Nehemiah 12&13: Dedication of the Wall

The last two chapters of Nehemiah cover the dedication of the wall.


The last two chapters of Nehemiah cover the dedication of the wall.


One reason the Jews never lost their identity was their meticulous genealogy charts. It was important for them to identify the Levites, and particularly those descended from Aaron, to carryout Temple duties in accordance with the law. Nehemiah 12 presents such a genealogy.


Photocredit: White
The main point of interest in Nehemiah 12 and 13 is the dedication of the wall. Scholars debate on whether the dedication happened immediately after the wall was built or some time later.[1] Whether the dedication occurred shortly after the completion of the wall or well after, we are given confirmation that it was in fact dedicated. The point of dedication was to acknowledge God's hand in it's creation and it's duty to serve God and His people.

For the dedication, the Israelites gather at the wall to praise God in a procession led by Ezra. In this, they sing and offer sacrifices. The rejoicing was so great, it could be heard from far away. Nehemiah notes that worship was carried out the way David and Solomon had prescribed. This is to let us know the Israelites have come full circle and are back in the position to carry out God's Will.

As mentioned in the previous post, Ezra also reads the law to the Israelites. It is unclear how familiar they are with the law before Ezra begins reading. However, after hearing that the Moabites and Ammonites were not to join Israel, the Israelites were moved to obey the command. Given this information, they separated themselves from the mixed multitude that had followed them from Persia back to Jerusalem. This had been a problem during Ezra's day as well. The constant intermarrying of the Israelites with pagan nations reminds us how hard it is to be set apart. We are often drawn to those who do not worship God and worldly things. Like the Israelites, the modern church also joins herself to pagan traditions. Thanks to Jesus, today, there isn't a specific group or race of people that are to be excluded from the body of Christ.


  1. Holman Bible Publishers. Holman KJV Study Bible, pg. 836-841. 2014

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