Persian king Artaxerxes I. He also instituted extensive moral and liturgical reforms in rededicating the Jews to Yahweh.

      Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes I at a time when Judah in Palestine had been partly repopulated by Jews released from their exile in Babylonia. The Temple at Jerusalem had been rebuilt, but the Jewish community there was dispirited and defenseless against its non-Jewish neighbours. Distressed at news of the desolate condition of Jerusalem, Nehemiah obtained permission from Artaxerxes to journey to Palestine to help rebuild its ruined structures. He was provided with an escort and with documents that guaranteed the assistance of Judah's Persian officials. So about 444 BC Nehemiah journeyed to Jerusalem and aroused the people there to the necessity of repopulating the city and rebuilding its walls. Nehemiah encountered hostility from the (non-Jewish) local officials in neighbouring districts, but in the space of 52 days the Jews under his direction succeeded in rebuilding Jerusalem's walls.

      Nehemiah then apparently served as governor of the small district of Judea for 12 years, during which he undertook various religious and economic reforms before returning to Persia. On a second visit to Jerusalem he strengthened his fellow Jews' observance of the Sabbath and ended the custom of Jewish men marrying foreign-born wives. This latter act helped to keep the Judaeans separate from their non-Jewish neighbours. Nehemiah's reconstructive work in Palestine was subsequently continued by the religious leader Ezra (q.v.).

      Nehemiah's story is told in the Book of Nehemiah, part of which indeed seems to be based upon the memoirs of Nehemiah. The book itself, however, was compiled by a later, anonymous writer who apparently also compiled the books of Ezra and the Chronicles.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NEHEMIAH — (Heb. נְחֶמְיָה; YHWH has comforted : fifth century B.C.E.), cupbearer of artaxerxes I and later governor of Judah. Nothing is known of the parentage of Nehemiah except that he was the son of Hacaliah. Two other persons of that name are mentioned …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nehemiah — 1 Nehemiah 2 Nehemiah 3 Nehemiah 4 Nehemiah 5 Nehemiah 6 Nehemiah 7 Nehemiah 8 Nehemiah 9 Nehemiah 10 Nehemiah 11 Nehemiah 12 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • NEHEMIAH — (middle of second century C.E.), tanna. Nehemiah was considered one of Akiva s outstanding disciples and is mentioned in all the talmudic traditions that described the reestablishment of the center of learning in Galilee after the Bar Kokhba… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nehemiah — masc. proper name, Jewish leader under Persian king Artaxerxes, from Hebrew Nehemyah, lit. the Lord comforts …   Etymology dictionary

  • Nehemiah — [nē΄hi mī′ə, nē΄əmī′ə] n. [Heb nehemyāh, lit., comfort of Jah (God)] Bible 1. a Hebrew leader of c. 5th cent. B.C. 2. the book that tells of his work: abbrev. Ne or Neh …   English World dictionary

  • Nehemiah — For other uses, see Nehemiah (disambiguation). Nehemiah (pronounced /ˌniːəˈmaɪə/ or /ˌniːhəˈmaɪə/; נְחֶמְיָה, Comforted of/is the LORD (YHWH), Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which …   Wikipedia

  • Nehemiah — Nehemia steht für: Nehemia, ein biblisches Buch Nehemiah ist der Name folgender Personen: Nehemiah Abbott (1804 1877), amerikanischer Politiker Nehemiah Green (1837 1890), amerikanischer Politiker Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712), britischer Botaniker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nehemiah —    Comforted by Jehovah.    1) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7.    2) Neh. 3:16.    3) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the tribe of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh. 2:3). He was one of the Jews of the dispersion, and in …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Nehemiah 12 — 1 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, 5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Nehemiah — (fl. 5th cent BCE)    Israelite, governor of Judah. He was a cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes I, of whom he asked permission to go to Jerusalem. The king agreed, and appointed him governor of Judah. Nehemiah organized the repair of the… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography


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