Nehemiah 11:4
And at Jerusalem dwelled certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;
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(4-19) The heads in Jerusalem: as compared with 1 Chronicles 9, by no means complete. Judah and Benjamin are represented, with priests and Levites and porters.

(4) Perez.—In 1 Chronicles 9 the descendants of Perez (or Phares) are not given; but the descendants of Zerah, present there, are absent here. This may be a question of the right reading of the text.

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.See the margin reference notes. Both accounts appear to be extracts from a public official register which Nehemiah caused to be made of his census. The census itself seems to have been confined to the dwellers at Jerusalem. The subjoined table exhibits the differences between the accounts of the entire population of Jerusalem as given in Nehemiah and in Chronicles:

1 Chron ehemiah Tribes of Judah Of Pharez 468 Of Zerah 690 Tribe of Benjamin 956 928 Tribe of Levi Priests 1760 1192 Levites 284 Porters 212 172

According to Nehemiah's numbers, supplemented from Chronicles, the entire adult male population of the city was 3,734, which would give a total population of 14,936. According to Chronicles, supplemented from Nehemiah, the adult males were 4,370, and consequently the entire population, would have been 17,480. As the Nethinims and the Israelites of Ephraim and Manasseh 1 Chronicles 9:3 are not included in either list, we may conclude that the actual number of the inhabitants, after the efforts recorded in Nehemiah 11:1-2, was not much short of 20,000.

4. at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah—The discrepancy that is apparent between this [Ne 11:4-36] and the list formerly given in 1Ch 9:1-9, arose not only from the Jewish and Oriental practice of changing or modifying the names of persons from a change of circumstances, but from the alterations that must have been produced in the course of time. The catalogue in Chronicles contains those who came with the first detachment of returned exiles, while the list in this passage probably included also those who returned with Ezra and Nehemiah; or it was most probably made out afterwards, when several had died, or some, who had been inserted as going on the journey, remained, and others came in their stead. The children of Judah and of Benjamin; for to these two tribes this city anciently and most properly belonged, although some also of other tribes dwelt in it; of which, and other things relating to this catalogue, see 1 Chronicles 9:3, &c.

Athaiah, and his family and relations with him, and under him as their head, as appears from Nehemiah 11:6. And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin,.... It belonging partly to one tribe and partly to the other, and so inhabited by both, as it originally was, Joshua 15:63

of the children of Judah; Athaiah; called Uthai, 1 Chronicles 9:4 whose lineage is traced through Uzziah, Zechariah, Amariah, Shephatiah, Mahalaleel:

of the children of Perez; a son of Judah, see 1 Chronicles 9:4.

And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of {b} Perez;

(b) Which came from Perez the son of Judah.

4. And at Jerusalem] R.V. And in Jerusalem. In the Chronicles list after ‘the children of Benjamin’ are mentioned ‘and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh.’

Athaiah the son of Uzziah, &c.] In 1 Chronicles 9:4 the house of Perez is represented by ‘Uthai the son of Ammihud.’ The suggestion that ‘Athaiah’ and ‘Uthai’ are identical appears plausible at first sight. But the names of their respective ancestors are different; and it is possible that two different men are intended. If the great similarity of the names forbids us to believe that two separate personages can be referred to, we must conclude that the two lists are epitomes and have preserved different representative names from the completer genealogy in the original document.

Mahalaleel] R.V. Mahalalel.

Perez] or Pharez. Cf. Genesis 38:29; 1 Chronicles 4:1.Verse 4. - At Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. It is not meant that all the dwellers in Jerusalem were of these two tribes, since among them were certainly Levites (vers. 10-19), Ephraimites, and Mansesites (1 Chronicles 1. s. c.), together with Nethinims (ver. 21) who were of no tribe, and probably some representatives of all or most of the other tribes (see the comment on Ezra 2:70). But the present purpose of Nehemiah is to mention especially the Jewish and Benjamite chiefs. Athaiah, or Uthai, as the name is given in 1 Chronicles 9:4. The son of Uzziah. The ancestors assigned to Athaiah here and in 1 Chronicles 9. are wholly different, with the single exception of Pharez or Perez, the son of Judah. Both lists are of course abbreviations of a far longer one, and it has happened that the two writers have in no ease selected for mention the same name. It was also arranged to contribute the first-fruits prescribed in the law. The infinitive להביא depends on העמדנוּ, and is co-ordinate with לתת, Nehemiah 10:33. The first-fruits of the ground, comp. Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 26:2; the first-fruits of all fruit trees, comp. Numbers 18:13; Leviticus 19:23; the first-born of our sons who were redeemed according to the estimation of the priest, Numbers 18:16, and of our cattle (i.e., in the case of the unclean, the required redemption, Exodus 13:12., Numbers 18:15), and the firstlings of the herds and of the flocks, the fat of which was consumed on the altar, the flesh becoming the share of the priests, Numbers 18:17. In Nehemiah 10:38 the construction is altered, the first person of the imperfect taking the place of the infinitive: and we will bring the first-fruits. ערסות, probably groats or ground flour; see rem. on Numbers 15:20, etc. תרוּמות, heave-offerings, the offering in this connection, is probably that of wheat and barley, Ezekiel 45:13, or of the fruits of the field, which are suitably followed by the "fruit of all manner of trees." On "the first of the wine and oil," comp. Numbers 18:12. These offerings of first-fruits were to be brought into the chambers of the house of God, where they were to be kept in store, and distributed to the priests for their support. "And the tithes of our ground (will we bring) to the Levites; and they, the Levites, receive the tithes in all our country towns. (Nehemiah 10:39) And a priest, a son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites take tithes; and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, into the chambers of the treasury." The parenthetical sentences in these verses, המעשׂרים הלויּם והם and הלויּם בּעשׂר, have been variously understood. עשׂר in the Piel and Hiphil meaning elsewhere to pay tithe, comp. Deuteronomy 14:22; Deuteronomy 26:12; Genesis 28:22, many expositors adhere to this meaning in these passages also, and translate Nehemiah 10:38 : for they, the Levites, must give again the tenth (to the priests); and Nehemiah 10:39 : when the Levites give the tenth; while the lxx, Vulgate, Syriac, Rashi, Aben Ezra, Clericus, Bertheau, and others, take עשּׂר and העשׂיר in these sentences as signifying to collect tithe. We prefer the latter view, as giving a more suitable sense. For the remark that the Levites must give back the tenth (Nehemiah 10:38) does not present so appropriate a motive for the demand that the tithes should be paid, as that the tithes are due to the Levites. Still less does the addition, in our agricultural towns, suit the sentence: the Levites must give back the tithe to the priests. Again, the fact that it is not said till Nehemiah 10:39 that the Levites have to give the tenth of the tenth to the priests, speaks still more against this view. A priest is to be present when the Levites take the tenth, so that the share of the priests may not be lessened. On "the tenth of the tenth," comp. Numbers 18:26. Hezekiah had provided store-chambers in the temple, in which to deposit the tithes, 2 Chronicles 31:11.
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