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READING: Nehemiah 11-12 – Jerusalem Repopulated & Dedication of City Walls                


Jerusalem was where the leaders of the people lived. The rest of the people lived in the villages around the city. To repopulate the city, they cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in the city of Jerusalem. “And the people blessed all those who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.” Most of the people lived in the villages of Judea but some also lived in the tribal area of Benjamin; including some of the Levites whose ancestors lived in Judea, yet their descendants were joined to Benjamin. 

Chapter twelve begins with listing the Priests and Levites. The Levites were listed with their duties in the worship of the Temple, the gatekeepers, and those who guarded the storehouses. 

When it came time to dedicate the rebuilt walls of the city, they sought out all of the Levites to come to Jerusalem “to celebrate the dedication with rejoicing, with thanksgiving and singing with cymbals, harps, and lyres.” The Priests and Levites purified themselves, the people, the gates, and the wall.  

Nehemiah brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall. He also appointed two great companies that gave thanks and went in procession. One went to the left and the other to the right up on the wall. Some of the young Priests went with trumpets. The musical instruments were those of David. Ezra went in front of them. 

The other company who were giving thanks went to the left, and Nehemiah followed them with half the people. 

Both companies who gave thanks stood in the house of God. Nehemiah and half the officials with him and the priests with trumpets and the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 

They offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, “for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away” on that day of dedicating the rebuilt walls of the city of Jerusalem. 

That day, men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, and the tithes. All Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered in the Temple.  

Yet, there was still work to be done, which we will see in the final chapter of Nehemiah. 

Whatever rejoicing there is, there is always more work to be done. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

My Father in Heaven, I pray that I may find joy in my corporate worship and in my private devotions. Keep me from being an old sourpuss when I come to your throne. Let me find joy and share that joy with fellow worshipers. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus, Your Son, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we consider the spectacle presented by Nehemiah and Ezra. While Israel rejoiced on than day, they still had work that needed to be done. Perhaps the day of rejoicing prepared them to finish that work that yet awaited them. I am confident we have more work yet to be done. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the name of our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, AMEN! 

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