The List of Workers on the Walls of Jerusalem, With Continued Opposition to the Rebuilding of Those Walls   2 comments

Above:  The Rebuilding of the Walls of Jerusalem

Image in the Public Domain

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READING 2 KINGS 22-25, 1 ESDRAS, 2 CHRONICLES 34-36, EZRA, AND NEHEMIAH

PART XVI

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Nehemiah 3:1-4:17

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Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand;

let them be judged before you.

–Psalm 9:19, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, enjoyed having as much power and authority as he did.  Power had shifted in the region after the fall of Samaria and the demise of the Kingdom of Judah.  When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, Sanballat had much power and influence in the former Judah.  The governor of Samaria preferred to maintain the status quo.  Nehemiah and his effort to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls threatened the status quo.

Interestingly, Sanballat may have practiced Judaism, at least formally.  His name was Akkadian–“Sinballit.”  Sin/San was the Akkadian moon god.  Ballat/Ballit meant “has given life.”  Sanballat, the existence of whom other ancient sources has verified, had two sons with Hebrew names.  If Sanballat did observe Judaism, at least officially, his opposition to Nehemiah was ironic.  Sanballat’s alliances with Gentiles betrayed the faith he professed.

All of this is consistent with human psychology.

One may easily speed-read through the list of workers on the walls, just as one may do–or even skip–other long lists of names in the Bible.  I understand why; the plethora of names interrupts the narrative.  Nevertheless, consider, O reader, that someone considered those names worth remembering.  These are the names of courageous people and community-builders.  These are the names of faithful people.  These are the names of people worth holding in high esteem.  These are the names of instruments of God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 9, 2020 COMMON ERA

PROPER 14:  THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDITH STEIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONK AND MISSIONARY TO THE ALEUT

THE FEAST OF JOHN DRYDEN, ENGLISH PURITAN THEN ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MARY SUMNER, FOUNDRESS OF THE MOTHERS’ UNION

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2 responses to “The List of Workers on the Walls of Jerusalem, With Continued Opposition to the Rebuilding of Those Walls

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  1. Pingback: Devotion for Proper 19, Year D (Humes) | ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS

  2. Pingback: The Tears of the Christ | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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