New Catholic Dictionary – Nehemias


(Nehemiah) The hero of 2 Esdras, and cupbearer at the Persian court of Susa, who obtained the commission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes I (445 B.C.). Sanaballat, his chief opponent, was unsuccessful in trying to prevent the work which had been so divided among the Jews that each family agreed to build a section of the wall as a monument to its zeal. Nehemias cared for the famine-stricken and stopped usury. He re-peopled Jerusalem with volunteers and a draft of one-tenth of the rural population. To accomplish this he made use of an older list of Jews who had returned to Jerusalem under Zorobabel (538 B.C.). Nehemias celebrated the completion of his work by a feast, on the occasion of which he confirmed the nation in its observance of the Law of Moses. After 12 years of labor, Nehemias returned to Susa, but was compelled to journey again to Judea, in order to correct abuses that had crept in there during his absence. Among these were marriages with Samaritans and heathens, and failure to support the Levites by tithes.

MLA Citation

  • “Nehemias”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 September 2013. Web. 19 September 2020. <>