settings icon
share icon

Who wrote the book of Nehemiah? Who was the author of Nehemiah?

author of Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah, together with the book of Ezra, provides a compelling account of Israel after the exile. Nehemiah, originally a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, experienced a disruption in his comfortable life through a conversation he had with Hanani, a man visiting from Judah. Nehemiah’s inquiry into the well-being of the Israelites was met with tragic news: “They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire’” (Nehemiah 1:3). This revelation set in motion the events recorded in the book, including the rebuilding of the wall amid opposition and various reforms among the people. In the Hebrew canon, Ezra and Nehemiah were considered a single book.

The authorship of Nehemiah is ascribed to Ezra or Nehemiah. Internal evidence suggests that Nehemiah himself wrote at least portions of the text, given the use of first-person pronouns and the introduction, “The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa” (Nehemiah 1:1). However, there are Jewish and Christian traditions that attribute the book to Ezra the scribe, opening the possibility that Ezra used Nehemiah’s memoir to compile the text of Nehemiah.

The books of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles, which may also have been written by Ezra, command respect. The author’s meticulousness, valuable historical contexts and genealogies, distinctive literary style, and continuity are impressive. The author, either Nehemiah or Ezra, drew from various sources, including genealogies, royal archives, letters, and official Persian edicts.

The book of Nehemiah deals with themes such as leadership (by any standard, Nehemiah was a world-class leader), responsibility, renewal, and God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises despite His people’s rebellion. Christians seeking the relevance of Nehemiah to their faith can draw parallels between Nehemiah and the Head of the church, Jesus Christ. Nehemiah’s leadership, sacrifice, passion for serving God, and compassion for God’s people are a wonderful archetype of the Messiah’s ministry. God’s faithfulness to Israel even after His righteous judgment is proof that He never goes back on His promises.

Return to:

Questions about the Bible

Who wrote the book of Nehemiah? Who was the author of Nehemiah?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: March 6, 2024