Rebuilding the Culture in Judah, Part I   2 comments

Above:  Icon of Nehemiah

Image in the Public Domain

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

PART XIX

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Nehemiah 11:1-12:47

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Let all who say “Aha!” and gloat over me be confounded,

because they are ashamed.

–Psalm 40:16, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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Given that consistent chronology is not the organizing principle in Nehemiah, I skip from Chapter 6 to Chapters 11 and 12.

Culture is the knowledge and customs individuals learn from each other.  By this definition, even birds have culture.  Within a species, regional variations in songs exist.  Culture, in human terms, is more than a matter of maintaining a community by keeping it populated.  The maintenance and preservation of institutions is essential.  Therefore, after reading about who settled and where, we read of the priests, the Levites, the Temple, and the elaborate ceremony at the dedication of the walls.

To be honest about the past and these texts, historical problems exist in the lists.  That is a minor issue that does nothing to detract from what is important.  The depiction of Jerusalem and its satellite settlements at the time of Nehemiah is one that emphasizes the centrality of the Temple in Jerusalem.  One may also notice how numerically insignificant the Jews of Judah were.  Significance is about more than numbers, though.

I also notice the theme of trying to start over correctly.  To quote a dead Greek,

The end depends on the beginning.

Nehemiah was a fine leader who focused on proper goals and good strategies.  His wisdom and probity prevented a scandal and helped him evade a trap (Nehemiah 6).  He was the right man for the job.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 11, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY THAUMATURGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC OF NEOCAESAREA; AND ALEXANDER OF COMONA, “THE CHARCOAL BURNER,” ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 252, AND BISHOP OF COMANA, PONTUS

THE FEAST OF SAINT EQUITIUS OF VALERIA, BENEDICTINE ABBOT AND FOUNDER OF MONASTERIES

THE FEAST OF MATTHIAS LOY, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR’ AND CONRAD HERMANN LOUIS SCHUETTE, GERMAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAURICE TORNAY, SWISS ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY TO TIBET, AND MARTYR, 1949

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Posted August 11, 2020 by neatnik2009 in Nehemiah 11, Nehemiah 12, Nehemiah 6, Psalm 40

2 responses to “Rebuilding the Culture in Judah, Part I

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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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