But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The son of Rechab.—Not “a son,” as if it meant that he was a Rechabite.
Part of Beth-haccerem.—The district around that place.Nehemiah 3:14-16. Beth-haccerem — A town or territory, the government whereof was divided between two persons. The wall of the pool of Siloah — That part of the wall which was directly against that pool. After him repaired Nehemiah — One of the same name, but not of the same family, with the writer of this book. Over against the sepulchres of David — The place which David appointed for his own sepulchre, and the sepulchres of his successors, the kings of Israel and Judah. To the pool that was made — To wit, by Hezekiah, (2 Kings 20:20,) whereby it was distinguished from that pool, which was natural. And unto the house of the mighty — Or, valiant. The place where the king’s guards were lodged, who were all mighty men, and from this circumstance probably it had its name.Joshua 15:34 note). Beth-haccerem; a town or territory, the government whereof was divided between two persons. Jeremiah 35:7 but, perhaps, though they might not build private houses for themselves to dwell in, they might be employed in building walls and fortresses for public security; though it is more probable that this man was not of that family:
the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; or of the tract of Bethhaccerem, a place between Tekoah and Jerusalem; see Jeremiah 6:1,
he built it, and set up the doors thereof; &c. as in Nehemiah 3:3.But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. But] R.V. And.
Malchiah] R.V. Malchijah. It is the same spelling as the ‘Malchijah’ in Nehemiah 3:11. ‘the son of Rechab.’ Not necessarily a Rechabite. The Rechabites were forbidden to dwell in houses (Jeremiah 35:7).
of part of Beth-haccerem] R.V. of the district of Beth-haccherem. Beth-haccherem (the house of the vineyard) is mentioned in Jeremiah 6:1. It seems to have been due S. of Jerusalem, between Bethlehem and Tekoa. It is frequently identified with a well-known spot 6 or 7 miles S. of Jerusalem, the Frank Mountain (Arab. Jebel Ferdis = Hill of Paradise or Orchard), where are to be seen the remains of the Herodium, the castle built by Herod the Great. It is called ‘the Frank Mountain’ because tradition connects it with the stubborn resistance of the Crusaders against the Moslems. It commands one of the most beautiful views over the Dead Sea to be obtained near Jerusalem.
doors thereof, &c.] Cf. note on Nehemiah 3:3.Verse 14. - The dung gate. See the comment on Nehemiah 2:13. The ruler of part of Beth-haccerem. Rather "ruler of the district of Beth-haccerem," or head man of the region within which Beth-haccerem, was situated. This was a district in the neighbourhood of Tekoah (Jeremiah 6:1). Nehemiah 12:38, where the broad wall is also mentioned, it appears that a length of wall between the tower of the furnaces and the gate of Ephraim was thus named, and not merely a place in the wall distinguished for its breadth, either because it stood out or formed a corner, as Bertheau supposes; for the reason adduced for this opinion, viz., that it is not said that the procession went along the broad wall, depends upon a mistaken interpretation of the passage cited. The expression "the broad wall" denotes a further length of wall; and as this lay, according to Nehemiah 12:38, west of the gate of Ephraim, the conjecture forces itself upon us, that the broad wall was that 400 cubits of the wall of Jerusalem, broken down by the Israelite king Joash, from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate (2 Kings 14:13), and afterwards rebuilt by Uzziel of a greater breadth, and consequently of increased strength (Joseph. Antiq. ix. 10. 3). Now the gate of Ephraim not being mentioned among the rebuilt gates, and this gate nevertheless existing (according to Nehemiah 8:16) in the days of Nehemiah, the reason of this omission must be the circumstance that it was left standing when the wall of Jerusalem was destroyed. The remark, then, in this verse seems to say the same concerning the broad wall, whether we understand it to mean: the builders left Jerusalem untouched as far as the broad wall, because this place as well as the adjoining gate of Ephraim needed no restoration; or: the Chaldeans had here left Jerusalem, i.e., either the town or town-wall, standing. So Hupfeld in his above-cited work, p. 231; Arnold; and even older expositors.
(Note: Bertheau's interpretation of this statement, viz., that at the rebuilding and re-fortification of the town after the captivity, the part of the town extending to the broad wall was left, i.e., was not rebuilt, but delayed for the present, answers neither to the verbal sense of the passage nor to the particular mentioned Nehemiah 12:38, that at the dedication of the wall the second company of them that gave thanks went upon the wall from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall, and over from beyond the gate of Ephraim, etc. Haneberg (in Reusch's theol. Literaturbl. 1869, No. 12) supports this view, but understands by "the broad wall" the wall which had a broad circuit, i.e., the wall previous to the captivity, and hence infers that the Jerusalem now rebuilt was not equal in extent to the old city. But if a portion of the former city had here been left outside the new wall, the gate of Ephraim would have been displaced, and must have been rebuilt elsewhere in a position to the south of the old gate. Still less can the attempt of the elder Buxtorf (Lexic. talm. rabb. s. v. עזב), now revived by Ewald (Gesch. iv. p. 174), to force upon the word עזב the meaning restaurare, or fortify, be justified.)
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