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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 12

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-47

The Dedication of the Wall of Jerusalem

1. The priests] The names in Nehemiah 12:1-7 likewise appear with some variations in Nehemiah 10:3-8 see also Ezra 2:36-39.

8. The Levites] cp. Nehemiah 10:9-14. Over the thanksgiving] RM ’over the choirs.’

10. Jeshua] The high priest who returned with Zerubbabel. The succession of high priests is carried down to Jaddua, who was contemporary with Alexander the Great, so that the six generations cover the period from 536 to about 340. Eliashib the grandson of Jeshua was contemporary with Nehemiah.

12-21. The names that are repeated in these vv. from Nehemiah 12:1-7 present certain variations.

22. Johanan] probably the same as the ’Jonathan’ of Nehemiah 12:11. Darius] Since Jaddua was contemporary with Alexander the Great, the Darius here meant is probably Darius Codomannus. who was successively defeated by Alexander at the battles of the Granicus, Issus, and Arbela.

23. The book of the chronicles] some official record, not the ’Chronicles’ of the OT.

24. Jeshua the son of Kadmiel] to be corrected to ’Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel’: see Nehemiah 12:8, Nehemiah 10:9. Over against them] i.e. in the choir, where the singing was antiphonal.

25. The thresholds] RV ’the storehouses.’

26. In the days of Nehemiah] a date subsequent to the days of Joiakim, for the high priest in Nehemiah’s time was Eliashib, son of Joiakim.

27. The dedication of the wall] It is reasonable to suppose that the dedication of the wall followed closely upon its completion (related in Nehemiah 6:15), so that the events described in Nehemiah 8-10 may be later than those narrated in this c., which from the use of the first person (Nehemiah 12:31, Nehemiah 12:38, Nehemiah 12:40) seems to be derived from Nehemiah’s memoirs.

28. The plain country] better, ’The Plain’ (lit. ’circle’), i.e. the S. end of the Jordan valley: cp. Nehemiah 3:22. Others suppose the word to be used here in a general sense of the circuit of country round Jerusalem. Netophathi] RV ’the Netophathites.’

29. The house of Gilgal] RV ’Beth-gilgal.’

31. Two great companies, etc.] RV ’two great companies that gave thanks and went in procession.’ Went on the right hand] The two companies probably mustered on the W. side of the city, facing eastward: the company on the right under Ezra then moved southward, whilst the company on the left under Nehemiah moved northward; and the two eventually reunited on the E. of the city near the Temple.

35. Zechariah] the overseer of the right-hand company, corresponding to Jezrahiah (Nehemiah 12:42) in the other. His descent from Asaph suggests that he was a Levite, not a priest, so that for ’namely, Zechariah’ should be substituted ’also Zechariah.’

37. And at the fountain gate, etc.] better, ’and by the fountain gate and straight on.’

38. Went over against them] The words over against them should probably be altered, by an easy correction, to ’on the left hand’ (cp. Nehemiah 12:31), and the whole should run, ’and the other company.. which went on the left hand, and I and half of the people after it (went) upon the wall above the tower of the furnaces.. and above the gate of Ephraim and by the old gate and by the fish gate,’ etc.

39. The prison gate] RV ’the gate of the guard.’

40. In the house] better, ’at the house.’

44. Out of the fields] RV ’according to the fields’: alluding to certain arrangements for storing. Portions of the law] RV ’portions appointed by the law.’

45. The ward] better, ’the charge’: cp. 2 Chronicles 13:11.

46. In the days, etc.] LXX has ’in the days of David Asaph was of old chief.’

47. Every day his portion] RV ’as every day required.’ Sanctified them unto] RV ’sanctified for’: i.e. Israel set apart as holy certain portions for the Levites, and the latter for the priests.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Nehemiah 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/nehemiah-12.html. 1909.
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