a Son of Hacaliah, at one time cup-bearer to the king of Persia, and a head man of the Jews who returned from the Captivity. He came back to Jerusalem by permission of the king, for the express purpose of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and getting things into better shape for the Jews who had returned from the Babylonian captivity (Neh. 1:1). b In Ezra 2:2 a Nehemiah is mentioned who returned with Zerubbabel from the Captivity. c In Nehemiah 3:16 we read of Nehemiah, the son of Azbuk, who helped to repair Jerusalem's wall.
Meta. In Nehemiah 1 Nehemiah represents one who has been carried away from spiritual peace (Jerusalem) into the confusion of sense (Babylon) and is desirous of again restoring the Holy City. Nehemiah has his representative in all those who have once realized the peace and joy of the spiritual life but have been captured and led away by the power of sense thought, because of laxity in keeping the divine law.
Nehemiah 1:11 shows the earnest faith and simplicity of this spiritual-minded man. He talked to God as if He were present and would give attentive ear to every request. This confidence in the power of God is what stirs the ethers of Mind and sets into action elements in soul and body that speed the consummation of every request. Divine Mind works through man; but it does great things only through the person who has absolute faith. Nehemiah was but a cup-bearer slave to the king in Babylon; but his prayer lifted him into such courage and confidence in God and himself that he went to Jerusalem and inspired the poor, downtrodden remnant of Jews remaining there to rebuild the walls of that city.
The prophet Nehemiah (Neh. 4:1-20) is the faithful, persistent one within us that believes in this divine possibility for man: the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, which is a symbolical description of the reconstruction of the soul consciousness so that it will keep out negative and error thoughts and conditions--this of course results in a renewed and spiritualized body.
Nehemiah can also be said to be that in us which inspires us to higher and better things. He represents, too, the boldness and the courage that set about the rebuilding of a character weakened by sin. We shall prove our victory over all seemingly opposing thoughts and forces by holding to that inner confidence of Truth represented by the words of Nehemiah 4:14: "Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses."