Nehemiah, an exile who lived in Persia’s capital and served King Artaxerxes as his royal cupbearer, hears news that Jerusalem has been laid waste. The wall surrounding the city had been greatly compromised and the gates that would have maintained a secure entrance had been burned down. In great dismay, Nehemiah ask the king if he can return to help restore the city. With the king’s approval and with papers in hand, Nehemiah goes back to Jerusalem, but the local governors are not happy that he has come. Nehemiah surveys the damage under cover of night, then urges Israel to join him in the work of rebuilding the wall and gates.