Nechemia Two: Jerusalem

“Now it came to pass in the month of Nissan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, [that they brought] wine before him, and I carried the wine and gave [it] to the king. And I had never been sad in his presence (Nehemia 2:1).” Nehemia brings his problems to work, and the king immediately notices his sadness, and proceeds to call him out on it. They clearly have a good relationship, because Nehemia shares his troubles with the king, and asks to be sent to Judea to rebuild and return home. The king supports this journey, and gives him letters of credit. Nehemia travels to Jerusalem, and what strikes me most about his actions while he’s there is that everything is destroyed, so at night, he wanders through the Old City. He goes to the Dung Gate, and the Fountain Gate, and a few other places that he marks by name, and I know them all. What’s amazing to me about Jerusalem is that while, of course, it changes through the ages, it’s also eternal in some way. So many people have passed through it, softly and harshly, with the intent to build and the intent to destroy. But we all walk through the same gates, adding new chapters onto the story of the city. I miss it so much sometimes, and can’t wait until I get to go back and to rejoin the narrative again.

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