This chapter has Nehemiah, having returned to the king, now back in Jerusalem. What was before him was much corruption. He set himself to cleansing and getting the people back to where they needed to be.
Application: This chapter is a chapter of separation. As we read Ezra 10 and take note of that chapter as a chapter of separation, we see separation in other areas here: a) Separation of association with regard to assembly (13:1-3); b) Separation of association with corrupted people (13:4-9); c) Separation with regard to failing to support the Levites (13:10-13); d) Separation with regard to failure in observing the Sabbath (13:15-22); e) Separation with regard to marriage (13:23-27); f) Separation with regard to those who are properly serving. In all this Nehemiah did it with much anxiety and determination (cf. 13:14, 22b, 29).