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CHAPTER 7 Nov.19 
Protection for Jerusalem
Now it happened, once the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2that I put my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the castle, in charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3I said to them, Don’t let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. While they stand guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them; and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, with everyone near his house.
A List of Those Who Had Returned
4Now the city was wide and large; but the people were few therein, and the houses were not built. 5My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written therein: 6These are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, each one to his city. 7They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. 9The children of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. 10The children of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two. 11The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 12The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 13The children of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five. 14The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. 15The children of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight. 16The children of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight. 17The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two. 18The children of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven. 19The children of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven. 20The children of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five. 21The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 22The children of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight. 23The children of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four. 24The children of Hariph, one hundred and twelve. 25The children of Gibeon, ninety-five. 26The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight. 27The men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight. 28The men of Beth Azmaveth, forty-two. 29The men of Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 30The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 31The men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two. 32The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred and twenty-three. 33The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two. 34The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 35The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 36The children of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 37The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one. 38The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. 39The priests: The children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 40The children of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two. 41The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven. 42The children of Harim, one thousand and seventeen. 43The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the children of Hodevah, seventy-four. 44The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight. 45The 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, one hundred and thirty-eight. 46The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 47the children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, 48the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai, 49the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, 50the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, 51the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah. 52The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephushesim, 53the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 54the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 55the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, 56the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. 57The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, 58the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, 59the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Amon. 60All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred and ninety-two. 61These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not prove their fathers’ houses nor their genealogies, whether they were of Israel: 62The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two. 63Of the priests: the children of Hobaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name. 64These searched for their genealogical records, but couldn’t find them. Therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood. 65The governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. 66The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67besides their male and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven: and they had two hundred and forty-five singing men and singing women. 68Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six; their mules, two hundred and forty-five; 69their camels, four hundred and thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70Some from among the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins and five hundred and thirty priests’ garments. 71Some of the heads of fathers’ households gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. 72That which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ garments. 73So the priests, the Levites and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, lived in their cities. When the seventh month had come, the children of Israel were in their cities.


7:2 Nehemiah’s brother Hanani was given “charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man”- not just because he was the boss’s brother, which is how the nepotism of those times would have usually required (Neh. 7:2). It can be that human qualification, e.g. being a successful businessman, or the brother of a leading brother, is related to positions of eldership amongst us. Yet the Nehemiah passage shows that although sometimes there may be overlap between both spiritual and human qualification, it is the spiritual qualification which must be paramount.
7:5 Nehemiah made a special study of the genealogies in order to find an acceptable priesthood (:5), and perhaps this was the basis for the genealogies written up in the early chapters of 1 Chronicles. So there were Israel returning from captivity, led by a faithful remnant of the priests, looking back through their history, right back to Abraham and beyond, and seeing that their history was shot through with failure. Such self-examination extended even to considering the names parents gave their children.
7:6 Seeing that the majority of the Jews chose the soft life and remained in Babylon, God was especially sensitive to those who returned; and for over 2500 years these names have been recorded in His word. Such is His awareness of all those who respond to the call of the Kingdom and to forsake this world. Note how the numbers are recorded very exactly. God was sensitive to each and every one who returned.
7:7 This describes Zerubbabel as being at the head of twelve leaders of the returning exiles, who are called “the people of Israel” (cp. Ezra 2:2). Whilst it was Judah who had been taken into captivity, it seems that some of the ten tribes [who had been taken into captivity in Assyria some time earlier] also returned with them; it was God’s intention to create a new, unified Israel in the restored Kingdom. But most of God’s people then as today chose not to participate in the unity plan He had desired for His people.
7:54 Comparing the list of names in the list of returnees in Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7, we find that a number of names recur in both lists, e.g. Bazluth (Ezra 2:52; Neh. 7:54). It could be that some went from Babylon to Judah with Ezra, then returned to Babylon, and returned with Nehemiah. This hardly sounds like the glorious, positive, confident return of the captives to Zion prophesied in the restoration prophecies. Like us at times, God’s people lost their nerve in quitting this world and dedicating themselves to the things of His Kingdom.