But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The fish gate.—Through which fish entered from the Jordan and Galilee.
The sons of Hassenaah.—Contrary to custom, their names are not mentioned.
The locks thereof, and the bars thereof.—The crossbars thereof, and the catches thereof, the latter holding the former at the two ends. Similarly in several other verses.
Locks - The word used (here and in Nehemiah 3:6, Nehemiah 3:13-15) is thought to mean rather a "cross-bar" than a lock, while that translated "bars" is regarded as denoting the "hooks" or "catches" which held the cross-bar at its two ends.The fish-gate; of which mention is made 2 Chronicles 33:14 Nehemiah 12:39 Zephaniah 1:10; so called, either from the fish-market, which was near it; or because the fish was brought in by it from the sea, Nehemiah 13:16; this gate being north-westward from Jerusalem.
The locks thereof, and the bars thereof: this is either here related by anticipation, the whole work being here mentioned together, though this part was not done till afterwards, Nehemiah 6:1 7:1; or this was done to some of the gates, but not to all; and therefore this is said to be done more completely and universally afterwards. 2 Chronicles 33:14 he also says, this gate was called the gate of Hebron, because the road of Hebron went through it, which is about seven or eight hours' walking distant from it:
who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof; completely finished it.But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. But the fish gate] R.V. And the fish gate. This gate is referred to in chap. Nehemiah 12:39; 2 Chronicles 33:14; Zephaniah 1:10. It was on the northern or north-western wall; how far distant from the ‘tower of Hananel’ we cannot tell. But the two sections of wall-building undertaken by ‘the men of Jericho’ and ‘Zaccur the son of Imri’ intervened.
The name of the gate may have been derived from the proximity of the fish market. It has been suggested that the fish brought by the Tyrian traders (Nehemiah 13:16) and by the fishermen of Lake Galilee would arrive by this gate. From Zephaniah 1:10-11, it appears that this gate adjoined the merchant quarter of Jerusalem.
Hassenaah] cf. Ezra 2:35; Nehemiah 7:38, Senaah.
who also] R.V. they.
the locks thereof] R.V. the bolts thereof. The details of the fully completed gate are repeated in Nehemiah 3:6; Nehemiah 3:13-15. What the ‘bolts’ (A.V. ‘locks’) were, is not certain (LXX. κλεῖθρα, Vulg. valvas). The word occurs again in Song of Solomon 5:5.
Some suppose them to be the ‘sockets’ or ‘supports’ into which the ‘bars’ and ‘stanchions’ of the gate filled; others the ‘bolts’ which held the cross-bars firm. The city gates of ancient times turned upon pivots in sockets instead of upon hinges; and we may conjecture that the word rendered ‘locks’ denoted that which held a gate in its place, while ‘the bars’ fastened it to the side-posts.Verse 3. - It is strange that the sons of Hassenaah, who built the fourth piece of wall, are not mentioned by name. There is no other similar omission. The fish gate, which they built, was in the northern wall, towards its eastern extremity, and not far from the modern "Damascus gate." It is thought to be so called from being the gate through which fish were brought in from the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee. The locks thereof should rather be "the bars thereof"; and the bars, "the sockets," or "catches," which held the bars. The gates of towns in ancient times were almost always secured in this way. 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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