David Parham 940-613-3494
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Nehemiah Chapter 7
Memory verses for this week: Psa 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Introduction: We continue our study of Nehemiah this week as we study Chapter 7.
In chapter 6, we studied Sanballat's scheme to hinder the work by trying to get Nehemiah to come down and compromise an agreement with him. He continued trying again and again, but Nehemiah was not buying his plan but stuck to the work at hand.
Overview of Nehemiah 7: Nehemiah, upon completion of the wall, appointed leadership of the city. He evidently shortly thereafter returned to Babylon for a time. He also prepared another formal register of the Jews who were a part of the restoration of the city.
I. The City is Committed to Hananiah
Neh 7:1 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,
Neh 7:2 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.
The initial work was completed. The wall was done and the gates had been hung (though much internal work in rebuilding the city remained). Nehemiah reappointed the Levites, porters, and singers to their respective duties at the Temple. Many had previously been assigned to the wall work. He also appointed two men to rule Jerusalem.
Though not explicitly noted, shortly hereafter it seems Nehemiah returned to the king of Persia and reported on the mission. He then apparently was appointed governor and returned. The men appointed were his brother Hanani (who had brought the initial report to Nehemiah of the condition of Jerusalem in 1:2) and Hananiah the ruler of the palace.
Which palace Hananiah ruled over is not clear. It may be he, like Nehemiah, had a high position under the king of Persia and returned to the land. In any event, “he was a faithful man and feared God above many.” Though Hananiah evidently had leadership and administrative ability, the reason he was appointed was the spiritual virtue of faithfulness and that he feared God. He was a faithful man.
1 Cor 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1 Cor 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Neh 7:3 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.
Neh 7:4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
Verse 3 gives us insight into the continuing hostile environment. Nehemiah instructed Hanani and Hananiah to not open the gates of the city each day “until the sun be hot,” that is, broad day light. Opponents could lurk in the shadows and rush an open gate. In addition there always was to be a watch set, especially at dusk, when the gates were shut. A battle had been won, but opposition remained.
Though the city was now enclosed, it was not fully inhabited. Many of the returning restoration Jews had located in the surrounding communities and countryside. It has been estimated the circumference of the completed wall was six miles.
II. The Register of Those that First Returned
Neh 7:5 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,
Neh 7:6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Interchange the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;
Before leaving to return to Babylon, Nehemiah first assembled the leaders of the nation to make an accurate registry of the Jews which had returned to the land from Babylon and captivity. Nehemiah was a man who was in tune with God and listening for the leadership of the Holy Spirit. In verse 5 he says "And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles." He was listening and had faith that God would accomplish great things by his efforts.
In Arthur Pink's book on Spiritual Growth, he says it is important for us to be in tune with the Holy Spirit go gain the faith we need to be effective in our Christian lives.
First, that we should seek to understand aright the Spirit’s teaching on this subject. There seems to be comparatively few who do so, and the consequence is that the Lord is robbed of much of the praise which is His due, while many of His people suffer much needless distress. Because so many Christians walk more by sense than by faith, measuring themselves by their feelings and moods rather than by the Word, their peace of mind is greatly destroyed and their joy of heart much decreased. Not a few saints are seriously the losers through misapprehensions upon this subject. Scriptural knowledge is essential if we are better to understand ourselves and diagnose more accurately our spiritual case. The "new creature" is from above, whereof our natural reason has no acquaintance: it is a supernatural product and can only be known by supernatural revelation. "Spiritual growth is a mystery and is more evident in some than in others. The more the Holy Spirit shines upon the mind and puts forth His life giving influences in the heat, so much the more sin is seen, felt and loathed as the greatest of all evils. As we know nothing whatever about the new birth save what God has revealed in His Word, so we can form no correct comprehension about spiritual growth except from the same source. "
Neh 7:7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;
Neh 7:8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
Neh 7:9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
Neh 7:10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.
Neh 7:11 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.
Neh 7:12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Neh 7:13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.
Neh 7:14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
Neh 7:15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.
Neh 7:16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.
Neh 7:18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
Neh 7:19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.
Neh 7:20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.
Neh 7:21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
Neh 7:22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.
Neh 7:24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.
Neh 7:25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.
Neh 7:26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.
Neh 7:27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:28 The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two.
Neh 7:29 The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.
Neh 7:30 The men of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.
Neh 7:31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
Neh 7:32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
Neh 7:33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
Neh 7:34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Neh 7:35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
Neh 7:36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
Neh 7:37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.
Neh 7:38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
Neh 7:39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
Neh 7:40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
Neh 7:41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
Neh 7:42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
Neh 7:43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.
Neh 7:44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.
Neh 7:45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
Neh 7:46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
Neh 7:47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
Neh 7:48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
Neh 7:49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
Neh 7:50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
Neh 7:51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
Neh 7:52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
Neh 7:53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Neh 7:54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Neh 7:55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
Neh 7:56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Neh 7:57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
Neh 7:58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Neh 7:59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
Neh 7:60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
Neh 7:61 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.
Neh 7:62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
Nehemiah embarked to find and record the register of all the Jews which had come in the original return years earlier. In comparing this list with that found in Ezra there will be discrepancies noted. No doubt, in the original journey some had died. Others came later with Ezra. I personally believe both counts were 100% accurate. No telling what all the circumstances were.
Many who oppose Gods Word will use discrepancies such as this to bring credibility to themselves. Those who oppose the Word of God oppose God. Among believers, attackers of the King James 1611AV are themselves the enemies of God.
Psa 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psa 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
Psa 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
Neh 7:63 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.
Neh 7:64 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.
Neh 7:65 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.
This passage refers to the same incident recorded in Ezra 2:61-63.
Ezra 2:61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
Ezra 2:62 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
Ezra 2:63 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 with Thummim.
Others claiming priestly lineage but without the required documentation are noted. They were not allowed to serve as priests. Moreover, the Tirshatha said they could not eat of the priestly meats “till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.” Evidently when a fully qualified high priest was anointed for service, he with the Urim and Thummin would discern who were true priests and of which linage they were. The reference to the Tirshatha is the Persian word for governor— evidently Zerubbabel.
Neh 7:66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Neh 7:67 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.
As noted in Ezra 2:64-65, a total of 42,360 Jews had returned from Babylon along with 7,337 servants. The enumerated “congregation,” evidently including those of lessor status such as the Nethinims and the servants of Solomon, totaled 42,360.
Additionally, they brought with them their own servants totaling another 7,337 plus another 245 “singing men and singing women.” The grand total was 49,890. It is noteworthy that a running total of the specific categories enumerated throughout the chapter adds up to only 29,829. Jewish commentators take the position that the difference were Jews from other tribes who also returned.
Neh 7:68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
Neh 7:69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
Neh 7:70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
Note is made of the livestock they brought. The returning exiles brought 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. Upon finally arriving at Jerusalem, “some chief of the fathers” gave from their own resources a sizeable amount of gold and silver (61,000 drams of gold and 5,000 pounds of silver) for the rebuilding of the Temple. They also presented one-hundred sets of priests’ garments. Upon arriving the priests, Levites, Nethinims, singers, porters, and the other Jews returned to live in the towns of their ancestry.
Neh 7:71 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.
Neh 7:72 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.
Neh 7:73 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.
The account here differs from that of Ezra 2:69-70. The difference evidently is different sum-totals for differing unnamed individuals at two separate occasions. However, the amounts of gold and silver given were substantial. This evidently was given for the ministry of the Temple.
In the last verse of chapter 7, Nehemiah noted that the returned remnant (including “all Israel” implying representatives of all twelve tribes) dwelt in their various cities in Palestine. The seventh month noted (late September or early October) sets the time for chapter eight.
Matthew Henry had a good closing for this chapter.
Blessed be God that our faith and hope are not built upon the niceties of names and numbers, genealogy and chronology, but on the great things of the law and gospel. Whatever is given to the work of God, he is not unrighteous to forget it; nor shall even a cup of cold water, wherewith he is honoured, go without its reward.
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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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