Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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May 12 - Evening

"While all this was going on, I (Nehemiah) was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Sometime later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense."
- Nehemiah 13:6-9

Nehemiah Returns to Jerusalem a Second Time in 433 BC and Clears a Temple Room

(See table and 433 BC date of Nehemiah chapter 13 below.)  Nehemiah left Jerusalem in 433 BC after having spent 12 years there away from Artaxerxes and his royal court (445-433). While Nehemiah was absent from Jerusalem the priest Eliashib had granted Tobiah the Ammonite one of the large chambers (or, a room) on the side of the Temple.

After having checked in with Artaxerxes in Persia, Nehemiah was allowed to return to Jerusalem and finish his administrative work there.  When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem he found not only that the high priest’s grandson had married the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite (Neh. 13:23-28), but that an Ammonite had moved into one of the rooms on the Temple Mount.

Nehemiah immediately entered Tobiah’s unauthorized dwelling and began throwing Tobiah’s personal household items out into the Temple courts to be hauled away. Nehemiah then gave orders to purify the room and return the chamber to its proper use of storing equipment used for the Temple and storage of grain and incense. 

Decree to Rebuild


Ezra 7: 8-9, 12-26

Daniel 9:25

Ezra 10:9-16
  • In Artaxeres’ seventh year he issues the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.
  • Ezra leaves Babylon on April 8 and arrives in Jerusalem in August.
  • December 19 the people assemble and the investigation of intermarriage begins.
  • The 70 weeks (or, 490 years) of Daniels prophecy in Daniel 9:25 begins with Artaxerxes’ decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 458 BC. The decree is found in Ezra 7:12-26.
    The 70 weeks (490 years) are interrupted after 69 weeks (483 years) with the coming of the Messiah. 458 BC minus 483 years equals 25/26 AD which is when John the Baptist will introduce the Messiah to the Jewish nation

Ezra 10:17
Ezra committee ends their three month long investigation into intermarriage by Mar/Apr


Nehemiah 1
Nov/Dec, Nehemiah is in Susa and hears a report from a Jew from Jerusalem that the walls of Jerusalem have not been rebuilt

Nehemiah 2:1

Nehemiah 4

Nehemiah 6:15

Nehemiah 8:2

Nehemiah 8:13

Nehemiah 9
  • Artaxerxes 20th year
  • Mar/Apr, Nehemiah, Artaxerxes cup bearer, speaks to
    Artaxerxes about Jerusalem’s ruined wall system. (Neh. 2:1)
  • August 10, Nehemiah begins to rebuild the walls of
  • Opposition to building the walls. (Neh. 4, 6)
  • October 2, The walls of Jerusalem are completed in 52 days. (Neh. 6:15)
  • October 8, Ezra reads the law to public for first time in
    thirteen years. (8:2)
  • October 9, the people of Jerusalem celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (8:13)
  • October 30, Israel confesses their sin. (Neh. 9)
  • If Esther were 25 when she married Xerxes she is now 58

  • Nehemiah is recalled to Artaxerxes after a 12 year absence.
  • Artaxerxes is in his 32 year as the king of the Persian Empire.
  • Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem to finish his administrative duties (Nehemiah 13). He begins by throwing Tobiah out of the Temple room and rebuking the priest Eliashib (Neh. 13:4-9)

  • The book of Malachi is written.
  • Malachi accuses:
    1. the priest of not honoring God
    2. the people of unlawful marriages
    3. the people of having given up on the Lord’s return
    4. the people of failing to give properly to God
  • Malachi ends with a promise in 3:1, “See, I will send my
Epistrepho (Gr) – Convert (Eng) – a Greek word made out from epi meaning “towards” and strepho meaning “to turn.” Epistrepho means “to turn around towards something” or “to turn in order to convert.” The aorist tense used in 2x in James 5:19, 20 point to a specific act.
Am I willing to make corrections to inappropriate behavior, beliefs and practices?
I will speak up and call for righteousness when confronted with inappropriate talk and deeds.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For favor with people


Christ-like attitudes and actions

Damascus Gate on the north side of Jerusalem
Map details the territory involved in the great church split in 1054 known as The Great Schism

Someone to Quote

"It takes time and discipline to go from knowing an answer to understanding it." - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

In 1100’s Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) presented 13 points of doctrine to help the Jewish faith resist the rise of rationalism and atheism in his culture: > God exists > God is one alone > God has no corporeal presence > God is outside the scope of time > God alone is to be worshiped > God informs his prophets > Moses was the greatest prophet > Torah is the work of God > Torah cannot change > God takes into the control the thoughts and acts of all people > Those who do good will receive reward; those who do evil will receive retribution > Messiah will come > There will be a bodily resurrection of the dead, although it is possible that only the soul is eternal (Details 1, 2)

Here’s a Fact

Internal evidence for Solomon’s authorship of Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes:

Song of Songs 6:4 mentions Tirzah as being a leading city. Tirzah became the capital of the northern kingdom in 930 BC, but soon fell (1 Kg.16:15-24) and didn’t even exist after the exile.
Locations are mentioned from both northern and southern Israel indicating a yet united kingdom
Song of Songs is similar to Egyptian poetry of this same genre that was flourishing in Egypt at the time of Solomon. So, Solomon would have expected his culture to appreciate his style. It would not have been the style 400-500 years later.
Ec. 1:1 says the author is the Son of David
Ec. 12:9 says the author was wise, imparted knowledge and “pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.” This sounds like Solomon of 1 Kings 4:30-33.
Ec.1:12 says the author was king over Israel in Jerusalem, not king over Judah. The only three that did this were Saul, David and Solomon.
Ec. 1:16 says, “I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me.” This could be Solomon referring to being wiser than all the previous Canaanite kings of Jerusalem including Melchizedek and Adoni-zedek.


"The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel."

- Proverbs 12:10

Coach’s Corner

The very thing you want from a relationship is what you need to give in that relationship. What you expect from other people is the standard you need to hold yourself to.

2 Kings 2
New International Version (NIV)
Elijah Taken Up to Heaven
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”
And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”
And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.
Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”
11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.
13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 “Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.”
“No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”
17 But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him. 18 When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
Healing of the Water
19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”
20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.
21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” 22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
Elisha Is Jeered
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25 And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
Psalm 69-70
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 69
For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.

Save me, O God,     for the waters have come up to my neck.

I sink in the miry depths,     where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters;     the floods engulf me.

I am worn out calling for help;     my throat is parched. My eyes fail,     looking for my God.

Those who hate me without reason     outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause,     those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore     what I did not steal.

You, God, know my folly;     my guilt is not hidden from you.

Lord, the Lord Almighty,     may those who hope in you     not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel,     may those who seek you     not be put to shame because of me.

For I endure scorn for your sake,     and shame covers my face.

I am a foreigner to my own family,     a stranger to my own mother’s children;

for zeal for your house consumes me,     and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
When I weep and fast,     I must endure scorn;
when I put on sackcloth,     people make sport of me.
Those who sit at the gate mock me,     and I am the song of the drunkards.
But I pray to you, Lord,     in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God,     answer me with your sure salvation.
Rescue me from the mire,     do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me,     from the deep waters.
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me     or the depths swallow me up     or the pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;     in your great mercy turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;     answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
Come near and rescue me;     deliver me because of my foes.
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;     all my enemies are before you.
Scorn has broken my heart     and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none,     for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food     and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
May the table set before them become a snare;     may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,     and their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them;     let your fierce anger overtake them.
May their place be deserted;     let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute those you wound     and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime;     do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life     and not be listed with the righteous.
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—     may your salvation, God, protect me.
I will praise God’s name in song     and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox,     more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad—     you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The Lord hears the needy     and does not despise his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,     the seas and all that move in them,
for God will save Zion     and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it;
    the children of his servants will inherit it,     and those who love his name will dwell there.
Psalm 70
For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

Hasten, O God, to save me;     come quickly, Lord, to help me.

May those who want to take my life     be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin     be turned back in disgrace.

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”     turn back because of their shame.

But may all who seek you     rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say,     “The Lord is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;     come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer;     Lord, do not delay.

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