The book of Nehemiah.

Counted among the writings.


Attributed author(s).
Anonymous.
Nehemiah.
Ezra.

Text(s) available.
None on site.
CCEL: Nehemiah (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Bible Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Nehemiah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Nehemiah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Nehemiah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: 2 Esdras 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts: Nehemiah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (polyglot).

Useful links.
Nehemiah at the OT Gateway.
Nehemiah in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Nehemiah at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
Nehemiah from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to Ezra-Nehemiah (David Malick).
Outline of Ezra-Nehemiah (David Malick).
Political Tensions Reflected in Ezra-Nehemiah (Carl Schultz).
Nehemiah 10 as an Example of Early Jewish Biblical Exegesis (Sheffield Academic Press).
The Nehemiah Memoir (in .pdf).
Overlaps between Nehemiah, Ezra, Chronicles, and Esdras (David C. Hindley; in .pdf).

The book of Nehemiah is counted as an historical book in our English Bibles, but in the Jewish scriptures it is among the writings.

The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text. This book in the LXX bears the title of 2 Esdras (1 Esdras being one of the apocryphal books extant in the LXX but not in the Hebrew scriptures). Also, the books of Ezra and of Nehemiah are considered the first and second parts, respectively, of the same book both in the LXX and in the Masoretic Hebrew traditions:

Hebrew Masoretic. Greek Septuagint. Latin Vulgate. English Authorized.
Ezra Esdras B I Esdras Ezra
II Esdras Nehemiah
- Esdras A III Esdras I Esdras
- - IV Esdras II Esdras

(Also refer to my pages on Ezra, 1 Esdras, and 2 Esdras.)


Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).

Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of Nehemiah:

Ralph W. Klein writes: "About the year 400 B.C., an editor combined the Ezra memoir with the Nehemiah memoir, thus juxtaposing the lives of the two great leaders of the restoration and bringing their careers to a joint climax in Nehemiah 8-10. He added, from the Temple archives and other sources, the prayer in Neh. 9:6-37, the pledge to keep the law in Nehemiah 10, the report of the repopulation of Jerusalem in Neh. 11:1-2 (plus vv. 3-20), and an expanded description of the dedication of the walls in Neh. 12:27-43. A later hand provided the lists in 11:21-12:26. Toward the end of the fourth century, an editor added Ezra 1-6 to the Ezra-Nehemiah narrative and produced the present books of Ezra and Nehemiah." (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 379)

James King West writes: "Nehemiah's major achievement was the rebuilding of Jerusalem's broken walls. With such enthusiasm did he recruit the necessary workers, organize their labor, and spur their energies, that within 52 days the walls, in some form, were erect (Neh. 6:15). All the more to his credit was the effective manner in which he offset the opposition of neighboring peoples—some of them Yahweh worshippers—who attempted to prevent the completion of the work: Sanballat, governor of Samaria; Tobiah, an Ammonite; and Geshem, an Arabian (6:1f). With one hand on their weapons and half their number standing guard, the builders withstood every effort of their opponents to shatter their morale. Eventually there was held an impressive ceremony of dedication, with a procession around the new walls, a sacrifice of thank offerings, and the singing of psalms (Neh. 12:27-43)." (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 359)

Andrew E. Hill writes: "The reordering of Hebrew society under Ezra and Nehemiah had both immediate and far-reaching implicatoins. Two primary concerns shaped the reform of the restoration community. The first was the prevention of another Hebrew exile, since the loss of the land of covenant promise was unthinkable. The second was the preservation of the ethnic identity of the Israelite people while they languished beneath the Persian yoke in a fringe province surrounded by hostile foreign nations." (A Survey of the Old Testament, p. 235)