Nethinim
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Smith's Bible Dictionary
Nethinim

(given, dedicated), As applied specifically to a distinct body of men connected with the services of the temple, this name first meets us in the later books of the Old Testament-- in 1 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, The word and the ideas embodied in it may, however, be traced to a much earlier period. As derived from the verb nathan , i.e. give, set apart, dedicate, it was applied to those who were pointed to the liturgical offices of the tabernacle. We must not forget that the Levites were given to Aaron and his sons, i.e. to the priests as an order, and were accordingly the first Nethinim. (Numbers 3:9; 8:19) At first they were the only attendants, and their work must have been laborious enough. The first conquests, however, brought them their share of the captive slaves of the Midianites and 320 were given to them as having charge of the tabernacle, (Numbers 31:47) while 32 only were assigned specially to the priests. This disposition to devolve the more laborious offices of their ritual upon slaves of another race showed itself again in the treatment of the Gibeonites. No addition to the number thus employed pears to have been mad ring the period of the judges, and they continued to be known by their own name as the Gibeonites. Either the massacre at Nob had involved the Gibeonites as well as the priests, (1 Samuel 22:19) or else they had fallen victims to some other outburst of Saul's fury; and though there were survivors, (2 Samuel 21:2) the number was likely to be quite inadequate for the greater stateliness of the new worship at Jerusalem. It is to this period accordingly that the origin of the class bearing this name may be traced. The Nethinim were those "whom David and the princes appointed (Heb. gave) for the service of the Levites." (Ezra 8:20) At this time the Nethinim probably lived within the precincts of the temple, doing its rougher work and so enabling the Levites to take a higher position as the religious representatives and instructors of the people. The example set by David was followed by his successor.

ATS Bible Dictionary
Nethinim

Given, or consecrated, a term first applied to the Levites, Numbers 8:19; but after the settlement in Canaan, to servants dedicated to the service of the tabernacle and temple, to perform the most laborious offices, as carrying of wood and water. At first the Gibeonites were destined to this station, Jud 9:27; afterwards, other Canaanites who surrendered themselves, and whose lives were spared. Many of them appear to have been first assigned to David, Solomon, and other princes, and by them transferred to the temple service, 1 Kings 9:20,21 Ezra 2:58,70 8:20 Nehemiah 11:3. It is probable that they became proselytes, Nehemiah 10:28, and that many of them could cordially unite with David in saying, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness," Psalm 84:10. The Nethinim were carried into captivity with the tribe of Judah, and great numbers were placed not far from the Caspian sea, whence Ezra brought two hundred and twenty of them into Judea, Ezra 8:17.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s", "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s" (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Nehemiah 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n. pl.) Servants of the priests and Levites in the menial services about the tabernacle and temple.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
NETHINIM

neth'-i-nim (nethinim, "given"; Natheineim; the King James Version Nethinims):

1. Meaning:

A group of temple-servants (1 Chronicles 9:2 and 16 times in Ezra and Nehemiah). The word has always the article, and does not occur in the singular. The Septuagint translators usually transliterate, but in one passage (1 Chronicles 9:2) they render, "the given ones" (hoi dedomenoi). The Syriac (Peshitta) also, in Ezra, Nehemiah, transliterates the word, but in 1 Chronicles 9:2 renders it by a word meaning "sojourners." The meaning "given" is suggestive of a state of servitude, and Josephus seems to confirm the suggestion by calling the Nethinim "temple-slaves" (hierodouloi) (Ant., XI, v, 1). It should, however, be noted that another form of this word is employed in the directions regarding the Levites: "Thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him on behalf of the children of Israel" (Numbers 3:9; compare also Numbers 8:16, 19).

2. History:

Of the history of the Nethinim in earlier times there are but few and uncertain traces. When Joshua discovered that he had been beguiled by the Gibeonites into a covenant to let them live, he reduced their tribe to servitude, and declared, "Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall never fail to be of you bondsmen, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God" (Joshua 9:23, 27). It is no doubt tempting to see in the Gibeonites the earliest Nethinim, but another tradition traces their origin to a gift of David and the princes for the service of the Levites (Ezra 8:20). Their names, too, indicate diversity of origin; for besides being mostly un-Hebrew in aspect, some of them are found elsewhere in the Old Testament as names of non-Israelitish tribes. The Meunim, for example (Ezra 2:50 equals Nehemiah 7:52), are in all likelihood descended from the Meonites or Maonites who are mentioned as harassing Israel (Judges 10:12), as in conflict with the Simeonites (1 Chronicles 4:41), and as finally overcome by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:7). The next name in the lists is that of the children of Nephisim. These may be traced to the Hagrite clan of Naphish (Genesis 25:15 1 Chronicles 5:19). In both Ezra and Nehemiah, the list is immediately followed by that of the servants of Solomon, whose duties were similar to, it may be even humbler than, those of the Nethinim. These servants of Solomon appear to be descendants of the Canaanites whom Solomon employed in the building of his temple (1 Kings 5:15). All these indications are perhaps slight; but they point in the same direction, and warrant the assumption that the Nethinim were originally foreign slaves, mostly prisoners of war, who had from time to time been given to the temple by the kings and princes of the nation, and that to them were assigned the lower menial duties of the house of God.

3. Post-exilic History:

At the time of the return from the exile the Nethinim had come to be regarded as important. Their number was considerable: 392 accompanied Zerubbabel at the first Return in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:58 equals Nehemiah 7:60). When Ezra, some 80 years later, organized the second Return, he secured a contingent of Nethinim numbering 220 (Ezra 8:20). In Jerusalem they enjoyed the same privileges and immunities as the other religious orders, being included by Artaxerxes' letter to Ezra among those who should be exempt from toll, custom and tribute (Ezra 7:24). A part of the city in Ophel, opposite the Water-gate, was assigned them as an official residence (Nehemiah 3:26, 31), and the situation is certainly appropriate if their duties at all resembled those of the Gibeonites (see Ryle, "Ezra and Nehemiah," in Cambridge Bible, Intro, 57). They were also organized into a kind of guild under their own leaders or presidents (Nehemiah 11:21).

The Nethinim are not again mentioned in Scripture. It is probable that they, with the singers and porters, became gradually incorporated in the general body of Levites; their name passed ere long into a tradition, and became at a later time a butt for the scorn and bitterness of the Talmudic writers against everything that they regarded as un-Jewish.

John A. Lees

Strong's Hebrew
5411. nethinim -- temple servants
... 5410b, 5411. nethinim. 5412 . temple servants. Transliteration: nethinim Phonetic
Spelling: (naw-theen') Short Definition: servants. ... nethinim. 5412 . ...
/hebrew/5411.htm - 6k

6727. Tsicha -- an overseer of Nethinim, also an Israelite family
... 6726, 6727. Tsicha. 6728 . an overseer of Nethinim, also an Israelite family.
Transliteration: Tsicha Phonetic Spelling: (tsee-khaw') Short Definition: Ziha ...
/hebrew/6727.htm - 6k

1227. Baqbuq -- one of the Nethinim
... one of the Nethinim. Transliteration: Baqbuq Phonetic Spelling: (bak-book') Short
Definition: Bakbuk. ... The same as baqbuk; Bakbuk, one of the Nethinim -- Bakbuk. ...
/hebrew/1227.htm - 6k

1435. Giddel -- "very great," one of the Nethinim, also one of ...
... "very great," one of the Nethinim, also one of Solomon's servants. Transliteration:
Giddel Phonetic Spelling: (ghid-dale') Short Definition: Giddel. ...
/hebrew/1435.htm - 6k

619. Asnah -- perhaps "thornbush," one of the Nethinim
... 618, 619. Asnah. 620 . perhaps "thornbush," one of the Nethinim. Transliteration:
Asnah Phonetic Spelling: (as-naw') Short Definition: Asnah. ...
/hebrew/619.htm - 6k

1153. Besay -- one of the Nethinim
... one of the Nethinim. Transliteration: Besay Phonetic Spelling: (bes-ah'-ee) Short
Definition: Besai. ... From buwc; domineering; Besai, one of the Nethinim -- Besai. ...
/hebrew/1153.htm - 6k

6303. Padon -- "ransom," head of a family of Nethinim
... 6302b, 6303. Padon. 6304 . "ransom," head of a family of Nethinim. Transliteration:
Padon Phonetic Spelling: (paw-done') Short Definition: Padon. ...
/hebrew/6303.htm - 6k

2412. Chatipha -- one of the Nethinim
... 2411, 2412. Chatipha. 2413 . one of the Nethinim. Transliteration: Chatipha
Phonetic Spelling: (khat-ee-faw') Short Definition: Hatipha. ...
/hebrew/2412.htm - 6k

1302. Barqos -- one of the Nethinim
... 1301, 1302. Barqos. 1303 . one of the Nethinim. Transliteration: Barqos
Phonetic Spelling: (bar-kose') Short Definition: Barkos. ...
/hebrew/1302.htm - 5k

1658. Gishpa -- one of the Nethinim
... 1657, 1658. Gishpa. 1659 . one of the Nethinim. Transliteration: Gishpa
Phonetic Spelling: (ghish-paw') Short Definition: Gishpa. ...
/hebrew/1658.htm - 5k

Library

Ezra, the Priest and Scribe
... In all, about forty priests and two hundred and twenty Nethinim"men upon whom Ezra
could rely as wise ministers and good teachers and helpers"were brought ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 50 ezra the priest.htm

And ii.
Christology of the Old Testament. <. ...
/.../hengstenberg/christology of the old testament/chap i and ii.htm

Thesaurus
Nethinim (16 Occurrences)
... The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards
called Nethinim. ... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. NETHINIM. ...
/n/nethinim.htm - 18k

Servants (763 Occurrences)
... This included, besides priests and Levites, the NETHINIM (which see) and
Solomon's Servants. In every reference to them, Solomon's ...
/s/servants.htm - 43k

Ziha (3 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Drought. (1.) The name of a family of Nethinim (Ezra
2:43; Nehemiah 7:46). (2.) A ruler among the Nethinim (Nehemiah 11:21). Int. ...
/z/ziha.htm - 8k

Music-makers (18 Occurrences)
... Ezra 2:70 So the priests and the Levites and the people and the music-makers and
the door-keepers and the Nethinim, took up their places in their towns; even ...
/m/music-makers.htm - 12k

Porters (34 Occurrences)
... Ezra 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers,
and the porters, and the Nethinim, lived in their cities, and all Israel in ...
/p/porters.htm - 17k

Gatekeepers (38 Occurrences)
... Ezra 2:70 And the priests dwell, and the Levites, and of the people, and the singers,
and the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim, in their cities; even all Israel ...
/g/gatekeepers.htm - 19k

Iddo (14 Occurrences)
... 1) ('iddo (?'adhadh, "to be strong"), "hap," "happy" (?), Ezra 8:17): The "chief
at the place Casiphia," who provided Ezra with Levites and Nethinim, the head ...
/i/iddo.htm - 14k

Door-keepers (34 Occurrences)
... Ezra 2:70 So the priests and the Levites and the people and the music-makers and
the door-keepers and the Nethinim, took up their places in their towns; even ...
/d/door-keepers.htm - 17k

Doorkeepers (37 Occurrences)
... (DBY). Ezra 2:70 And the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the
singers, and the doorkeepers, and the Nethinim dwelt in their cities, and all ...
/d/doorkeepers.htm - 18k

Singers (41 Occurrences)
... Ezra 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers,
and the porters, and the Nethinim, lived in their cities, and all Israel in ...
/s/singers.htm - 23k

Concordance
Nethinim (16 Occurrences)

1 Chronicles 9:2
Now the first inhabitants who lived in their possessions in their cities were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the Nethinim.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 2:43
The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 2:58
All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 2:70
So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, lived in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 7:7
There went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 7:24
Also we inform you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, on them.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)

Ezra 8:17
I sent them forth to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo, and his brothers the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God.
(WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Ezra 8:20
and of the Nethinim, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim: all of them were mentioned by name.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 3:26
(Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.)
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 3:31
After him repaired Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 7:46
The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 7:60
All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 7:73
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, lived in their cities. When the seventh month was come, the children of Israel were in their cities.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 10:28
The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding;
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 11:3
Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah lived everyone in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Nehemiah 11:21
But the Nethinim lived in Ophel: and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)

Subtopics

Nethinim

Nethinim were the Servants of the Levites

Nethinim were Zealous for the Covenant

Nethinim with the Priests and Levites: Exempted from Tribute

Nethinim with the Priests and Levites: had Cities to Reside In

Nethinim: A Large Number of, Returned from the Captivity

Nethinim: had Chiefs or Captains Over Them

Nethinim: Probably Originated in the Appointment of the Gibeonites

Nethinim: The Remnant of the Canaanites Appointed As, by Solomon

Related Terms

Servants (763 Occurrences)

Ziha (3 Occurrences)

Music-makers (18 Occurrences)

Porters (34 Occurrences)

Gatekeepers (38 Occurrences)

Iddo (14 Occurrences)

Door-keepers (34 Occurrences)

Doorkeepers (37 Occurrences)

Singers (41 Occurrences)

Gishpa (1 Occurrence)

Ophel (6 Occurrences)

Solomon's (56 Occurrences)

220 (1 Occurrence)

Ninety-two (2 Occurrences)

Gahar (2 Occurrences)

Tabbaoth (2 Occurrences)

Tabba'oth (2 Occurrences)

Defined (5 Occurrences)

Designated (22 Occurrences)

Padon (2 Occurrences)

Paseah (4 Occurrences)

Registered (21 Occurrences)

Repairs (24 Occurrences)

Assist (17 Occurrences)

Mentioned (30 Occurrences)

Ninety (27 Occurrences)

Sisera (18 Occurrences)

Hanan (19 Occurrences)

Hatipha (2 Occurrences)

Specially (26 Occurrences)

Helping (35 Occurrences)

Attend (71 Occurrences)

Keros (2 Occurrences)

Nethinims (15 Occurrences)

Repaired (46 Occurrences)

Settled (112 Occurrences)

Hasupha (2 Occurrences)

Nether-world (41 Occurrences)

Harhur (2 Occurrences)

Harsha (4 Occurrences)

Hasu'pha (2 Occurrences)

Vicinity (18 Occurrences)

Ketab

Keepers (78 Occurrences)

Nekoda (4 Occurrences)

Naphish (3 Occurrences)

Neighboring (11 Occurrences)

Neziah (2 Occurrences)

Uzza (10 Occurrences)

Uzzah (10 Occurrences)

Jaala (1 Occurrence)

Gazzam (2 Occurrences)

Giddel (4 Occurrences)

Gold-workers (2 Occurrences)

Goldsmiths (3 Occurrences)

Water-gate (5 Occurrences)

Impose (12 Occurrences)

Inspection (23 Occurrences)

Traders (31 Occurrences)

Temah (2 Occurrences)

Toll (8 Occurrences)

Reaiah (4 Occurrences)

Rezin (11 Occurrences)

Refiner (10 Occurrences)

Dealers (16 Occurrences)

Mehunims (1 Occurrence)

Malchi'jah (12 Occurrences)

Muster (9 Occurrences)

Meedda

Mehida (2 Occurrences)

Malchijah (15 Occurrences)

Merchants (34 Occurrences)

Ministrants (18 Occurrences)

Miphkad (1 Occurrence)

Provinces (40 Occurrences)

Phaseah (2 Occurrences)

Barkos (2 Occurrences)

Besai (2 Occurrences)

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