We have in this chapter an account of the residence of the rulers and certain others who voluntarily undertook to make Jerusalem the place of their abode. The list also of those chosen by lot to dwell there.
(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. (2) And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
It doth not appear what was the cause that the generality of the people were averse to live in Jerusalem. (As it was the holy city, one might have expected that they would have been more eager to have fixed their residence there, than in the distant villages or lesser towns of Israel). Probably the fear of the enemies of Israel, or the apprehension of the Persian power, under which they were in tribute. Certain it is, however, that those who volunteered to live there were considered true patriots, and had the blessing of the people. Reader! even now it requires much grace to step forward in the cause of Jesus, and declare ourselves to be volunteers in his cause.
(3) Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt everyone in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants. (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; (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. (6) All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men. (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. (8) And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight. (9) And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city. (10) Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin. (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. (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, (13) And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, (14) And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men. (15) Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; (16) And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God. (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. (18) All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four. (19) Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.
That the dwellers in Jerusalem were counted worthy of double honor is evident from the Holy Ghost having caused their names to be thus honorably recorded. Oh! it is most valuable indeed to be recorded among the servants of the Lord.
(20) ¶ And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance. (21) But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims. (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. (23) For it was the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day. (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. (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, (26) And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet, (27) And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and in the villages thereof, (28) And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof, (29) And at Enrimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth, (30) Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom. (31) The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages, (32) And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, (33) Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, (34) Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, (35) Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. (36) And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
No doubt all these, though not resident in Jerusalem, were of high esteem, and probably gracious souls scattered through the cities and villages of Judah to be examples of others in following the Lord. It is well to be noticed in any way that is honourable in the service of the Lord. No one, however humble in his station, is overlooked or forgotten when thus a follower of the Lord, How graciously God himself speaks of such, when as the High and lofty One, inhabiting eternity. Jehovah declares that he dwelleth with the man that is of an humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15.
MY soul! whilst thou readest the honourable testimony that is given to the people who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem, the holy city; and observest how the people blessed them for it; think of the yet far happier privilege of those who dwell under the continual light of God's countenance, and are citizens with the saints and of the household of faith. Their admission into the church is sacred; their residence there is blessed; great are their privileges, and everlastingly secure their interest. United to their spiritual head, the Lord Jesus; united to each other in him; members of his mystical body, and members of one another; how closely joined to Jesus; what blessings, mercies, enjoyments, portions, are they born to, and entitled to, by their new birth, redemption in Jesus, and their privileges in his blood and righteousness? My soul! is this thy mercy? Art thou indeed a resident in the holy city? Hath the Son of God made thee free indeed! oh! how sweet to live under his constant eye; to see now the king in his beauty by faith, and shortly to see him in his glory! Blessed king in Zion! precious Lord of Jerusalem, even the beloved Jerusalem, which in the days of thy flesh thou didst weep over; and for the redemption of which thou didst shed thy blood; be thou my chief joy, my daily portion. Thy people shall indeed dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations. They shall be continually praising thee. Lord, make me of the happy number, that dwelling in thy Jerusalem below I may at length be admitted into the new Jerusalem which is above, when she shall come down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, to take all her citizens that God himself may be with them, tabernacle forever in them, and wipe away all rears from their eyes.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Nehemiah 11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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