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Nehemiah 7

The Exiles Return

1 When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed.
2 Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most.
3 I said to them, "Do not open the gates of Jerusalem until the sun is hot, and let the doors be shut and securely fastened while the guards are on duty. Station the citizens of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some at their homes."
4 The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and no houses had been built yet.
5 Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles, the officials, and the people to be registered by genealogy. I found the genealogical record of those who came back first, and I found [the following] written in it:
6 These are the people of the province who went up from among the captive exiles deported by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Each of them returned to his own town in Jerusalem and Judah.[a]
7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. The number of the Israelite men [included]:
8 Parosh's descendants 2,172
9 Shephatiah's descendants 372
10 Arah's descendants 652
11 Pahath-moab's descendants: Jeshua's and Joab's descendants 2,818
12 Elam's descendants 1,254
13 Zattu's descendants 845
14 Zaccai's descendants 760
15 Binnui's descendants 648
16 Bebai's descendants 628
17 Azgad's descendants 2,322
18 Adonikam's descendants 667
19 Bigvai's descendants 2,067
20 Adin's descendants 655
21 Ater's descendants: of Hezekiah 98
22 Hashum's descendants 328
23 Bezai's descendants 324
24 Hariph's descendants 112
25 Gibeon's[b] descendants 95
26 Bethlehem's and Netophah's men 188
27 Anathoth's men 128
28 Beth-azmaveth's men 42
29 Kiriath-jearim's, Chephirah's, and Beeroth's men 743
30 Ramah's and Geba's men 621
31 Michmas's men 122
32 Bethel's and Ai's men 123
33 the other Nebo's men 52
34 the other Elam's people 1,254
35 Harim's people 320
36 Jericho's people 345
37 Lod's, Hadid's, and Ono's people 721
38 Senaah's people 3,930
39 The priests [included]: Jedaiah's descendants of the house of Jeshua 973
40 Immer's descendants 1,052
41 Pashhur's descendants 1,247
42 Harim's descendants 1,017
43 The Levites [included]: Jeshua's descendants: of Kadmiel Hodevah's descendants 74
44 The singers [included]: Asaph's descendants 148
45 The gatekeepers [included]: Shallum's descendants, Ater's descendants, Talmon's descendants, Akkub's descendants, Hatita's descendants, Shobai's descendants 138
46 The temple servants [included]: Ziha's descendants, Hasupha's descendants, Tabbaoth's descendants,
47 Keros's descendants, Sia's descendants, Padon's descendants,
48 Lebana's descendants, Hagaba's descendants, Shalmai's descendants,
49 Hanan's descendants, Giddel's descendants, Gahar's descendants,
50 Reaiah's descendants, Rezin's descendants, Nekoda's descendants,
51 Gazzam's descendants, Uzza's descendants, Paseah's descendants,
52 Besai's descendants, Meunim's descendants, Nephishesim's[c] descendants,
53 Bakbuk's descendants, Hakupha's descendants, Harhur's descendants,
54 Bazlith's descendants, Mehida's descendants, Harsha's descendants,
55 Barkos's descendants, Sisera's descendants, Temah's descendants,
56 Neziah's descendants, Hatipha's descendants.
57 The descendants of Solomon's servants [included]: Sotai's descendants, Sophereth's descendants, Perida's descendants,
58 Jaala's descendants, Darkon's descendants, Giddel's descendants,
59 Shephatiah's descendants, Hattil's descendants, Pochereth-hazzebaim's descendants, Amon's descendants.
60 All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon's servants 392
61 The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but were unable to prove that their families and ancestry were Israelite:
62 Delaiah's descendants, Tobiah's descendants, and Nekoda's descendants 642
63 and from the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai-who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name.
64 These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood.
65 The governor[d] ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.[e]
66 The whole combined assembly numbered 42,360
67 not including their 7,337 male and female slaves, as well as their 245 male and female singers.
68 They had 736 horses, 245 mules,[f]
69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
70 Some of the family leaders gave to the project. The governor gave 1,000 gold drachmas,[g] 50 bowls, and 530 priestly garments to the treasury.
71 Some of the family leaders gave 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,200 silver minas[h] to the treasury for the project.
72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold drachmas, 2,000 silver minas, and 67 priestly garments.
73 So the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, temple singers, some of the people, temple servants, and all Israel settled in their towns.[i]

Nehemiah 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

The city committed to Hananiah. (1-4) Register of those that first returned. (5-73)

Verses 1-4 Nehemiah, having finished the wall, returned to the Persian court, and came to Jerusalem again with a new commission. The public safety depends on every one's care to guard himself and his family against sin.

Verses 5-73 Nehemiah knew that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the inhabitants than upon its walls. Every good gift and every good work are from above. God gives knowledge, he gives grace; all is of him, and therefore all must be to him. What is done by human prudence, must be ascribed to the direction of Divine Providence. But woe to those who turn back from the Lord, loving this present world! and happy those who dedicate themselves, and their substance, to his service and glory!

Footnotes 9

  • [a]. Ezr 2:1-70
  • [b]. Gibbar's in Ezr 2:20
  • [c]. Alt Hb tradition reads Nephushesim's
  • [d]. Neh 8:9-12; Ezr 2:63
  • [e]. Two objects used to determine God's will; Ex 28:30
  • [f]. Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss omit v. 68; Ezr 2:66
  • [g]. Or darics; the official Persian gold coin
  • [h]. A Babylonian coin worth 50 shekels
  • [i]. Jos 21; 1 Ch 9:2

Chapter Summary


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, Ne 7:1-3, and concerned he was for the peopling of it, and having found a register of the first comers to it, gives their names, Ne 7:4-69 and some account of the freewill offerings made for the work they came about, Ne 7:70-73.

Nehemiah 7 Commentaries

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