How to Study Nehemiah
Nehemiah as a continuation of Ezra. In fact, Ezra and Nehemiah were treated as one book in the earliest Hebrew manuscripts.
As you read Nehemiah chapter by chapter:
Look for the theme of each chapter. Record this next to the chapter number on the Structure of Nehemiah chart and record it in you Bible next to the chapter number.
Read each chapter again. This time make a list of the points you want to remember about the main topic or event within each chapter.
For example, in chapter 1 the theme is Nehemiah's concern for Jerusalem. In the margin opposite the first three verses you could write "Remnant's Distress." Then underneath it write "walls broken down, gates burned."
Then next to verses 4 through 11 you could write "Nehemiah's Prayer" and list the main parts or points of his prayer; for example, a) weeps, mourns, fasts, b) reminds God of who He is and His covenant, and c) confesses his and Israel's sins.
As you summarize each chapter, list what you learn about God.
While there are many key repeated words you could mark-such as wall, gate, build, repairs, etc.-you may want to observe them without marking them because of the nature of Nehemiah's writing. Some keywords are used so many times within specific chapters that you may become overwhelmed by all the marking.
Mark the key words: remember, command (commandments, ordinances, law), sin (iniquities), covenant, fast, prayer, the book (book of the law, law of Moses).
When you mark command (commandments, ordinances, law), note in the margin what you learn.
Note any references to time by drawing a clock ¹ next to the verse.
As you read through Nehemiah, note in the margin when the wall is started, when it is completed, and when it is dedicated.
There are valuable lessons to be learned from observing how Nehemiah handled situations. As you see how Nehemiah related to God in each situation, how he dealt with the people (including those who opposed him), and the example he set, you will see principles you can apply to your life. As you study, record your insights on the chart Lessons From The Life of Nehemiah.
When you finish recording the theme of every chapter on Structure of Nehemiah, look for the main division of the book, where one emphasis ends and another begins. On the line under "Segment Divisions," record this division and the theme or subject of the two segments of the book. Also fill in the rest of the chart and record the theme of Nehemiah.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in Nehemiah
God’s Word—reading the Word of God requires careful attention in order to perform His will (8:1, 8, 13; 10:29, 34, 36; 13:1; Ezra 7:10; Ps. 119:16, 140; Luke 11:28; John 5:39; James 1:25)
Obedience—God worked through the obedience of Nehemiah (7:5; Exod. 19:5; Deut. 13:4; 1 Sam. 15:22; Jer. 7:23; Eccles. 12:13; Heb. 11:6; 1 Pet. 1:2) Opposition—despite local opposition and heartbreaking corruption, Judah completed the walls of Jerusalem in only fifty-two days (6:15; 8:1, 14; Ps. 7:1; 69:26; Zech. 2:8; Matt. 5:10; Luke 6:22; Rom. 8:35; 2 Tim. 3:12)