Nehemiah 3:17
After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
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(17) The Levites.—The circuit is coming round to the Temple.

Rehum the son of Bani.—The Levites were under him as a body.

In his part.—The other part of the Keilah district (now Kila) is in the next verse.

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.The constant mention of "priests," "Levites," and Nethinims," sufficiently indicates that the writer is here concerned with the sacerdotal quarter, that immediately about the temple.16. the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty—that is, along the precipitous cliffs of Zion [Barclay]. No text from Poole on this verse. After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani,.... Who was one of them, as he that follows was another:

next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah: a city of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:4

in his part; either with the men of that part of Keilah under his jurisdiction, or at the expense of that part of it.

After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
17. the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani] Here it may be noticed that the community is mentioned first, its representative afterwards. This variation from the usage in Nehemiah 3:7-8 is perhaps intended to give prominence to the work of the Levites or of a particular band of them.

Rehum, whose name is the same as that of one of the chief colleagues of Zerubbabel at the Return from Exile (Ezra 2:2), is perhaps to be identified with the Rehum in Nehemiah 10:25. Bani is mentioned in Nehemiah 9:5.

the ruler of the half part of Keilah] R.V. the ruler of half the district of Keilah. This is in all probability to be identified with the Keilah of Joshua 15:44; 1 Samuel 23:1, a town about 15 miles S. W. of Jerusalem.

in his part] R.V. for his part, i.e. for the district which he represented, in distinction from the district mentioned in the verse following.Verse 17. - The ruler of the half part of Keilah. Rather, "ruler of one-half of the region of K." The district within which Keilah stood was divided into two parts, one of which was under Hashabiah and the other under Bavai (ver. 18). Both took part in the work of restoration, and the two working-parties were assigned adjacent portions of the wall In his part; Rather, "for his part" - pro tractu suo, as Rambach renders. A second section of wall was repaired by Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashshub ben Pahath-Moab, two families who came up with Zerubbabel, Ezra 2:6 and Ezra 2:32. Bertheau understands שׁנית מדּה of a second section of wall added to a first already repaired by the same builders. So, too, he says, did Meremoth ben Urijah build one portion, Nehemiah 3:4, and a second, Nehemiah 3:21; comp. Nehemiah 3:5 and Nehemiah 3:27, Nehemiah 3:15 and Nehemiah 3:19, Nehemiah 3:8 and Nehemiah 3:30. This first portion, however, which this mention of a second presupposes, not being named, he infers that our present text has not preserved its original completeness, and thinks it probable, from Nehemiah 12:38 and Nehemiah 12:39, that certain statements, in this description, relating to the gate of Ephraim and its neighbourhood, which once stood before Nehemiah 3:8, have been omitted. This inference is unfounded. The non-mention of the gate of Ephraim is to be ascribed, as we have already remarked on Nehemiah 3:8, to other reasons than the incompleteness of the text; and the assertion that שׁנית מדּה assumes that a former portion was repaired by the same builders, receives no support from a comparison of Nehemiah 3:5 with Nehemiah 3:27, Nehemiah 3:15 with Nehemiah 3:19, and Nehemiah 3:8 with Nehemiah 3:30. Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, who, according to Nehemiah 3:30, built שׁני מדּה, are not identical with Hananiah the son of the apothecaries, Nehemiah 3:8. The same remark applies to Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:19), and Shallum the ruler of the district of Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:15). Only in Nehemiah 3:5 and Nehemiah 3:27, and Nehemiah 3:4 and Nehemiah 3:21, are the names of the builders the same. Moreover, besides Nehemiah 3:21 and Nehemiah 3:27, שׁנית מדּה occurs five times more (Nehemiah 3:11, Nehemiah 3:19, Nehemiah 3:20, Nehemiah 3:24, and Nehemiah 3:30) with respect to builders not previously (nor subsequently) mentioned in this list. Hence, in five different places, the names of the building parties, and the notices of the portions of wall built by them respectively, must have been lost, - a circumstance priori incredible. When, however, we consider the verses, in which שׁנית מדּה occurs, more closely, the second length is, in Nehemiah 3:19, Nehemiah 3:20, Nehemiah 3:21, Nehemiah 3:24, and Nehemiah 3:27, more nearly defined by a statement of locality: thus, in Nehemiah 3:19, we have a second piece over against the ascent to the arsenal at the angle; in Nehemiah 3:20, a second piece from the angle to the door of the house of Eliashib; in Nehemiah 3:21, a second piece from the door of the house of Eliashib to ... ; in Nehemiah 3:24, a second piece from the house of Azariah to ... , who, according to Nehemiah 3:23, built near his own house; in Nehemiah 3:27, a second piece over against the great projecting tower ... , as far as which, according to Nehemiah 3:26, the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel. From all this, it is evident that שׁנית מדּה in these verses, always denotes a second portion of that length of wall previously spoken of, or a portion next to that of which the building was previously mentioned. And so must שׁנית מדּה be understood in the present Nehemiah 3:11, where it is used because Malchiah and Hashshub repaired or built the tower of the furnaces, besides the portion of wall. שׁנית מדּה may be rendered, "another or a further piece." the word שׁנית is chosen, because that previously mentioned is regarded as a first. The tower of the furnaces lay, according to this verse and Nehemiah 12:38, where alone it is again mentioned, between the broad wall and the valley-gate. Now, since there was between the gate of Ephraim and the corner-gate a portion of wall four hundred cubits long (see 2 Kings 14:13), which, as has been above remarked, went by the name of the broad wall, it is plain that the tower of the furnaces must be sought for in the neighbourhood of the corner-gate, or perhaps even identified with it. This is the simplest way of accounting for the omission of any notice in the present description of this gate, which is mentioned not merely before (2 Chronicles 26:9; Jeremiah 31:38; and 2 Kings 14:13), but also after, the captivity (Zechariah 14:10). It is probable that the tower of the furnaces served as a defence for the corner-gate at the north-western corner of the town, where now lie, upon an earlier building of large stones with morticed edges, probably a fragment of the old Jewish wall, the ruins of the ancient Kal'at el Dshalud (tower of Goliath), which might, at the time of the Crusades, have formed the corner bastion of the city: comp. Rob. Palestine, ii. p. 114; Biblical Researches, p. 252; and Tobler, Topogr. i. p. 67f.
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