1 - Nehemiah, Persian king Artaxerxes' Jewish cupbearer, hears Jerusalem is in sad shape. He confesses Israel's sin and asks God to help as he gets ready to speak to the king about it.
2 - He asks and gets support to go rebuild. He arrives, inspects the wall, and gets the people's support. Sanballat and Tobiah oppose it.
3 - List of who repaired what walls and gates.
4 - After taunting and intimidation, morale falters, but Nehemiah counters with encouragement and military defense against a surprise attack. This slows the work by half.
5 - Nobles charge interest and take debtors' kids as slaves. Nehemiah rebukes them. He himself does not burden the people financially, but helps them from his salary.
6 - Tobiah intimidates and threatens Nehemiah, but the wall is finished in under two months.
7 - Nehemiah regulates the opening and closing of the Cory gates, records the names of the 50,000 returning exiles, and the gifts given for the temple.
8 - Ezra reads the Bible all morning, and the expound it, giving the people joy. Feast of booths celebrated.
9 - Israel confesses their sin and God's faithfulness to them.
10 - Names of the leaders who sign the covenant, to obey the law, not intermarry with syncretist neighbors, not work on the Sabbath, and to bring their first tenth of harvest to the temple for the priests.
11 - leaders in Jerusalem listed: chiefs, priests, Levites
12 - wall dedicated with choirs, instruments, and much rejoicing. Musical service reestablished.
13 - Nehemiah goes back to work for the king in Susa. When he returns he kicks Tobiah out of the temple, ensures the Levites get their salaries, stops buying and selling on the Sabbath, rebukes intermarriage with idolators, and ensures sacrifices are made.