Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)At the thresholds.—At the treasuries, or store-chambers attached to the several gates of the Temple.1 Chronicles 9:17, 1 Chronicles 9:24, 1 Chronicles 9:26, four families of porters only are mentioned; six are implied here, in Nehemiah 7:45, and in Ezra 2:42. From 1 Chronicles 26:14-19 it appears that the temple had four chief gates, fronting the cardinal points, and two minor ones, "toward Asuppim," and "at Parbar." 1 Chronicles 9:15,
keeping the ward, at the thresholds of the gates; of the temple, where they stood and watched; or "at the collection of the gates", meaning either where the people were gathered together, or where money gathered was laid up; and so some render it, "the treasuries of the gates": unless a place called Asuppim should be meant, 1 Chronicles 26:15.Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. Mattaniah] Cf. Nehemiah 12:8, Nehemiah 11:17. Mattaniah representing Asaphites.
Bakbukiah] Cf. Nehemiah 12:9, Nehemiah 11:17, representing the Hemanites, cf. 1 Chronicles 25:4.
Obadiah] Probably the same as Abda of the family of Jeduthun, Nehemiah 11:17.
These three names are the names of singers who were also porters, and should probably be separated from the next three, who were only porters.
Meshullam] Probably the same as Shallum (1 Chronicles 9:17; Ezra 2:42).
Talmon, Akkub] Cf. Nehemiah 11:19; 1 Chronicles 9:17.
at the thresholds of the gates] R.V. at the storehouses of the gates. The A.V. gives the rendering which is favoured by the Vulgate ‘vestibulorum ante portas,’ and by the chief Hebrew commentators, e.g. Rashi and Aben Ezra. The R.V. however is undoubtedly right. The Hebrew only occurs elsewhere in the O.T. in 1 Chronicles 26:15; 1 Chronicles 26:17, ‘storehouse.’ The temple was a treasury as well as a sanctuary.Verse 25. - Meshullam and Obadiah are new as Levitical names; but the remaining names of the passage are well known. Talmon and Akkub are among the porters of David's time (1 Chronicles 9:17), and are mentioned in Ezra 2:42; Nehemiah 7:45; Nehemiah 11:19. Bakbukiah and Mattaniah occur in Nehemiah 11:17 and Nehemiah 12:8, 9; but as families of singers, rather than of porters, in those places. Keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates. Rather, as in the margin, "at the treasuries." It is thought that the chambers above the gateways may have been used as storehouses or treasuries.
CHAPTER 12:27-47 PART IV. DEDICATION OF THE WALL OF JERUSALEM UNDER NEHEMIAH AND EZRA, WITH NEHEMIAH'S ARRANGEMENT OF THE TEMPLE OFFICERS, AND HIS EFFORTS FOR THE REFORM OF RELIGION (CH. 12:27-47, AND CH. 13.). DEDICATION OF THE WALL (Nehemiah 12:27-43). It is supposed by some that the author has here departed from the chronological order, and gone back to a date not much subsequent to the completion of the wall in September, B.C. 444, since the dedication of a work under ordinary circumstances follows closely upon its accomplishment. But no reason has been shown for the actual place held by the narrative in the Book upon this supposition, nor is it easy to imagine that the author would have separated the dedication of the wall from its completion by five chapters and a half, unless they had been separated in fact by an interval of some duration. The interval seems, by the notes of time contained in chs. 12, 13, to have been one of nearly thirteen years. Nehemiah's religious reforms were certainly subsequent to the visit that he paid to the Persian court in B.C. 432 (Nehemiah 13:6). These reforms grew out of a reading of the law which took place at the time when Nehemiah appointed the temple officers (Nehemiah 13:1), and that appointment followed closely on the dedication (Nehemiah 12:44). We may account for the long delay by supposing that Nehemiah was afraid of offending Artaxerxes if he ventured on a ceremony, to which the superstition of the surrounding heathen may have attached extreme importance, without his express permission, and that to obtain this permission his personal influence was necessary. The dedication of a city wall was, so far as we know, a new thing in Israel; but it had been customary from a remote time to dedicate houses (Deuteronomy 20:5); and natural piety extended this practice to aggregations of houses, and to the limit or fence by which they were practically made one. The priestly order had shown its sense of the fitness of such a consecration when they raised their portion of the wall, and had at once "sanctified it" (Nehemiah 3:1). Nehemiah now, by the ceremony which he planned and carried out, placed the whole circuit of the wall under the Divine protection, confessing in this solemn act the intrinsic worthlessness of mere walls and bulwarks, unless God lends them strength and makes them a protection against enemies. Nehemiah 12:12-21 contains the list of the priestly houses and their heads, which has been already explained in conjunction with that in Nehemiah 12:1-7. Nehemiah 12:22-26. The list of the heads of the Levites, Nehemiah 12:22 and Nehemiah 12:24, is, according to Nehemiah 12:26, that of the days of Joiakim, and of the days of Nehemiah and Ezra. Whence it follows, that it does not apply only to the time of Joiakim; for though Ezra might indeed have come to Jerusalem in the latter days of Joiakim's high-priesthood, yet Nehemiah's arrival found his successor Eliashib already in office, and the statements of Nehemiah 12:22 and Nehemiah 12:23 must be understood accordingly.
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