As a Jewish captive in Babylon, Nehemiah held the distinguished position of cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. He was devastated to hear that the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem were in “great trouble and shame” (1:3). He expressed his concern to the king, and the king allowed him to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city’s walls. Many of the non-Jewish people in Judah opposed the rebuilding effort, and the returned exiles soon became disheartened. Nehemiah encouraged the men, saying, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (4:14). Under his leadership, the walls were rebuilt despite the difficult circumstances. As governor of Judah, Nehemiah was used mightily by God to bring the Jews back into a life of covenant faithfulness. (Nehemiah 2:17–18)