Nehemiah 12:43 MEANING

Nehemiah 12:43
(43) Rejoiced.--This verse is full of joy; but before the rejoicing comes the abundant offering of sacrifices.

Verse 43. - Also that day they offered great sacrifices. David had inaugurated the "tabernacle" which he made for the ark of the covenant at Jerusalem with sacrifice (2 Samuel 6:17), and had consecrated the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite in the same way (2 Samuel 24:25). Solomon, at his dedication of the temple, had sacrificed sheep and oxen "that could not be numbered for multitude" (1 Kings 8:5). Zerubbabel had followed this example at the dedication of the second temple (Ezra 6:17); and we may presume that it was with victims that Eliashib and his brethren the priests had "sanctified" their portion of the wall soon after they completed it (Nehemiah 3:1). Nehemiah now completed the dedication of the entire circuit of the walls by sacrifices on a large scale. God had made them rejoice with great joy. It is characteristic of Nehemiah to ascribe the universal joy, which another might well have claimed as his own work, to the Divine mercy and forethought, which had brought the matter of the wall to a prosperous and happy issue. The wives also and the children rejoiced. It is seldom that the Jewish women are mentioned as taking that prominent position in joy, which naturally belonged to them in sorrow (Judges 11:40; Jeremiah 31:15; Jeremiah 49:3; Joel 1:8, etc.). There is, however, one remarkable example of the kind, besides the present one - the rejoicing of the women after the passage through the Red Sea, under the leadership of Miriam (Exodus 15:20). The joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off. See Ezra 3:13, and comp. 1 Kings 1:40; 2 Kings 11:13. NEHEMIAH'S ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE TEMPLE SERVICE, AND APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS (Nehemiah 12:44-47). The good resolutions of the people at the time of the renewal of the covenant (Nehemiah 10:28-39) would have borne comparatively little fruit had they not been seconded and rendered effective by formal action on the part of the civil authority. The people, in the first flush of their zeal, had bound themselves to undertake the conveyance of the tithes, firstfruits, and free-will offerings from the country districts to Jerusalem, and the deposition of them in the temple treasuries (Nehemiah 10:37-39). But in practice this was found too great a burthen (Nehemiah 13:10). Nehemiah therefore appointed special officers to collect the tithes and other dues throughout the entire territory, and to bring them to Jerusalem, and lay them up in the proper chambers (Nehemiah 12:44). Over the chambers he appointed treasurers, whose duty it was, not only to collect the ecclesiastical dues, but also to distribute the proceeds among the individuals entitled to share in them (Nehemiah 13:13). Having in this way provided for the sustenance of the clerical body, he was able to insist on their regular performance of all their duties; and the success of his arrangements was such, that under him the temple service was restored, not merely to the condition established by Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:47), but to one not markedly different from that which had been attained in the time of David and Asaph (ibid. ver. 46). The priests, Levites, singers, and porters respectively performed their duties to his satisfaction, purifying themselves, and taking the service in their turns, "according to the commandment of David and Solomon" (ibid. ver. 45).

12:27-43 All our cities, all our houses, must have holiness to the Lord written upon them. The believer should undertake nothing which he does not dedicate to the Lord. We are concerned to cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts, when any work for God is to pass through them. Those that would be employed to sanctify others, must sanctify themselves, and set themselves apart for God. To those who are sanctified, all their creature-comforts and enjoyments are made holy. The people greatly rejoiced. All that share in public mercies, ought to join in public thanksgivings.Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced,.... Or many sacrifices, as Ben Melech interprets it; and these perhaps of the larger sort of cattle, oxen; and which, at least many of them, being peace offerings, the people feasted on them, so that it was a festival day:

for God had made them rejoice with great joy; on account of the wall being set up all around, and so were in greater safety from their enemies:

the wives also and the children rejoiced; while the priests blew the trumpets, and the singers sung and played on their instruments, the women and children gave loud shouts for joy:

so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off; as at the laying of the foundation of the temple, Ezra 3:13.

Courtesy of Open Bible