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This chapter contains the account of the government of Jerusalem under Nehemiah. A register also of the genealogy of them, who re turned first from the captivity of Babylon, both of the people, priests, Levites, and Nethinims.
(1) ¶ Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, (2) That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. (3) And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, and everyone to be over against his house. (4) Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
It is to be supposed that the holy city of Jerusalem, stood upon the very same ground as before its desolation. And though at present not peopled as heretofore with a multitude of inhabitants, yet looking for the accomplishment of God's promises, the same room as before was taken in. Zechariah 7:4-7 . and Zechariah 8:3-6 . By the appointment of Hanani and Hananiah to the government, it seems probable that Nehemiah was looking forward to his return to the court of Persia. This is the same Hanani which brought tidings to Nehemiah concerning Jerusalem, as mentioned in Nehemiah 1:2 . The faithfulness of his partner Hanamah is honorably mentioned. May we not spiritualize the passage in reference to the faithful ministers of Christ, and remark, that if the security of Jerusalem, in its frontiers and gates, became so important, how much more should those who stand at the doors of the Lord's heritage use vigilance and circumspection, to see who are admitted, and that they are indeed of the true household of faith.
(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. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein, (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, everyone unto his city; (7) Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this; (8) The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two. (9) The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two. (10) The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two. (11) The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. (12) The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. (13) The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. (14) The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. (15) The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight. (16) The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight. (17) The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two. (18) The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. (19) The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven. (20) The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five. (21) The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. (22) The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight. (23) The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four. (24) The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve. (25) The children of Gibeon, ninety and five. (26) The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight. (27) The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight. (28) The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two. (29) The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. (30) The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one. (31) The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two. (32) The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three. (33) The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two. (34) The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. (35) The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. (36) The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. (37) The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one. (38) The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. (39) The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. (40) The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. (41) The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. (42) The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. (43) The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. (44) The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight. (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. (46) The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth, (47) The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, (48) The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai, (49) The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, (50) The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, (51) The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah, (52) The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim, (53) The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, (54) The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, (55) The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah, (56) The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. (57) The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, (58) The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, (59) The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon. (60) All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two. (61) And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel. (62) The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. (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. (64) These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. (65) And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. (66) The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, (67) Beside their manservants 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. (68) Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five: (69) Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
Here is a register exactly corresponding to the one made in the days of Ezra, though this must have been at least 40 years after. Ezra 2:0 . When I say exactly, I mean in all the great and leading points in which the value and faithfulness of the record is made to depend. Though I think it not necessary to detain the Reader with making the same observations upon it which I did on that chapter, yet I cannot help observing that as the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to have this register faithfully handed down to the church both by Ezra and Nehemiah, it may serve to show us its great importance. And next to the one grand cause of all records of families among God's people, which is wholly with an eye to Jesus, it is not, I think, a subject of small moment to consider also how sweetly it testifies of the love of God the Holy Ghost to the people of Jesus, in that the genealogy is thus twice put down. As if to teach every poor, despised and humble follower of the Lord Jesus, that how little soever esteemed he may be among men, yet is he of great price in the sight of God. Think of it, my brother, I beseech you. The Reader will not fail to remark also, as a further confirmation of this subject, that Nehemiah expressly saith the thing was from the Lord. My God (said he) put it into my heart. Oh! how sweet is it to trace all gracious dispositions up to their source!
(70) And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments. (71) And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver. (72) And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments. (73) So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
The liberal gifts of the people plainly testify their sense of the Lord's presence, and his blessing upon them. In all ages these testimonies are among the truest tokens of the real work of grace upon the heart.
LEAVING the subject of Jerusalem's safety, and the means the zealous Nehemiah adopted to preserve her from the foe, I would call upon myself and Reader to an higher subject arising out of it, and consider how our Almighty Governor, when about to return to the court of heaven, having finished the holy building of salvation in his own blood and righteousness, set watchmen upon the walls of his Zion, and poured forth abundance of grace that a standing ministry might be alive to the safety and security of his redeemed ones. Yes, blessed Jesus! methinks I see thee in the moment of thy departure sending forth thy servants, and bidding them to be very anxious for the everlasting interests of thy Zion; and under thy blessed Spirit to watch at thy gates, and at the doors of thine house, night and day, and to give the Lord Jehovah no rest, nor peace, until he hath made Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Ye ministers of my God! see that ye are found faithful to your post! Plead with the people! plead with God in Christ; make mention of his purchase, of his blood, of his cross, of the register of the names in the book of life written in heaven; and never cease, never give over; but be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort. And oh thou adorable Emmanuel! do thou bless and crown the labours of thy faithful sent servants, that Jerusalem may again be peopled with men as a flock.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34