Nehemiah, a Jewish governor of Judea under the Persians, and cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes Longimanus. He was the son of Hakaliah, received the surname or title of Tirshatha, and is the author of at least a portion of the Scriptural book which bears his name, a continuation of the historical book of Ezra. It gives the most important events in the life of Nehemiah, very full accounts of the rebuilding of the gates and walls of Jerusalem, statistical information on the increase of the people, and lists of priests and Levites. The authorship of chapters i. to vii. is generally ascribed to Nehemiah, while the following chapters are assumed by De Wette, Hävernick, and others, to have been written by some other author. According to Ewald, Bertheau, and others, the books of Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Chronicles were originally one work. All the questions relating to the book of Nehemiah are fully discussed in De Wette's Einleitung in das Alte Testament (8th ed., revised by Dr. Schrader). The dates of his birth and death are unknown.
In the history of his people, in which he played a prominent part during the period of the restoration under the Persians, he first appears in 445 B. C. (See Hebrews, vol. viii., p. 590).