Nehemiah 12:33
And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
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(33) Ezra.—Probably the same as the Azariah preceding.

12:27-43 All our cities, all our houses, must have holiness to the Lord written upon them. The believer should undertake nothing which he does not dedicate to the Lord. We are concerned to cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts, when any work for God is to pass through them. Those that would be employed to sanctify others, must sanctify themselves, and set themselves apart for God. To those who are sanctified, all their creature-comforts and enjoyments are made holy. The people greatly rejoiced. All that share in public mercies, ought to join in public thanksgivings.I brought up - Note the resumption of the first person, which has been laid aside since Nehemiah 7:5, and which is confirmed now to the end of the book. It is generally allowed that we have here once more a memoir by Nehemiah himself.

The two "companies" or choirs, having ascended the wall on its western face, near the modern Jaffa Gate, stood looking eastward toward the city and temple; then the southern choir, being on the right, commenced the circuit of the southern wall, while the choir upon the left proceeded round the northern wall Nehemiah 12:38-39, until both met on the eastern wall, between the water and the prison gates.

27-43. at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem—This ceremony of consecrating the wall and gates of the city was an act of piety on the part of Nehemiah, not merely to thank God in a general way for having been enabled to bring the building to a happy completion, but especially because that city was the place which He had chosen. It also contained the temple which was hallowed by the manifestation of His presence, and anew set apart to His service. It was on these accounts that Jerusalem was called "the holy city," and by this public and solemn act of religious observance, after a long period of neglect and desecration, it was, as it were, restored to its rightful proprietor. The dedication consisted in a solemn ceremonial, in which the leading authorities, accompanied by the Levitical singers, summoned from all parts of the country, and by a vast concourse of people, marched in imposing procession round the city walls, and, pausing at intervals to engage in united praises, prayer, and sacrifices, supplicated the continued presence, favor, and blessing on "the holy city." "The assembly convened near Jaffa Gate, where the procession commences. Then (Ne 12:31) I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall (near the Valley Gate), and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall towards the dung gate (through Bethzo). And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah. And (Ne 12:37) at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they (descending by the Tower of Siloam on the interior, and then reascending) went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward (by the staircase of the rampart, having descended to dedicate the fountain structures). And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them (both parties having started from the junction of the first and second walls), and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall (beyond the corner gate). And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate (and the gate of Benjamin), and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate; and they stood still in the prison gate (or high gate, at the east end of the bridge). So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and half of the rulers with me (having thus performed the circuit of the investing walls), and arrived in the courts of the temple" [Barclay, City of the Great King]. Ezra; not the scribe, as is evident from Nehemiah 12:36, but another Ezra. And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam. Not Ezra the priest and the scribe, for he has another place assigned him in this procession, Nehemiah 12:36, but this seems to be one of the princes. And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
33. Azariah, Ezra] From a comparison of Nehemiah 12:1; Nehemiah 12:13 with Nehemiah 10:2, we might suppose that these were the names of the same priestly house.

Meshullam] Cf. Nehemiah 10:8.Verses 33, 34. - Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam. Next to the "princes" came two priestly families - those of Azariah (or Ezra) and Meshullam (ch. x, 2, 7); then Judah and Benjamin, or certain lay people of those tribes; after them two other priestly families - those of Shemaiah and Jeremiah (Nehemiah 10:2, 8; Nehemiah 12:1, 6). The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. - The measures proposed for increasing the numbers of the inhabitants of Jerusalem having now been executed (Nehemiah 7:5 and Nehemiah 11:1.), the restored wall of circumvallation was solemnly dedicated. Nehemiah 12:27-29 treat of the preparations for this solemnity.

Nehemiah 12:27

At the dedication (i.e., at the time of, בּ denoting nearness of time) they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to keep the dedication. Only a portion of the Levites dwelt in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:15-18); the rest dwelt in places in the neighbourhood, as is more expressly stated in Nehemiah 12:28 and Nehemiah 12:29. ושׂמחה, to keep the dedication and joy, is not suitable, chiefly on account of the following וּבתודות, and with songs of praise. We must either read בּשׂמחה, dedication with joy (comp. Ezra 6:16), or expunge, with the lxx and Vulgate, the ו before בּתודות. בּ must be repeated before מצלתּים from the preceding words. On the subject, comp. 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:16, and elsewhere.

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