NEHEMIAH

NEHEMIAH (middle of second century C.E.), tanna. Nehemiah was considered one of Akiva's outstanding disciples and is mentioned in all the talmudic traditions that described the reestablishment of the center of learning in Galilee after the Bar Kokhba revolt. Thus it is reported that on the easing of the Hadrianic persecution he took part in the activity for the renewal of the teaching of the Torah (Gen. R. 61:3; Eccles. R. 11:6). Similarly, Nehemiah was listed as one of the five ordained by judah b. bava at the cost of his life (Sanh. 14a), and also among the scholars who gathered at Usha to reconstruct the religious life of the people (Song R. 2:5, no. 3). He was also described as having been active at Bet Rimmon when the renewed calendar arrangements were made (TJ, Ḥag. 3:1), and as having taken part in the convention of Jabneh (Ber. 63b). Though these traditions have been viewed by some as representing distinct historical events, they should more properly be viewed as a family of related traditions with definite lines of literary dependence between them, as has been recently argued convincingly (Oppenheimer, 78–79). The Talmud (Sanh. 86a) ascribes to R. Johanan the statement that סְתָם תּוֹסֶפְתָא ר׳ נְחֶמְיָה (setam tosefta Rabbi Neḥemyah), apparently ascribing to Nehemiah the authorship of all anonymous statements in the Tosefta. Both the authenticity and the exact intent of this statement are unclear (see: tosefta ), and in any case it is clear that R. Nehemiah is neither the author of our Tosefta (nor of any earlier version of the Tosefta which may have once existed), nor do his traditions take up any considerable percentage of this work. His name is mentioned 20 times in the Mishnah and about 60 times in the Tosefta, and given the fact that the Tosefta is between three to four times longer than the Mishnah, the two figures correspond almost exactly. Nehemiah is also mentioned about 60 times in the midrashei halakhah and is well represented in both tannaitic halakhah and aggadah. The Talmud attributes to him the grammatical rule that the suffix ה to a noun is equivalent to the prefix ל (Yev. 13b). According to the printed edition of the Talmud, Nehemiah's name is associated with the study of Merkabah mysticism (Shab. 80b), but in the manuscript readings of this passage (Oxford, Vatican 108, Munich 95) Nehemiah is not mentioned. Similarly, the Talmud ascribes to him a statement on the creation, transmitted in the name of his father (Pes. 54a). A tannaitic source ascribes to him the following aggadic saying:   "Beloved is suffering. For just as sacrifices bring atonement so does suffering" (Sif. Deut. 32). In a much later aggadic saying he is reported to have said: "A single individual is as important as the whole of creation" (ARN1 31, p. 46). According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Ta'an. 4:2, 88a) he was descended from the biblical Nehemiah. He lived in great poverty and on one occasion shared his pottage of lentils with a poor man, who died from eating such scant fare (Ket. 67b). He worked as a potter (TJ, BM 6:8, 11a). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Bruell, Mevo ha-Mishnah, 1 (1876), 198–200; Frankel, Mishnah (19232), 185f., 222 n. 5, 324; Bacher, Tann; Hyman, Toledot, 924–6; Ḥ. Albeck, Meḥkarim ba-Beraita ve-Tosefta (1944), 63–65, 183; Epstein, Tanna'im, 241f.; A. Oppenheimer, in: Z. Baras, S. Safrai, M. Stern. Y. Tsafrir (eds.), Eretz Israel from the Destruction of the Second Temple to the Moslem Conquest (Heb.) (1982). (Stephen G. Wald (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NEHEMIAH — (Heb. נְחֶמְיָה; YHWH has comforted : fifth century B.C.E.), cupbearer of artaxerxes I and later governor of Judah. Nothing is known of the parentage of Nehemiah except that he was the son of Hacaliah. Two other persons of that name are mentioned …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nehemiah — 1 Nehemiah 2 Nehemiah 3 Nehemiah 4 Nehemiah 5 Nehemiah 6 Nehemiah 7 Nehemiah 8 Nehemiah 9 Nehemiah 10 Nehemiah 11 Nehemiah 12 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Nehemiah — masc. proper name, Jewish leader under Persian king Artaxerxes, from Hebrew Nehemyah, lit. the Lord comforts …   Etymology dictionary

  • Nehemiah — [nē΄hi mī′ə, nē΄əmī′ə] n. [Heb nehemyāh, lit., comfort of Jah (God)] Bible 1. a Hebrew leader of c. 5th cent. B.C. 2. the book that tells of his work: abbrev. Ne or Neh …   English World dictionary

  • Nehemiah — For other uses, see Nehemiah (disambiguation). Nehemiah (pronounced /ˌniːəˈmaɪə/ or /ˌniːhəˈmaɪə/; נְחֶמְיָה, Comforted of/is the LORD (YHWH), Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which …   Wikipedia

  • Nehemiah — Nehemia steht für: Nehemia, ein biblisches Buch Nehemiah ist der Name folgender Personen: Nehemiah Abbott (1804 1877), amerikanischer Politiker Nehemiah Green (1837 1890), amerikanischer Politiker Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712), britischer Botaniker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nehemiah — /nee euh muy euh/, n. 1. a Hebrew leader of the 5th century B.C. 2. a book of the Bible bearing his name. Abbr.: Neh. 3. a male given name. Also, Douay Bible, Nehemias /nee euh muy euhs/ (for defs. 1, 2). * * * flourished 5th century BC Jewish… …   Universalium

  • Nehemiah —    Comforted by Jehovah.    1) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7.    2) Neh. 3:16.    3) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the tribe of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh. 2:3). He was one of the Jews of the dispersion, and in …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Nehemiah 12 — 1 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, 5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Nehemiah — (fl. 5th cent BCE)    Israelite, governor of Judah. He was a cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes I, of whom he asked permission to go to Jerusalem. The king agreed, and appointed him governor of Judah. Nehemiah organized the repair of the… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.