And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not show their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Hill of salt, Tel-harsa, Hill of the wood, and a few other places, are mentioned. Of the priests, there are also three families without their genealogy.Ezra 2:59. Which went up from Tel-melah, &c. — These were names of some cities in the Babylonish empire, from whence many went along with the Jews to Judea. They were of the Jewish religion, and probably were the children of those who had been carried captive before the general captivity; but they had lost their genealogies, and could not show from what families they were derived, and therefore could not obtain any certain possession in Judea, as those did who knew and could show to what family and city they belonged.Tel-mela, Tel-harsa; the names of the places whence they came, and where they had lived in the time of their captivity.
Cherub, Addan, and Immer; the names either of the heads of the families living in the places last mentioned, or of other places where the persons here understood had dwelt. Isaiah 37:12.
Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel; these were such that professed the Jewish religion, and went for Jews in Babylon, but could not trace their pedigree, and tell what family they were of, who their ancestors, and where they had lived in Judea; they had lost their genealogical tables, if they ever had any, and could not make it out, whether their parents were Israelites or proselyted Gentiles; or they were such who had been exposed, and taken out of the streets, and their parents unknown.And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)59–63. Israelites and Priests of uncertain genealogy
59. Tel-melah, Tel-harsa] R.V., Tel-melah, Tel-harsha i.e. Salthill and Forest-hill, probably names of localities in Babylonia.
Cherub, Addan, and Immer] These are names not of people, but, in all probability, of three villages in one district of Babylonia. Rawlinson suggests that Cherub is the Cheripha of Ptolemy, and that Tel-melah is Telme.
There are then three districts, Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, and Cherub-Addan-Immer, from which came the three families Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda.
Addan] appears in Nehemiah 7:59 ‘Addon’.
their fathers’ house] their fathers’ houses R.V. They were able to show their recent ancestry, but not their descent from the great clans or households into which the tribes were divided. They could not prove either of the two greatest essentials in a Jewish genealogy, their place in the household or their membership in a tribe.
This technical failure to produce their genealogy probably deprived them of the full rights of citizenship. They were not refused participation in the Return. But the names do not appear in later lists, Ezra 10:25-43; Nehemiah 10:1-27.Verse 59. - Tel-melah is probably the Thelme of Ptolemy ('Geograph.,' 5:20), a city of Lower Babylonia, situated in the salt tract near the Persian Gulf. Hence the name, which means "Hill of Salt." Cherub is no doubt Ptolemy's Chiripha, which was in the same region. The other places here mentioned are unknown to us, but probably belonged to the same tract of country. Tel-Harsa means "Hill of the Wood." They could not show their father's house. It is more surprising that so many of the returning exiles had preserved their genealogies than that a certain number had omitted to do so. Considering the duration of the exile, its hardships, and the apparent improbability of a restoration, there could have been no cause for wonder if the great majority had forgotten their descent. 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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