During last night’s discussion on Ruth, I had several thoughts come to me about the story of Ruth, especially as a polemic way of righting wrongs and standing against political oppression. These are just thoughts, and I am in no way interested in becoming a Ruth-io-blogger, but it is a fascinating book nevertheless, even with the euphemisms. I see three recapitulations in Ruth’s tale: 1. Tamar Genesis 38.6-27 tells the story of Judah and his daughter in law, Tamar. Tamar’s husband died, and according to custom, was supposed to be married to her brother-in-law in order that her dead
Nehemiah has taken a back seat to God’s reformation of Jerusalem, more so than he already had. Scant evidence of Nehemiah is found in a large portion of the book. His story is like that of other great men and women of God – little is known, if anything at all, of them and their daily life. Nehemiah had a job to do, did it, and then surrendered the limelight of story, never really wanting it in the first place.
So now today we are slaves in the land of plenty that you gave our ancestors for their enjoyment! We are slaves here in this good land. The lush produce of this land piles up in the hands of the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They have power over us and our livestock. We serve them at their pleasure, and we are in great misery.” (Neh 9:36-37 NLT) Those who had escaped slavery returned due to the debts of their parents. Not debts to men, but the sin debts of God. When Israel became unprofitable for God,
As I reading Nehemiah, I came across this interesting verse: Three families of priests– Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai– also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.) (Neh 7:63 NLT) Why do you think he did that and why do you think it escaped condemnation from Nehemiah?
The Walls were finished; a civilian ruled Jerusalem; people were coming back to the City. It was time to celebrate.
Nehemiah was fresh off the conflict from within the City, now he had to face the conflict from without. As the last bricks were being laid, the enemies round about Jerusalem began to conspire to create problems. All work must be stopped for the good of the enemy!