Nehemiah 11:28
And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,
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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.Many of the places mentioned in these verses are mentioned in Joshua 15:27-39; Joshua 18:21-28. 25. some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjath-arba—The whole region in which the villages here mentioned were situated had been completely devastated by the Chaldean invasion; and, therefore, it must be assumed, that these villages had been rebuilt before "the children dwelt in them." No text from Poole on this verse. And for the villages, with their fields,.... The cities and villages in the country, an account of the inhabitants of them next follows:

some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and in the villages thereof; the same with Hebron, Joshua 15:54

and at Dibon; the same with Dimonah, Joshua 15:22

and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof; the same with Kabzeel, one of the uttermost cities of the tribe of Judah southward, Joshua 15:21, of which city was Benaiah, one of David's worthies, 2 Samuel 23:20, from hence to the end of Nehemiah 11:30 mention is made of various cities and towns, in the tribe of Judah, inhabited by the men of it, which are to be met with in Joshua 15:1 excepting Jeshua and Mekonah, Nehemiah 11:26, of which we nowhere else read.

And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,
28. Ziklag] Cf. Joshua 15:31; 1 Samuel 30:1.Verse 28. - Ziklag is celebrated as the town given to David by Achish king of Gath (1 Samuel 27:6), and soon afterwards taken by the Amalekites (ibid. 30:1). Mekonah is a name which occurs only in this place. And the overseer (chief) of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi, the son of Bani, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, in the business of the house of God. The מלאכה of the house of God was the duty of the Levites of the house of Shemaiah, Nehemiah 11:15. Hence the remark in the present verse is supplementary to Nehemiah 11:15. The chiefs or presidents of the two other divisions of Levites - of those to whom the outward business was entrusted, and of the singers - are named in Nehemiah 11:16 and Nehemiah 11:17; while, in the case of those entrusted with the business of the house of God, Nehemiah 11:15, the chiefs are not named, probably because they were over the singers, the sons of Asaph, who in Nehemiah 11:15 had not as yet been named. This is therefore done afterwards in Nehemiah 11:22. מלאכת לנגד, coram opere, i.e., circa ea negotia, quae coram in templo exigenda erant (Burm. in Ramb.), does not belong to המּשׁררים, but to הלויּם פּקיד: Uzzi was overseer of the Levites in respect of their business in the house of God, i.e., of those Levites who had the charge of this business. The reason of this is thus given in Nehemiah 11:23 : "for a command of the king was over them, and an ordinance was over the singers concerning the matter of every day." עליהם refers to the Levites. "A command of the king was over them" means: the king had commanded them. This command was concerning בּיומו יום דּבר, the matter of every day. The words stand at the end of the verse, because they refer to the two subjects המּלך and אמנה. אמנה is an arrangement depending upon mutual agreement, a treaty, an obligation entered into by agreement; comp. Nehemiah 10:1. The meaning of the verse is: The every-day matter was laid upon the Levites by the command of the king, upon the singers by an agreement entered into. בּיומו יום דּבר, pensum quotidianum, is correctly explained by Schmid: de rebus necessariis in singulos dies. That we are not to understand thereby the contribution for every day, the rations of food (Ramb., Berth.), but the duty to be done on each day, is obvious from the context, in which not provisions, but the business of the Levites, is spoken of; and Uzzi the Asaphite was placed over the Levites in respect of their business in the house of God, and not in respect of food and drink. The business of the Levites in the house of God was determined by the command of the king; the business of the singers, on the contrary, especially that one of the singers should exercise a supervision over the services of the Levites in worship, was made the matter of an אמנה, an agreement entered into among themselves by the different divisions of Levites. The king is not David, who once regulated the services of the Levites (1 Chronicles 23:4.), but the Persian king Artaxerxes, who is mentioned as המּלך in Nehemiah 11:24; and המּלך מצות undoubtedly refers to the full power bestowed by Artaxerxes upon Ezra to order all that concerned the worship of God at Jerusalem; Ezra 7:12.
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