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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Nehemiah 7



Nehemiah places guards at the gates of the city, and within the city. A register of those who came first out of Babylon.

Before Christ 444.

Verse 2

Nehemiah 7:2. I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah, &c.— Nehemiah was now, most likely, returning to Shushan, to give the king an account of the state of affairs in Judea; and, therefore, he took care to place such men in the city as he knew would faithfully secure it in his absence. Hanani is said to be his brother; but he chose his officers, not out of partial views to his own kindred, but because he knew that they would acquit themselves in their employment with a strict fidelity. Hanani had given proof of his zeal for God and his country, in taking a tedious journey from Jerusalem to Shushan, to inform Nehemiah of the sad estate of Jerusalem. See ch. Nehemiah 1:2. And the reason why Nehemiah put such trust and confidence in Hananiah was, because he was a man of conscience, and acted upon religious principles, which would keep him from those temptations to perfidy which he might probably meet with in his absence, and against which a man destitute of the fear of God could have no sufficient defence. See Calmet. Respecting the register in the following part of this chapter, we refer to Ezra 2., Houbigant, Kennicott, and other writers who have considered the subject. The authors of the Universal History observe, that, though the genealogies had been once rectified soon after the return, there were still many families of priests, Levites, and people, who could not make out their claim to their tribes. It is likely, therefore, that some of them were afterwards enabled to do it, and were then inserted in this new register, together with those who came up with Nehemiah. Several of the old families which came up on the first edict might be by this time extinct; and these are the probable causes of the difference that we find in the genealogies of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Note; (1.) They who are eminent for the fear of God above many, are the fittest to be trusted with any public charge, because they will make a conscience of fulfilling it. (2.) They who would be always safe, must always be upon their guard. (3.) Every man's family is his great concern: he has need well to watch over them night and day, if he would preserve them from the destroyer.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.