Audie Murphy: Now THERE’S a Real Movie Star (Nehemiah 1-3)

Nehemiah is one of the worst storytellers ever. I don’t know how he made the final cut of the Bible. He must have slept with someone.

Nehemiah tells stories like my Dad tells stories: under the assumption that his listener has the same background knowledge that he does about people, places and things. It seems that everytime I go home to visit my parents, my Dad goes on and on about old movies stars like Audie Murphy (who?) and past events like the four-minute mile (imperial system?). And he never seems to notice my eyes glaze over, or my half-hearted attempts to change the subject (how ’bout that Amanda Knox?).

From the sounds of it, Nehemiah is some boring do-gooder who feels profoundly moved by the fact that Jerusalem has gone to shit. So he asks his king, King Artaxerxes, for leave so he can go and help out. Here is his long-winded account of that meeting: “…in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and give it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, ‘Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sadness of the heart.’ Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live for ever! Why should not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” (Neh 2:1-4).

And that’s not even the whole account. It exemplifies another trait of a bad storyteller: extraneous detail. He lost me with the sad face, wine, ass-kissing, etc. Although, the most interesting part, admittedly, is that the king thinks sadness is warranted only when a person’s sick. Talk about being alienated from emotion. That king probably does improv, stand-up  or sketch. One of the three, for sure.

Anyways, Nehemiah packs up and heads over to Jerusalem. He describes all different parts of the city as if the reader is familar with it. Here are some interesting attractions, if you happen to be visiting Jerusalem centuries in the past, that you might want to visit:

– the Tower of the Hundred (a hundred of what?)

– the Fish Gate (sushi joint)

– the Broad Wall (lots of pencil skirts here)

– the Dung Gate (least popular)

– the Tower of the Ovens (did someone say ol’ fahioned bake-off?)

– the Muster Gate  (did not pass muster)

Audie Murphy: war hero AND movie star (the kids love 'im)

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Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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