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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 3

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Nehemiah Chapter 3

Nehemiah 3:1 "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel."

The sheep gate seemed to be a gate in the eastern wall. It would have been appropriate for the high priest and priests to work on this wall. Not everyone wanted the wall built. Nehemiah would give credit to those who did help with the re-building. Probably, the high priest was an over-seer of the work, rather than doing the actual work. It is interesting, that as soon as the gate was finished, they sanctified it. They worked on the gate and the wall on the eastern side. This gate was called the sheep gate, because it was the gate the sheep were brought through, before sacrificing them at the temple.

Nehemiah 3:2 "And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri."

These were men assigned to the northeast corner of the wall. Very little else is known of Zaccur, or Imri.

Nehemiah 3:3 "But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who [also] laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof."

The fish gate was in the northern wall. It was very near the gate that is called today, the Damascus gate. The fish were brought in this gate into Jerusalem from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. They not only made the gate, but hung it for use, as well. The bars were an extra precaution of locking the gates to keep the enemy out.

Nehemiah 3:4 "And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana."

This appears, that these were working on the wall next to the fish gate.

Nehemiah 3:5 "And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord."

These were the people, and not their leaders, working on the wall and gates. The working people helped with the building. It seemed, the upper class did not try to stop the others from helping. They just did not work themselves.

Nehemiah 3:6 "Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof."

This is, possibly, speaking of the Damascus gate. This gate appeared to be still standing and was repaired to fit in with the wall. Again, they 60 fixed it where it could be barred and locked in the event they were attacked.

Nehemiah 3:7 "And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river."

It appears, that each group of people repaired the wall and gate that led to the town they lived in. Gibeon and Mizpay were north of the city of Jerusalem, so their people repaired the north wall and gate.

Nehemiah 3:8 "Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of [one of] the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall."

Apothecaries made perfume and ointment. The repairs did not seem to be as extensive on this side of the wall. To fortify is to strengthen something that is already there. This, possibly, means the wall was not as destroyed here, and they just worked on it and made it stronger.

Nehemiah 3:9 "And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem."

These were people who actually lived within the city limits of Jerusalem. It would be of great advantage to them personally to have the wall and gates repaired.

Nehemiah 3:10 "And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah."

Again, it appears this repair was done near their home. They were wanting to help build the wall to help everyone, but would be personally benefited by protecting their own homes.

Nehemiah 3:11 "Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces."

This seems to be the piece of the wall that was not repaired by those mentioned in Nehemiah 3:10-11.

Nehemiah 3:12 "And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters."

It appears, that Rephaiah and Shallum each ruled half of Jerusalem. He, possibly, had no sons, so his daughters worked with him on the repair.

Nehemiah 3:13 "The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate."

The 1,000 cubits means 1,500 feet. This would be a very large area for repair. They, also, repaired the valley gate. In this instance it appears, the inhabitants of Zanoah did the work. They were located on the west side of Jerusalem. There were, probably, a large number of people working on the gate and wall, making it possible for them to repair such a long span.

Nehemiah 3:14 "But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof."

This was a district located close to Tekoah. Again, they built the gate and fixed it to be locked in case of war.

Nehemiah 3:15 "But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David."

Shallum actually ruled the district around Mizpah. Again, each of them chose a portion of the wall and a gate that was on the side their area was located on. Perhaps, it took less trouble to get to the work, since it was nearby. This fountain furnished water for the city in case of a siege. The king’s garden had been watered by this fountain. The stairs could be speaking of those that had led to the temple at one time.

Nehemiah 3:16 "After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, unto [the place] over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty."

This is another Nehemiah. "Beth-zur" means house of the rock. It is located between Hebron and Jerusalem. This is one specific area that Nehemiah had wanted to repair, because of the sepulchres.

Nehemiah 3:17 "After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part."

We see, from this, that nearly every class of people had a few who helped with the repairs. We can, also, see that not everyone helped. Again, Keilah, here, is not speaking of a city, but of a region.

Nehemiah 3:18 "After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah."

Verses 17 and 18 are companions. Bavai ruled one half of the region and Hashabiah the other half.

Nehemiah 3:19 "And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning [of the wall]."

We read earlier of the two who ruled one half each of Mizpah. Perhaps, this is speaking of the town, here, and not the region. The portion of the wall that he repaired was the northwestern angle. It appears in each of these corners, there was a place to easily get fighting gear. This is, possibly, what this is speaking of as the armory.

Nehemiah 3:20 "After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning [of the wall] unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest."

It appears, that Baruch was set aside as having a burning desire to finish the wall, as Nehemiah wanted to finish it. The word "earnestly" is the key to this. This is the second section that he had worked on. The house of the high priest had to be near the wall. The high priest and the priests had worked on the eastern wall. The house of the high priest was, probably, on the eastern wall somewhere. "Eliashib" means God will restore.

Nehemiah 3:21 "After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib."

Meremoth was a priest of a family of priests. He worked on the wall that was adjacent to the house of the high priest.

Nehemiah 3:22 "And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain."

This is speaking of the priests who settled in the Jordan valley.

Nehemiah 3:23 "After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house."

This Azariah was the same one who helped Ezra teach the law. He was a Levite, as were all of the others mentioned in this verse. They had houses near the house of the high priest, and they repaired the portion of the wall near their houses.

Nehemiah 3:24 "After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning [of the wall], even unto the corner."

This is speaking of an area of the wall from the house of Azariah to the corner of the wall. Binnui is believed by some to be the Levite Bavai.

Nehemiah 3:25 "Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning [of the wall], and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, that [was] by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh."

The king’s house, here, is speaking of the old palace of David. Each palace had its own prison. This would have been in the court of the palace.

Nehemiah 3:26 "Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto [the place] over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out."

We remember, that the Nethinims did servile work in the temple. They would have lived close to the wall, as well as the priests. Ophel was a ridge in the city of Jerusalem. It actually was located toward the Kidron valley on the edge of town. The water gate was speaking of the gate the water drained away from the temple area. There was a tower on each corner of the wall to help see intruders from a distance before they got to the wall.

Nehemiah 3:27 "After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel."

The Tekoites started their repairs at the spot where the Nethinims had stopped. It seemed, all of these were spoken of as they took up the repairs, where the other stopped. This was going all around the city wall explaining, as they came to them.

Nehemiah 3:28 "From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house."

This gate was in the eastern wall, where horses could enter the city. This would have been near the palace for the convenience of seeing David. It appears, that each priest repaired the portion nearest his own house.

Nehemiah 3:29 "After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate."

Zadok was a priest. Shemaiah was a priest, also. His distinction was that he was a keeper of the east gate. They repaired the wall at the location of their own houses.

Nehemiah 3:30 "After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber."

These were, possibly, chief men who worked on the wall. These were not the same as the verses we just read, who repaired the wall near their own houses. These seemed not to have a house near the wall.

Nehemiah 3:31 "After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner."

The goldsmith would be a very respected man in the community. He worked on the eastern wall near the corner.

Nehemiah 3:32 "And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants."

These were not priests, or high government officials. They were just average citizens who were respected, because of their businesses.

Nehemiah 3 Questions

1. Who builded the sheep gate.

2. What portion of the building did the high priest, probably, do?

3. Why was the gate called the sheep gate?

4. The men, in Nehemiah 3:2, worked on the _____ ________ ________.

5. Who built the fish gate?

6. Why was it called the fish gate?

7. What were the bars on the gate for?

8. Who, of the Tekoites, did not work on their portion of the gate?

9. Nehemiah 3:6 is, possibly, speaking of the ______________ gate.

10. Each group of people repaired the part of the gate that was nearest their _________.

11. Apothecaries made _________ and ___________.

12. What is different about Nehemiah 3:8?

13. Rephaiah ruled the half part of __________.

14. How would some of the people be personally benefited by the repair of the wall?

15. Who ruled the other half of Jeruslaem?

16. 1,000 cubits is __________ feet.

17. Who repaired the dung gate?

18. What does "Beth-zur" mean?

19. Who had a burning desire to finish the wall, as Nehemiah had?

20. Who was Meremoth?

21. Who helped Ezra teach the law?

22. Where were the priests’ houses located?

23. The king’s house, in Nehemiah 3:25, is speaking of what?

24. The Nethinims did ____________ work in the temple.

25. The water gate is speaking of what?

26. Who was keeper of the east gate?

27. Who was the goldsmith’s son?

Verses 1-2

Neh 3:1-2

Introduction

DETAILS OF HOW THEY ALL WORKED ON THE WALL

The skill and ability of Nehemiah appear dramatically in this chapter. Even the High Priest, of all people, was enlisted in the work. Nobody was exempt; the entire population of Judah, some twenty five or thirty thousand men, all went to work at one time on the city wall. No wonder it was finished in record time.

Eliashib the High Priest, like many of the nobles and a large number of priests, would oppose some of Nehemiah’s reforms; but this building of the city wall was a project that received the unanimous support of the whole population, a fact that clearly surfaces in this chapter.

Nehemiah 3:1-2

THOSE WHO BUILT THE WALL AT THE SHEEP GATE

"Then Eliashib the High Priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, even unto the tower of Hananel. And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri."

It was quite appropriate that the High Priest and his associate workers should have been assigned to build that section of the wall that included the sheep gate, because that was located at the northeastern corner of the city adjacent to the Temple area. We do not subscribe to the critical dictum that this chapter, in any manner, is some kind of an addition to Nehemiah’s account. Nehemiah was the one who planned and engineered every portion of this remarkable building project. Only Nehemiah had the ability to have done such a thing.

"There were approximately forty sections of the wall, in variable lengths and proportions; and, as they are listed here, they appear in a succession to the left, that is, counterclockwise, beginning here at the sheep gate and finally ending at this same sheep gate."

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:1. In this great work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, all classes and ranks of men took part. The chapter recounts the order in which the different workmen were located on their jobs at the particular places on the wall. It was necessary to describe the separate parts one at a time, and in the order in which they were placed. But we should understand that all of the parts were built up at the same time (Nehemiah 4:6). The description of the work started with the sheep gate. See my comments at Nehemiah 2:13 on the importance of gates. Since this gate was where the description of the work began and ended, it must have been of special interest. I shall quote what Smith’s Bible Dictionary says about it: "Sheep-gate, The, one of the gates of Jerusalem as rebuilt by Nehemiah. Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 3:32; Nehemiah 12:39. It stood between the tower of Meah and the chamber of the corner, Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 3:32, or the gate of the guardhouse, Nehemiah 12:39; Authorized Version, ’prison-gate.’ The latter seems to have been at the angle formed by the junction of the wall of the city of David with that of the city of Jerusalem proper, having the sheep-gate on the north of it. The position of the sheepgate may therefore have been on or near that of the Bal el Kattanin." It is easy to understand why the sheep gate would be important. There were thousands of sheep driven into the city each year to be offered in sacrifice. It would be natural, then, that a place would be sanctified or devoted to such a sacred purpose. Tower of Meah . . Hananeel. Towers were fortified structures elevated on the walls of cities and other places requiring defense. They served also as lookouts against any approaching enemy. There were no less than 6 of these towers on the wall of Jerusalem, two of which are named in this verse. These towers were given individual names, but the origin of such names is not told us.

Nehemiah 3:2. Citizens from various cities came in a body to the work. The men of Jericho were given the place next to that of the high priest.

Verses 3-5

Neh 3:3-5

Nehemiah 3:3-5

THOSE WHO WORKED ON THE WALL HAVING THE FISH GATE

"And the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof. And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, and next unto them repaired Meshullum the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, and next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but the nobles put not their neck to the work of their lord."

The fish gate was the northern gate of the city, See map on page 138 by Merrill F. Unger.

"The Tekoites lived south of the city and were probably in sympathy with Sanballat, or afraid of reprisals if they openly identified themselves with Nehemiah." This would account for the fact that "Their nobles put not their neck to the work."

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:3. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says that among the purposes of the gates of eastern cities was that of public markets. We understand, therefore, that the fish gate was the place where fish were bought and sold. That part of the wall was built by the sons of Hassenaah. Since the work was extensive and many workmen were needed, the mention of the men in given cases may be all we can know of them. The part mentioned indicates that a gate of such walls that surrounded the great cities had a very complete formation. They had to be made strong against the battering rams of an invading force attempting to overthrow the structure.

Nehemiah 3:4. The simple information in this verse is the fact that Meremoth, Meshullam and Zadok each were placed in order upon the repair work of the wall.

Nehemiah 3:5. Certain groups came in a body to the city to join in the work. These groups would be assigned to their proper places on the job, and it would then be up to the group to make their own distribution of the workers as to turns. The unit as a whole would get the credit for assistance in the project, although certain individuals in the unit might be shirkers. So in this place, there was the work of the Tekoites, people of Tekoa. The common people among them worked on the job, but the nobles or the ones who thought they were more important, felt above the work.

Verses 6-12

Neh 3:6-12

Nehemiah 3:6-12

LIST OF THE FOREMEN WHO REPAIRED THE OLD GATE

"And the old gate repaired Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullum the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereoff and set up the doors thereof, and the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof. And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River. Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths. And next unto them repaired Hananiah one of the perfumers, and they fortified Jerusalem even unto the broad wall. And next unto them repaired Rephaih the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem. And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabneiah. Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters."

Critics attempting to make this chapter some kind of an interpolation claim that, "It is intent upon underscoring the role of the clergy in the rebuilding of the wall." However, no such intention is evident in this chapter. On the other hand, the focus is not upon the clergy at all, but upon the fact that EVERYBODY engaged in the work. "All classes participated in the project, including priests (Nehemiah 3:1), goldsmiths and perfumers (Nehemiah 3:8), rulers of the city and even women (Nehemiah 3:12), also Levites (Nehemiah 3:17) and merchants (Nehemiah 3:32)." Where is there any emphasis on the clergy in all that?

Not merely the population of Jerusalem engaged in this project, but their fellow-countrymen who lived throughout the area. "These included the men of Jericho (Nehemiah 3:2), the Tekoites (Nehemiah 3:5), the men of Gibeon and Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:7), the inhabitants of Zanoah (Nehemiah 3:13), those who lived in the district of Bethzur (Nehemiah 3:16), those in Keilah (Nehemiah 3:17), and the men of the Plain, the Jordan valley (Nehemiah 3:22)." Again, we must ask, "Where is there any special emphasis upon the clergy in this chapter"?

Another factor that ties this chapter irrevocably to the person of Nehemiah is the frequent mention of the great beams used for the doors of the various gates. Only Nehemiah had the king’s permission to bring these, presumably from the forest of Lebanon; and it was therefore the men directly obedient to the orders of Nehemiah who delivered these great timbers to the various locations. The fact of Nehemiah’s name not being mentioned in these verses is of no importance whatever.

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:6. We have no information especially applicable to the old gate. It was doubtless so called because it was among the first to be built, and made on the general requirement for gates. Two men, Jehoiada and Meshullam were assigned this old gate.

Nehemiah 3:7. A throne does not always signifiy the place of a monarch. The original word here is also translated by seat and stool. It means the headquarters of the man who was the governor of the province. It was near the wall and the persons named worked on that span of it that extended between this seat and the old gate.

Nehemiah 3:8. The wall was evidently heavier or broader in some places than in others. Such parts would need no special fortification, but would be a fortification in itself. The tradesmen mentioned in this verse added certain fortifications to their repair of the wall, until it reached to the broad wall as stated above.

Nehemiah 3:9. A ruler of the kind mentioned here does not mean specifically an official in the ordinary sense of the word. It is from SAR and Strong defines it, "a head person (of any rank of class)." It has been rendered by captain, chief, general, governor, keeper, lord, master, prince and steward. The meaning is, this man had a high prestige over one half of the city. It would be significant, therefore, that such a man contributed to the humble work of rebuilding the wall, consisting of manual labor.

Nehemiah 3:10. Jedaiah lived either within the limits of Jerusalem, or near it on the outside. He was assigned that part of the wall near his house.

Nehemiah 3:11. Malchijah repaired the other piece. That means the second section of the part that was repaired by Hattush in the preceding verse. One of the towers described previously in this chapter was near the furnaces or ovens. That would be an important point because of its connection with the provisions for the tables. It was necessary, therefore, that one of these fortifications be near these ovens.

Nehemiah 3:12. Nehemiah 3:9 told of one man with certain influences over half of the city. This verse tells of the other half of the city under a like oversight, represented by Shallum and his daughter.

Verses 13-14

Neh 3:13-14

Nehemiah 3:13-14

THE WALL THAT INCLUDED THE VALLEY GATE AND THE DUNG GATE REPAIRED

"The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits of the wall unto the dung gate.

"And the dung gate repaired Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof."

Thousands of the Israelites worked on the walls, but only the leaders of the companies working on the various sections were named. Note that one group of workers build a thousand cubits of the wall (Nehemiah 3:13). That is fifteen hundred feet! The Rechabites also appear to have made their contribution, as may be indicated by the name of the ruler mentioned in Nehemiah 3:14.

The next section of the wall mentioned is that including the fountain gate, on the southeastern section of the city, where the walls were the most completely demolished. That accounts for the fact that the majority of the workers were employed there.

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:13. Valley gate was so named because it opened out upon one of the depressions near the city. The work of these people reached from this gate to the dung gate. See Nehemiah 2:13 for comments on this place. Hanun’s work stopped at this last gate.

Nehemiah 3:14. The dung gate itself was repaired by Malchiah. He had a position similar to these other rulers already described. His home community was at Beth-haccerem which was near Bethlehem.

Verses 15-27

Neh 3:15-27

Nehemiah 3:15-27

REGARDING THE WALL INCLUDING THE FOUNTAIN GATE

"And the fountain gate repaired Shellun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall by the pool of Shelab by the king’s garden even unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and unto the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty men. After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the district of Keilah, for his district. After him repaired their brethren, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah. And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another portion, over against the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the High Priest. After him repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz another portion, from the door of house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. And after him repaired the priests, the men of the Plain. And after them repaired Benjamin and Hasshub over against their house. After them repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah beside his own house. After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another portion, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, and unto the corner. Palal the son of Uzai repaired over against the turning of the wall, and the tower that standeth out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired. (Now the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that standeth out.) After him, the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that standeth out, and unto the wall of Ophel."

It is significant that many of the prominent citizens of Jerusaelm, whose houses were near the wall, elected to repair that section of the wall that was beside their: houses. This is easily understood, because their own personal safety and security were thus procured and protected.

The exact locations and extent of each one of these various "repairs," although unknown to us, and vigorously disputed as to details by special scholars in the topography of ancient Jerusalem, are nevertheless of little interest to present day Christians. The big point in all of this is simply that the total population of Judah and Jerusalem enthusiastically joined hands and hearts and re-fortified the ancient city. No doubt, those walls were finished, during the period when Sanballat and Tobiah were either sending someone, or going themselves to see Artaxerxes I in the hope of stopping it. Such a journey, round trip, would have taken at least six or eight months; and long prior to that, the walls were completed, the great gates rebuilt, the bolts and the bars put in place, and the city secured by the military. What a magnificent achievement!

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:15. This fountain is referred to in Nehemiah 2:14.’ It was a place of much water for Nehemiah’s horse could not pass over the spot. A gate was to be built there and the work was in charge of Shallum. This man was another ruler of the vicinity of Mizpah. Siloa is another form of "Siloam," and we recall that a pool was at that place (John 9:7). The king also had a garden near the spot, and in connection with all these interesting things were some steps constructed leading from the district of Jerusalem called Zion or the city of David. The part of the wall enclosing all these objects was in charge of this same man, Shallum.

Nehemiah 3:16. The name Nehemiah is a coincidence with the author of this book. He was another one of the kind of rulers that means men of influence. His territory was half of the town of Beth-zur. His work on the wall reached from that of Shallum to the part of the city where the burial ground of David was. His span of the work also passed the pool (2 Kings 20:20), and the house of the mighty, which was an arsenal.

Nehemiah 3:17. The two Levites were Rehum and Hashabiah. The last named was another ruler, or man of personal influence, and his part of the territory for such prestige was half of the town of Keilah.

Nehemiah 3:18. Bavai was the ruler having the other half of Keilah. He and several others named in the chapter were Levites.

Nehemiah 3:19. Another piece means another section of the wall. Armoury is from NESHEQ and Strong defines it, "military equipment, i. e. (collectively) arms (offensive or defensive), or (concretely) an arsenal." Turning of the wall means the corner of it. This man repaired that part of the wall that went near the arsenal and on to the corner of the enclosure of the city.

Nehemiah 3:20. Baruch had a section of the wall beginning at the corner that we have just turned, and reaching as far as the opening made for the house of the high priest.

Nehemiah 3:21. The house of the high priest would certainly not be of excessive length. Yet Meremoth was assigned only that much of the wall as reached from the door of this house to the end of it.

Nehemiah 3:22. The priests who worked on this job were the ones of the descendants of Aaron who were eligible for the office. There were a great many of them by this time. Not all who were thus qualified were in active priestly service, but all of them would be called priests as regards the work on the wall. However, the unit of these priests who worked on this section of the wall were the ones from a distinct locality called the plain. The singular pronoun is used when we know that a number of men worked. That is because each group would be under the foremanship of one man.

Nehemiah 3:23. The three men named in this verse lived near the wall and they were assigned the section nearest their homes. That was not only a gracious provision, but it enabled them to lose less time getting to their work. It was necessary for them to go to their houses occasionally (Nehemiah 4:23).

Nehemiah 3:24. Certain men had homes near the wall, and their houses were used as the marking place of beginning of some section of the wall. Binnui had the section extending from the spot near the home of Azariah to the next corner of the structure.

Nehemiah 3:25. This section was repaired by two men, and the part of their assignment began just at the corner that was left by Bennui, and extended past one of the towers described previously. This tower was especially important, because it overlooked the house of the king that was near the prison.

Nehemiah 3:26. The Nethinims were a class of servants that originated in the days of Solomon. The objects that located the section assigned to them were, one of the gates and one of the towers referred to above. This particular tower was for the defense of this water gate, and it was on the east side of the city.

Nehemiah 3:27. Ophel was a ridge of ground inside Jerusalem, and it was the site of certain dwellings. Wall of Ophel just means that part of the wall reaching that far. The Tekoites were inhabitants of Tekoa.

Verses 28-32

Neh 3:28-32

Nehemiah 3:28-32

THE WALL OF JERUSALEM COMPLETELY REBUILT

"Above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his own house. And after him repaired Shemaiah the son of Shecanaiah, the keeper of the east gate. After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another portion. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. After him repaired Malchijah one of the goldsmiths unto the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner. And between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants."

See the helpful map of Jerusalem (in 444 B.C.) on page 138 of the printed book.

E.M. Zerr:

Nehemiah 3:28. Some more of the priests (descendants of Aaron), lived near the wall connected with the horse gate. This was a gate used for the entrance of these animals when they were to be brought in for any purpose. These priests were permitted to have this portion of the wall. It would give them the same advantages mentioned in Nehemiah 3:23.

Nehemiah 3:29. Zadok was another man who lived near the wall, and he had his work there, which joined up with the work of the priests. The man who worked near him was the janitor of the east gate. Such men were sometimes called porters.

Nehemiah 3:30. The section of the wall considered in this verse was repaired by three men. The last one named lived near the wall. See comments at Nehemiah 3:23.

Nehemiah 3:31. The section of the wall considered in this verse reached from the spot near the chamber or house of Meshullam to the corner of the wall. This span went near one group of the Nethinims; a location of merchants; and one of the gates of the city. This particular gate was named Miphkad for some reason not given in the history.

Nehemiah 3:32. This section reached from the corner to the sheep gate, the place of the beginning. The last phrase means the beginning of the chapter and thus the beginning of the description of the project. The work was all in operation at the same time (Nehemiah 4:6). We are not given any information as to the comparative extent or difficulty of the various sections of the wall referred to in this chapter. Neither do we know the exact number of men who worked on any given part. But since the whole work went up together, we must conclude that proper consideration was given to the subject. Just the right men and number of them, and with the proper qualifications, would be assigned to the several divisions of the great wall, so that no confusion or misfits would occur. The project went forward as one grand piece of work until it reached a harmonious and complete whole.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Nehemiah 3". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/nehemiah-3.html.
 
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