Nehemiah 3 - Teams Begin their Work

Read through the whole chapter before you come to the study.

1. Introduction: What was the best team that you every play or worked with? Why was this a great team?

2. How did Nehemiah organize the groups?

He organized the people in different ways some of these overlapped.
(The area of their greatest concern or interest)

3. Who were the first ones mentioned that started to rebuild? How many sections did they complete? When they finished each section what did they do?

The Priests began at the Sheep Gate. By it’s name, it probably was the place where the animals came in to the city for the sacrifices. Thus it was a significant location for them to work to restore so that the animals could once again come in for the sacrifices.

4. Look at the map of the gates and who was responsible for that part of the wall. What do you notice about the way the work was done? (v 10)

The term “ over against his house” indicated that Nehemiah organized some of the people to work near their own house. They had a vested interest in getting their work done.

5. Who was next to the first team? Where were they from? Why do you think it was appropriate for them to work this section?

Men from Jericho worked next to the priests. These men wanted the city of Jerusalem to be safe so that trade would flow through their city. Jericho was at the base of the road that ran up to Jerusalem. If no raiding parties were going up to Jerusalem, they would not be coming by Jericho.

6. How many teams were there in total?

28 times "next to him", "nextto them" or "after them" shows up but there are even more teams.

7. What kind of attitude was there among some of the rich from Tekoa (southern Judah). What does this tell us about getting everyone involved?

The nobles from Tekoa could be some of the rich who had enslaved the people by lending them money with interest which was against the law. ( more about that in chapter 5) Were they too good to get their hands dirty? Were they too busy making money to sacrifice? We are not told but we see that even some of the most widely accepted projects do not get everyone involved for whatever reason.

8. Where were the teams from? Locate these places on the map.

Print out the map that is at the end of this study and locate the different gates and where the teams were working. Go around the city wall and write verse number or the names of the teams or team leaders as you they are listed. The lists starts in the upper right hand corner and goes counter clockwise around the city. Another indication that Nehemiah was well organized in his reporting. He makes it easy to write down the groups as he has put them all in order and did not jump around from gate to gate.

Note: v 7 - help from the governor of the Trans- Euphrates to whom Nehemiah had delivered a letter for safety along the way to Jerusalem.

9. What does this show us about having team work to accomplish a big task?

Nehemiah spaced the people out and it appears that in the most difficult place, along the east side, he had them working closer together.

10. What was the role of women and children?

The women and children were supportive of what their older siblings and dads were doing. They show their support in later chapters when the trials and difficulties become intense.

11. Who did Shallum have help him with his section? ( v 12)

Shallum a leader of half of Jerusalem, had is daughters pitch in and help him get his part of the wall completed. He being a local leader would not have had difficulty getting his daughters married off which happened as early as 14 - 16. This would mean that his young daughters pitched in there and helped out.

12.What do you see as the significance of the words, "over against his house' or "beside his house" How do you think this helped with the overall strategy especially when opposition arose? Neh 3:10, 21-23; 28-30

People working near their house would be able to get home for rest and meals. Jerusalem was large enough that it could take an hour or more to get from one side to the other.

13. Note that by identifying individuals as leaders or special commendation Nehemiah is a great encourager. Are you following the "encourage one another" principle found in the New Testament? Who could you encourage and how? Make a committment.

The men in this study could all use some encouragement. They are challenged every day to live their life as dedicated, on-fire disciples. Encourage my wife and kids in their work and family.

14. What kind of co-operation can we expect from people for certain projects?

Some help, get the job done quickly and go and help others. Other stand back and watch the work go by. There are givers and there are takers, which are you?

15. When some got their assignment done, they went on to another ( v 11, 19, 20) What does it tell us about their willingness? Is there a lesson for us today?

If we get our job done well and quickly, go and help others or pick up another section of the work to complete. The great commission is to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to all people. What part are you having in this great responsibility which God has given to each believer? Are you doing your part.

16. Has the Lord laid any projects on your heart that we should as a group work together to accomplish? What are you doing to "rebuild the wall?" Are you a leader, head of a household, or occupation group? Why or why not? How are you leading your household to "minister unto God"?

Family issues often get in the way of ministry. Some times our lack of leadership and protection leaves your family open to the attacks of the evil one.

17. What percentage of the members are active in the work which the church in engaged in?

18. How can we apply this principle of division of labour in our church for projects?

When we divide up the responsibilities into smaller pieces and we work together, we can get a huge job done in a short time period. A good leader can invigorate

19. How might this be changed to include everyone - even the "rich nobles".

One way to include even the "nobles" is to find out what their gifts are and where their allegence is. If they are not sold on the project or ministry, they will not participate. You need to get buy in before you can expect them to be sold out for the project.

Application Question:

20. Considering the way Nehemiah organized the people for the work, if you had a chance, how would you organized the people in your workplace, in a ministry you are involved in, or in the church? Why do you think this reorganization would be effective?

21. List the groups and where they are working on the following map.

walls and gates of Nehemiah's Jerusalem
see also p. 50 Getz

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