Nehemiah 11To dwell - That the buildings of the city might be compleated, and the safety of it better provided for. Blessed - Because they denied themselves, and their own safety and profit for the publick good; for this city was the butt of all the malicious plots of their enemies; and for the present it was rather chargeable than beneficial to its inhabitants. Province - Of Judea, which was now made a province. Israel - The generality of the people of Israel, whether of Judah, or Benjamin, or any other tribe. These he calls Israel rather than Judah, because there were many of the other tribes now incorporated with them; and because none of the tribes of Israel, except Judah and Benjamin, dwelt in Jerusalem. Overseer - The captain of their thousand. Outward - For those things belonging to the temple and its service, which were to be done without it, or abroad in the country, as the gathering in of the voluntary contributions, or other necessary provision out of the several parts of the land. To begin - In the publick and solemn prayers and praises, which were constantly joined with the morning and evening sacrifice, at which the singers were present, and praised God with a psalm or hymn which, this man began. The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel - Which was upon the wall of Jerusalem, because they were to do the servile work of the temple: therefore they were to be posted near it, that they might be ready to attend. Was, &c. - Or, on the king's part, to determine civil causes and controversies between man and man, by the laws of that kingdom; between the king and people; as in matters of tribute, or grievances. Divisions - Or, for the Levites (those who were not settled in Jerusalem) there were divisions, places appointed for them, and distributed among them. Thus were they settled free and easy, tho' few and poor. And they might have been happy, but for that general lukewarmness, with which they are charged by the prophet Malachi, who prophesied about this time and in whom prophecy ceased for some ages, 'till it revived in the great prophet.
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