the God of heaven, he will prosper us; whom we serve, and under whose protection we are, who will supply us with everything we want, and succeed this undertaking, in whose name we engage in it, and on whom we depend, and we care not what man can do to us:
therefore we his servants will arise and build; in spite of all opposition, difficulties, and discouragements:
but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem; no part of the city belonged to them; they had no jurisdiction there; they had no name there, nor their ancestors, in times past; nor had they done anything to perpetuate their memory in it: in short, they had nothing to do with them, neither in religious nor in civil things; and it was best for them to mind their own affairs where they presided, and not trouble themselves about theirs.
INTRODUCTION TO Nehemiah 3
This chapter contains the names of the builders of the wall of Jerusalem, the order in which they worked, where they began, and where they ended, which was the sheep gate, Nehemiah 3:1.
and they built the sheep gate; so called, because the sheep were led through it to the temple, and near it was the sheep market, where they were sold, and the sheep pool, where the sacrifices were washed; and this being near the temple, and for the service of it, the priests undertook that; not that they laboured with their hands at it, though it is possible some of them might; but they were at the expense of it, employed labourers, and paid them, and directed them, and had the oversight of them: this gate was to the south of the city; and Rauwolff (u) says, it was still standing by Moriah, the mountain of the temple, which the Turks have taken to themselves, and built on it a Turkish mosque or temple. Near the gate you see still, he says, the sheep pond, which is large and deep, wherein the Nethinims used to wash the beasts, and then gave them to the priests; it is said (w) to lead to the mount of Olives, to Bethany, to Jericho, the desert, and all the east country to Jordan:
they sanctified it; this being for sacred use, and they sacred persons; and this the first part of the building, they prayed for a blessing on it, and in it on the whole work undertaken, of which this was the firstfruits:
and set up the doors of it; and so finished it:
even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel; so far they built, and what they built they sanctified. The tower of Meah, or a "hundred", as the word signifies, might be so called, either because it was one hundred cubits from the sheep gate on one side, and as many from the tower of Hananeel on the other side, standing between both; or because it was one hundred cubits high: these two towers, perhaps, were firm and strong, and needed no repair, since no mention is made of any; though they seem to me to be one and the same tower; see Jeremiah 31:38.
(u) Travels, par. 3. c. 3. p. 226, 228. (w) Vid. Quistorp. in loc.
and next to them; or rather "to him", the high priest:
builded Zaccur the son of Imri; who probably was the chief of the men of Jericho.
who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof; completely finished it.
(x) Chorograph. Cent. of the Land of Israel, c. 26. p. 27. vol. 2.((y) Ut supra, (Travels, par. 3. c. 3.) p. 226, 227.
and next unto them repaired Meshullam, the sort of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel: and next unto them repaired Zadok, the son of Baana; but who they were cannot be said.
but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord; either of Nehemiah, as some, or rather of the lord and prince appointed over their families, as Aben Ezra, to whom they would not be subject; though it seems best, with Jarchi, to understand it of the Lord their God, by whose command this work was begun; but they refused to give any assistance to it with their purses or presence, but withdrew from it, as refractory oxen withdraw their necks from the yoke. This is observed to their disgrace, when the common people of their city were ready to work, and did.
they laid the beams thereof; as in Nehemiah 3:3.
(a) Ut supra. (Chorograph. Cent. of the Land of Israel, c. 26. p. 27. vol. 2.) (b) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2, 3.
unto the throne of the governor on this side the river; where the governor of those parts under the king of Persia had his seat, and now Nehemiah; but, according to Aben Ezra, Cisse, rendered "throne", is the name of a man who was the governor.
next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries; or confectioners, which also might be the name of a family so called for the same reason:
and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall; which reached from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, which was broken down by Joash, king of Israel, but was rebuilt so strong by Uzziah, king of Judah, that it stood firm to this time; wherefore these men repaired up to it, but left that as they found it; see 2 Chronicles 25:23, and were not careful to repair it, it not wanting any repair.
and next unto him repaired Hattush, the son of Hashabniah; but who he was is not known.
repaired the other piece: or second piece, below and next to that which Hattush repaired, the last builder mentioned:
and the tower of the furnaces; near to which were furnaces for the baking of bread, or of bricks.
the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem; of the other half; see Nehemiah 3:9
he and his daughters; who were rich widows or heiresses, and employed men to build at their own expense; he seems to have had no sons.
and the inhabitants of Zanoah; a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:34,
they built it, and set up the doors thereof, &c. see Nehemiah 3:3,
and a thousand cubits on the wall to the dung gate; that is, they repaired the wall to such a length from the valley gate to the dung gate; see Nehemiah 2:13.
the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; or of the tract of Bethhaccerem, a place between Tekoah and Jerusalem; see Jeremiah 6:1,
he built it, and set up the doors thereof; &c. as in Nehemiah 3:3.
repaired Shallum, the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; of a tract, district, town, or city so called; perhaps that in the tribe of Benjamin; see Nehemiah 3:7,
he built it, and covered it; roofed it, which is not said of any of the other gates, whether because of the fountain at it:
and set up the doors thereof, &c. finished it completely:
and the wall of the pool of Siloah, by the king's garden; which was formerly without the wall, on the west, but afterwards taken in by Manasseh, who built it; see 2 Chronicles 33:14, and from hence the king's garden was watered:
and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David: Zion, which was built on an eminence, from which they went down by steps into the lower city Acra.
unto the place over against the sepulchres of David; where he and his family, and the kings of his race, were buried, which remained to this time untouched by the Babylonians, and to many ages after; see Acts 2:29
and to the pool that was made; not a natural, but an artificial one, which was made by Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20:20,
and unto the house of the mighty; where was a garrison of soldiers in former time for defence.
next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah: a city of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:4
in his part; either with the men of that part of Keilah under his jurisdiction, or at the expense of that part of it.
Bavai, the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah; the other half of that place.
another piece; or a second piece; one of the two pieces; for another is mentioned in the next verse:
over against the going up to the armoury, at the turning of the wall; the western wall towards the south, near to which was a place where armour was laid up; perhaps the same with the tower of David, to which there is an allusion in Sol 4:4.
from the turning of the wall; see the preceding verse:
unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest; of whom see Nehemiah 3:1, now either his house was upon the wall, or that part of the wall that was right against the door of his house is here meant.
from the door of the house of Eliashib, even to the end of the house of Eliashib; the door of his house seems to have been at one end of it, and from that end to the other was a considerable length; he being a great man, the high priest, had a large house.
repaired Benjamin, and Hashub, over against their house; as much of the wall as the length of their house, or houses, were:
after him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, by his house: as far as that reached.
unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner; the corner where the wall turned from the south to the east.
and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house: which might be built for prospect, or his upper house:
that was by the court of the prison; and we often read in Jeremiah of the court of the prison being in or near the king's house, see Jeremiah 32:2,
after him Pedaiah the son of Parosh; went on from hence with the repair.
unto the place over against the water gate toward the east: and as one part of their work was to fetch water for the temple, they were here very properly situated; it led to the king's garden, the valley of Jehoshaphat, and from thence a plain way to Bethany:
and the tower that lieth out; from the wall.
over against the great tower that lieth out; the same as in the preceding verse:
even unto the wall of Ophel; from right against the great tower unto the wall the Tekoites repaired.
everyone over against his house; for it seems there was a row of houses in which the priests dwelt, and each of them repaired as much of the wall as was right against his house.
(c) Ut supra. (De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2, 3.)
after him repaired also Shemaiah, the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate; that is, of the temple; for the gates of the city having been burnt so long, it cannot be thought there should be a keeper of any of them.
after him repaired Shelemiah the son of Berechiah, over against his chamber; the same as in Nehemiah 3:4 who having finished what he engaged in there, took his part where his chamber was, and repaired over against that.
unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants; he repaired up to the place where these dwelt:
over against the gate Miphkad; where some think was an house of visitation or correction; and others, where the sanhedrim sat, tried causes, and exercised justice:
and to the going up of the corner; from the east to the north.