Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Build the Wall

 

So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Nehemiah 4:6, NASB

It may come as a surprise that there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to building a wall, but that is the story of Nehemiah.

With God’s help, Nehemiah re-builds a wall around Jerusalem. (He even gets the Persian emperor to pay for it!) In the process, he also rebuilds the self-respect of the people of Israel. Running throughout the book is the rejection of Israelites just being another people, for that way lies cultural suicide. He actively drove out foreigners and re-instituted the religious traditions and obligations of Israel. You can start to see the reasons there are still Israelites to this day.

Now, it’s also interesting that much of the book is driven by the demand that people take responsibility for their nation. Many, many times they are asked to pitch in labor for the wall, resources for the temple, and otherwise step up. There are lists of people who stood up for Israel thousands of years ago, memorialized for all time in the most widely printed book ever. I doubt they expected such recognition, but they were not working in purely human endeavor. Unlike modern walls, this wall protected Zion, where the temple to the Creator of the Universe was located – the only place on Earth where you could worship Almighty God. Guarding that was certainly worth recognition.

I think we can all agree with the last recorded words of Nehemiah.

Remember me, O my God, for good.

There are 12 comments.

  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin

    It’s also notable that one of the wicked practices condemned in Nehemiah was lending money at interest, a.k.a usury. When did lending at interest go from cruel economic practice to the basis of modern finance?


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    • #1
    • February 28, 2019, at 5:40 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    Nehemiah is one of my favorite OT books. Yes, I know there are some parts that might seem strange to the modern reader, but there are so many good lessons to be learned from it.

    • #2
    • February 28, 2019, at 6:07 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    BREAKING : After reading this post, 23 Democratic Attorney Generals have announced a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Nehemiah . . .

    • #3
    • March 1, 2019, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  4. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    BREAKING : After reading this post, 23 Democratic Attorney Generals have announced a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Nehemiah . . .

    There is actually something similar in Nehemiah – several rival governors mock the wall as useless to stop anyone (a fox walking on it would collapse it) and claimed it was sign he was rebelling against the king, whose word was the supreme law of the land.

    The king basically ignored them, and Nehemiah set a diligent guard against any skulduggery

    • #4
    • March 1, 2019, at 12:04 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Fred Hadra Podcaster

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    • #5
    • March 1, 2019, at 12:26 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    Uh, the building of a wall around Jerusalem isn’t a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of accepting the historicity of Nehemiah. And the archaeological evidence. Sometimes a wall really is a wall.

    • #6
    • March 1, 2019, at 4:20 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Fred Hadra Podcaster

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    Uh, the building of a wall around Jerusalem isn’t a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of accepting the historicity of Nehemiah. And the archaeological evidence. Sometimes a wall really is a wall.

    Thanks, Dr. Freud. I’ve got some questions about cigars I need to ask you, too.

    I’m not questioning the existence of a historical wall in the story of Nehemiah. I’m questioning how the story is being used here, in this post, to justify building a wall on America’s southern border in 2019.

    Eisegesis is a 101-level error. Even the most right-leaning professor of Biblical Studies would (should) cringe at this post.

    “[Eisegesis] is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.” 

     

    • #7
    • March 1, 2019, at 4:57 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    Uh, the building of a wall around Jerusalem isn’t a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of accepting the historicity of Nehemiah. And the archaeological evidence. Sometimes a wall really is a wall.

    Thanks, Dr. Freud. I’ve got some questions about cigars I need to ask you, too.

    I’m not questioning the existence of a historical wall in the story of Nehemiah. I’m questioning how the story is being used here, in this post, to justify building a wall on America’s southern border in 2019.

    Eisegesis is a 101-level error. Even the most right-leaning professor of Biblical Studies would (should) cringe at this post.

    “[Eisegesis] is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.”

    I don’t think Omega was saying this is slam-dunk evidence God wants a wall on the southern border. That’s your eisegesis of his post. He’s simply pointing out walls aren’t necessarily immoral, no matter what Nancy Pelosi (and you?) says.

    • #8
    • March 1, 2019, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  9. Fred Hadra Podcaster

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    Uh, the building of a wall around Jerusalem isn’t a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of accepting the historicity of Nehemiah. And the archaeological evidence. Sometimes a wall really is a wall.

    Thanks, Dr. Freud. I’ve got some questions about cigars I need to ask you, too.

    I’m not questioning the existence of a historical wall in the story of Nehemiah. I’m questioning how the story is being used here, in this post, to justify building a wall on America’s southern border in 2019.

    Eisegesis is a 101-level error. Even the most right-leaning professor of Biblical Studies would (should) cringe at this post.

    “[Eisegesis] is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.”

    I don’t think Omega was saying this is slam-dunk evidence God wants a wall on the southern border. That’s your eisegesis of his post. He’s simply pointing out walls aren’t necessarily immoral, no matter what Nancy Pelosi (and you?) say.

     

    Interesting take, though it’s hard to get around this from the post:

    “With God’s help, Nehemiah re-builds a wall around Jerusalem. (He even gets the Persian emperor to pay for it!) In the process, he also rebuilds the self-respect of the people of Israel. Running throughout the book is the rejection of Israelites just being another people, for that way lies cultural suicide. He actively drove out foreigners and re-instituted the religious traditions and obligations of Israel. You can start to see the reasons there are still Israelites to this day.”

    You can believe that building is the right thing to do. I have no illusions that I’ll convince you otherwise. I’m just saying that citing the book of Nehemiah is not the way to do it. It’s proof-texting.

    • #9
    • March 1, 2019, at 5:12 PM PST
    • Like
  10. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin

    Ah, Fred Hadra. I should have put absolutely clear references that I was noting an set of amusing parallels and that the idea of building a defensive wall is not inherently evil. I was under the impression that I could rely on people reading my entire piece, where I mention rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was not merely a human endeavor, but a sign of devotion to God and the temple where He was worshiped? That this was something worthy having their names listed in the Bible, because it was something special beyond building a wall around a city or a country.

    Do you think that I was implying that we should build the wall ourselves, using our own labor? Do you think I was suggesting shaking down the supreme leader of Iran (modern-day Persia) for money to build the wall?

    If I was proof texting, why would I mention the obvious differences between Biblical times and modern finance? The only thing remotely like a command was referencing Nehemiah’s prayer that God remember the good that he has done.

    This is an argument based solely on your personal interpretation of what I wrote. It is your problem, and not mine.

    • #10
    • March 2, 2019, at 1:32 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  11. Columbo Member

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Fred Hadra (View Comment):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    Uh, the building of a wall around Jerusalem isn’t a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of accepting the historicity of Nehemiah. And the archaeological evidence. Sometimes a wall really is a wall.

    Thanks, Dr. Freud. I’ve got some questions about cigars I need to ask you, too.

    I’m not questioning the existence of a historical wall in the story of Nehemiah. I’m questioning how the story is being used here, in this post, to justify building a wall on America’s southern border in 2019.

    Eisegesis is a 101-level error. Even the most right-leaning professor of Biblical Studies would (should) cringe at this post.

    “[Eisegesis] is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.”

     

    You mean like you just tried to do, Einstein?

    • #11
    • March 2, 2019, at 5:43 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. Stina Member

    This is hilarious. Thanks :)

    So a wall isn’t immoral and can be used for good purpose.

    The question for us is: do we have anything worth protecting?

    • #12
    • March 2, 2019, at 7:02 AM PST
    • 7 likes