When the prophet Daniel was just a boy, the Israelites were taken as prisoners of the people of Babylon. As the years passed, some Hebrews ascended to high power in the Babylonian Kingdom. One of those people was Nehemiah.

Even though it had been many years since the Babylonians had taken the Hebrews away from their home, Nehemiah was still very concerned about those who had escaped the captivity. Word had gotten back to him that those who had escaped years ago were suffering in Jerusalem. Nehemiah was the King's cupbearer, so he got to see the king pretty often. Maybe he would get the chance to speak to him about his brothers and sisters who were suffering.

Finally, one day, Nehemiah got his chance.  The king asked Nehemiah why he was so sad. He told the king that the Hebrew city of Jerusalem was in ruins and the people there were suffering. Then Nehemiah asked him if he would let him to travel to Jerusalem to rebuild it. The king granted Nehemiah's request and sent him on his way to rebuild the great Hebrew city.

Nehemiah knew that it wasn't going to be easy. There were people around Jerusalem who didn't like the Hebrews, and didn't want them to rebuild their city. When two men named Sanballat and Tobiah heard that Nehemiah was coming to check on the children of Israel, they were not happy. At first they just made fun of him and his Hebrew construction workers. They called them mean names and said the wall they were building was weak, not even strong enough to hold up a fox.

Nehemiah and his workers didn't let it bother them, but soon Sanballat's insulting words turned into threats. Nehemiah stood strong; he turned to God and prayed. The Hebrews armed themselves with sharp swords, strong spears, and powerful bows. They stood guard all night long, and even when they did sleep they slept in their clothes, just in case they were attacked. Half the workers were made into full-time guards, and the rest of the workers had to carry a weapon with them wherever they went.

The Hebrews stayed organized and Nehemiah kept them all working hard, but their enemies didn't give up either. They tried to trick Nehemiah, but he was too wise for them. They made up lies about him, but Nehemiah defended himself and said they weren't true. They even tried to trap him by saying he needed to hide from the bad guys, but Nehemiah knew it was a trap and he didn't fall for it.

After tons of work in a very dangerous place, the wall was finally done. Nehemiah and his construction worker-warriors had finished! It was a great day for the Hebrew people. They celebrated in the best way they could: they read the Word of God and repented of their sins!

Nehemiah was a good man with a burden on his heart to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and help the Hebrew people. God used him to lead the construction workers and stand firm against their enemies. With God's help, Nehemiah overcame his enemies and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem!

If you were with Nehemiah, what would you want your job to be? Would you be a guard or construction worker? Use your imagination and write to us about how you would have liked to help Nehemiah.

You can read this story in the book of Nehemiah.