NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 7.
The City of Jerusalem and Its Inhabitants.
THE CHARGE OF THE CITY. ó V. 1. Now it came to pass, when the wail was built and I had set up the doors, completing everything as it had been planned, and the porters and the singers and the Levite. were appointed, the Levites who had charge of the gates and those who were entrusted with the liturgical part of the Temple service being distinguished from those who assisted the priests in the sacrificial worship, as David had ordered, 1 Chron. 9, 17-27; 26, 1-19, v. 2. that I gave my brother Hansni, and Rananiah, the ruler of the palace, this office being held after the end of the monarchy, cp. 2 Kings 18, 37; 2 Chron. 26,21, in the form of prime minister to the governor, charge over Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man and feared God above many, his faithfulness being an outflow of his fear of God, a tact which caused Nehemiah to place such confidence in him, for he was sure that this fact would keep Hananiah from the temptations to treachery and unfaithfulness which were likely to come to him. V.3. And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot, the custom being to open them at sunrise, when the enemies might still take advantage of the shadows to attempt an attack; and while they stand by, that is, the members of the guard, ready to defend the gates, let them shut the doors and bar them, this being done at sunset; and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, men living throughout the city, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house, mounting guard, as sentinel, near his own property, in order to prevent any gathering of people that may have entered into the city for the purpose of starting a riot. V.4. Now, the city was large and great, but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded, that is, its area was very great in proportion to its population, which explains the necessity of the measures adopted by Nehemiah before returning to Shushan, as he had promised the Persian king, chap. 2, 6. Nehemiah took every precaution to insure the safety of the city during his absence. The Church of Christ is also the city of God and His holy habitation. The ministers of the Church therefore must be diligent in their office as watchmen and defenders of Zion, lest the enemies take advantage of some oversight in its defense.
A LIST OF RETURNED EXILES. ó V. 5. And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles and the rulers and the people that they might be reckoned by genealogy, his idea being to increase the number of the cityís inhabitants by appropriate measures. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, a list of the time of Zerubbabel, some ninety years before, and found written therein, v.6. These are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city, cp. Ezra 2, v. 7. who came with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah (or Seraiah), Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. It should be noted at once that the difference between the figures given in this list and those in the list of Ezra is probably due to the fact that Zerubbabel had the list of the caravan as it was assembled for the journey, while Nehemiah used a copy which showed the members of the caravan as it actually arrived in Jerusalem, or those registered in Jerusalem upon their arrival are here mentioned, some of the people going directly to the homesteads of their father., without waiting for a second registration. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this: v. 8. the children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two. V. 9. The children of Shephatish, three hundred seventy and two. V. 10. The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two. V. 11. The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. V. 12. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. V. 13. The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. V. 14. The ohildren of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. V. 15. The children of Binnui (or Bani), six hundred forty and eight. V. 16. The children of Rebai, six hundred twenty and eight. V. 17. The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two, this being a sample of a case where a large company from a father-house joined the caravan after the list of its members had been prepared. V. 18. The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. V. 19. The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven. V. 20. The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five. V. 21. The children of Ater of Hesskiah, ninety and eight. V. 22. The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight. V. 23. The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four. V. 24. The children of Hariph (or Jorah), an hundred and twelve. V. 25. The children of Gibeon (or Gibbar), ninety and five. V. 26. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight. V. 27. The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight. V.28. The men of Beth-azmaveth, forty and two. V. 29. The men of Kirjath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. V. 30. The men of Ramah and Gaba, lix hundred twenty and one. V. 31. The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two. V. 32. The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three. V. 33. The men of the other Nebo, the Nobe in Judah, to distinguish it from that in the territory of Reuben, fifty and two. V. 34. The children of the other Elam, distinguished from those of v. 12, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. V. 35. The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. V. 36, The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. V. 37. The children of Lod, Hadid, aThe Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaotknd Ono, seven hundred twenty and one. For the location of the cities mentioned in this list compare the notes on Ezra 2. V. 38. The children of Senaab, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. V. 39. The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. V. 40. The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. V. 41. The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. V. 42. The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. It seems that only four courses of priests returned from Babylon, at least at the time of the first journey under Zerubbabel. The four courses were afterward once more divided into twenty-four, with the names of the original courses which David appointed. V. 43. The Levites: the children of Joshua, of Hadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah (or Hodaviah), seventy and four. V. 44. The singers: the children of Asaph, the only ones returned from exile at that time, an hundred forty and eight. V. 45. The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight. V. 46. The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, v. 47. the children of Keros, the children of Sia (or Siaha), the children of Padon, v. 48. the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai (or Shamlai), v. 49. the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, v. 50. the children of Reaiah, the children at Rezin, the children of Nekoda, v. 51. the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah, v. 52. the children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim (or Nephusim), v. 53. the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, v. 54. the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, v. 55. the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah, v. 56. the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. All these belonged to the Nethinim, who were in charge of the minor tasks in the Temple. V. 57. The children of Solomonís servants, below the Nethinim in rank: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, v. 58. the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, v. 59. the children at Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon (or Ami). V. 60. All the Nethinim and the children of Solomonís servants were three hundred ninety and two. V. 61. And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, Addon (or Addan), and Immer; but they could not show their fatherís house, could not produce evidence of their descent, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel. V. 62. The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. V. 63. And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife and was called after their name, an act which now cost his descendants their rights as members of the Jewish congregation. V. 64. These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore were they, as polluted, their priestly descent not being clearly shown by documents, put from the priesthood, Ezra 2, 61. 82. V. 65. And the Tirshatha, the governor, at that time Zerubbabel, said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, the special privilege of the priests, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim, those connected with the high priestís breastplate, Er. 28, 30, by means ef which the high priest inquired of God, Num. 27, 21; 1 Sam. 28, 6. V. 66. The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, v. 67. beside their man-servants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women, probably a guild of professional entertainers. V. 68. Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; v. 69. their camels, four hundred thirty and five; six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses. Here the list of the people and their possessions ends.
THE GIFTS OF THE GOVERNOR AND OF THE PEOPLE. ó V. 70. And some at the chief of the fathers gave unto the work, namely, that of restoring the Temple and of beautifying its worship. The Tirshatha, In this case apparently Nehemiah himself, gave to the treasure a thousand drains of gold, that is, of the Persian dance, which were the legal money of the kingdom, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priestsí garments. V. 71. And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drama of gold and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver (the daric being valued at between five and six dollars, and the pound of silver at $32). V. 72. And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drains (darics) of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priestsí garments. V. 73. So the priests and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities, all of which leads up to the account of the great festival celebrated in that month, with Nehemiah present, as he proceeds to relate. It is well pleasing to the Lord if people are willing to sacrifice of their money and goods for the support of the Church and for the spread of the kingdom.