And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And of the Levites.—The fewness of the Levites in the country warranted their summary notice in this way.Nehemiah 11:36. Of the Levites were divisions — Or, for the Levites (those who were not settled in Jerusalem) there were divisions; places appointed for them and distributed among them. Thus were they settled free and easy, though few and poor. And they might have been happy but for that general lukewarmness with which they are charged by the Prophet Malachi, who prophesied about this time, and in whom prophecy ceased for some ages, till it revived in the great prophet. for the Levites (to wit, those of them who were not settled in Jerusalem) there were divisions, i.e. places appointed for them, and distributed among them. And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)36. were divisions in Judah and in Benjamin] R.V. certain courses in Judah were joined to Benjamin. The A.V., which gives quite a wrong view of the passage, perhaps followed the Vulg., ‘de Levitis portiones Judæ et Benjamin.’ The LXX. is very literal, ἀπὸ τῶν Λευιτῶν μερίδες Ἰούδα τῷ Βενιαμείν. The meaning is quite unmistakeable. ‘Divisions’ or ‘sections’ of the Levitical community who in former times had been attached to the territory of Judah, were now settled in Benjamin.Verse 36. - Of the Levites were divisions in Judah and Benjamin. The exact sense is obscure, but we may gather from the passage that a certain number of Levites were dispersed among the Benjamite cities. They were not now numerous enough to have any cities to themselves.
The districts inhabited by the children of Judah. "And with respect to the towns in their fields, there dwelt of the sons of Judah in Kirjath-arba and its daughters," etc. The use of אל as an introductory or emphatic particle is peculiar to this passage, ל ,egassap being elsewhere customary in this sense; comp. Ew. 310, a. אל denotes a respect to something. חצרים, properly enclosures, signifies, according to Leviticus 25:31, villages, towns, boroughs, without walls. שׂדות, fields, field boundaries. בּנותיה, the villages and estates belonging to a town; as frequently in the lists of towns in the book of Joshua. Kirjath-arba is Hebron, Genesis 23:2. Jekabzeel, like Kabzeel, Joshua 15:21. חצריה, its enclosed places, the estates belonging to a town, as in Joshua 15:45. Jeshua, mentioned only here, and unknown. Moladah and Beth-phelet, Joshua 15:26-27. Hazar-shual, i.e., Fox-court, probably to be sought for in the ruins of Thaly; see rem. on Joshua 15:28. Beersheba, now Bir es Seba; see rem. on Genesis 21:31. Ziklag, at the ancient Asluj, see Joshua 15:31. Mekonah, mentioned only here, and unknown. En-rimmon; see rem. on 1 Chronicles 4:32. Zareah, Jarmuth, Zanoah, and Adullam in the plains (see Joshua 15:33-35), where were also Lachish and Azekah; see on 2 Chronicles 11:9. - In Nehemiah 11:30 the whole region then inhabited by Jews is comprised in the words: "And they dwelt from Beer-sheba (the south-western boundary of Canaan) to the valley of Hinnom, in Jerusalem," through which ran the boundaries of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (Joshua 15:8).
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