And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Purified themselves.—Before consecration to God there must be purification from defilement. It is made emphatic that both priests and Levites purified themselves, that is, by offerings and ablutions (comp. 2Chronicles 29:15; Ezra 6:20): the gates and the wall by being sprinkled.Numbers 8; and partly by solemn prayers and sacrifices. Numbers 8:6. And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. purified themselves] Cf. Ezra 6:20. The description of the sacrifices offered by Hezekiah on the occasion of a national purification should be compared, 2 Chronicles 29:20-24.
the people … the gates … the walls] i.e. the people were purified in order that they might engage in the solemn dedication of their city walls without violation of the laws of purity. ‘The gates and walls’ were probably sprinkled, both as a sign of the dedication and to remove defilement from the path of the sacred procession.Nehemiah 10:12., Ezra 8:18.; the two last in Nehemiah 12:8, Nehemiah 10:10, and Ezra 2:40; and the comparison of these passages obliges us to regard and expunge as a gloss the בּן before Kadmiel. Opposite to these four are placed their brethren, whose office it was "to praise (and) to give thanks according to the commandment of David," etc.: comp. 1 Chronicles 16:4; 1 Chronicles 23:30; 2 Chronicles 5:13; and בּמצות ד, 2 Chronicles 29:25. משׁמר לעמּת משׁמר, ward opposite ward, elsewhere used of the gatekeepers, 1 Chronicles 26:16, is here applied to the position of the companies of singers in divine worship. The names of the brethren, i.e., of the Levitical singers, follow, Nehemiah 12:25, where the first three names must be separated from those which follow, and combined with Nehemiah 12:24. This is obvious from the consideration, that Mattaniah and Bakbukiah are mentioned in Nehemiah 11:17 as presidents of two companies of singers, and with them Abda the Jeduthunite, whence we are constrained to suppose that עבדיה is only another form for עבדּא of Nehemiah 11:17. According, then, to what has been said, the division into verses must be changed, and Nehemiah 12:25 should begin with the name משׁלּם. Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub are chiefs of the doorkeepers; the two last names occur as such both in Nehemiah 11:19 and Ezra 2:42, and even so early as 1 Chronicles 9:17, whence we perceive that these were ancient names of races of Levitical doorkeepers. In Ezra 2:42 and 1 Chronicles 9:17, שׁלוּם, answering to משׁלּם of the present verse, is also named with them. The combination משׁמר שׁוערים שׁמרים is striking: we should at least have expected משׁמר שׁמרים שׁוערים, because, while שׁוערים cannot be combined with משׁמר, שׁמרים may well be so; hence we must either transpose the words as above, or read according to Nehemiah 11:19, בּשּׁערים שׁמרים. In the latter case, בּשּׁערים is more closely defined by the apposition השּׁערים בּאספּי: at the doors, viz., at the treasure-chambers of the doors. On 'acupiym, see rem. on 1 Chronicles 26:15, 1 Chronicles 26:17.
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