Nehemiah 7:2
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
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7:1-4 Nehemiah, having finished the wall, returned to the Persian court, and came to Jerusalem again with a new commission. The public safety depends on every one's care to guard himself and his family against sin.My brother Hanani - See Nehemiah 1:2.

The ruler of the palace - Or, "the governor of the fortress." See the marginal reference note.

He - i. e. Hananiah.

2. I gave my brother Hanani … charge over Jerusalem—If, as is commonly supposed, Nehemiah was now contemplating a return to Shushan according to his promise, it was natural that he should wish to entrust the custody of Jerusalem and the management of its civic affairs to men on whose ability, experience, and fidelity, he could confide. Hanani, a near relative (Ne 1:2), was one, and with him was associated, as colleague, Hananiah, "the ruler of the palace"—that is, the marshal or chamberlain of the viceregal court, which Nehemiah had maintained in Jerusalem. The high religious principle, as well as the patriotic spirit of those two men, recommended them as pre-eminently qualified for being invested with an official trust of such peculiar importance.

and feared God above many—The piety of Hananiah is especially mentioned as the ground of his eminent fidelity in the discharge of all his duties and, consequently, the reason of the confidence which Nehemiah reposed in him; for he was fully persuaded that Hananiah's fear of God would preserve him from those temptations to treachery and unfaithfulness which he was likely to encounter on the governor's departure from Jerusalem.

Hanani; of whom see Nehemiah 1:2.

The ruler of the palace, i.e. of Nehemiah’s court; justly so called, because he lived in great splendour, and like a viceroy, though it was wholly at his own charge.

Charge over Jerusalem, to preserve its peace and safety, and to take particular care of the shutting the gates of the city.

He was a faithful man, to wit, Hananiah last mentioned; for it was needless to say any thing in commendation of Hanani, who had shown his piety and zeal for God and his country, in taking a tedious journey from Jerusalem to Shushan, to inform Nehemiah of the sad estate of Jerusalem, and to implore his helping hand to relieve it, Ne 1.

A faithful man; he chose not magistrates and officers out of any partial or carnal respects to his own kindred, or acquaintance, or favourites, but from true piety and prudence, such as were fittest for and would be most faithful in their employments.

And feared God: this is added as the ground and reason, both why he was faithful, and why Nehemiah put such trust and confidence in him, because he knew that the fear of God would keep him from yielding to those temptations to perfidiousness which he was likely to meet with when Nehemiah was gone, and against which a man destitute of God’s fear hath no sufficient fence.

Above many; more than most men did; or, above the common pitch of piety.

That I gave my brother Hanani,.... Who first brought him the melancholy account of the state of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:2,

and Hananiah the ruler of the palace; the king's palace, in which the viceroy of the king of Persia dwelt, and now Nehemiah; to these two men he gave

charge over Jerusalem; committed it to their care during his absence, who may be supposed now to return to Persia, as he had promised, Nehemiah 2:6,

for he was a faithful man; this is said of Hananiah, and given as a reason why such a trust was committed to him; Hanani's character was well known, and his journey from Jerusalem to Shushan was a full proof of his hearty concern for the interest of it:

and feared God above many; Hananiah was exemplary in his fear of God, few were equal to him, and none exceeded him; or of many days, as Jarchi; of a long time he had feared the Lord, and served him many years.

That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
2. my brother Hanani] cf. Nehemiah 1:2.

Hananiah the ruler of the palace] R.V. Hananiah the governor of the castle. On the castle or ‘Bira’ see Nehemiah 2:8. The ‘governor of the castle’ would be an official of great importance, being probably in command of troops for the purpose of keeping order in the city. ‘He’ refers to Hananiah. Possibly Nehemiah’s appointment of two officers to the command of the city corresponds with the mention of the two men in Nehemiah 3:9; Nehemiah 3:12, who were ‘rulers of half the district of Jerusalem.’

a faithful man, and feared God] cf. Exodus 18:21, ‘able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain.’ The Hebrew is noticeable; not absolutely ‘a man of truth,’ but ‘such as only a man of truth is.’

above many] i.e. more than most. LXX. παρὰ πολλούς. Vulg. ‘plus cæteris.’ The phrase which only occurs here in the O.T. has a very lifelike ring.

Verse 2. - Hanani and Hananiah. This appointment of two municipal officers to have charge of Jerusalem recalls the mention of two "rulers" in Nehemiah 3:9, 12, each of whom had authority-over half the district dependent on Jerusalem, and amounts to an "undesigned coincidence." The ruler of the palace. Rather, "the commandant of the fort," i.e. the officer in charge of the temple fortress (see above, Nehemiah 2:8). Nehemiah 7:2The watching of the city provided for. - Nehemiah 7:1 When the wall was built, Nehemiah set up the doors in the gates, to complete the fortification of Jerusalem (comp. Nehemiah 6:1). Then were the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites entrusted with the care (הפּקד, praefici; comp. Nehemiah 12:14). The care of watching the walls and gates is meant in this connection. According to ancient appointment, it was the duty of the doorkeepers to keep watch over the house of God, and to open and close the gates of the temple courts; comp. 1 Chronicles 9:17-19; 1 Chronicles 26:12-19. The singers and the Levites appointed to assist the priests, on the contrary, had, in ordinary times, nothing to do with the service of watching. Under the present extraordinary circumstances, however, Nehemiah committed also to these two organized corporations the task of keeping watch over the walls and gates of the city, and placed them under the command of his brother Hanani, and of Hananiah the ruler of the citadel. This is expressed by the words, Nehemiah 7:2 : I gave Hanani ... and Hananiah ... charge over Jerusalem. הבּירה is the fortress or citadel of the city lying to the north of the temple (see rem. on Nehemiah 2:8), in which was probably located the royal garrison, the commander of which was in the service of the Persian king. The choice of this man for so important a charge is explained by the additional clause: "for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many." The כּ before אישׁ is the so-called Caph veritatis, which expresses a comparison with the idea of the matter: like a man whom one may truly call faithful. מרבּים is comparative: more God-fearing than many.
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