and uttered my words to him; reported both what he said and did; for the word used signifies both words and actions:
and Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear; perceiving, by the intelligence of his friends, that Nehemiah would have nothing to say to him, nor to do with him, he threatened him.
INTRODUCTION TO Nehemiah 7
Nehemiah having built the wall, and set up the doors, appointed two persons to take the charge of the city, and set watches for the safety of it, and to take special care about opening and shutting the gates of it, Nehemiah 7:1, and concerned he was for the peopling of it, and having found a register of the first comers to it, gives their names, Nehemiah 7:4 and some account of the freewill offerings made for the work they came about, Nehemiah 7:70.
and the porters and the singers, and the Levites were appointed; not to attend the doors of the gates of the wall, but to return to their service in the temple, who had been employed in one thing or another, while the wall and gates were building and repairing; see Nehemiah 3:17.
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.
and while they stand by; according to Aben Ezra, Hanani and Hananiah were to be present at the opening and shutting of the gates, and so Grotius; but these being the chief rulers, it is not likely; but rather those whom they appointed to look after them, these were to stand by while their servants did it; they were not to leave it wholly to them, but to see it done themselves:
let them shut the doors, and bar them; or "lay hold" (a) on them, handle them to see whether they are shut fast or not:
and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, and everyone to be over against his house; no foreigners were to be of the watch, only inhabitants, and those everyone in their turn, and to be placed over against where they dwelt; and so it might be thought would be the more careful and diligent in their watch.
(a) "et tractate", Junius & Tremellius; "contrectate eas", Piscator.
but the people were few therein; in comparison of the largeness of the place; for though there were 42,360 that came up at first with Zerubbabel, and many more with Ezra, yet a great number chose to settle in the towns and cities in the country, Jerusalem being in such a desolate condition:
and the houses were not builded; some were, but they were but few, many of them still lay in ruins.
(b) Apud Euseb. Praepar. par. Evangel. l. 9. c. 4. p. 408. & apud Joseph. contr. Apion, l. 1. c. 22. (c) De Bell. Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 3.
to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy; that their number might be known, and of what families they were, and in what cities they formerly dwelt; and this was not only of use for the present purpose of Nehemiah, but was of service hereafter to show the pedigree of families, and that it might be clearly known from whence the Messiah sprung:
and I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first; from Babylon to Jerusalem, along with Zerubbabel, as appears from Nehemiah 7:7, and this was of great use to him, whereby he would know not only their names and number, but to what city they belonged, and who to the city of Jerusalem, that they might be called upon to come, and rebuild their houses, and take up their residence there:
and found written therein; the names of the persons and families after mentioned.
the Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drachms of gold; each of which was one pound sterling, and so amounted to so many pounds: of these "dracmons", or "darics", a Persian coin, mention is made in Ezra 2:69, they were golden staters, or shekels and had their name as is said, not from Darius, the father of Xerxes, though it is certain, from Herodotus (d), that he coined golden money; but from some other king of the same name, more ancient (e), which must be Darius the Mede; and if they are the same with the Adarcon in Ezra 8:27 as they seem to be, then those in 1 Chronicles 29:7 were pieces of money not so called in the times of David, but of Ezra, the writer of that book: whether this Tirshatha was Zerubbabel, or Nehemiah, is not easy to say, since this donation is not the same with that in Ezra, not made at the same time nor are the gifts the same, nor the persons that gave them. Zerubbabel was Tirshatha when the Jews came out of Babylon, and Nehemiah now:
fifty basins; which were vessels, in the which the blood of the sacrifices was received and out of which it was sprinkled:
five hundred and thirty priests' garments; which were laid up in the wardrobe, and used on occasion.
(d) Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 166. (e) Scholiast. in Aristoph. Eccles. p. 741, 742. So Harpocration. Lexic. in voce and Suidas on the same word.
twenty thousand drachms of gold; which were so many pounds of our money, and somewhat more: for, according to Bishop Cumberland (f), a drachm of gold was of the value of twenty shillings and four pence: and 2200 pounds of silver; "the maneh", or pound, with the Jews, was of the value of sixty shekels, Ezekiel 45:12 and so is reckoned by our Brerewood (g) to be of our money seven pounds and ten shillings; he reckoning a shekel at half a crown, whereas it was little more than two shillings and four pence; and so sixty of them, or a "maneh", came to about seven pounds; wherefore this sum here was seven times so many pounds of silver.
(f) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 115. (g) De Ponder & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4.
and two thousand pound of silver; of which See Gill on Nehemiah 7:71,
and threescore and seven priests' garments; having been so long in Babylon, and no use of sacrifices, and so not of garments to minister in, no care was taken to provide any; which seems to be the reason why so many were given, when they returned to their own land, and sacrificed.