Nehemiah 3:2
And next to him built the men of Jericho. And next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri.
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(2) Next unto him.At his hand, the customary phrase throughout the chapter, indicating the order of the building, which, however, involves some difficulty towards the close. The phrase, as first used, does honour to the high priest, who must be supposed to have presided only over the religious ceremonial.

The men of Jericho.—At the point, it will be observed, opposite their own city.

Nehemiah 3:2-3. The men of Jericho — The posterity of the ancient inhabitants of Jericho. The fish-gate — This gate, being on the north-west side of Jerusalem, looked toward the sea, from whence fish was wont to be brought and sold in the fish-market near this gate.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 people of each provincial town were set to work for the most part on the portion of the wall nearest their city. Thus, "the men of Jericho," were employed at the northeast corner of Jerusalem. 2. next unto him builded the men of Jericho, &c.—The wall was divided into portions, one of which was assigned respectively to each of the great families which had returned from the captivity. This distribution, by which the building was carried on in all parts simultaneously with great energy, was eminently favorable to despatch. "The villages where the restorers resided being mostly mentioned, it will be seen that this circumstance affords a general indication of the part of the wall upon which they labored, such places being on that side of the city nearest their place of abode; the only apparent exception being, perhaps, where they repaired more than their piece. Having completed their first undertaking (if they worked any more), there being no more work to be done on the side next their residence, or having arrived after the repairs on that part of the city nearest them under operation were completed, they would go wherever their services would be required" [Barclay, City of the Great King]. The men of Jericho; the posterity of the ancient inhabitants of Jericho. See Ezra 2:34. And next unto him builded the men of Jericho,.... The posterity of those that formerly inhabited that city; these began where Eliashib and the priests ended, and went on from thence:

and next to them; or rather "to him", the high priest:

builded Zaccur the son of Imri; who probably was the chief of the men of Jericho.

And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.
2. next unto him] i.e. next to Eliashib and the priests. The description passing northward from the Temple, now turns west.

the men of Jericho] Some suppose that this section of the wall lay sufficiently on the N.E. quarter to offer to ‘men of Jericho’ a convenient piece of work.

On the other hand, the term may only denote a clan of fellow-townsmen, who had held together during the exile and were known by this name after they had settled in Jerusalem. See Ezra 2:34.

to them] R.V. marg. Heb. to him. Perhaps the Hebrew indicates here an abbreviation of or omission from the list. ‘Next to,’ here and in Nehemiah 3:19 should have been rendered ‘next unto’ as elsewhere.Verse 2. - Next to Eliashib builded the men of Jericho, who were assigned the northeastern corner of the wall, as the part nearest to their own town. The inclusion of Jericho in the restored Judea had appeared from Ezra 2:34. He had spoken to no one of his purpose (Nehemiah 2:12); hence the rulers of the city knew neither whither he was going nor what he was doing (i.e., undertaking) when he rode by night out of the city gate accompanied by a few followers. As yet he had said nothing either to the Jews (the citizens of Jerusalem), the priests, the nobles, the rulers, or the rest who did the work. החרים and הסּגנים are connected, as in Ezra 9:2 השּׂרים and הסּגנים. The nobles (חרים, nobiles) or princes are the heads of the different houses or races of the people; סגנים, the rulers of the town, the authorities. המּלאכה עשׂה, the doers of the work, are the builders; comp. Ezra 3:9. When these are, in comparison with the priests, nobles, and rulers, designated as יתר, the remnant, this is explained by the fact that the priests and rulers of the people were not actively engaged in building. המּלאכה, the work in question, i.e., here the building of the walls. כּן עד, until thus, i.e., until now, until the time apparent from the context. Nehemiah then, having inspected the condition of the ruined walls, and being now persuaded of the possibility of restoring them, made known his resolution to the nobles, the rulers, and the community, i.e., to a public assembly called together for this purpose (Nehemiah 2:17). "Ye see (have before your eyes, know from experience) the distress that we are in, that Jerusalem lieth waste: come (לכוּ), let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach." In other words: Let us by building our walls put an end to the miserable condition which gives our adversaries occasion to reproach us.
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