Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, April 17th, 2024
the Third Week after Easter
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 11

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

To bring one of ten - Artificial enlargements of capitals by forcible transfers of population to them, were not unusual in ancient times. About 500 B.C., Syracuse became a great city in this way. Tradition ascribed the greatness of Rome, in part, to this cause.

Verses 4-19

See the margin reference notes. Both accounts appear to be extracts from a public official register which Nehemiah caused to be made of his census. The census itself seems to have been confined to the dwellers at Jerusalem. The subjoined table exhibits the differences between the accounts of the entire population of Jerusalem as given in Nehemiah and in Chronicles:

1 Chron Nehemiah
Tribes of Judah

Of Pharez
Of Zerah 690
Tribe of Benjamin 956 928
Tribe of Levi

Priests 1760 1192
Porters 212 172

According to Nehemiah’s numbers, supplemented from Chronicles, the entire adult male population of the city was 3,734, which would give a total population of 14,936. According to Chronicles, supplemented from Nehemiah, the adult males were 4,370, and consequently the entire population, would have been 17,480. As the Nethinims and the Israelites of Ephraim and Manasseh 1 Chronicles 9:3 are not included in either list, we may conclude that the actual number of the inhabitants, after the efforts recorded in Nehemiah 11:1-2, was not much short of 20,000.

Nehemiah 11:16

The outward business of the house of God - Such as the collection of the newly-imposed tax Nehemiah 10:32, the providing of the regular sacrifices, the renewal of vestments, and the like.

Nehemiah 11:17

The principal to begin the thanksgiving - i. e., “the precentor,” or “leader of the choir.”

Verse 20

The returned community, though consisting mainly of members of the two tribes, represented the entire people of Israel. The ground, however, which they occupied, was not the whole land, but that which had constituted the kingdom of Judah.

Verse 21

Ophel, the southern spur of the temple hill, having a wall of its own Nehemiah 3:27 might be reckoned either in Jerusalem or outside it. Here it is made a separate place.

Verse 22

The business intended was probably the internal business, as distinct from the “outward business” Nehemiah 11:16 : a part of which was the apportionment of the royal bounty among the members of the choir Nehemiah 11:23.

Verse 23

The goodwill of Artaxerxes toward the ministers employed in the temple service, had been previously shown by his exempting them from taxation of every kind Ezra 7:24. Now, it would seem, he had gone further and assigned to the singers an allowance from the royal revenue.

Verse 24

It is difficult to say what office Pethahiah filled. So far as we know, the only regular officers under the Persian system of government were the satrap, the subsatrap, the permanent royal secretary, the commandant, and the occasional commissary.

Verse 25

Kirjath-arba - i. e., Hebron. In the absence of the Hebrews during the captivity, the place had recovered its old name Joshua 15:13.

Verses 26-35

Many of the places mentioned in these verses are mentioned in Joshua 15:27-39; Joshua 18:21-28.

Verse 36

Of the Levites were divisions - i. e., “the Levites were scattered among various towns both in Judah and Benjamin.”

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Nehemiah 11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/nehemiah-11.html. 1870.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile