Sat, 3 March 2012
Nehemiah came to prominence as a leader of the Jews 13 years after Ezra's time. Powerful men had taken issue with Ezra rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, which had contributed to a decline of Ezra's influence. Nehemiah, cup bearer to Artaxerxes, pleads to the king to rebuild Jerusalem, since Judah's neighbors were exploiting the unprotected nature of the city. Artaxerxes agrees, perhaps believing that having a friendly leader in Judah would protect him from his enemies.