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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Nehemiah 7

 

 

Verse 2

Hanani. He must have returned to Jerusalem with Nehemiah. Compare Nehemiah 1:2.

and = even. Compare Nehemiah 1:2.

palace = stronghold. Compare Nehemiah 2:8. North of Temple area.

was a faithful man = was as [it were]truth"s own man, man.

feared = revered.

God. Hebrew. "eth-ha"elohim = the [true, or triune] God.


Verse 3

stand by: as on guard.

shut. Hebrew. guph, to close, as a gate.

one. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

house = dwelling. See note on Nehemiah 7:4.


Verse 4

large and great = wide, or open, and large.

few therein. This could not have been said if Zerubbabel had already returned with nearly 50,000 people (Ezra 2:64-67).

the houses were not builded = no sign of houses being built. This statement refers to the permanent stable habitations of the city proper which Haggai speaks of as being in existence forty-four years later (Haggai 1:4, Haggai 1:9). The word bayith, house, means a dwelling, and in Nehemiah 2:3 with Nehemiah 3:31 is rendered "place", which clearly indicates its meaning in these passages. Among the ruined houses left by Nebuchadnezzar many might easily have been made habitable sufficiently to fulfill the conditions of Nehemiah 8:16.

This portion corresponds with Ezra 1:5, Ezra 2:70. Therefore all that precedes (Nehemiah 1:1 -- Nehemiah 7:4) must come, chronologically, before Ezra 1:5, Nehemiah"s record here interrupted, and resumed after some twelve years. See Nehemiah 5:14. This portion was written after the Temple had been rebuilt (Compare Nehemiah 8:5, Nehemiah 8:16), when Darius Hystaspis was reigning (see App-57, App-58, App-50.)


Verse 5

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

found. This account probably written long after this date (426): say, between 404 and 400 B.C. Hebrew = I find that the list of names was, &c.

I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first. It must be borne in mind that Nehemiah wrote long after this date (426 B.C.); probably between 403 and 400 B.C. It is quite natural therefore that he should write of finding such a book as this. When he says, "I found a book", &c, it does not mean that Nehemiah found or discovered the register at that time; but, writing long after, he says, "I find that the list of names was, so and so", &c,

a register, which is here inserted. It consists of Judah and Benjamin. Levi was not here as a distinct community (compare Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 10:9).


Verse 6

children = sons.


Verse 7

came with Zerubbabel. That was in 426 B.C. The covenant and separation did not take place till 404 B.C. twenty-two years later (Neh 10, where Zerubbabel is not mentioned, probably because then dead).

the People of Israel. Another proof that Israel is not exclusively used of the ten tribes. See verses: Nehemiah 7:61, Nehemiah 7:73, Nehemiah 7:47; and note on 1 Kings 12:17. The names are repeated from Ezr 2. See note on Nehemiah 7:66.


Verse 33

the other. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "echad = a certain, instead of "acher = another, or the other (rival).


Verse 34

the other. Some codices, with one early printed edition, read "one", or "a certain", as above.


Verse 46

The Nethinims. Descendants of the Gibeonites and other foreigners. Only 612 returned from Babylon: 392 with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:58. Ezra 7:60), and 220 with Ezra (Ezra 8:20. Ezra 11:21).


Verse 54

Mehida. Some codices, with four early printed editions, read "Mehira" (with r, Resh) instead of Mehida (with d, Daleth).


Verse 64

among those, &c. = wherein they were registered. Compare Ezra 2:62.

it was. Some codices, with six early printed editions, read "they were".

as polluted, put. See note on Ezra 2:62.


Verse 65

Urim and Thummim = the Urim and the Thummim. See notes on Exodus 28:30. Numbers 26:55.


Verse 66

congregation = assembly, convocation, or muster. Compare Ezra 2:64.

forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore. This number (42,360) agrees with Ezra 2:64. Though the two lists are not identical, there is no discrepancy, but the difference shows the independence of the two accounts:
Numbered in Neh. 7 42,360

Named in Neh. 31,089

Named in Ezra, not in Neh. 494 31,583

---------- ----------

Difference between names and numbers: 10,777


Verse 68

Their horses . . . mules. This verse is found in some codices, with six early printed editions.


Verse 70

some = a portion.

chiefs = heads.

gave. Nehemiah mentions what he, the chiefs, and the rest of the people gave. Ezra (Nehemiah 2:68, Nehemiah 2:69) mentions what only one portion gave. Hence the numbers are necessarily different.


Verse 71

pound. Hebrew. maneh. App-51.


Verse 73

the Nethinims. See note on Ezra 2:43.

the seventh month. This was in 426 B. C, not in 404 B. C, which is referred to in Nehemiah 9:1-3 and Ezra 9:1-4. See App-58.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/nehemiah-7.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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