The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Chronicles 9:2 note). Ezra 2:58, together with those who descended from Solomon's servants, who seem to be the remains of the Canaanites in the land, whom Solomon made bondservants of, 1 Kings 9:20, who, and their posterity, became proselytes; or those sprung from men that were domestic servants of Solomon's, and valued themselves on that account; the number of the Nethinims and these together were three hundred ninety and two. The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)50. the children of Mehunim] R.V. Meunim. These have been identified with the Maonites who oppressed the children of Israel in the days of the Judges (Jdg 10:12). It is very possible that the Meunim were leagued with the Moabites and Ammonites against Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1). Uzziah obtained the mastery over the Meunim (2 Chronicles 26:7). Very possibly it is the descendants of the Meunim whom Uzziah made prisoners, to whom the verse refers.
If this be so, the Meunim were the people of Maon, Bedouins like the Midianites, having their headquarters south of the Dead Sea, not far from Petra.
the children of Nephusim] R.V. Nephisim. Both readings are found. The LXX. has Νεφουσὶμ. ‘Nephisim’ seems the most probable, since we naturally incline to identify the name with the clan of Naphish, the Israelite or Arab mentioned in Genesis 25:15; 1 Chronicles 1:31. From another passage, 1 Chronicles 5:18-22, we learn that they with others belonged to the tribe of Hagrites (A.V. Hagarites) and experienced defeat, followed by wholesale massacre and captivity, at the hands of the Transjordanic tribes Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
In Nehemiah 7:52 they are called ‘Nephushesim’.Ezra 2:45, Ezra 2:46, and Ezra 2:50), are omitted in Nehemiah; the name Shalmai (Ezra 2:46) is in Nehemiah 7:48 written Salmai; and for נפיסים, Ezra 2:50, Nehemiah 7:52 has נפושׁסים, a form combined from נפוּסים and נפישׁים. All other variations relate only to differences of form. Because Ziha (ציהא, Ezra 2:43) again occurs in Nehemiah 11:21 as one of the chiefs of the Nethinim, and the names following seem to stand in the same series with it, Bertheau insists on regarding these names as those of divisions. This cannot, however, be correct; for Ziha is in Nehemiah 11:21 the name of an individual, and in the present list also the proper names are those of individuals, and only the sons of Ziha, Hasupha, etc., can be called families or divisions. Plural words alone, Mehunim and Nephisim, are names of races or nations; hence the sons of the Mehunim signify individuals belonging to the Mehunim, who, perhaps, after the victory of King Uzziah over that people, were as prisoners of war made vassals for the service of the sanctuary. So likewise may the sons of the Nephisim have been prisoners of war of the Ishmaelite race נפישׁ. Most of the families here named may, however, have been descendants of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:21, Joshua 9:27). The servants of Solomon must not be identified with the Canaanite bond-servants mentioned 1 Kings 9:20., 2 Chronicles 8:7., but were probably prisoners of war of some other nation, whom Solomon sentenced to perform, as bondsmen, similar services to those imposed upon the Gibeonites. The sons of these servants are again mentioned in Nehemiah 11:3. In other passages they are comprised under the general term Nethinim, with whom they are here computed. Among the names, that of הצּבים פּכרת (Ezra 2:57), i.e., catcher of gazelles, is a singular one; the last name, אמי, is in Nehemiah 7:59 אמון.
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