|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 28. - From above the horse gate. This was a gate in the eastern wall (Jeremiah 31:40) through which horses could enter the city. It probably adjoined the old palace, being at or near the "turning of the wall" mentioned in vers. 24, 25. Nehemiah seems here to return to the point quitted in ver. 26, and to proceed thence northwards in order to complete the entire circuit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
From above the horse gate repaired the priests,.... So called, either because near it were stables for horses; or through it horses were led to be watered at the brook of Kidron, to which it was near; or to be exercised in the valley; Josephus (c) speaks of the "hippie", or horse tower, which might be near it:
everyone over against his house; for it seems there was a row of houses in which the priests dwelt, and each of them repaired as much of the wall as was right against his house.
(c) Ut supra. (De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2, 3.)
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