Nehemiah 11:9
And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.

9. overseer—that is, "captain" or "chief." Their overseer; the captain of their thousand. And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer,.... Or chief governor of the city:

and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city; or the deputy governor of it; so Pitholaus is called an under governor in Jerusalem by Josephus (l).

(l) Antiqu. l. 14. c. 6. sect. 1.

And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. And Joel, &c.] There is nothing in the 1 Chron. list corresponding with this verse.

overseer] Apparently the members of the same tribe or house formed a distinct organization within the city walls, and were under a responsible head or ‘overseer,’ ‘pâqid.’ LXX. ἐπίσκοπος. Vulg. ‘praepositus.’

Judah the son of Senuah (R.V. Hassenuah)] In 1 Chronicles 9:7, Sallu is spoken of as a descendant of ‘Hodaviah the son of Hassenuah.’ Remembering the confusion between ‘Judah’ and ‘Hodaviah’ in Ezra 2:40; Ezra 3:9, it is possible that we have here another trace of textual corruption. ‘Elah … the son of Michri’ is also confused with ‘Joel the son of Zichri,’ 1 Chronicles 9:8.

second over the city] From the context it is evident that the expression refers only to the overseership over the Benjamites, or, at the most, the men of Judah and Benjamin in the city. He was ‘deputy overseer,’ or second in command to Joel. Cf. ‘brethren of the second degree’ 1 Chronicles 15:18, ‘second to him’ 1 Chronicles 16:5. It is not, however, quite certain that the traditional translation adopted in the English version is correct. In the opinion of some scholars the word rendered ‘second’ qualifies ‘the city,’ which in the Hebrew it immediately follows. It will not then denote the rank of Judah the son of Hassenuah, but the quarter of the capital over which he was overseer. Cf. 2 Kings 22:14, ‘She (Huldah) dwelt in Jerusalem, in the second quarter.’ 2 Chronicles 34:22; Zephaniah 1:10. On the division of Jerusalem into two districts, for purposes of administration, see Nehemiah 3:9; Nehemiah 3:12. We know from Nehemiah 7:2 that Nehemiah had constituted Hanani and Hananiah ‘overseers’ over Jerusalem. Perhaps Joel and Judah presided over a special community in each district.Verse 9. - Their overseer. Probably the commandant of the city under Nehemiah. See 2 Kings 25:19, where pakid has this sense. Judah... was second. Next in authority to Joel. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and the other cities. - Nehemiah 11:3 The title reads: "These are the heads of the province who dwelt at Jerusalem; and in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, Israel, the priests, the Levites, the Nethinim, and the sons of Solomon's servants." המּדינה is, as in Ezra 2:1, the land of Judah, as a province of the Persian kingdom. The repetition of ישׁבוּ after יהוּדה בּערי is not to be understood as contrasting those who dwelt in the cities with the dwellers in Jerusalem in the sense of "but in the cities of Judah dwelt," etc., but is here a mere pleonasm. Even the enumeration of the different classes of inhabitants: Israel, the priests, etc., clearly shows that no such contrast is intended; for Israel, the priests, etc., dwelt not only in Jerusalem, but also, according to Nehemiah 11:20, in the other cities of Judah. And this is placed beyond all doubt by the contents of the list following; the inhabitants of Jerusalem being enumerated vv. 4-24, and the inhabitants of the other cities of Judah and Benjamin, Nehemiah 11:25-36. If, however, this title refers to the whole of the following list, it cannot, as Rambach and others thought, contain only an enumeration of those who, in consequence of the lot, had taken up their residence at Jerusalem, but must be intended as a list of the population of the whole province of Judah in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. It seems strange that the title should announce המּדינה ראשׁי, while in the list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are given, besides the heads, the numbers of their brethren, i.e., of the individuals or fathers of families under these heads; and that in the list of the inhabitants of the other cities, only inhabitants of Judah and Benjamin are spoken of. Hence this statement refers a potiori to the heads, including the houses and families belonging to them, while in the case of the other cities it is assumed that the inhabitants of each locality were under a head. With Nehemiah 11:4 begins the enumeration of the heads dwelling in Jerusalem, with their houses; and the first clause contains a special title, which affirms that (certain) of the children of Judah and of the children of Benjamin dwelt at Jerusalem. On the parallel list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem before the captivity, 1 Chronicles 9:2-34, and its relation to the present list, see the remarks on 1 Chronicles 9.
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