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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 7

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

Since the watch of the temple had hitherto been kept by porters, singers, and Levites 1 Chronicles 26:1-19, so now the watch of the entire city was committed to men of the same three classes, their experience pointing them out as the most suitable persons.

Verse 2

My brother Hanani - See Nehemiah 1:2.

The ruler of the palace - Or, “the governor of the fortress.” See the marginal reference note.

He - i. e. Hananiah.

Verse 3

Until the sun be hot - An unusual precaution. The ordinary practice in the East is to open town gates at sunrise.

Verse 4

The people were few - The number of those who returned with Zerubbabel was no more than 42,360 Nehemiah 7:66. Less than 2,000 people had come with Ezra Ezra 8:1-20.

Verse 5

It is argued by some that the entire catalogue which follows Nehemiah 7:7-73 is not the register of them “which came up ‘at the first’,” but of the Jewish people in Nehemiah’s time. Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 are, however, very positive in their support of the usual view; and some of the arguments against it are thought to be met by considering the Nehemiah of Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 a person different from Nehemiah the governor; and “Tirshatha” an official title likely to have belonged to others besides Nehemiah (see the Ezra 2:63 note.)

Verses 70-73

Compared with Ezra 2:69 there is considerable difference between the totals for gold, silver, and garments. The usual explanation is that of corruption in the one or the other of the passages.

Nehemiah 7:73

Dwelt in their cities - Nehemiah’s quotation from Zerubbabel’s register ends here, and the narration of events in Jerusalem in his own day is resumed from Nehemiah 7:3. The narrative Nehemiah 8:0; Nehemiah 10:0 appears from internal evidence to be by a different author (see the introduction of the Book of Nehemiah).

The last two clauses of Nehemiah 7:73 should stand as the beginning of Nehemiah 8:0 (as in the Septuagint). The text would then run: “And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in their cities, the whole people gathered themselves together as one man,” etc. Compare the margin reference.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/nehemiah-7.html. 1870.
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