Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nehemiah, Day 3 Readings

The Wall Completed and the Festival of Booths Celebrated  

Today's first reading describes some nearby nations tried to undermine the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall.  Having failed to intimidate Nehemiah, they now start a whisper campaign suggesting that a wall will allow the Israelites to rebel -- hoping that King Artaxerxes will stop construction.  However, this effort also failed, and the wall was completely rebuilt.

Read Nehemiah 6:1-7:4  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading tells of the first ritual celebrated after the wall was rebuilt.  As Ezra, the scribe, was reading from Torah, he evidently described the holiday known as succoth, or booths, which was to be celebrated at that very time of year.  In excitement, the listeners constructed temporary shelters (usually translated in English as booths or tabernacles) and participated in the festival commemorating the 40 years that the Hebrews spent living in temporary shelters in the wilderness.

Read Nehemiah 7:73-8:18  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Nehemiah 7-8 today.