I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God's name and said: "You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves." - Nehemiah 13:25
Chapter 12 is unexciting, more lists. Nehemiah lists all the priests and Levites. They also dedicate the wall of Jerusalem with much singing and rejoicing.
Overall, like Ezra, I'm not too upset with Nehemiah until the last chapter. His only crime so far is some over-zealous ego stroking, but we're all guilty of that. In chapter 13, however, he moves on to assault and battery. I'll get to that in a minute.
Chapter 13 starts with the Israelites reading the Book of Moses aloud for everyone to hear. In the book it says there should be no Ammonites or Moabites among the Israelites. When the Israelites hear this, they exclude anyone from Ammonite or Moabite descent. Really? Were these people doing anything wrong? Or are they just excluding them for maybe-crimes that their great, great, great, ..., great, great grandfathers committed? I suspect the latter.
Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem (after visiting with king Artaxerxes for "some time"). He finds that the Israelites are buying/selling things on the sabbath. So much for crying about not following the laws in the book of Moses. I agree that these rules are stupid (sabbath laws etc.), but it'd be nice if the Israelites didn't cry about not following them every few chapters only to go back to their "bad" ways a few chapters later.
Nehemiah then finds men that had married women from other countries. *gasp* And their children spoke the language of their native land. Bi-lingual children? *double gasp* Nehemiah goes with the only obvious solution, and beats the shit out of these foreigner marrying men (and pulls their hair out). I'm not quite sure what that accomplished.
The book ends with what's really important to Nehemiah; in his own words "Remember me with favor, O my God".
Nehemiah: In Review
Another short, and seemingly pointless bible book down. I'm still waiting for this inspiring rhetoric that I was told to expect when I started reading the bible.
By the way, why did Ezra never mention Nehemiah? Nehemiah at least gives Ezra a few sentences. This is just further proof that Nehemiah may have been exaggerating his importance.
I don't have anything else thrilling to say about Nehemiah.
I actually have fun news today. No tearing people down with logic today.
What do Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple Inc., just in case you live under a rock) and Jesus have in common? A group of sometimes irrational followers. Worshiped as the bringers of a new age (of computing in Jobs' case). Constantly at work to rid the world of evil (Microsoft). Actually, what don't Steve Jobs and Jesus have in common? I'm apparently not the only one that's made the connection:
Bay of Fundie
This prompted Philip Elmer-DeWitt to write an article (where I got these pictures from) titled "Sacrilege: Steve Jobs as Jesus". To see more images, visit his blog (link at the bottom). I wonder if Philip knows what a joke is? These images are obviously not meant to be taken seriously, lighten up.
(via CNN Money Blog)