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YMMV / Book of Nehemiah

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  • Values Dissonance: Nehemiah's obsession with Jewish purity rules can easily look far less sympathetic to modern readers than to the original audience, to the point of making him appear as a Knight Templar. For example, one chapter has him triumphantly destroying the chapel Tobiah the Ammonite had built—who worships the same God, but Ammonites are an impure race according to Jewish law, so Nehemiah won't allow him to do that. He probably looks worst, however, when forcing the men who had married local women to disown and kick out their wives and children in order to maintain the purity of the community.
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  • Values Resonance: Even if Governor Nehemiah was a man of his time, some of his ideas can also look remarkably sympathetic to modern audiences—for example, forcing the rich bankers in the province to free his poorer citizens from the ruinous loans they had been caught in. This was technically not according to the law (which said poor people who couldn't pay should be enslaved), but many readers will probably think it was certainly the right thing to do even so.

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