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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Nehemiah 7

 

 

Verse 1-2

Nehemiah 7:1-2. And the Levites were appointed — When I had given orders that the Levites should be summoned from all places to celebrate the dedication of the wall, as was done, Nehemiah 12:27. I gave my brother Hanani — Of whom see Nehemiah 1:1-2. And Hananiah, the ruler of the palace — Of Nehemiah’s court, justly called a palace, because he lived in great splendour, like a viceroy, though it was wholly at his own cost. Charge over Jerusalem — To preserve its peace and safety, and to take particular care of shutting the gates of the city. For he was a faithful man — Namely, Hananiah, last mentioned: for it was needless to say any thing in commendation of Hanani, who had shown his piety and zeal for God and his country in taking a tedious journey from Jerusalem to Shushan, to inform Nehemiah of the sad state of Jerusalem, and to implore his helping hand to relieve it, chap. 1. And feared God above many — More than most men did, or above the common pitch of piety. This is added as the ground and reason, both why he was faithful, and why Nehemiah put such confidence in him, because he knew that the fear of God would keep him from yielding to those temptations to perfidiousness which he was likely to meet with when Nehemiah was departed, and against which a man destitute of God’s fear had no sufficient defence. Thus Nehemiah chose magistrates and officers, not out of any partial and carnal respects to his own kindred, or acquaintance, or favourites, but from true piety and prudence, fixing on such as were most fit for, and would be most faithful in their employments.


Verse 3

Nehemiah 7:3. Let not the gates be opened until the sun be hot — Till it be clear and broad day; when the people will be ready in case of an assault. While they stand by — The watches appointed to that end. Nehemiah was now about to return to the court, and left the charge of the city to these in his absence. Every one to be over against his house — That is, every one in his turn keeping watch with others, in that watching-place which is next to his house.


Verse 4

Nehemiah 7:4. The houses were not builded — That is, not all, nor completely built; but only some slight buildings of boards or stones were erected, for the present use of the generality of the people.


Verse 5

Nehemiah 7:5. And my God put into my heart, &c. — Whatever good motion is put into our minds, we must acknowledge it to come from God; and even what is done by human prudence is to be ascribed to the direction of divine providence. To gather together the nobles and the rulers of the people — Not only for the particular end here mentioned, but for divers other weighty purposes and matters, of which the following chapters treat. That they might be reckoned by genealogy — In order that it might appear to what family each person belonged, and where their ancient habitations lay, which, for a great number of them, were in the city, the peopling of which was now his design. I found a register of them which came up at the first To wit, with Zerubbabel, as it follows, Nehemiah 7:7. But this following catalogue differs in some particulars from that in Ezra, chap. 2., of which see the notes there. The author of the Universal History observes, that though the genealogies had been once rectified, soo 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 therefore likely that some of them were afterward 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 we find in the genealogies of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.


Verse 70

Nehemiah 7:70. The Tirshatha — The governor, namely, Nehemiah. So it is no wonder that the number of the moneys, and other things here contributed, differ from that of Ezra, chap. 2., because this was another collection: that was made in Zerubbabel’s time, this in Ezra’s.


Verse 73

Nehemiah 7:73. So the priests and the Levites, &c.,dwelt in their cities — When all the business before mentioned was finished, the people were sent back, by Nehemiah’s direction, to the several cities to which they belonged; where they remained till the seventh month came, which was five days after the wall was finished, that being on the twenty-fifth day of the sixth month, chap. Nehemiah 6:15.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Nehemiah 7:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/nehemiah-7.html. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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