Nehemiah basically retells the story of Ezra from the perspective of the governor instead of the scribe, and since it's a retelling, I think it should be retold like this…
An empty stage. Enter Nehemiah (played by Hugh Jackman). Music begins to play.
A little intro, and,
I’m Nehemiah, hear my song,
We’ll start right now in Chapter One,
Praying up to God above,
To bring my sweet Jerus’lem love—and
Moving on to Chapter Two,
I’m cupbearer beholden to
Artaxerxes, Persian King,
And to him I dare to sing:
“Let me go back to the holy Promised Land,
Israel, and make it so the buildings stand,
Let me go back, Judah to rebuild by hand,
Let me go back to God’s holy land!”
(Enter the dancing Jewesses!)
So, Artaxerxes let me, starting in Chapter Three,
Rebuilding the city in specific detail,
Continuing the same score, heading to Chapter Four,
Our enemies tried to sink our sail—but
Our faith in God was stronger, Chapter Five was longer,
But the Jews kept whining that they wanted food and
So I said down with interest, hiding out in Part Six,
They wanted me dead, which is no good.
Of course you’d want to be in heaven
Before starting Chapter Sev’n,
It’s another group of lists,
Of exiles, sons, you get the gist—and
National confession’s fine
To take up Chapters Eight and Nine!
(Big finish; Nehemiah rips off his jacket to reveal a patterned shirt!)
Part Ten, we can choose officials, priests to give us rituals,
Population increases and fights ensue—but
In Chapters Twelve and Eleven, we rejoice to heaven,
Israel is back and Judah too!—so
We can consecrate the new wall, joy and peace is for all,
Provided that you are a Jew and we say so—but
When you come back to Isr’el, things aren’t so abysmal,
God just loves us so!
(Big dance finale!)
Spoken as an afterthought:
Oh, and in Chapter Thirteen I condemned mixed marriages on religious grounds so that no one would allow women to lure men into worshiping Baal again, so I had all of the foreign wives and their half-breed children kicked out of the city. I’m not sure what happened to them, but I’m gonna say… eaten by lions.
Next week: A romantic interlude with another pious Biblical lady in The Book of Esther, or Ruth II: The Ruthening.