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the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 11

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-36

Chapter 11

And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, that one in ten might dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities ( Nehemiah 11:1 ).

So when they came back, they actually inhabited quite a bit of the territory down towards Hebron, Beersheba, on up to Ramallah, Bethel, and all. Quite a bit of territory. There was only about 50,000 of them. And so they decided that one in ten, which means about 5,000 would dwell in Jerusalem. They wanted to maintain the capital city so they'd have a place of worship and all and the rest of the people... of course, Jerusalem isn't that good a farm territory. There's much better farming down in some of the valleys around Jerusalem than there is in Jerusalem itself. Down into, down towards Hebron, the Eshcol Valley and all, much better farming. Even down towards Bethlehem and the valley is down through there. So one in ten with... So they cast lots to find out which one would stay in Jerusalem and the rest would move into the surrounding territories and live in the surrounding territories. And so we have the names of the families upon whom the lots were drawn who should dwell in Jerusalem. And then beginning with verse Nehemiah 11:20 , the names of the families that were to dwell in the other cities round about. And some of the cities and the villages where they were to dwell. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Nehemiah 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/nehemiah-11.html. 2014.
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