Nehemiah 7

CHAPTER VII

Nehemiah makes use of proper precautions in guarding the city

gates, 1-4.

He proposes to reckon the people according to their genealogies;

and finds a register of those who came out of Babylon, with

Zerubbabel, 5-7.

A transcript of the register, 8-10.

Account of those who came from other provinces; and of priests

who, because they could not show their register, were put away

from the priesthood as polluted, 61-65.

The sum total of the congregation: of their men-servants and

maid-servants; singing men and women; horses, mules, camels, and

asses, 66-69.

The sums given by different persons for the work, 70-72.

All betake themselves to their several cities, 73.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII

Verse 2. My brother Hanani] This was the person who gave

Nehemiah the account of the desolate state of the Jews,

Ne 1:2. He is now made ruler of Jerusalem, probably because

Nehemiah was about to return to the Persian court. And he found

this man to be one in whom he could trust: 1. Because he was a

faithful man-one who had a proper belief in God, his government,

and his protection; and being devoted to the interests of his

people, would be faithful in the discharge of his office. 2.

Because he feared God above many-was the most religious person in

the congregation; would govern according to the laws; would take

care of the interests of pure religion; would not oppress, take

bribes, nor abuse his authority; but act in all things as one who

had the fear of God continually before his eyes. These are the

proper qualifications of a governor.

Verse 3. Until the sun be hot] The meaning of this is, the

gates were not to be opened before sunrise, and always shut at

sunset. This is the custom to the present day in many of the

cities of the East if a traveller arrives after sunset, he finds

the gates shut; and on no consideration will they open them till

the next morning, so that those who come late are obliged to lodge

in the plain, or under the walls.

Every one-over against his house.] Each was obliged to guard

that part of the wall that was opposite to his own dwelling.

Verse 4. The houses were not builded.] The city was not yet

rebuilt, only a row of houses in the inside of the wall all round.

Verse 5. God put into mine heart] With this good man every

good thing was of GOD. If he purposed any good, it was because

God put it into his heart; if he did any good, it was because the

good hand of his God was upon him; if he expected any good, it was

because he earnestly prayed God to remember him for good. Thus,

in all his ways he acknowledged God, and God directed all his

steps.

Verse 7. Who came with Zerubbabel] The register which he found

was that of the persons only who came long before Zerubbabel,

Ezra, and Joshua the son of Josedek, which register could not

answer in every respect to the state of the people then. Several

persons and families were no doubt dead, and others had arrived

since. Nehemiah probably altered it only in such parts, leaving

the body of it as it was before; and this will account for the

difference between it and the register that is found in Ezra,

Ezr 2:1-58.

Verse 8. The children of Parosh] As this chapter is almost

entirely the same with the second chapter of the book of Ezra, it

is not necessary to add any thing to what is said there; and to

that chapter, and the accompanying notes, the reader is requested

to refer.

Verse 19. The children of Bigval, two thousand threescore and

seven] Some MSS. read two thousand and sixty-six, as in

Ezr 2:14.

Verse 33. The men of the other Nebo] The word other is not in

the parallel place, Ezr 2:29, and is wanting in many of

Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS. This Nebo is supposed to be the

same as Nob or Nobah, in the tribe of Benjamin.

Verse 34. The other Elam] To distinguish him from the Elam

mentioned Ne 7:12.

Verse 54. The children of Mehida] Many of Kennicott's and De

Rossi's MSS., have Mehira.

Verse 68. Their horses, &c.] The whole of this verse is

wanting in fifty of Kennicott's MSS., and in twenty-nine of

those of De Rossi, in the edition of Rab. Chayim, 1525, in the

Roman Edit. of the Septuagint; also in the Syriac and in the

Arabic. It should however be observed, that the Arabic omits the

whole list, having nothing of the chapter but the first five

verses. The whole is found in the parallel place, Ezr 2:66.

Calmet's note on this passage is incorrect.

Verse 69. Their camels, four hundred thirty and five] After

this verse St. Jerome has inserted the following words in the

Vulgate:-

Hucusque refertur quid in commentario scriptum

fuerit; exin Nehemiae historia texitur.

"Thus far do the words extend which were written

in the register; what follows belongs to the

history of Nehemiah."

But this addition is not found either in the Hebrew or any of

the ancient versions. It is wanting also in the Complutum and

Paris Polyglots, but is in the Editio Prima of the Vulgate.

Verse 70. The Tirshatha gave] The Septuagint, particularly the

copy in the Codex Alexandrinus, intimates that this sum was given

to the Tirshatha, or Nehemiah: καιτωαθερσαθαεδωκανεις

θησαυρον, And to the Athersatha they gave for the treasure, &c.

For the meaning of the word Tirshatha, see on Ezr 2:63.

Verse 71. Two thousand and two hundred pounds] The

Septuagint has two thousand THREE hundred minae of silver.

Verse 73. All Israel, dwelt in their cities] It was in

reference to this particularly that the public registers were

examined; for by them they found the different families, and

consequently the cities, villages, &c., which belonged to them,

according to the ancient division of the lands. It seems that the

examination of the registers occupied about a month; for as soon

as the walls were finished, which was in the sixth month, (Elul,)

Ne 6:15, Nehemiah instituted the examination mentioned in this

chapter, Ne 7:5;

and by the concluding verse we find that the different families

had got into their paternal cities in the seventh month, Tisri,

answering to a part of our September and October. Thus the

register determined every thing: there was no room for complaint,

and none to accuse the governor of partiality.

Copyright information for Clarke