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Nehemiah
The Gates and the Walls Rebuilt

   Nehemiah was a cupbearer in the palace of Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, at Shushan. He was deeply grieved when word came to him of the deplorable conditions existing in Jerusalem, where the work of restoration was suffering from so many hindrances. He fasted and wept, then prayed for guidance as to how he might best serve his people.

   Observing the altered countenance and saddened mien of his cup-bearer, the king inquired as to the cause — for Nehemiah writes, "I had not been aforetime sad in his presence."

   "Let the king live for ever and ever," Nehemiah replied, "Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?"

   Artaxerxes, moved by the devotion and sincerity of Nehemiah, consented that he go to Jerusalem and restore the Holy City. The king showed him every courtesy, even giving into his keeping "a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forests" that timber be supplied, and letters "to the governors beyond the river" for safe conduct.

   Thus, this prophet, like Ezra, had to make the long and difficult journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. He had to prove that, accompanied by only a small number of horsemen and soldiers, he could traverse a hostile country and reach Jerusalem in safety — the goal of every aspiring candidate.

   Upon his arrival in Jerusalem Nehemiah was invested with power as governor. In his, Book we read of how, under his wise leadership, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, the government of the city was recognized, and many far-reaching social reforms were effected. Most important of the changes brought about during this period was change of the language spoken in the Holy Land from Hebrew to Aramaic. They are kindred dialects, not wholly dissimilar. Yet any change in the language spoken by an entire people is a significant event in its history, indicating that a new Race Spirit has taken over its evolutionary guidance. This is in keeping with the esoteric doctrines of evolution, because the unfoldment of spiritual powers parallels the material evolution of earth and of mankind.

   The work of Ezra was halted by the opposition of those in power to the restoration of Jerusalem. Nehemiah made possible the return of Ezra and the continuation of his teaching the Law to the masses. This, as we have seen, was done in the popular Aramaic language. But the kabbalistic (esoteric) doctrine "for the few who are wise" continued to be transmitted in Hebrew, thenceforward the sacred language of Palestine.

   Hebrew doctrines — which were purely Chaldean in essence — they now assumed the character of active exoteric preparation for the descent of the Archangelic Sun Spirit. The Persian kings cooperated with Hebrew Masters in this work. We must realize that from this time forward the Masters in this work. We must realize that from this time forward the Archangelic Christ was working within the soul of the Hebrew nation to prepare it for the long heralded day of His coming.

   It is probable that originally Ezra and Nehemiah constituted one Book; they might possibly have been included in Kings and Chronicles. Both prophets were great reformers, and each came as a spiritual light to shine amid the darkness and degradation of a very corrupt age.

   The Bible stresses the promise that man is never left without spiritual guidance. Regardless of chaos and disintegration, the few who are worthy will always receive spiritual teaching and direction. Thus, Ezra means help; Nehemiah, comfort. Ezra was a man of prayer and faith; Nehemiah, a man of prayer and works. Ezra was the mystic, the priest; Nehemiah, the occultist, the governor. Through their combined efforts they restored the fallen city of Jerusalem and succeeded in rebuilding the Temple — which typifies Church and State united in a new band of brotherhood and unity. Esoterically, such union is a combination of the forces of faith and works, or head and heart, which establishes in man a consciousness of All-Good added to a realization that evil is impermanent and unreal. Thus, he finds the kingdom of heaven within: the walls of Jerusalem, the city of the great Peace, are restored through understanding, its gates are fortified by the active power of love, and a luminous new Temple (the soul body) crowns and glorifies its summit.

Nehemiah Enters Jerusalem

   Also like Ezra, Nehemiah rested three days and nights after his arrival in Jerusalem, an interval of outer quiet but of intense inner activity. On the third night he arose in the hours of darkness when all was silent in the city, "I and some few men with me," and continued his astral journeyings into infinite space — as do all mystic Masons after they have been successful in making the journey from Babylon to ferusalem.

   Nehemiah circles Jerusalem, coming out of the Valley Gate in the south wall of the city. He passes the pool of Siloam and the gardens of Ophel as he rode "in the night" and "viewed the wall."

   Master workmen not only build Temples of gold, silver and gleaming stones, but by their own highly spiritualized powers they place around such sanctuaries powerful lines of protecting light. This is an important phase of "invisible night work" in time of crisis. Nehemiah's purpose was to construct invisible barriers around the new Temple as well as to rebuild its outer structure. That few are powerful enough in spiritual force to aid in this activity is implied by Nehemiah when he writes that "I and some few men with me" went out into the night.

   This same road was traversed by the Master and the Twelve an that Holy Thursday when, after the Last Supper, they passed into the Garden of Gethsemane.

   Upon reaching the sacred Olivet Mountain, Nehemiah turned and reentered Jerusalem by way of the Valley Gate. This gate correlates zodiacally with Capricorn, the sign of Christed consciousness.

   As stated, Ezra also spent three days in Jerusalem. The way of attainment for the occultist and the mystic are very different, though both lead to this same Holy City of Jerusalem and both work for the glory of the Kingdom of God. As a result of his experience Ezra began to weigh out all the silver and gold for use in the new Temple. After his experience Nehemiah went out to view the destruction of the city and its gates, and to lay plans for their restoration. Both paths meet at the Cross (the place of Liberation) in the person of the glorious Emancipator, Christ Jesus.

   The morning following his secret circuit Nehemiah gave certain esoteric instructions to the rulers (advanced Ones), whose unanimous declaration was: "Let us rise up and build for every man is minded to work."

   It is sometimes thought that the Bible presents only one system of Initiation; instead, it contains many different systems and describes phases of development attendant upon the various paths leading to Initiation.

   Nehemiah states there was no beast with him save the beast he rode upon, meaning he had overcome his lower bestial nature. Occultly, he had passed the Dweller on the Threshold, that image built of accumulated sins from past lives which always bars the entrance into the New Jerusalem until most of its evil has been transmuted. The energy released by this transformation enabled the prophet to go on to the Fountain Gate; that is, he became a conscious Invisible Helper for the benefit of those who were suffering.

 — Corinne Heline


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