|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-32 The rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. - The work was divided, so that every one might know what he had to do, and mind it, with a desire to excel; yet without contention, or separate interests. No strife appears among them, but which should do most for the public good. Every Israelite should lend a hand toward the building up of Jerusalem. Let not nobles think any thing below them, by which they may advance the good of their country. Even some females helped forward the work. Some repaired over against their houses, and one repaired over against his chamber. When a general good work is to be done, each should apply himself to that part which is within his reach. If every one will sweep before his own door, the street will be clean; if every one will mend one, we shall all be mended. Some that had first done helped their fellows. The walls of Jerusalem, in heaps of rubbish, represent the desperate state of the world around, while the number and malice of those who hindered the building, give some faint idea of the enemies we have to contend with, while executing the work of God. Every one must begin at home; for it is by getting the work of God advanced in our own souls that we shall best contribute to the good of the church of Christ. May the Lord thus stir up the hearts of his people, to lay aside their petty disputes, and to disregard their worldly interests, compared with building the walls of Jerusalem, and defending the cause of truth and godliness against the assaults of avowed enemies.
Verse 26. - The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel. Ophel was "the long, narrowish, rounded spur or promontory which intervenes between the central valley of Jerusalem (the Tyropoeon) and the Kidron, or Valley of Jehoshaphat" (Grove). The Nethinims, who had their dwellings on this spur, were set to fortify a portion of the eastern circuit, but apparently restored not so much their own wall as that which lay north of it, at the edge of the present Haram area. Here must have been the water gate, which carried off the superfluous water from the temple reservoirs; and here was the great tower that lieth out, whose foundations have been recently discovered. It stood at the southeastern angle of the great platform on which the temple was built.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover, the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel,.... An high tower upon the wait, in this part of it, see 2 Chronicles 27:3, these were servants to the Levites, and repaired here, where their dwellings were:
unto the place over against the water gate toward the east: and as one part of their work was to fetch water for the temple, they were here very properly situated; it led to the king's garden, the valley of Jehoshaphat, and from thence a plain way to Bethany:
and the tower that lieth out; from the wall.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. the Nethinims—Not only the priests and the Levites, but the common persons that 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 [Bishop Patrick].
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