The Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah go together. They tell the story of Israel's return to the Land of Promise from the exile in Babylon.

These books represent two periods in Israel's restoration to the land at the end of the exile: first, the rebuilding of the temple and the re-establishment of Israel's spiritual life (538-516 B.C./Ezra 1-10); then the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem (458-420 B.C./Nehemiah 1-13). Ezra, the priest, returned first (see the book of Ezra), followed later by Nehemiah, a high ranking official in the service of Artaxerxes, King of Babylon.

Nehemiah is an exciting book that tells of the faithfulness of "Yahweh" (The LORD), the Elohim (God) of Israel. It also records the obedience of a layman, Nehemiah, in the service of the purposes of God. Without question, God is sovereign over Israel and the nations of this world.