Nehemiah 3:13
The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.
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(13) A thousand cubits.—Not so much “built” as “strengthened.” This comparatively large space—mentioned in round numbers—had probably suffered less damage, and therefore needed less repairing.

3:1-32 The rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. - The work was divided, so that every one might know what he had to do, and mind it, with a desire to excel; yet without contention, or separate interests. No strife appears among them, but which should do most for the public good. Every Israelite should lend a hand toward the building up of Jerusalem. Let not nobles think any thing below them, by which they may advance the good of their country. Even some females helped forward the work. Some repaired over against their houses, and one repaired over against his chamber. When a general good work is to be done, each should apply himself to that part which is within his reach. If every one will sweep before his own door, the street will be clean; if every one will mend one, we shall all be mended. Some that had first done helped their fellows. The walls of Jerusalem, in heaps of rubbish, represent the desperate state of the world around, while the number and malice of those who hindered the building, give some faint idea of the enemies we have to contend with, while executing the work of God. Every one must begin at home; for it is by getting the work of God advanced in our own souls that we shall best contribute to the good of the church of Christ. May the Lord thus stir up the hearts of his people, to lay aside their petty disputes, and to disregard their worldly interests, compared with building the walls of Jerusalem, and defending the cause of truth and godliness against the assaults of avowed enemies.Zanoah lay west of Jerusalem, at the distance of about 10 miles (Joshua 15:34 note). 13. the inhabitants of Zanoah—There were two towns so called in the territory of Judah (Jos 15:34, 56). No text from Poole on this verse.

The valley gate repaired Hanun,.... Of which see Nehemiah 2:13,

and the inhabitants of Zanoah; a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:34,

they built it, and set up the doors thereof, &c. see Nehemiah 3:3,

and a thousand cubits on the wall to the dung gate; that is, they repaired the wall to such a length from the valley gate to the dung gate; see Nehemiah 2:13.

The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.
13. The valley gate] See note on Nehemiah 2:13; Nehemiah 2:15. This was the main entrance on the western side.

Zanoah] This town, mentioned in Nehemiah 11:30; Joshua 15:34, is probably the modern Zanuah, some 13 miles W. of Jerusalem.

the doors thereof, &c.] See note on Nehemiah 3:3.

and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate] R.V. of the wall. Some who have thought that this would be too great a distance of wall to be restored by a single section of the community regard the clause as a topographical parenthesis, = ‘There were a thousand cubits between the two gates.’ But if we may suppose little restoration was here needed, no further details would be recorded of this section of the wall. This very reason, however, would enable us to accept the repairing of ‘the thousand cubits’ as the work of ‘Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah.’ Comparatively little work was here needed, and a small party could undertake a long stretch.

The ‘dung gate’ was probably at the S.W. angle of the wall. The wall having passed due S. from the ‘valley gate’ to the ‘dung gate,’ turned thence in an easterly direction.

Verse 13. - The valley gate. A gate in the western wall (See the comment on Nehemiah 2:13.) Zanoah was situated to the west of Jerusalem at the distance of some nine or ten miles. It is mentioned in Joshua 15:34 as a city of Judah, but was not a place of much importance. We can scarcely suppose that the inhabitants had as much as a thousand cubits of the wall assigned to them, since that is more than a quarter of a mile, and the entire circuit was under four miles. Bertheau suggests that Nehemiah merely means to note that the distance between the two gates, the Valley and the Dung gate, was a thousand cubits, and that he says nothing of the repairs because no repairs were needed. Nehemiah 3:13From the valley-gate to the dung-gate. The valley-gate lay in the west, in the neighbourhood of the present Jaffa gate (see rem. on Nehemiah 2:13), "where," as Tobler, Topogr. i. p. 163, expresses it, "we may conclude there must almost always have been, on the ridge near the present citadel, the site in the time of Titus of the water-gate also (Joseph. bell. Jud. v. 7. 3), an entrance provided with gates." Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah are here connected, probably because Hanun was the chief or ruler of the inhabitants of this place. Zanoah, now Zanna, is in the Wady Ismail, west of Jerusalem; see rem. on Joshua 15:34. They built and set up its doors, etc.; comp. Nehemiah 3:6. The further statement, "and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung-gate," still depends on החזיק, the principal verb of the verse. It is incomprehensible how Bertheau can say that this statement does not refer to the repairing of the wall, but only declares that the distance from the valley-gate to the dung-gate amounted to one thousand cubits. For the remark, that a section of such a length is, in comparison with the other sections, far too extensive, naturally proves nothing more than that the wall in this part had suffered less damage, and therefore needed less repair. The number one thousand cubits is certainly stated in round numbers. The length from the present Jaffa gate to the supposed site of the dung-gate, on the south-western edge of Zion, is above two thousand five hundred feet. The dung-gate may, however, have been placed at a greater distance from the road leading to Baher. השׁפות is only another form for האשׁפּות (without א prosthetic). Malchiah ben Rechab, perhaps a Rechabite, built and fortified the dung-gate; for though the Rechabites were forbidden to build themselves houses (Jeremiah 35:7), they might, without transgressing this paternal injunction, take part in building the fortifications of Jerusalem (Berth.). This conjecture is, however, devoid of probability, for a Rechabite would hardly be a prince or ruler of the district of Beth-haccerem. The name Rechab occurs as early as the days of David, 2 Samuel 4:5. בּית־הכּרם, i.e., the garden or vineyard-house, where, according to Jeremiah 6:1, the children of Benjamin were wont to set up a banner, and to blow the trumpet in Tekoa, is placed by Jerome (Comm. Jeremiah 6) upon a hill between Jerusalem and Tekoa; on which account Pococke (Reise, ii. p. 63) thinks Beth-Cherem must be sought for on the eminence now known as the Frank mountain, the Dshebel Fureidis, upon which was the Herodium of Josephus. This opinion is embraced with some hesitation by Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 397), and unreservedly by Wilson (The Holy City, i. p. 396) and v. de Velde, because "when we consider that this hill is the highest point in the whole district, and is by reason of its isolated position and conical shape very conspicuous, we shall find that no other locality better corresponds with the passage cited.
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