Nehemiah 3:20
After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Earnestly repaired the other piece.—The reason of this man’s emulation in building near the high priest’s house does not appear.

Nehemiah 3:20. Baruch earnestly repaired the other piece — Did his work with eminent diligence and fervency; which is here noted to his commendation. And, it is probable, this good man’s zeal provoked many to take the more pains, and make the more haste.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 other piece - Rather, "another piece." The notice of Baruch's first piece, like that of Malchijah's and Hashub's Nehemiah 3:11, seems to have slipped out of the text.19. at the turning of the wall—that is, the wall across the Tyropœon, being a continuation of the first wall, connecting Mount Zion with the temple wall [Barclay]. Earnestly repaired; did his work with eminent diligence and fervency; which is here noted to his commendation.

From the turning of the wall, or, from the corner, as Nehemiah 3:19. Unto the door of the house; unto that part of the wall which was over against or next to this door. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece,.... Towards and next to that Ezer the last builder mentioned had repaired; and this he did "earnestly", or in anger as the word signifies, being angry with himself or others that there was any backwardness shown to the work; and therefore, with all haste and eagerness imaginable, attended to it:

from the turning of the wall; see the preceding verse:

unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest; of whom see Nehemiah 3:1, now either his house was upon the wall, or that part of the wall that was right against the door of his house is here meant.

After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Baruch the son of Zabbai] R.V. marg. ‘Another reading is, Zaccai.’ Zabbai (so Ezra 10:28) is the reading of C’thib and LXX., Zaccai of K’ri and Vulg.

earnestly repaired] The word rendered ‘earnestly’ calls for remark. (a) In the original it appears as an unusual causative of a verb meaning ‘to be angry,’ which in this exact form is only elsewhere found in Job 19:11. ‘He hath also kindled his wrath against me. The word occurs also in Jeremiah 12:5 = ‘contend,’ Jeremiah 22:15 = ‘strivest to excel.’ (b) A causative verb in the past tense immediately preceding the finite verb ‘repaired,’ may be idiomatic Hebrew, but is not to be expected in narrative prose. (c) The word ‘repaired’ is found nowhere else in this list with any qualification. If the reading is correct, the word will denote the ardour or the emulous spirit with which Baruch undertook his work.

The same word differently pointed is capable of meaning ‘towards the hill,’ being then the same as that rendered in Genesis 14:10 ‘to the mountain.’ This must have been the reading of the Vulgate ‘in monte ædificavit Baruch.’

If this is the right reading, it refers to the summit of the Ophel, where the high-priest’s house would have stood immediately S. of the Temple.

the other piece] R.V. another portion. See note on Nehemiah 3:11. Here these words, as Baruch’s name has not occurred before, suggest the incompleteness of the description.Verse 20. - Earnestly repaired. So Gesenius, Pool, and Bertheau. The construction is not free from difficulty, and the reading is somewhat doubtful (the Vulgate "in monte" showing a different one); but on the whole the translation of the A. V. may stand. Baruch has the high honour of being singled out for special praise, as having shown a burning zeal which deserved this recompense. He rapidly accomplished the task first set him, the mention of which must have accidentally fallen out (see the comment on ver. 11), and now undertook a "second piece," which extended from the north-western angle of the inner wall to the door of the high priest's house. It would seem that this door was in the wall, upon which the house must have abutted (see the next verse). From 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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