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Nehemiah: Chapter 7

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1Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2I gave my brother Hanani charge over Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel—for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many. 3And I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot; while the gatekeepers b Heb Gashmu are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their watch posts, and others before their own houses.” 4The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few and no houses had been built.

5Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who were the first to come back, and I found the following written in it: 6These are the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried into exile; they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. 7They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the Israelite people: 8the descendants of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy‐two. 9Of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy‐two. 10Of Arah, six hundred fifty‐two. 11Of Pahath‐moab, namely the descendants of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred eighteen. 12Of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty‐four. 13Of Zattu, eight hundred forty‐five. 14Of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty. 15Of Binnui, six hundred forty‐eight. 16Of Bebai, six hundred twenty‐eight. 17Of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty‐two. 18Of Adonikam, six hundred sixty‐seven. 19Of Bigvai, two thousand sixty‐seven. 20Of Adin, six hundred fifty‐five. 21Of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, ninety‐eight. 22Of Hashum, three hundred twenty‐eight. 23Of Bezai, three hundred twenty‐four. 24Of Hariph, one hundred twelve. 25Of Gibeon, ninety‐five. 26The people of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred eighty‐eight. 27Of Anathoth, one hundred twenty‐eight. 28Of Beth‐azmaveth, forty‐two. 29Of Kiriath‐jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty‐three. 30Of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty‐one. 31Of Michmas, one hundred twenty‐two. 32Of Bethel and Ai, one hundred twenty‐three. 33Of the other Nebo, fifty‐two. 34The descendants of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty‐four. 35Of Harim, three hundred twenty. 36Of Jericho, three hundred forty‐five. 37Of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty‐one. 38Of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred thirty.

39The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy‐three. 40Of Immer, one thousand fifty‐two. 41Of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred forty‐seven. 42Of Harim, one thousand seventeen.

43The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the descendants of Hodevah, seventy‐four. 44The singers: the descendants of Asaph, one hundred forty‐eight. 45The gatekeepers: the descendants of Shallum, of Ater, of Talmon, of Akkub, of Hatita, of Shobai, one hundred thirty‐eight.

46The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, of Hasupha, of Tabbaoth, 47of Keros, of Sia, of Padon, 48of Lebana, of Hagaba, of Shalmai, 49of Hanan, of Giddel, of Gahar, 50of Reaiah, of Rezin, of Nekoda, 51of Gazzam, of Uzza, of Paseah, 52of Besai, of Meunim, of Nephushesim, 53of Bakbuk, of Hakupha, of Harhur, 54of Bazlith, of Mehida, of Harsha, 55of Barkos, of Sisera, of Temah, 56of Neziah, of Hatipha.

57The descendants of Solomon's servants: of Sotai, of Sophereth, of Perida, 58of Jaala, of Darkon, of Giddel, 59of Shephatiah, of Hattil, of Pochereth‐hazzebaim, of Amon.

60All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon's servants were three hundred ninety‐two.

61The following were those who came up from Tel‐melah, Tel‐harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their ancestral houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62the descendants of Delaiah, of Tobiah, of Nekoda, six hundred forty‐two. 63Also, of the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, of Hakkoz, of Barzillai (who had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean; 65the governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food, until a priest with Urim and Thummim should come.

66The whole assembly together was forty‐two thousand three hundred sixty, 67besides their male and female slaves, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty‐seven; and they had two hundred forty‐five singers, male and female. 68They had seven hundred thirty‐six horses, two hundred forty‐five mules, a Another reading is saw 69four hundred thirty‐five camels, and six thousand seven hundred twenty donkeys.

70Now some of the heads of ancestral houses contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, and five hundred thirty priestly robes. 71And some of the heads of ancestral houses gave into the building fund twenty thousand darics of gold and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. 72And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, two thousand minas of silver, and sixty‐seven priestly robes.

73So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel settled in their towns.

When the seventh month came—the people of Israel being settled in their towns—


a Heb Gashmu

a Another reading is saw

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

1.1–7.5 : Third stage of reconstruction: rebuilding Jerusalem under Nehemiah's leadership.

These chapters come from Nehemiah's memoirs, first‐person material that is also found in chs 12–13 .

7.1–5 : Setting up guards.

1 :

Gatekeepers … singers … Levites, these people ordinarily officiated at the Temple. As guards of the city's gates, they symbolize the new sanctity of the city as a whole (see 11.1 ).

2 :

Hanani, see 1.2 . Citadel, fortress (see 2.8 ).

3 :

For reasons of safety, the gates are to be open only during broad daylight.

4 :

The people within it were few, most returnees had resumed a largely agrarian life in the surrounding countryside. Nehemiah's measures allow greater urbanization, which is facilitated in ch 11 .

5 :

The sparse population of Jerusalem is used as an editorial device to repeat this list from Ezra 2 .

7.6–73 : Frame: repeated list of returnees.

Essentially reproducing Ezra 2.1–70 , with insignificant variations, the list serves a twofold purpose here. First, it connects the last stage of reconstruction with the successful efforts of the previous generations, as a continuous response to Cyrus's original decree (Ezra 1 ). By repeating the list from Ezra 2 , Ezra‐Nehemiah frames and melds the three stages of return and reconstruction (Temple, community, city) into a single, unified event, spanning nearly a century (538–444 BCE). Second, it identifies who now legitimately belongs to the community and is subject to the legal and religious practices, privileges, and responsibilities that follow. On the list itself, see the notes to Ezra 2 .

66 :

Forty‐two thousand three hundred sixty, same total for the population as Ezra 2.64 , though some numbers within the two lists do not match.

70–72 :

The parallel in Ezra 2.68–69 differs. For the value of such contributions, see note there.

73 :

The seventh month, September‐October (see Ezra 3.1 ), designated as a beginning of the new year in later Judaism. Lev 23.23–24 and Num 29.1–6 specify practices for this date without mention of reading the Torah (see ch 8 ).

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