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Featured Nehemiah built a big beautiful wall!

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by redleghunter, Jan 26, 2019.

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  1. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Some background to chapter 6:

    Nehemiah 4: NASB

    1Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?” 3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!”

    4Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. 5Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized the builders.

    6So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

    7Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.
     
  2. Stanfordella

    Stanfordella #FridaysForFuture Supporter

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    Nehemiah's "big, beautiful wall" failed to fulfill its purpose. It was not built to be awed at for its magnitude or aesthetics, but rather to have God's people renewed and restored, to compel them to love and obey Him with all their hearts and soul, according to everything He commanded, in order to earn the promises He made to them in Deuteronomy 30:2-4. This is evident in the fervent prayer and petition made in Nehemiah 1. Yes, Nehemiah, the humble cupbearer to the king, demonstrated extraordinary personal fortitude with his determination, and it was an impressive feat that he was able to rally the people together to build the wall using the timber given to them from the king's forest for that purpose, despite enormous opposition surrounding them on all sides by their enemies, in a mere 52 days. Once it was completed, he took measures to repopulate the city and "purify" the Jewish community: enforcing the cancellation of debt; assisting Ezra to promulgate the law of Moses - keeping the Sabbath holy, looking after the Temple and those who served in it; and mandating the divorce of Jewish men from their non-Jewish wives. With Nehemiah's steadfast vigilance, the people were faithful and honored their promises...........for a while. Then Nehemiah left, content with the walls and confident they would enforce what he built inside of them. When he returned he was infuriated and dismayed to see that the people had reverted to their ways prior to the wall's restoration. In Nehemiah’s absence, the people neglected the Temple, resumed the practice of trading on the Sabbath, and intermarried with other nations. He rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and yet all of his efforts to rebuild the people had rapidly crumbled, and lay before him in ruins.

    To me, the moral to be learned from the book of Nehemiah is to focus on repairing hearts, not walls. Nothing humankind has ever built or will ever build is sustainable. No structure, no matter how big, how beautiful, how costly, is a substitute for a renewed heart, or a barrier to the persistence of sin. Everything under the sun is ephemeral. Christ alone is capable of building the everlasting. Laws are not what purify hearts, Christ is. God wants us to prioritize renovating and rebuilding people, on restoring them to Christ to be in His heavenly kingdom, not on fixing walls in earthly cities. The way to do this is first to teach people how to build walls upon foundations of faith within their hearts, to become fortresses protecting their covenant to God, and keeping out what is deceptive, and to make sure we keep our own internal walls repaired.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  3. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Nehemiah built the wall for a practical reason. They were to rebuild the Temple and begin sacrificing. To accomplish this they needed to work unimpeded. In order to do this they had to rebuild the wall given neighboring governates were hostile to them.

    Not to mention the false witness the Sanballat and others perpetuated which slowed the progress.
     
  4. Stanfordella

    Stanfordella #FridaysForFuture Supporter

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    Yes, but what was the reason for Nehemiah rebuilding the temple to reinstitute sacrificial rituals? The rebuilding of the temple did not rebuild the faith of the people on a sturdy foundation so that it could withstand time and temptation. While the wall was beneficial to complete the construction of the temple, it did not protect the temple from being desecrated from within, as we see in Nehemiah 13. This is why he was outraged and anguished when he returned after an absence, exclaiming in 13:17-18: "What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”

    You've focused on the building of the "big and beautiful" wall, but its completion is not what completes the book of Nehemiah.....

    Yes, that's true. As the scripture you provided from Nehemiah 4 in post #21 describes, Sanballat and Tobiah were belligerent to Nehemiah, mocking him and the wall. Nehemiah prayed to God, pleading to be heard because he and his builders were despised, with insults hurled at them. He prayed that the insults of Sanballat and Tobiah were turned back on their own heads. He asked God to give them over as plunder in a land of captivity, to not cover up their guilt, or blot out their sins from God's sight.

    So what happened to Sanballat and Tobiah after the wall was completed?

    Their abusiveness towards Nehemiah explained why he was so livid when he returned to Jerusalem and discovered the "evil thing" that Elisashib, the high priest, had done for Tobiah, who had derided and spitefully strived to demoralize not just him but the builders of the wall. Eliashib had given residence to Tobiah in the temple! They are described as being closely associated. (Nehemiah 13:4-9) Nehemiah furiously had Tobiah and his belongings kicked to the curb, and the temple purified. But it was he who had Nehemiah ejected; it was not the wall that kept him out.

    Nehemiah wanted to see the covenanted, and made them aware of God's standards for His holiness, which included the declaration in Deuteronomy 23:3-5 that no Ammonite or Moabite should enter the assembly of Israel, because of the way those nations had treated Israel when they were in the wilderness. His faith in this instruction was fortified during the reconstruction of the wall when those people conspired together to fight against Jerusalem and cause a disturbance in it.

    So he was understandably aghast when he returned and saw that the people of Jerusalem had not only let in those who fought against the wall, but married them. I'm sure he was especially furious that one of the sons of Joiada, son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat. That had to have burned.

    Nehemiah 13:23: Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. 24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah. 25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. 27 Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”
    28 One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me. 29 Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
     
  5. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Actually a command to do so. God stirred the heart of Cyrus to have the Jews return and rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem.
     
  6. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Yes the enemy from within is a greater threat. Yet Nehemiah built the wall to protect the inhabitants from harm and from contamination.

    He can't be faulted for people, while he was not present, just letting others in through the gates. You are right, Nehemiah should have reminded the people as Ezra did of God's prohibition of outsiders worshiping at the Temple or using the Temple for profit. Therefore, any wall without a good immigration policy will fail as the enemy was escorted in.
     
  7. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Which made them beggars to their own demise. Thank God for Ezra and Nehemiah!
     
  8. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    Nehemiah made a wall and Trump made a wall. Nehemiah has an 'm' in his name and Trump has an 'm' in his name. Those are about the only similarities I can find from the context of Nehemiah and the context of Trump.
     
  9. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    They can go (TODAY) to one of the many restaurants and get a T-Bone or a Ribeye.



    :)
     
  10. notreligus

    notreligus Member Supporter

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    The opening post was a reference to Nancy Pelosi's stated opinion that to build a wall as Trump wants one is immoral. That was pretty obvious.
     
  11. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Today, will a wall trap or keep in as many or more bad people as it keeps out ?

    And more bad people will get more M O N E Y and more P O W E R ....... eh?
     
  12. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Who is Nancy ?

    Since when did her opionion matter ?
     
  13. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    That is actually steak when I posted stake.
     
  14. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Maybe something like this would be more approapriate?

    Pit.GIF
     
  15. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Well, if you mean, in part, that is what is and has been happening for centuries, yes.

    The blind have been leading the blind, and they don't float up .......
     
  16. Go Braves

    Go Braves On semi-hiatus here. Y'all take care.

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    Really good posts here Ella. I appreciate that you read all of Nehemiah, didn't just pick & choose what you wanted to suit what you wanted to say about it. Your posts sure do deconstruct the arguments the fellow who started the thread was trying to make about the wall. Does the exact opposite of what I think he was trying to do.
     
  17. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Trump is not in the OP.

    The OP was to show the historical utility of Nehemiah building the wall.

    Walls are objects. How they can be moral or immoral is ridiculous.
     
  18. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Nehemiah as with Ezra was about re-establishing the covenant.

    I wonder what the hearts of all those women and children felt when they were dismissed and cut off from their Jewish husbands and fathers. That “great divorce” was part of re-establishing the covenant and obedience to the Law. Law over hearts I would say.

    Ezra 10 NASB
     
  19. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Blessings for a Defiled People
    …11“This is what the LORD of Hosts says: ‘Ask the priests for a ruling. 12If a man carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and it touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food, does that item become holy?’” “No,” replied the priests. 13So Haggai asked, “If one who is defiled by contact with a corpse touches any of these, does it become defiled?” “Yes, it becomes defiled,” the priests answered.…
    Berean Study Bible · Download

    ===============
    Ezekiel 44:19
    When they go out to the outer court, to the people, they are to take off the garments in which they have ministered, leave them in the holy chambers, and dress in other clothes so that they do not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
    ==================

    Matthew Henry Commentary
    2:10-19 Many spoiled this good work, by going about it with unholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage by it. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is more easily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of their hearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and all their offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same with us. When employed in any good work, we should watch over ourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions. When we begin to make conscience of duty to God, we may expect his blessing; and whoso is wise will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. God will curse the blessings of the wicked, and make bitter the prosperity of the careless; but he will sweeten the cup of affliction to those who diligently serve him.
    Haggai 2:12 Commentaries
    =======================
    EXB
    ·Israel’s [L Her; Its] priests do ·cruel things [violence] to my ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah] and ·do not honor [profane; C ritually] my holy things. They make no difference between holy and ·unholy [common; profane; C ritually] things, and they teach there is no difference between clean and unclean things [C ritually]. They ·do not remember [disregard; L close their eyes to] my Sabbaths, so I am ·dishonored by [profaned among; C ritually] them.

    ==========================

    GW
    Your priests violate my teachings and dishonor my holy things. They don’t distinguish between what is holy and what is unholy. They don’t teach the difference between what is clean and what is unclean. They ignore the days to worship me. So I am dishonored among the people.

    GNT
    The priests break my law and have no respect for what is holy. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. They do not teach the difference between clean and unclean things, and they ignore the Sabbath. As a result the people of Israel do not respect me.

    HCSB

    Her priests do violence to My instruction and profane My holy things. They make no distinction between the holy and the common, and they do not explain the difference between the clean and the unclean. They disregard My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

    ICB

    Israel’s priests do cruel things to my teachings. They do not honor my holy things. They make no difference between holy and unholy things. They teach there is no difference between clean and unclean things. They do not remember my Sabbaths. So I am dishonored by them.
    ===================
    MSG
    “‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’
     
  20. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    Trump is implicitly compared in the OP specifically in this line:

    The answer is no, but what's your point? And this the implicit agenda of the OP.
     
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