Nehemiah 11:21
But the Nethinims dwelled in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Ophel.—The Nethinims on the promontory of Ophel were either within or without the city, according as the one wall or the other was taken. Here they are regarded as outside.

Nehemiah 11:21. The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel — Which was upon the wall of Jerusalem, because they were to do the servile work of the temple; therefore they were to be posted near it, that they might be ready to attend. 11:1-36 The distribution of the people. - In all ages, men have preferred their own ease and advantage to the public good. Even the professors of religion too commonly seek their own, and not the things of Christ. Few have had such attachment to holy things and holy places, as to renounce pleasure for their sake. Yet surely, our souls should delight to dwell where holy persons and opportunities of spiritual improvement most abound. If we have not this love to the city of our God, and to every thing that assists our communion with the Saviour, how shall we be willing to depart hence; to be absent from the body, that we may be present with the Lord? To the carnal-minded, the perfect holiness of the New Jerusalem would be still harder to bear than the holiness of God's church on earth. Let us seek first the favour of God, and his glory; let us study to be patient, contented, and useful in our several stations, and wait, with cheerful hope, for admission into the holy city of God.Ophel, the southern spur of the temple hill, having a wall of its own Nehemiah 3:27 might be reckoned either in Jerusalem or outside it. Here it is made a separate place. 17. the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer—that is, the leader of the choir which chanted the public praise at the time of the morning and evening sacrifice. That service was always accompanied by some appropriate psalm, the sacred music being selected and guided by the person named. No text from Poole on this verse. But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel,.... An high place or tower on the wall of Jerusalem, see 2 Chronicles 27:3,

and Ziha, and Gispa, were over the Nethinims; had the oversight of them, and took care that they did their work; they were such themselves, but the principal of them, see Ezra 2:43.

But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. the Nethinims] R.V. the Nethinim.

in Ophel] See Nehemiah 3:26. Their quarters were on the summit of the Hill or Mound, S. of the Temple height.

Ziha and Gispa (R.V. Gishpa)] Ziha’s name occurs at the head of the Nethinim in Ezra 2:43; Nehemiah 7:46; and there can be little doubt that ‘Gishpa’ is to be identified with ‘Hasupha’ in the same list.Verse 21. - The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel. See above, ch. 3:26 Ophel, the southern prolongation of the temple hill, was a sort of suburb of Jerusalem, sometimes reckoned as part of the city, sometimes as distinct from it. It was a convenient position for the Nethinims, who were employed in menial offices about the temple. Ziha seems to represent the leading Nethinim family (Ezra 2:43; Nehemiah 7:46). Of Levites, Shemaiah, a descendant of Bunni, with the members of his house; Shabbethai and Jozabad, "of the heads of the Levites over the outward business of the house of God," i.e., two heads of the Levites who had the care of the outward business of the temple, probably charged with the preservation of the building and furniture, and the office of seeing that all things necessary for the temple worship were duly delivered. The names Shabbethai and Jozabad have already occurred, Nehemiah 8:7, as those of two Levites, and are here also personal names of heads of Levites, as the addition הלויּם מראשׁי informs us. As the office of these two is stated, so also is that of those next following in Nehemiah 11:17; whence it appears that Shemaiah, of whom no such particular is given, was head of the Levites charged with attending on the priests at the sacrificial worship (the האלהים בּית מלאכת, Nehemiah 11:22). The three named in Nehemiah 11:17, Mattaniah an Asaphite, Bakbukiah, and Abda a Jeduthunite, are the chiefs of the three Levitical orders of singers. Mattaniah is called התּחלּה ראשׁ, head of the beginning, which gives no meaning; and should probably, as in the lxx and Vulgate, be read התּהלּה ראשׁ: head of the songs of praise, - he praised for who praised, i.e., sounded the Hodu for prayer; comp. 1 Chronicles 16:5, where Asaph is called the chief of the band of singers. He is followed by Bakbukiah as second, that is, leader of the second band (מאחיו משׁנה like משׁנהוּ, 1 Chronicles 16:5); and Abda the Jeduthunite, as leader of the third. All the Levites in the holy city, i.e., all who dwelt in Jerusalem, amounted to two hundred and eighty-four individuals or fathers of families. The number refers only to the three classes named Nehemiah 11:15-17. For the gatekeepers are separately numbered in Nehemiah 11:19 as one hundred and seventy-two, of the families of Akkub and Talmon.
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