This chapter is very similar to the other chapter in that Nehemiah has kept track of and honored specific people by giving us a list of their names. In this particular chapter that names are of the priests and levites that were serving the citizens of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was not just rebuilding the city, He was rebuilding a people, a community, and as part of that rehabilitation he was setting them up to be a people of the Lord again. These priests and levites were Israel's direct link to God, and Nehemiah was praying and hoping that they were lead the people in following the Lord.
At the dedication of the Wall the Lord's people were obviously overflowing with joy. They were celebrating a victory, a completion, a new beginning! Not just any celebration though, it was a dedication to the Lord, acknowledging that it was the Lord who provided. These people were not just sitting in church singing from the hymnal book. It says that "they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy." They brought in the singers from other regions(v 28), Levites(v 27), choirs(v 40), the town leaders(v 31), and all of the men, women and children(v 43) rejoiced!
Verse 43 says that the sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away! The Bible doesn't exaggerate either, it really could be heard from FAR away. They were PRAISING our Lord and were not ashamed to do it loudly!
Think of any modern day celebration: A birthday party, graduation, wedding, anniversary, job promotion, family reunion, july 4th, etc. Think of what we do and feel when we celebrate those occasions, then multiply it by a lot.
I am going to use an exert from my Quest Study Notes again, because I love how it explains everything:
"When we work with God on any great endeavor, we're not done until we celebrate and dedicate that work. Celebration involves the entire congregation and takes full advantage of music and ceremony to heighten the sense of joy and worship. Dedication reminds us of our dependence on God and invites Him to guard the work accomplished. Such a time often marks a fresh beginning for God's people- with a renewed sense of purpose, identity, worth and security of His care."
If you have anything to add or any questions about Nehemiah 12 please feel free to leave a comment. I'll get back with any questions as soon as I ask someone wiser than me;) Have a wonderful day! Love, Devon