To understand some background for Nehemiah’s setting, refer to chapter 4 in Ezra; this speaks about the work of Judah’s adversaries. They wrote to Artaxerxes and set their accusation: if he allows the city to be rebuilt, they say, the Jews will certainly rebel against him. Upon seeing the record of the Jewish rebellion, Artaxerxes commands the men to stop the rebuilding in the city of Jerusalem.
God raises up Nehemiah, one of the king’s closest Jewish servants. Artaxerxes had found a man he can trust to be over the Jewish affairs. He trusts him in building the city knowing he will not betray him. Further investigation was done and there was no reason to have the work stopped any longer. He goes ahead with official approval and support. Nehemiah was given an official position by the king.
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