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Neh 11:1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts [to dwell] in [other] cities.
Ver. 1. And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem ] This city, being before repaired, beginneth now to be repeopled. See Nehemiah 7:4 . The rulers there took up their seat (as was fit, and as in all chief cities is usual), so that thither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, &c. And there were set the thrones of judgment, Psalms 122:5 .
The rest of the people also cast lots ] The dispose whereof is wholly of the Lord; and therefore none could reasonably repine.
To bring one of ten ] This shadowed out the paucity of those that shall inhabit the heavenly Jerusalem; according to Isa 6:13 Jeremiah 3:14 . Christ at the last day will do as Joshua did (saith a divine) to find out who had stolen the Babylonish garment: there were many brought together, and all to find out one, Joshua 7:21 . So all shall then appear; out of them a final number seducted, that have heard of Christ; out of them those that have professed him; and out of them, those that have professed in sincerity; and these,
- Numero vix sunt totidem, quot
Thebarum portae, vel divitis ostia Nili. (Juvenal, Sat. 13.)
How many, think you, shall be saved in this city? (said Chrysostom to the people of Antioch, where he had long preached, and was much admired). It will be a hard speech to you, but I will speak it; though there be so many thousands of you, yet there cannot be found a hundred that shall be saved; and I doubt of them too; for what villany is there in youth! what sloth in old age! and so he goes on.
The holy city ] Jerusalem is so called, because God had chosen it to set his name there. The heathen God haters had always an edge against it, and this made people so unwilling to inhabit it. Our Edward I had too high a conceit of it, when he charged his son upon his death bed to carry his heart there, and left 32,000 pounds for that purpose.
Neh 11:2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
Ver. 2. And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves ] All the volunteers, those Liberi et libentes, free willing ones, that, moved with a zeal for God and his service, seated themselves at Jerusalem, though it were little for their safety or profit. Sincerity is an enemy to sinisterity; it strains out self-respects, and procures a man great respect in the hearts of good people, who are ready to commend them and pray for them, as here.
Neh 11:3 Now these [are] the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, [to wit], Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants.
Ver. 3. Now these are the chief of the province ] So Judea is called, because now subject and tributary to the king of Babylon; as afterwards it was to the Romans (and is therefore called a province, Act 25:1 ), and is now to the Turk. How then could those Jews in the Gospel say, We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man; but that they cared not what they said in a bravado? Spaniards are said to be impudent braggers, and extremely proud in the lowest ebb of fortune. These Jews were so certainly; and so they continue.
Neh 11:4 And at Jerusalem dwelt [certain] of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;
Ver. 4. Certain of the children of Judah, &c. ] Yea, and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh too, 1 Chronicles 9:3 ; where the same is set down as here, but the number is greater. And why? Here only those are reckoned who inhabited Jerusalem by lot; but there the volunteers also. See Nehemiah 11:2 .
Neh 11:5 And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.
Ver. 5. And Maaseiah the son of Baruch ] See Trapp on " Ezr 2:3 "
Neh 11:6 All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem [were] four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.
Ver. 6. Valiant men ] Heb. Men of ability and activity. It comprehendeth all the four cardinal virtues.
Neh 11:7 And these [are] the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah. Neh 11:8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.
Ver. 7,8. Little Benjamin, the smallest of the tribes of Israel, 1 Samuel 9:21 , yields more by half than Judah. Jerusalem stood in both these tribes.
Neh 11:9 And Joel the son of Zichri [was] their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah [was] second over the city.
Ver. 9. Their overseer ] Or commissary.
Neh 11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, [was] the ruler of the house of God.
Ver. 11. Ruler of the house of God ] One of the high priest’s great deputies. See Numbers 3:32 1 Chronicles 9:11 2 Chronicles 19:11 .
Neh 11:12 And their brethren that did the work of the house [were] eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,
Ver. 12-24.] In all 1192. The total of priests and Levites 1476, and of Judah and Benjamin 1396. So that there were more priests and Levites than of the lay people; which argues their zeal to be greatest. There were also 172 porters, who were all Levites.
Neh 11:17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, [was] the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
Ver. 17. To begin the thanksgiving in prayer ] To set tunes to psalms of praise, and to begin those tunes, as precentor, chief chanter.
Neh 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city [were] two hundred fourscore and four. Neh 11:19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, [were] an hundred seventy and two.
Ver. 18, 19. See Nehemiah 11:12-13 .
Neh 11:20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, [and] the Levites, [were] in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.
Ver. 20. Were in all the cities ] Dispersed abroad to instruct the people, and to be as the salt of the earth, to keep it from putrifying.
Neh 11:21 But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa [were] over the Nethinims.
Ver. 21. Dwelt in Ophel ] See Nehemiah 3:26 . Some will have it to be not a tower, but a village, near to Jerusalem.
Neh 11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem [was] Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers [were] over the business of the house of God.
Ver. 22. The overseer ] The Vulgate has it, the bishop.
Neh 11:23 For [it was] the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.
Ver. 23. The king’s] viz. Of Persia, Ezra 6:8-9 ; Ezra 7:2 ; Ezra 7:24 .
Neh 11:24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, [was] at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.
Ver. 24. At the king’s hand] Was his plenipotentiary. Invested with full power, esp. as the deputy, representative, or envoy of a sovereign ruler; exercising absolute power or authority.
Neh 11:25 And for the villages, with their fields, [some] of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and [in] the villages thereof,
Ver. 25. In the villages thereof ] Heb. In the daughters: for villages seem to be so to the greater cities.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Nehemiah 11". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13