noun \ˌnē-(h)ə-ˈmī-ə\

Definition of NEHEMIAH

:  a Jewish leader of the fifth century b.c. who supervised the rebuilding of the Jerusalem city walls and instituted religious reforms in the city
:  a narrative and historical book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture — see bible table

Origin of NEHEMIAH

Hebrew Nĕḥemyāh
First Known Use: 14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(flourished 5th century BC) Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem. His story is told in the biblical book of Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to the Persian ruler Artaxerxes I soon after the end of the Babylonian Exile, when the Temple of Jerusalem had been rebuilt but the Jewish community was still weak and fragmented. Around 444 BC he was put in charge of Jerusalem's reconstruction, and he organized the rebuilding of the city walls. He also revived adherence to Mosaic law and forbade intermarriage with non-Jews. His work as a reformer was later continued by Ezra.


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