Neh 11-12 The people cast lots to decide who will live in Jerusalem and who will live in the surrounding towns. The new walls are then dedicated in a lavish ceremony.
The Dedication of Jerusalem’s City Walls
After completing the new walls of Jerusalem, the returned exiles dedicated the city’s new defences in a spectacular ceremony choreographed on a massive scale.
Two choirs were appointed to sing songs of thanksgiving as they walked about 3 miles / 5 km around the top of the walls in opposite directions. Starting at the Valley Gate, one choir proceeded anti-clockwise via the Dung Gate and through the City of David to the Water Gate. The other choir processed clockwise past the Tower of the Ovens, along the Broad Wall to the Jeshanah Gate and on via the Tower of Hananel to the Sheep Gate (see Map 61).
Herod's Gate, Jerusalem (Herwig Reidlinger)
After completing a full circuit of the new walls, the two choirs met up at the Temple. The celebrations continued with the massed choirs leading the people in joyful songs of praise to God.
Neh 13:1-30 Nehemiah completes his reforms. He insists that the people do not work in their winepresses on the Sabbath, and closes the gates of the city so merchants from Tyre cannot sell their fish in Jerusalem on the Sabbath.
The prophet Joel, writing some time after the exile in the 5th or 4th century BC, promises hope after a plague of locusts.