After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Another piece.—Meremoth added to his other labour the repair of the wall under this house.Nehemiah 3:21. From the door of the house of Eliashib, &c. — He carried on the work from the place where the other left off, from the door of the house to the end of it, which, being the house of a great man, we may suppose was very large.Nehemiah 3:11, seems to have slipped out of the text.Nehemiah 3:4, but having finished that, he sets his hand a second time to the work:
from the door of the house of Eliashib, even to the end of the house of Eliashib; the door of his house seems to have been at one end of it, and from that end to the other was a considerable length; he being a great man, the high priest, had a large house.After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. Urijah the son of Koz] R.V. Uriah the son of Hakkoz.
another piece] R.V. another portion. Meremoth was also concerned in the repair of the Northern wall. See on Nehemiah 3:4.
even to the end] This description seems to imply that the high-priest’s house was a building of considerable extent, and that it was built upon the city wall. The word rendered ‘end’ (taclîth) seems only to occur in this sense twice elsewhere in the O.T., Job 26:10, ‘confines,’ Job 28:3, ‘end.’ Elsewhere e.g. Psalm 139:22 it is used to denote ‘perfection,’ ‘completeness.’ The words proved a difficulty to the versions, e.g. LXX. ἕως ἐκλείψεως, Vulg. donec extenderetur.Verse 21. - Meremoth's first piece is mentioned in ver. 4. The second piece cannot have been very long, since it only extended along a portion of the high priest's house. Nehemiah 11:5, apparently as the name of another individual. To יבננּוּ is added יטללנּוּ, he covered it, from טלל, to shade, to cover, answering to the קרוּהוּ of Nehemiah 3:3 and Nehemiah 3:6, probably to cover with a layer of beams. The position of the fountain-gate is apparent from the description of the adjoining length of wall which Shallum also repaired. This was "the wall of the pool of Shelach (Siloah) by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David." The word שׁלח recalls שׁלּוח; the pool of Shelach can be none other than the pool which received its water through the שׁלח, i.e., mission (aquae). By the researches of Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 148f.) and Tobler (Die Siloahquelle u. der Oelberg, p. 6f.), it has been shown that the pool of Siloah receives its water from a subterranean conduit 1750 feet long, cut through the rock from the Fountain of the Virgin, Ain Sitti Miriam, on the eastern slope of Ophel. Near to the pool of Siloah, on the eastern declivity of Zion, just where the Tyropoean valley opens into the vale of Kidron, is found an old and larger pool (Birket el Hamra), now covered with grass and trees, and choked with earth, called by Tobler the lower pool of Siloah, to distinguish it from the one still existing, which, because it lies north-west of the former, he calls the upper pool of Siloah. One of these pools of Siloah, probably the lower and larger, is certainly the king's pool mentioned Nehemiah 2:14, in the neighbourhood of which lay, towards the east and south-east, the king's garden. The wall of the pool of Shelach need not have reached quite up to the pool, but may have gone along the edge of the south-eastern slope of Zion, at some distance therefrom. In considering the next particular following, "unto the stairs that go down from the city of David," we must turn our thoughts towards a locality somewhat to the north of this pool, the description now proceeding from the south-eastern corner of the wall northward. These stairs are not yet pointed out with certainty, unless perhaps some remains of them are preserved in the "length of rocky escarpment," which Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 102, and Biblical Researches, p. 247) remarked on the narrow ridge of the eastern slope of the hill of Zion, north of Siloam, at a distance of 960 feet from the present wall of the city, "apparently the foundations of a wall or of some similar piece of building."
(Note: Bertheau's view, that these stairs were situated where Mount Zion, upon which stood the city of David, descends abruptly towards the east, and therefore on the precipice running from south to north, which still rises ninety-one feet above the ground northwards of the now so-called Bab el Mogharibeh or dung-gate, opposite the southern part of the west wall of the temple area, is decidedly incorrect. For this place is two thousand feet, i.e., more than one thousand cubits, distant from the pool of Siloah, while our text places them immediately after the length of wall by this pool. The transposition of these "steps" to a position within the present wall of the city is, in Bertheau's case, connected with the erroneous notion that the fountain-gate (Nehemiah 3:15 and Nehemiah 2:14) stood on the site of the present dung-gate (Bab el Mogharibeh), for which no other reason appears than the assumption that the southern wall of the city of David, before the captivity, went over Zion, in the same direction as the southern wall of modern Jerusalem, only perhaps in a rather more southerly direction, - an assumption shown to be erroneous, even by the circumstance that in this case the sepulchres of David, Solomon, and the kings of Judah would have stood outside the city wall, on the southern part of Zion; while, according to the Scripture narrative, David, Solomon, and the kings of Judah were buried in the city of David (1 Kings 2:10; 1 Kings 11:42; 1 Kings 14:31; 1 Kings 15:8, and elsewhere). But apart from this consideration, this hypothesis is shattered by the statements of this fifteenth verse, which Bertheau cannot explain so inconsistently with the other statements concerning the building of the wall, as to make them say that any one coming from the west and going round by the south of the city towards the east, would first arrive at the fountain-gate, and then at the portion of wall in question; but is obliged to explain, so that the chief work, the building of the fountain-gate, is mentioned first; then the slighter work, the reparation of a length of wall as supplementary; and this makes the localities enumerated in Nehemiah 3:13 succeed each other in the following order, in a direction from the west by south and east towards the north: "Valley-gate - one thousand cubits of wall as far as the dung-gate; dung-gate - the wall of the conduit towards the king's garden, as far as the stairs which lead from the city of David - fountain-gate." No adequate reason for this transposition of the text is afforded by the circumstance that no portion of wall is mentioned (Nehemiah 3:14 and Nehemiah 3:15) as being repaired between the dung-gate and the valley-gate. For how do we know that this portion on the southern side of Zion was broken down and needing repair? Might not the length between these two gates have been left standing when the city was burnt by the Chaldeans?)
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