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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Nehemiah 7

Verse 1

Since the watch of the temple had hitherto been kept by porters, singers, and Levites 1 Chronicles 26:1-19, so now the watch of the entire city was committed to men of the same three classes, their experience pointing them out as the most suitable persons.

Verse 2

My brother Hanani - See Nehemiah 1:2.

The ruler of the palace - Or, “the governor of the fortress.” See the marginal reference note.

He - i. e. Hananiah.

Verse 3

Until the sun be hot - An unusual precaution. The ordinary practice in the East is to open town gates at sunrise.

Verse 4

The people were few - The number of those who returned with Zerubbabel was no more than 42,360 Nehemiah 7:66. Less than 2,000 people had come with Ezra Ezra 8:1-20.

Verse 5

It is argued by some that the entire catalogue which follows Nehemiah 7:7-73 is not the register of them “which came up ‘at the first’,” but of the Jewish people in Nehemiah’s time. Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 are, however, very positive in their support of the usual view; and some of the arguments against it are thought to be met by considering the Nehemiah of Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 a person different from Nehemiah the governor; and “Tirshatha” an official title likely to have belonged to others besides Nehemiah (see the Ezra 2:63 note.)

Verses 70-73

Dwelt in their cities - Nehemiah’s quotation from Zerubbabel’s register ends here, and the narration of events in Jerusalem in his own day is resumed from Nehemiah 7:3. The narrative Nehemiah 8:0; Nehemiah 10:0 appears from internal evidence to be by a different author (see the introduction of the Book of Nehemiah).

The last two clauses of Nehemiah 7:73 should stand as the beginning of Nehemiah 8:0 (as in the Septuagint). The text would then run: “And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in their cities, the whole people gathered themselves together as one man,” etc. Compare the margin reference.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/nehemiah-7.html. 1870.