Nehemiah 3:25
Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lies out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) The tower which lieth out from the king’s high house.—Better, the high tower outlying from the king’s palace.

That was by the court of the prison.—The palace generally had its prison, and near this was the “prison-gate” of Nehemiah 12:39.

Nehemiah 3:25. Over against the turning of the wall — In a part of the wall which jutted out. And the tower — Or, even the tower. Which lieth out from the king’s high house — Either from the royal palace, or from some other house which the king formerly built there, either for prospect or for defence. By the court of the prison — A place often mentioned: see Jeremiah 32:2; Jeremiah 38:7; Jeremiah 38:13.3:1-32 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 "king's high house" is almost certainly the old palace of David, which was on the temple hill, and probably occupied a position directly north of the temple.

That was by the court of the prison - Prisons were in old times adjuncts of palaces. The palace of David must have had its prison; and the "prison gate" Nehemiah 12:39 was clearly in this quarter.

25. the tower which lieth out from the king's high house—that is, watchtower by the royal palace [Barclay]. Over against the turning of the wall; in a part of the wall, which jutted out as the tower here following did, and therefore was opposite to or over against that turning.

And the tower, or, even the tower. Out from the king’s high house; either from the royal palace; or from some other smaller house which the king formerly built there, either for prospect or for defence.

By the court of the prison; a place oft mentioned; of which see Jeremiah 32:2 38:6,13. Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall,.... Who dwelt there, and so repaired what was right against him:

and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house: which might be built for prospect, or his upper house:

that was by the court of the prison; and we often read in Jeremiah of the court of the prison being in or near the king's house, see Jeremiah 32:2,

after him Pedaiah the son of Parosh; went on from hence with the repair.

Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. Palal the son of Uzai] R.V. Palal the son of Uzai repaired.

the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, that was by the court of the prison] R.V. the tower that standeth out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard, R.V. marg. ‘Or, the upper tower … from the house of the king’.

It is not easy to determine the meaning of this description. The adjective ‘upper’ may be applied either to the king’s house or to the tower; and the clause ‘which is by the court of the guard’ follows it as a further description either of house or tower. In Jeremiah 32:2 ‘the court of the guard’ is in ‘the king’s house’ (cf. Jeremiah 33:1; Jeremiah 37:21; Jeremiah 38:6; Jeremiah 38:13; Jeremiah 38:28; Jeremiah 39:14-15). In the present passage we have either ‘the king’s upper house,’ so called to distinguish it from the king’s house, in which was the court of the guard; or, as seems more probable, seeing that the passage is a description of the city wall, ‘the upper tower,’ which is identified as the one projecting from the king’s palace and close to the ‘court of the guard.’ In the vicinity of the royal palace and Temple there would probably be several towers. The LXX. ὁ πύργοςὁ ἀνώτερος accepted the latter explanation.

It is very probable that the base of ‘the tower’ here spoken of was reached by Sir Charles Warren. ‘A great wall still exists, though buried in rubbish, joining the Haram wall at the south-east angle. It was evidently built for purposes of fortification, for it is fourteen feet thick.… There are several towers projecting from the wall, one of which is very remarkable, as it projects more than any of the rest, standing upon scarped rock, and having another wall leading from it going down towards the Kedron.’ (Harper, The Bible and Modern Discoveries, P. 509.)

‘the upper house of the king’. This building, erected upon the site of the old palace of the kings of Judah and perhaps at this time occupied by the chief officials of the city, stood apparently on the ‘Ophel’ summit, immediately S. of the Temple precincts.

Pedaiah the son of Parosh] R.V. Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired. R.V. marg. ‘Pedaiah the son of Parosh (now … Ophel) repaired unto, &c.’ See note on Nehemiah 3:26. On Parosh see Ezra 2:3. As in the earlier part of the verse the verb ‘repaired’ has to be understood.Verse 25. - The tower which lieth out from the king's high house. In the original it is uncertain whether the word translated "high" belongs to "tower" or "house." Most commentators attach it to "tower." The "king's house" of this place can be nothing but the old palace of David, which was in this quarter, while Solomon's was on the opposite, or western, hill This palace, like Solomon s (Jeremiah 32:2), would naturally have its prison, which would stand in its own court. From this prison, the "prison gate" of Nehemiah 12:39 took its name. Next to these repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece (on שׁנית מדּה, see rem. on Nehemiah 3:11) opposite the ascent to the armoury of the angle. הנּשׁק or הנּשׁק (in most editions) is probably an abbreviation of בּית־הנּשׁק, arsenal, armoury; and המּקצוע is, notwithstanding the article in הנּשׁק, genitive; for to combine it as an accusative with עלותּ, and read, "the going up of the armoury upon the angle," gives no suitable meaning. The locality itself cannot indeed be more precisely stated. The armoury was probably situate on the east side of Zion, at a place where the wall of the city formed an angle; or it occupied an angle within the city itself, no other buildings adjoining it on the south. The opinion of Bertheau, that the armoury stood where the tower described by Tobler (Dritte Wand. p. 228) stands, viz., about midway between the modern Zion gate and the dung-gate, and of which he says that "its lower strata of stones are undoubtedly of a remoter date than the rebuilding of the wall in the sixteenth century," coincides with the assumption already refuted, that the old wall of the city of David passed, like the southern wall of modern Jerusalem, over Mount Zion.
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