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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Nehemiah 3

 

 

Verses 1-32

Nehemiah 3:1. Eliashib the highpriest. He was the son of Joachim, the son of Joshua, and the third highpriest after the first and greatest return of the people from Babylon.—They sanctified it, by the exercises of devotion, it being a chamber of justice over the gate, as well as a tower of defence: David sanctified his palace. Psalms 30.

Nehemiah 3:3. The fish gate, on the north side of the city, where fish from the sea of Galilee was sold.

Nehemiah 3:6. The old gate, in the middle of the north wall; and so called because it was built by the Jebusites.—The beams, for strong citadels over each gate.

Nehemiah 3:7. The throne of the governor. His house and the hall of justice, which were on the wall.

Nehemiah 3:12. Shallum—ruler of the half-part of Jerusalem. Four cities are mentioned as having double governors; this policy seems to have been peculiar to the Persian government. The frequent causes of jealousy which must arise from two officers of equal power in the greater cities were, of course, thought to contribute to the safety of the empire. The frequent plots, insurrections and revolts, in the conquered provinces, had no doubt occasioned the conquerors to adopt this curious and uneasy measure.

Nehemiah 3:13. Zanoah, in the tribe of Judah.

Nehemiah 3:14. The dung gate, on the east side of the city, where the sweepings were deposited, leading to the valley of Hinnom.

Nehemiah 3:15. The gate of the fountain of the Gihon, a powerful spring above the city, which king Hezekiah had covered with arches that it might open within the city, lest a besieging enemy should find it.

Nehemiah 3:26. The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, a strong place outside the eastern wall. The Jews had now regained their liberty: but what remission did they give to these old inhabitants of Gibeon. See Joshua 9.

REFLECTIONS.

How great a blessing is a wise and good man to a nation. He dispels the gloom from the public mind, raises their hopes, unites their hearts, and directs their energies.

In public works, for the safety and happiness of a nation, all classes should cordially unite. The priests and the prince, the ladies by gifts; trades-men and Nethinims, dividing themselves into convenient companies, raised the extensive walls and lofty towers in the short space of fifty two days. The rich gave bread to the poor workmen, and a register of their work was their reward. When God sheds a willing spirit on a nation, what can resist their efforts; but when he blasts them with confusion of counsel, and weakness in design, how then can they stand? So it is in the church, when grace makes the members all of one heart and of one soul; and when the ministers and people do their utmost to build up the spiritual temple, or to raise an outward sanctuary for the comfort of public worship.

In this great work, no man was absolutely forced to put his hand to it, no punishment was inflicted on those odd and singular men who declined the work. The several companies who had done first, helped those whose task was harder, or who were in arrears of labour; all was a willing service; and so vigorous were their exertions, that they wrought till they had no more strength. How well would things go on and prosper, if on great occasions the christian church would do the same, and at all times travel on with a steady pace. Let us learn of these willing Jews to do all we can, according to our talents and means, in raising the walls of our spiritual Zion.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Nehemiah 3:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/nehemiah-3.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13
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