Nehemiah, originally combined with Ezra to form a single book in the Hebrew canon. In the Septuagint, Ezra and Nehemiah are combined as Second Esdras. The book narrates the return to Jerusalem of Nehemiah, the cup-bearer of Persian King Artaxerxes I, as governor of the city-state. In the first period of Nehemiah's governorship (445–433 BC) as related in the book, Jerusalem's walls were rebuilt. There follows an account of the census taking during the earlier era of Zerubbabel in c.520 BC The work continues with the return of Ezra in 458 BC; the reading of the Jewish law; the national confession of sin; a return to Nehemiah's first governorship; and a brief account of his second term, which began sometime after 433 BC
Ezra for bibliography.
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