Matthew Poole's Commentary
And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.The rulers and the tenth man chosen by lot dwell at Jerusalem, Nehemiah 11:1,2. A catalogue of their names, numbers, and families, Nehemiah 11:3-19. The residue of the people dwell in other cities, Nehemiah 11:20-36.
The rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem, which their very office in some sort obliged them to do. To bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem; that the buildings of the city might be completed, and the honour and safety of it better provided for.
And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.Because they denied themselves, and their own safety and profit, for the public good; for this city was the butt of all the malicious plots of their enemies; and for the present it was rather chargeable than beneficial to its inhabitants; whereas the country did more easily and certainly afford them supplies.
Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants.The chief of the province, i.e. of Judea, which was now made a province.
To wit, Israel, i.e. the generality of the people of Israel, whether of Judah, or Benjamin, or any other tribe; as appears by this general enumeration of all the inhabitants of the land, in which either the people of Judah and Benjamin are included under the title of Israel, or they are not here mentioned; which is absurd to think, because they made up the greatest number of them. And these he calls
Israel rather than Judah, partly because there were many of the other tribes now joined and incorporated with them; and partly because none of the tribes of Israel, except Judah and Benjamin, dwelt in Jerusalem, as appears from the sequel.
And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;The children of Judah and of Benjamin; for to these two tribes this city anciently and most properly belonged, although some also of other tribes dwelt in it; of which, and other things relating to this catalogue, see 1 Chronicles 9:3, &c.
Athaiah, and his family and relations with him, and under him as their head, as appears from Nehemiah 11:6.
And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.No text from Poole on this verse.
All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.Such were most proper for this place and time, because of its many enemies round about it.
And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah.No text from Poole on this verse.
And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.So here were more of Benjamin than of Judah, because the city did chiefly and most properly belong to that tribe, as hath been noted before.
And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.Their overseer; the captain of their thousand.
Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.No text from Poole on this verse.
Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God.One of the chief priests; who ruled with and under the high priest: see Numbers 3:32 1 Chronicles 9:11 2 Chronicles 19:11 31:13.
And their brethren that did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,No text from Poole on this verse.
And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,No text from Poole on this verse.
And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.i.e. Of a person then or lately eminent in valour, or worth, or dignity. Or, of Gedolim, or Haggedolim, a man so called.
Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;No text from Poole on this verse.
And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.i.e. For those things belonging to the temple and its service, which were to be done without it, or abroad in the country, as for the gathering in of the voluntary contributions, or other necessary provisions, out of the several parts of the land. See 1 Chronicles 26:29.
And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.In prayer, i.e. in the public and solemn prayers and praises which were constantly joined with the morning and evening sacrifice, at which the singers were present, and praised God with a psalm or hymn, which this man began.
All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.No text from Poole on this verse.
Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.No text from Poole on this verse.
But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.No text from Poole on this verse.
The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God.i.e. Were to take care at Jerusalem for the supply of such things as were necessary for the temple and the service of God, from time to time, whilst others minded the outward business, Nehemiah 11:16. And this office was very proper for them, both as they were Levites, to whose care those things belonged; and as they were singers, who were not to come to Jerusalem by turns, as other Levites, and as the priests did, but were constantly to reside there, and therefore were more capable of minding this business. Besides, their employment was not so frequent nor so great as some others were, and therefore they had more leisure for it.
For it was the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.For; or, therefore; for the following words contain either a reason why they were set over that business, or a recompence for it, or a provision that they might diligently attend to it.
The king’s commandment; either,
1. David’s, who made this constitution. Or rather,
2. The kings of Persia, who is called simply the king in the next verse also; who took this care at the request and by the direction of Ezra or Nehemiah. Or this might be Nehemiah’s command, which is called the king’s command, because it was done by the king’s deputy, or a commissioner whom the king empowered to do what he saw fit for the house and service of God, commanding all the people to obey him therein; as he had formerly done to Ezra, Ezra 7:18,20,23.
And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.At the king’s hand, or, on the kings part, to determine civil causes and controversies between man and man by the laws of that kingdom, which peradventure he understood better than Nehemiah, and therefore was appointed for this work, but still under Nehemiah. Or, according to the king’s appointment, as the hand is used, as Numbers 4:49, and elsewhere.
In all matters concerning the people; either in civil differences between them, or in things between the king and people; as in matters of tribute, or grievances, &c., wherein this man possibly was chief justiciary under Nehemiah.
And for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof,Kirjath-arba: this and most of the other places here named had been destroyed by the Chaldeans; but the Jews now repaired the best of the ruinated houses, and by degrees rebuilt others.
And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet,No text from Poole on this verse.
And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and in the villages thereof,No text from Poole on this verse.
And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,No text from Poole on this verse.
And at Enrimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth,No text from Poole on this verse.
Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.No text from Poole on this verse.
The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages,No text from Poole on this verse.
And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,No text from Poole on this verse.
Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,No text from Poole on this verse.
Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,No text from Poole on this verse.
Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.Or, in the valley, &c. Or this is another place called Ge-haharasim.
And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.Or, for the Levites (to wit, those of them who were not settled in Jerusalem) there were divisions, i.e. places appointed for them, and distributed among them.