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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Nehemiah 3

 

 

Verse 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.

Then Eliashib the high priest - the grandson of Jeshua, and the first high priest after the return from Babylon.

Rose up, with his brethren the priests - i:e., set an example by commencing the work, their labours being confined to the sacred localities.

They builded the sheep gate - close to the temple. Its name arose either from the sheep-market, or from the pool of Bethesda, where the sheep were washed, which was there (John 5:2) [in this passage, however, the rendering of the Septuagint, epi tee probatikee, is erroneously explained in the English version by agora, market, instead of by pulee, gate, as here and in Nehemiah 12:39], and thence they were taken to the temple for sacrifice.

They sanctified it, and set up the doors. Being the common entrance into the temple, and the first part of the building repaired, it is probable that some religious ceremonies were observed in gratitude for its completion. It was the first fruits, and, therefore, in the sanctification of it the whole lump and building was sanctified.

The tower of Meah. This word is improperly considered, in our version, as the name of a tower. It is the Hebrew word for 'a hundred,' so that the meaning is, they not only rebuilt the sheep gate, but also a hundred cubits of the wall, which extended as far as the tower of Hananeel.


Verse 2

And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

Next unto him builded the men of Jericho ... The wall was divided into portions, one of which was assigned respectively to each of the great families which had returned from the captivity; and this distribution, by which the building was carried on in all parts simultaneously with great energy, was eminently favourable to despatch. 'The villages where the restorers resided being mostly mentioned, it will be seen that this circumstance affords a general indication of the part of the wall upon which they laboured-such places being on that side of the city nearest their place of abode; the only apparent excepception being perhaps where they repaired more than their piece: having completed their first undertaking (if they worked anymore), there being no more work to be done on the side next their residence, or having arrived after the repairs on that part of the city nearest them under operation were completed, they would go wherever their services would be required' (Barclay's 'City of the Great King').


Verses 3-7

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 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.

Fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall - or double wall, extending from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, 400 cubits in length; formerly broken down by Joash, king of Israel, but afterward rebuilt by Uzziah, who made it so strong, that the Chaldeans, finding it difficult to demolish it, had left it standing.


Verses 9-11

And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 12

And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. Shallum ... the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem , [ sar (Hebrew #8269) ch


Verse 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 inhabitants of Zanoah. There were two towns so called in the territory of Judah (Joshua 15:34; Joshua 15:56).


Verse 14

But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

Beth-haccerem - a city of Judah, supposed to be now occupied by Bethulia, on a hill of the same name, which is sometimes called also the mountain of the Franks, between Jerusalem and Tekoa.


Verse 15

But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, 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.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 16

After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.

Nehemiah ... the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur , [ sar (Hebrew #8269) ch


Verse 17-18

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 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.

At the turning of the wall - i:e., the wall across the Tyropoeon, being a continuation of the first wall connecting mount Zion with the temple wall (Barclay).


Verses 20-24

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 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 tower which lieth out from the king's high house - i:e., watch-tower by the royal palace, in the fortification wall of the palace.


Verse 26

Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

The Nethinims - i:e., given to the sanctuary (cf. Nehemiah 7:46; Nehemiah 7:60; Nehemiah 7:73; Nehemiah 10:29; Nehemiah 11:3; Nehemiah 11:21; 1 Chronicles 9:2; Ezra 2:43; Ezra 2:58; Ezra 2:70; Ezra 7:7; Ezra 8:20; with Numbers 3:9). Not only the priests and the Levites, but the meanest persons that, like the Gibeonites, belonged to the house of God, contributed to the work. The names of those who repaired the walls of Jerusalem are commemorated, because it was a work of piety and patriotism to repair the holy city. It was an instance of religion and courage to defend the true worshippers of God, that they might serve him in quietness and safety, and, in the midst of so many enemies, go on with this work, piously confiding in the power of God to support them.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Nehemiah 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/nehemiah-3.html. 1871-8.

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