Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The other piece.—This expression occurs a few times when the repairers have been mentioned as having repaired a first piece. But it occurs several times when there is no such mention; and in these cases, as here, must mean only what the margin indicates, a second measure, in relation to what had just been referred to.Nehemiah 3:19, Nehemiah 3:21, Nehemiah 3:27, Nehemiah 3:30). It is conjectured that a verse has fallen out in which Malchijah's and Hashub's "first piece" was mentioned.Ezra 2:6
repaired the other piece: or second piece, below and next to that which Hattush repaired, the last builder mentioned:Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Harim … Pahath-moab] See on Ezra 2:6; Ezra 2:32.
the other piece] R.V. another portion. This phrase, which occurs again in this chapter in Nehemiah 3:19-21; Nehemiah 3:24; Nehemiah 3:27; Nehemiah 3:30, has been explained, (1) (as the A.V.), as equivalent to ‘a further portion’ of the same section of wall, (2) as ‘a second portion’ of restoration-work undertaken by those mentioned in the verse. The latter is the more natural interpretation. There is this difficulty: whereas in Nehemiah 3:21; Nehemiah 3:27 we find the recurrence of names which have occurred earlier in the chapter (Nehemiah 3:4-5), in this verse and in 19, 20, 24, 30 the names of those who are said to repair ‘another portion’ are not mentioned again. Accordingly some commentators, laying stress on the point that in Nehemiah 3:19-21; Nehemiah 3:24; Nehemiah 3:27 the phrase is accompanied by a minute topographical notice, maintain that the words do not imply a second piece of work, but a special continuation of the work just mentioned.
On the other hand, it should be observed that (1) Malchijah’s name at any rate recurs in Nehemiah 3:31; (2) in this portion of Nehemiah’s description ‘the gate of Ephraim’ is strangely altogether omitted, in spite of its great importance (cf. Nehemiah 8:16, Nehemiah 12:39): (3) it is on other grounds very probable that the complete list of those engaged on the work of restoration has not been preserved, and that numerous names have been lost. A recognition of the incompleteness of the list will fully meet the difficulty presented in this verse, and in Nehemiah 3:19-20; Nehemiah 3:24; Nehemiah 3:30.
the tower of the furnaces] This tower lay between the gate of Ephraim and the gate of the valley (see Nehemiah 12:38). It may have stood a little to the N. of the modern citadel. It was the fortress of the N.W. angle of the city, and probably constituted the chief fortification in connexion with the corner gate (2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 26:9; Jeremiah 31:38; Zechariah 14:10.Verse 11. - Malchijah and Hashub, who are here said to have repaired, not the other piece, but "a second piece"of the wall, have not been previously mentioned in our present text; whence it has been concluded with reason (Bertheau) that the text is defective, some whole verses having fallen out (comp. ver. 20). The tower of the furnaces is mentioned again in Nehemiah 12:38. Its exact position cannot be fixed. Nehemiah 3:9, Nehemiah 3:27. Meremoth ben Urijah repaired, according to Nehemiah 3:21, another portion besides. Meshullam ben Berechiah was, according to Nehemiah 6:18, a person of consideration in Jerusalem. The men of Tekoa, who do not occur among those who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2), also repaired a second portion. "But their nobles brought not their neck to the service of their Lord." The expression "to bring the neck to service" is, according to Jeremiah 27:11, to be understood as meaning: to bring the neck under the yoke of any one, i.e., to subject oneself to the service of another. צוּרם stands for צוּארם. It is questionable whether אדניהם is to be taken as the plural of excellence, and understood of God, as in Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 135:3; Malachi 1:6; or of earthly lords or rulers, as in Genesis 40:1; 2 Samuel 10:3; 1 Kings 12:27. The former view seems to us decidedly correct, for it cannot be discerned how the suffix should (according to Bertheau's opinion) prevent our thinking of the service of God, if the repairing of the wall of Jerusalem may be regarded as a service required by God and rendered to Him. Besides, the fact that אדנים is only used of kings, and is inapplicable whether to the authorities in Jerusalem or to Nehemiah, speaks against referring it to secular rulers or authorities.
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