Nehemiah 7
Benson Commentary
Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
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.

That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.
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.

Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
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.

And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
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.

These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;
Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;
The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.
The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.
The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.
The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.
The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.
The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.
The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.
The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.
The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.
The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.
The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.
The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two.
The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.
The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.
The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.
The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.
The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.
The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.
Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
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.

And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments.
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
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.

Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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