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In these passages is the account of Nehemiah, cupbearer to king Artexerxes, rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. While in Persia, Nehemiah spoke with men who had come from Judah.  He asked them about the condition of the Jews who had escaped captivity and remained in Jerusalem.

The Jewish remnant was in great distress because the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down and the gates burned by the Babylonians. This news caused Nehemiah to pray, fast and weep for days. He prayed for God’s help to rebuild Jerusalem.

God must have heard Nehemiah’s prayer for when Nehemiah asked king Artexerxes for help, the king agreed. The king also agreed to provide the materials for rebuilding  Jerusalem’s walls and gates. Nehemiah then went to Jerusalem and organized the Jews to rebuild, which they did with enthusiasm. However, Nehemiah’s efforts met with resistance from the local Arabs.

This conflict between the Arabs and the Jews continues to this day. In fact, the Arab nation, Iran, has a stated goal of destroying Israel. The Bible says that this conflict will continue until Jesus returns.

The Bible says that God will indeed restore Israel, and we see this happening today. Israel became a sovereign nation in 1948, 1816 years after the Romans banished the Jews from their land.

However, shortly after Israel established statehood, the surrounding Arab nations attacked them. Israel miraculously survived.  The Arabs continued their attacks,  but Israel’s boundaries grew with each succeeding attack.

God’s plan for Israel has met with resistance.  The Bible says that this resistance will continue until Jesus return to the Earth.   However, God’s plan for Israel will succeed.