The bible book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah, in Jerusalem and was completed in After 443 B.C.E. But the total time covered before it completion was 456- after 443 B.C.E. Nehemiah, whose name means ” Jah comforts,” was a Jewish servant of the Persian king Artaxerxes ( Longimanus).
He was cup bearer to the king. This was a position of great trust and honor, one to be desired, for it gave access to the king at times when he was in a happy frame of mind and ready to grant favors. However, Nehemiah was one of those faithful exiles who preferred Jerusalem above any personal ” cause for rejoicing.” ( Ps 137:5,6) It was not position material wealth that was uppermost in Nehemiah’s thought bu, rather, the restoration of Jehovah’s worship.
In 456 B.C.E. those ” left over from the captivity, ” the Jewish remnant that had returned to Jerusalem, were not prospering. They were in a Lamentable condition . ( Nehemiah 1:3) The wall of the city was rubble, and the people were a reproach in eyes of their adversaries. Nehemiah was grieved. However, it was Jehovah appointed time for something to be done about the wall of Jerusalem.
Enemies or no enemies, Jerusalem with it protective wall must be built as time marker in connection with a prophecy that Jehovah had given Daniel concerning the coming of Messiah. ( Dan. 9:24-27) Accordingly, Jehovah directed events, using faithful and zealous Nehemiah to carry out the divine will.
What about the date 455 B.C.E. for Nehemiah’s journey to Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall? Reliable historical evidence from Greek, Persian, and Babylonian sources points to 475 B.C.E. as the accession year of Artaxerxes and 474 B.C.E. as his first year.
This would make his 20th year 455 B.C.E. Nehemiah 2:1-8 indicates it was in the spring of that 69 weeks of year, in the Jewish month Nisan, that Nehemiah, the royal cup bearer, received from the king permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, its wall, and its gates, OR 483 years, would stretch “from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader”- a prophecy that was remarkably fulfilled at Jesus anointing in 29 C.E., a date that may be harmonized with both secular and biblical history