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Nehemiah 3

Builders of the Wall

1 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.

2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.

3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.

5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors. [a]

6 The Jeshanah [b] Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

7 Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates.

8 Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored [c] Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.

9 Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section.

10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him.

11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.

12 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.

13 The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards [d] of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.

14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

15 The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, [e] by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David.

16 Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs [f] of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.

17 Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district.

18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their countrymen under Binnui [g] son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah.

19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle.

20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib’s house to the end of it.

22 The repairs next to him were made by the priests from the surrounding region.

23 Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house.

24 Next to him, Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from Azariah’s house to the angle and the corner,

25 and Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh

26 and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower.

27 Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.

28 Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.

29 Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs.

30 Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters.

31 Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner;

32 and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repair.

INTRODUCTION TO NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 3

This chapter presents a record of the builders and their achievements they are busy building a wall, to many this may seem unimportant.  But think of it this way—what if there was no wall on the border between Mexico and the state of Texas soon there would be no distinction between the two.  It was because of not wall that the Jews were facing assimilation into the culture of their pagan neighbors.  In those days a city without a wall was easy pickings for any robber band.  Jew’s concerned for security, had scattered among other nationalities in small villages outside Jerusalem.  There they were intermarrying and gradually losing their own language, culture and most important their own religion.  A wall would give them a chance to make Jerusalem a truly Jewish city, keeping it safe and controlling who came and went.

EXPOSITION TO NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 3

Builders of the Wall

1 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.

It is fitting that Eliashib the high priest and his co—workers build the sheep gate.  This gate was used primarily for the sacrifices to come through and was appropriately called the sheep gate.  No one knows the exact location of many of the gates and the distance from tower to tower.  They dedicated the gates, wall and towers as they were finished and then had a formal dedication later when the entire project was finished.

Psa. 127:1“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”

2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.

This section of the wall was built by men from Jericho.  This meant travelling about 12 miles which on foot would take 8 to10 hours.  They probably set up camp and stayed in Jerusalem till the project was finished.  The adjoining section of the wall was finished by Zaccur son of Imri.  Each section was manned by a large crew of workers with only the general foreman’s name mentioned.  There were thousands of people working on the walls.

3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

The fish gate was a place where foreign people brought their dried fish and wares and sold them.  It was a mini—flea market.

Nehemiah 13:16 “Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.”

This gate is mentioned in 2 Ch. 33:14; Zeph. 1:10.

4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.

Meremoth, Meshullan, Zadok—this section was still in tack and only needed repairs so each one assumed the responsibility of making the necessary repairs.

5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

The adjoining section of the wall needed repairs so a crew of men from Tekoa did the work.  The city of Tekoa was 12 miles from Jerusalem.  So, the travel time to commute was improbable.  The workers set up camp and stayed till their end of the contract to fix the wall was completed.

 

6 The Jeshanah [b] Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

Joiada and Meshullam were the supervisors in charge of the Jeshanah gate.  Building and entrance was a large project—large beams were hoisted into place above the doors and stone work on the columns and across the area above the gates and a roof built over the doorway.  Wood for the doors was supplied from the king’s forest under the authority of Artaxerxes and expedited by Asaph the keeper of the forest.  Large hinges had to be forged and all bolts custom made4 and hardware for the bars— and carpentry work building the doors.

7 Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates.

Next the repairs are made by a crew under the supervision of Melatiah and Jadon.  They came from Gibeon which was 6 miles N.W. of Jerusalem—this and Mizpah 4 miles W. of Jerusalem—this territory was under the authority of the regional governors of Trans—Euphrates.

8 Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored [c] Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.

The next supervisors are Uzziel and Hananiah, they make repairs up to the broad wall.  Archeological excavations confirm that the wall was wider at this point.  In 2 Ch.  32:5 we are told that Hezekiah built another wall outside the regular wall in order to reinforce the supporting terraces.  Perhaps there was a slip at this point and this was used as a retaining wall.

9 Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section.

Rephiah was mayor of a section of Jerusalem known as the hal—section.  Under his leadership the next section of the wall was repaired.

10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him.

Two neighbors by the name of Jedaiah and Hattush repaired the wall in front of their respective homes.

 

11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.

Malkijah and Hasshub join together and with their crew repair the wall and the tower of the ovens.  Jeremiah speaks of the street of the bakers in Jer. 37:21.  This tower and wall was located in front of the bakery.

12 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.

Shallum—Mayor of the other half district of Jerusalem and his daughter repair the next section of the wall.

13 The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards [d] of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.

This gate led out to the Hinnom valley.  Hanum was in charge and the residents of Zanoah rebuilt it.  They laid stones—erected columns—built doors and hung them on hinges forged from bronze, and wood for the gates from the Kings forest (probably located in Lebanon).

14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

The dung gate was used to take the manure and street sweepings out to be spread on the land and gardens surrounding Jerusalem. This gate was built and installed under the leadership of Malkijah.

15 The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, [e] by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David.

This gate probably faced the En-Rogel spring and a fountain was located near-by thus giving it the name of fountain gate.  This ruler, by the name of shallum ruled over Mizpah, about   5  miles from Jerusalem.  He made all necessary repairs on the main wall and then took on the project of repairing the wall at the pool of Siloam and some steps going down from the city of David.

 

16 Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs [f] of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes

Nehemiah son of Azkub (not the author of this book) he was the mayor of Beth Zur this town was north of Hebron on the Jerusalem road.  He and his crew made all the repairs on the wall in front of the cemetery and to an artificial pool that stood in front of the “hall of fame” a museum that held the memorabilia of the famous warriors of David.  Cf.  I Kings

17 Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district.

Rehum a Levite and Hashabiah a mayor from half district of Keliah repair this section the wall.

18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their countrymen under Binnui [g] son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah.

Others from Keliah under the supervision of Bennai the other half district of Keliah make the repairs for their assigned section of the wall.

19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle.

Next we have Ezer mayor of Mizpah located about 5 miles from Jerusalem.  He and his crew build the wall in front of the Armory.  This was a building that had been built in David’s day to keep their war equipment in.

20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

The next section of the wall is repaired by Baruch, a very zealous man who repairs all the way to the entrance of the high priest residence.

21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib’s house to the end of it.

All along the front of the house of the high priest repairs were made by Meremoth and his crew.

 

22 The repairs next to him were made by the priests from the surrounding region.

The following section of the wall was repaired by the priests.

23 Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house.

The following section of the wall was repaired by the priests.

24 Next to him, Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from Azariah’s house to the angle and the corner,

Bennui and his crew repair the wall to the corner.

25 and Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh

Palal takes on the project in front of the old residence of David and there was a guard tower located on top of the wall projecting from the palace.  Next to him Pedaiah and his crew are busy building the wall.

26 and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower.

Micah has an interesting prophecy that is being fulfilled at this moment and time

Micah 4:1-6  “ In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.  Many nations will come and say,
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.  All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD  our God for ever and ever.  In that day, declares the LORD, I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles  and those I have brought to grief.”

Temple servants who lived on the hill in a dorm with easy access to the temple join in on this building project.

27 Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.

Men of Tekoa are repairing a section of the wall from the projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.  The wall of Ophel must be one of many retaining walls located inside Jerusalem and near or intersecting the wall around Jerusalem.

28 Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.

The horse gate was where the livery stable was located.
When the Calvary rode to town they would have kept their horses at the barns located outside this gate.  Queen Athaliah was killed here at the horse barn.   II Ch. 23:15 “So they seized her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death.”  From this gate led a road to the Kidron Valley.  The priest’s are making the repairs to this section of the wall.

29 Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs.

Zadok and Shemaiah are in charge of this section of the wall.  The East gate is known today as the golden gate and Shemaiah was one of its guards.

30 Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters.

Hananiah, Hannun and Meshullam are making repairs to the designated point of “across from the residence of Meshullam .”

31 Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner;

Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths and his crew makes repairs past the inspection gate to a room above the corner.  The inspection gate (also called Miphkad) was a gate where the animals fro sacrifice were checked for blemishes, crippled or lame thus making them unacceptable for sacrifice.

 

32 and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repair.

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