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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Nehemiah 12

Verses 1-26


Lists of priests and Levites (12:1-26)

Following the lists of residents of Jerusalem are the lists of priests and Levites. The first of these records the names of those priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel and Joshua (12:1-9). (The Ezra mentioned in this list is not the more commonly known Ezra.) After recording the descendants of Joshua for the next six generations (10-11), the writer returns to record the heads of the other original priestly families (12-21).
Besides dealing with the families of priests, the records also deal with ordinary temple servants. Some of the records extend to an era later than the time of Nehemiah (22-26).


Verses 27-47


Dedication of the wall (12:27-13:3)

The story continues from where it left off in 10:39. After the reading of the law, the celebration of the Festival of Tabernacles and the people’s oath of loyalty to the covenant, the wall was dedicated. Priests, Levites, singers, musicians and leading citizens joined in the ceremony (27-30). The people assembled at a point beside the wall on one side of the city. They then divided into two groups and set off marching in opposite directions around the wall. One group was led by Ezra (31-37), the other by Nehemiah (38-39). The two groups met on the opposite side of the city at the temple, where they joined in offering sacrifices and praising God with much rejoicing (40-43).
Officials were then appointed to oversee the collection and distribution of money and supplies that the people brought to the temple. All Israelites gave one tenth of their income to this central fund. From there it was divided among the Levites, who assisted the priests and provided music, singing and other services in the temple. The Levites in turn gave one tenth of their income to support the priests (44-47). A further reading from the law reminded the people to keep God’s temple holy. Pagans were to be refused entry (13:1-3).


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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Nehemiah 12". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/nehemiah-12.html. 2005.