“The House That Built Me: The ‘House of God’ and Its Role in the Construction of Fear in Nehemiah 6.1–15 ”

Bibliographic Information: 

Yap. Timothy. “The House That Built Me: The ‘House of God’ and Its Role in the Construction of Fear in Nehemiah 6.1–15.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Vol. 45, no. 3 (2022): 408–42.

Description
Nehemiah 6.1–15 abounds with questions: Why do Sanballat and Geshem insist — not once, but five times — that Nehemiah should meet them outside of Jerusalem? Why are we told that Shemaiah is ‘shut in at his house’, yet he demands to have a meeting in the temple? How does Nehemiah know that Shemaiah is a false prophet, such that ‘God had not sent him’ (6.12)? The present study is an attempt to answer these questions. The author suggests that the key to understand this passage lies in Ezra-Nehemiah’s understanding of the ‘house of God’. This article argues that in both meetings, the enemies of Nehemiah try to frighten Nehemiah outside and inside God’s house. The ‘house of God’ also plays an important role in Nehemiah’s response to his antagonists and how Nehemiah can discern the authenticity of Shemaiah’s oracle.

Publisher: 
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament