3. The Argument of the Book.
Moreover, this book describes the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, an also the correction of the returned people and the reformation of the corrupted worship of God: more specifically, Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of the rule of Artaxerxes Mnemon, by the permission of the same went up to Jerusalem, repaired the bulwarks of the city, cleared the trenches, hung the gates, with enemies hindering his efforts, both by secret plots, and by open force. With the work complete, he bond all to the observance of the law by oath, separated the foreign wives from the people of God, and restrained usurers and profaners of the Sabbath. This history is a certain portrait of the Church, which stands upon an unshaken foot in the midst of tribulations, but easily wavers in prosperity, and brings anxiety upon itself. Our Venerable Bullinger, Expositione de libris sacris, speaks in this way, With a marvelous energy are depicted here the arts and plots of the followers of Antichrist, impeding the edification of the Church, lest it advance. It is likewise taught how greatly necessary are vigilance and prudence, so that we might defeat and overcome the enemies of the people of God.