Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Nehemiah 3



The names of those who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and an account of the particular parts assigned to each person.

Before Christ 445.

Verse 1

Nehemiah 3:1. Then Eliasbib the high priest Eliashib was the grandson of Jeshua the high-priest; and he, with his brethren the priests, set a noble example, in being the first to rebuild the walls of the holy city, which the Babylonians had burned when they took it. The sheep-gate was on the south side of the city, in that part of the valley which looked toward mount Zion and the temple. It had its name from the sheep intended for sacrifice being brought through it to the temple. See John 5:2.

REFLECTIONS.—The work being resolved upon, we have here the distribution of it. Holy emulation warmed their hearts, and zeal for the public welfare quickened their labour.

1. The high-priest, with his brethren, led the way; and when they had finished their portion, they sanctified it by prayer and thanksgiving for the assistance that God had given them. Note; (1.) Ministers of God should shew, among the foremost, zeal for his glory, and diligence in his service. (2.) Our common employments should be sanctified by prayer and thanksgiving. (3.) They who look up to God for help will be enabled to finish the work that he has given them to do.

2. The rest zealously followed so good an example; and not the inhabitants of Jerusalem only, but those of the neighbouring cities and villages, cheerfully lent their hand to the work. Rulers, and people of all trades and occupations, assisted. None were so great as to think themselves debased by labouring; none so little, but they could contribute something to the general good. The nobles of Tekoa alone refused their assistance; and therefore a just brand of infamy stands for ever on their memory. Note; (1.) Unanimity in a good cause is the surest token of success. (2.) Every man has something to do for God, according to his station and abilities: none are so little as to be useless; none so great, as to be above the work of the Lord.

3. Shallum's daughters are honourably mentioned, as assisting in this good work. Though they could not themselves handle the trowel, they could hire assistance, and provide materials. Good women, in every age, have been great helpers in the cause of God.
4. One of the builders is noted for his zeal, Neh 3:20 another, though the sixth son, is remarked as more honourable than his brethren, who seem not to have, like him, engaged in the service. Note; (1.) When the work is God's, we cannot be too zealously affected. (2.) The blessing of God does not always follow the birthright: the younger son is often the better man.

5. Some, who had finished their first portion, having done sooner than their brethren, undertook a second. When we affect the service, we shall not merely consider how much we must do to save our credit; but shall do all we can, because we love the cause.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Nehemiah 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.