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A Study on the Lists in the Book of Nehemiah

Kim, Rae Yong 1

1협성대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Five long lists occur in the book of Nehemiah. This article investigates their characteristics and roles in their present places. For this, I will check specific words, phrases, verses related to the lists, and then I will compare the lists with each other, and those with other similar lists in the Old Testament. Neh. 3 is a list of builders of the Jerusalem walls. Furthermore, it plays a role indicating the people against the enemies like Sanballat and Tobiah between Neh. 2 and Neh. 4 mentioning the story related to obstacles of the Jerusalem wall. Neh. 7 is a list of people who returned to Jerusalem. The list plays a role connecting them to those who gathered at the Water Gate. This means that the present congregation is connected to the old congregation who retuned from Babylon. This emphasizes legitimacy of the present community. Neh. 10 is a list of people who signed up the covenant voluntarily. This list plays a role emphasizing that Ezra and Nehemiah’s reforms succeeded. Neh. 11 is a list of people who settled in and outside Jerusalem. It mentions only the family of Judah and Benjamin. Furthermore, it emphasizes fathers of each person, including even the seventh generation. This means that real and legitimate successors of the community are the family of Judah and Benjamin. Neh. 12 is a list including the names of priests and Levites in the period of Zerubbabel (vv. 1-9) and Joiakim(vv. 12-21). This list is placed before the ceremony of dedication of the Jerusalem wall in Neh. 12:27-43, so it shows that the priests and the Levites will actively be present at the ceremony . Accordingly, the five lists have the characteristics and roles of the people related to each event in the book of Nehemiah. Neh. 3 and 7 emphasize solidarity of the community, Neh. 7, 11 and 12 emphasizes continuity of the community, Neh. 11 and 12 emphasize legitimacy of the community, and Neh. 10 emphasizes active participations of the leaders of the community.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.