Nehemiah 12: Dedication of the Wall
1 Introduction: What is the greatest celebration you have attended or seen? Describe the event or bring in pictures to show the group if you have some.
Olympics, Independence Day, Birthday, Wedding, Dedication of a Building, a festival or fair, Religious celebration
Nehemiah wanted this to be a spiritual experience to fully proclaim their gratefulness to God for His protection and the restoration of the leadership of Jerusalem. He had to get the temple leadership in order and the singers and musicians in place. The priests had to be purified, ceremonial clean
3 Who did Nehemiah seek out to head up this celebration?
Nehemiah used the religious leaders to head this celebration. Especially the musicians and singers.
4 What do you think motivated Nehemiah to form two large choirs to give thanks and start at opposite ends of the city to finally come together at the Water Gate?
By walking along the top of the wall they were demonstrating the strength of the wall and recounting the work that they had done to accomplish the re-building.
The Water Gate was were they had held the first reading of the Law of God. Lining up along the wall in continuous flow of people who had all participated in the reconstruction of the wall would have been a moving sight.
5 How do you think they rejoiced? V.43
They sang together, heard the law and then they feasted. They could have shouted "Hosanna or Hallelujah" which are words common in the Psalms. They didn't have fire crackers but the cymbals would have been a fairly loud clash. Perhaps banging stones together could make a loud clicking sound ( I have no historical evidence for the last suggestion but just using my imagination putting myself in that era.)
6 What did Nehemiah do after the celebration was done? V 44 ff
Nehemiah made sure that the people brought in the tithes and offerings so that the religious leaders where properly cared for financially.
7 Why was this so significant?
This was the first time they were bringing in the contributions and first fruits. It allowed the priests and religious leaders to work freely without worrying about their daily needs and farming their own plots of land for sustenance.
8 How do you feel about the feeding and care of priests, Levites, Musicians and Gatekeepers? What were the portions required by the Law( v. 44; Lev 27:30)
Lev 27:30 A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
It does not give exact portions but it appears that what was given was to be divided up between the priests and also enough was to be kept for the widows and orphans, aliens and strangers that came into the land.
9 What were the commands of David and Solomon for the temple workers? See 1 Ch 6:31,32; 23:4,5; 27 - 30; 2 Ch 8:12-15
1Ch 6:31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there.
10 What was the job of the singers in the temple? What was their job like and how did they lead the people in worship?
1Ch 15:16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.