Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.
Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;
The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not show their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.
And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.
And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests garments.
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
 

7:2 my brother Hanani. Hanani was the one who had first stirred up his brother Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem; when he brought back to him the sad report of the state of the city and the returned exiles there. See Nehemiah l:2-3.

7:5 register of the genealogy. This genealogical register (Nehemiah 7:6-73) is essentially the same as that earlier recorded by Ezra (Ezra 2:1-70), though with some interesting differences. One reason for this repetition may be the importance in God’s sight of maintaining true records of the twelve tribes. Twelve thousand from each tribe are to be specially sealed as His witnesses during the coming period of great tribulation on earth (Revelation 7:4-8). Whether or not accurate genealogical records have been kept by Israel here on earth, we can be sure God has them in heaven.

7:32 Ai. Joshua 8:28 indicates that Ai had been destroyed “forever.” However, the Hebrew word can also mean simply “for a long time.” Evidently it had been rebuilt by Nehemiah’s time.

7:66 whole congregation together. The total number coming back to Jerusalem in the first wave of emigrants from Babylon, given here as 42,360, is the same as given in Ezra 2:64. However, the total of the individual numbers given by Ezra is 29,818 and of those given by Nehemiah is 31,089. Nehemiah mentions 1,765 persons not cataloged by Ezra, and Ezra mentions 494 not mentioned by Nehemiah. Adding the appropriate omitted numbers to each yields a total of 31,583 individuals in both cases. This, of course, leaves a total of 10,777 individuals who were not specially listed by either Ezra or Nehemiah, but who nevertheless were with the returning exiles. Possibly their individual genealogical records had been lost. Another intriguing possibility is that this group consisted of people from the ten northern tribes, carried into Assyrian captivity long before the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. These from the Assyrian captivity most likely would not have genealogical records but were still descendants of the original children of Israel. This inference would give still further support to the concept that all the tribes of Israel were included in the post-exilic nation that existed in Palestine until after the first coming of their Messiah. This may also be implied by the specific phrase: “the number of the men of the people of Israel” used by both writers (Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7), rather than referring specifically to Judah and Benjamin.

7:70 thousand drams of gold. The “dram” was actually the Greek “drachma,” coinage which has been shown archaeologically already to have been in use in Palestine during this Persian period.


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