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Nehemiah, persons in the Bible
Nehemiah, book of the Bible
See Ezra for bibliography.
high official (cupbearer) of the Persian king Artaxerxes I.
From 445 to 433 B.C., Nehemiah was governor of the Jewish civic and temple community in the Persian satrapy of Judah. Facing a bitter conflict between the community and other groups of the population, Nehemiah fortified Jerusalem and resettled some of the community members there. Struggling against moneylending, the seizure of land, and the enslavement of debtors, Nehemiah issued a law concerning the cancellation of debts in the community and the return of debtors’ property. A “constitution” introduced by Nehemiah, based on the laws of the Pentateuch, demanded the strictest observance of religious regulations and categorically forbade mixed marriages. The steps taken by Nehemiah were the consummation of the process of the shaping of the Jewish community. The Old Testament Book of Nehemiah, based on the records or memoirs of Nehemiah, was compiled in the second half of the fifth or early fourth century B.C.
REFERENCESVeinberg, I. P. Grazhdansko-khramovaia obshchina v zapadnykh provintsiiakh akhemenidskoi derzhavy. Tbilisi, 1973. (Author abstract of dissertation.)
Mowinckel, S. Studien zu dem Buche Ezra-Nehemia, (vols.) 1–3. Oslo, 1964–65.
Ackroyd, P. R. Exile and Restoration. London, 1968.
I. P. VEINBERG