NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 3.
The Building of the Wall.
THE WALLS OF THE LOWER CITY. — V. 1. Then Eliashib, the high priest, the grandson of Jeshua, who had returned with Zerubbabel, rose up with his brethren, the priests, and they builded the Sheep Gate, close to the Temple, probably on the northeastern side of the city, where the sheep for the sacrifices were driven in. They sanctified it, with certain religious ceremonies, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, which, apparently, was a hundred cubits from the gate, unto the tower of Hananeel, the next tower over toward the Fish Gate. V. 2. And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur, the son of Imri, who may, according to the Hebrew, have been the leader of the men of Jericho. V. 3. But the Fish Gate, east of the present Damascus Gate in the north wall, did the sons of Hassenaah build, rather the sons, that is, the inhabitants of Senaah, apparently a city near Jericho, who also laid the beams thereof, the crosspieces over the entrance, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, either sockets or clamps, and the bars thereof, which were fitted into the sockets to secure the gate on the inside. V. 4. And next unto them repaired Meremoth, the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, rather, of the family of Hakkoz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok, the son of Baana. V.5. And next unto them the Tekoites, from the little town of Tekoa, near Bethlehem, repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord, they refused to take part in the rebuilding of the wall. V. 6. Moreover, the old gate repaired Jehoiada, the son of Paseah, and Meshullam, the son of Besodeiah, this gate being apparently in the center of the north wall; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof and the locks thereof and the bars thereof. V. 7. And next unto them repaired Meletiah the Gibeonite, that is, of Gibea, and Jadon the Meronothite, probably hailing from a suburb of Mizpah, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river, Mizpah apparently being the seat of the Persian governor west of Jordan. V. 8. Next unto him repaired Uzziel, the son of Hathaiah, of the goldsmiths, for the tradespeople had organizations of their own and worked together. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah, the son of one of the apothecaries, makers of spices, ointments, and perfumes, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall, the double wall extending from the Gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, the one that had been broken down by Joash of Israel, but afterward rebuilt by Uzziah of Judah. V. 9. And next unto them repaired Rephaiah, the son of Hur, the ruler of the half-part of Jerusalem, of half its circuit, which was a governmental term. V. 10. And next unto them repaired Iedaiah, the son ‘of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush, the son of Hashabniah. V. 11. Malchijah, the son of Harim, and Hashub, the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, a second section assigned to them in addition to that mentioned in verse 23, and the tower of the furnaces, the extreme northeastern tower of the citadel, near the Jaffa Gate. V. 12. And next unto him repaired Shallum, the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half-part of Jerusalem, of the second circuit, he and his daughters, the zeal of these women being mentioned as a commendable example. V. 13. The Valley Gate repaired Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the Dung Gate, at the southern extremity of Zion, where the rubbish was taken out to be burned outside the walls. V. 14. But the Dung Gate repaired Malchiah, the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem, of the circuit of Bethulia, near Tekoa; he built it and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. V. 15. But the Gate of the Fountain, near the Pool of Siloam, repaired Shallum, the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah, of the circuit of Mizpah; for this was under the jurisdiction of a different man than the city itself; he built it and covered it, laying the cross-beams as in the case of the other gates, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the Pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, the royal park being watered from this pool, which received its water through a subterranean channel tunneled from the west side of the Kidron Valley, under the lower ridge of Ophel, which ran south of the Temple area, and unto the stairs that go down from the City of David, an inclined road leading down from the upper city. V. 16. After him repaired Nehemiah, the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half-part of Beth-zur, of this circuit, which was north of Hebron, unto the place over against the sepulchers of David, the tombs of the kings, and to the pool that was made, presumably the present Fountain of the Virgin, and unto the house of the mighty, where the cliffs of Zion arose. V. 17. After him repaired the Levites, Rehum, the son of Ban. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half-part of Keilah, over the half-circuit of this name, in his part. V. 18. After him repaired their brethren, Bavai, the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half-part of Keilah, the second circuit named after this town. V. 19. And next to him repaired Ezer, the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece, in addition to that mentioned in verse 7, over against the going up to the armory at the turning of the wall, an angle where the Temple wall connected with the city wall. In the building of the Church of Christ all believers, young and old, men and women, each one according to his gifts and strength, should place himself in the service of the Lord.
THE WALLS OF ZION. — V. 20. After him Baruch, the son of Zabbai, earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib, the high priest. V. 21. After him repaired Meremoth, the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, another piece, in addition to that named in verse 4, from the door of the house of Eliashlb, even to the end of the house of Eliashib, the entire enclosure of his palace being meant. V. 22. And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain, the Valley of Jordan. V. 23. After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house, a second section in addition to that named in verse 11. After him repaired Azariah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, by his house, all these residences being in the same district, or quarter, as that of the high priest. V. 24. After him repaired Binnui, the son of Henadad, another piece, cp. v. 17, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner, an outlying tower not far from the southeastern corner of the Temple. V. 25. Palal, the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, the watch-tower by the royal palace, that was by the court of the prison. Cp. Jer. 32, 2. After him Pedaiah, the son of Parosh. V. 26. Moreover, the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel, and these also worked on the wall, unto the place over against the Water Gate toward the east, a gate opening into the subterranean reservoirs, and the tower that lieth out, the southern wall of the Temple area. V. 27. After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, cp. v. 5, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel. V. 28. From above the Horse Gate, which was between the Temple and the royal palace, repaired the priests, every one over against his house. V. 29. After them repaired Zadok, the son of Immer, over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah, the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, one of the inner Temple gates. V. 30. After him repaired Hananiah, the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece, cp. v. 13. After him repaired Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, over against his chamber, cp. v. 4. V. 31. After him repaired Malchiah, the goldsmith’s son, unto the place of the Nethinim, apparently the place where the traders brought their animals of all kinds for sale to worshipers in the Temple, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, one of those leading to the Temple area, and to the going up of the corner, the stairs leading to the northeast tower, not far from the Sheep Gate. V. 32. And between the going up of the corner unto the Sheep Gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants, both of whom were interested in the market which was held in this neighborhood. As the Jewish Church at this time had lost some of the finest appointments of the Temple, so in the Christian Church some of the special gifts of the Apostolic Age are no longer found in the same measure. But one thing has remained, the Word of God. Where this is taught in its truth and purity, the Lord Himself will come and make His abode with men.