I firstly thought that Nehemiah should be read in conjunction with Ezra but as with other areas of the Bible already covered there are inconsistencies between the two. Nehemiah also annoyingly flips from the first person into the third and back to the first again however The Prayer of Confession and Agreement do give a nice little summary of the key points from the time of the Lord rescuing his people from slavery in Egypt.
We are also again reminded of the commands and laws issued through Moses. I am particularly reminded of all debts being cancelled every seventh year and how this is also still a feature today in some areas, and also the giving over of a tenth of all produce and again how a vague notion of that still lives on in the experience I have had of religion to date.
I also want to comment on the Sabbath. From reading Nehemiah comes the first indication of which day of the week it actually is. Like some other notable celebrated days throughout the year, such as New Year’s Day or Mothers Day, it has always struck me as arbitrary but here we have our first indication that it is actually Saturday as we know it today. And while some faiths may use this as their holy day, I am more familiar in my upbringing with it meaning Sunday – so how did this come about?