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This Week's Reading: Ezra 1; 3-7; Nehemiah 2; 4-6; 8

Come Follow Me Insight #1

Come Follow Me Insights This Week July 18

Why did the Israelites refuse help in building the temple from the people of Samaria? (Ezra 4:1-4) 


    1. This is the beginning of a bitter rivalry between the Israelites and the Samaritans.  After the northern kingdoms had been taken captive the land of Samaria was filled with foreigners as well as Israelites who had escaped captivity.  These groups intermarried and so the Samaritans were deemed “lower class” by the Israelites because they were not of “pure” Israelite blood and had begun worshipping other gods.    (Source)
    2. After this affront to the Samaritans who considered themselves Israelites, they built their own temple and felt great animosity toward the Israelites.

Come Follow Me Insight #2

What was Sanballat’s problem? (Nehemiah 2:10)


Sanballat tried VERY hard to stop Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  What was the big deal and why was he so “anxiously engaged” in destroying Nehemiah’s work?  There are two likely reasons:


  1. Sanballat was the governor of Samaria and– as we’ve already learned– the Samaritans did NOT like the Israelites.  He therefore would naturally oppose anything they did. (Source)
  2. The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem was also symbolic of the strength and unity of the Israelites.  As a bitter enemy of the Israelites, Sanballat would not want to see them become any more powerful than they already were.
Come Follow Me Insights This Week July 18

Come Follow Me Insight #3

Nehemiah built a wall around Jerusalem in 52 days.  That is amazing in and of itself– but just how big was this wall?  (Nehemiah 6:15)


We don’t have exact measurements of the walls that Nehemiah built, but we do know the basic size of the land of Jerusalem at the time was 30 acres (source).  


Doing some crude online calculator math it would appear that the wall surrounding that kind of acreage would be almost a mile long.  


If Nehemiah built the wall on top of portions of Hezekiah’s former great wall it would have been 20-25 feet wide, and between 25-40 feet tall.  (To see pictures of part of Hezekiah’s wall go here

My Favorite Scriptures for the Week


  1. Ezra 3:11
  2. Ezra 7:23
  3. Nehemiah 4:9, 20
  4. Nehemiah 6:3
  5. Nehemiah 6:15
  6. Nehemiah 8:8
Come Follow Me Insights this week February 28

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