Nehemiah 3:1-32


Verse 1-32, Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. {2} And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. {3} But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. {4} And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. {5} And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. {6} Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. {7} And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. {8} Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall. {9} And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem. {10} And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah. {11} Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces. {12} And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. {13} The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate. {14} But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. {15} But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. {16} After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty. {17} After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part. {18} After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah. {19} And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall. {20} After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. {21} After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. {22} And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain. {23} After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house. {24} After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner. {25} Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh. {26} Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out. {27} After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel. {28} From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. {29} After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. {30} After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. {31} After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner. {32} And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.

Many people skip this chapter as nothing more than a list of names.  But this chapter tells of the actual work of rebuilding.  It is very likely the most important chapter in the book.  Notice that God thought it was important enough to put in the Bible.  He wanted us to note these people and the work they did.  I believe He noted their work and will give them an eternal reward for it.

1.   Verse 1 - Then - The people were determined before the mockery, (verse 18) and after the mockery, they were still determined to work.

2.   Eliashib, the high priest was the "starter" of the actual work.

a.   Pastors, deacons, and church leaders always must set a good example before the people.

b.   Sanctified - set aside for his particular work.

c.   Priests of the plain - (probably the Jordan Valley) but compare 12:28 - Netophathi is located southeast of Jerusalem.  (Apparently many villages of the priests.)

3.   Many people were involved in the work.  (Many hands make light work - many people give more encouragement than few people can give.)

4.   People who didn't live in Jerusalem helped in the work. (See verse 2, 5, 7, 13, 14, 16, 17.)


A map showing the distances from Jerusalem that the people from the various towns had to travel would look something like the map below:




5.   Rulers were active in the work.

Verse 12 - half part of Jerusalem.

Verse 14 - half part of Bethhaccerem.

Verse 15 - half part of Mizpah (verse 14).

Verse 16 - half part of Bethzur.

Verse 17 - half part of Keilah (2nd part is in verse 18).

6.   Verse 5 - The rulers of Tekoa didn't try very hard.  God also takes note of these people.

7.   Verse 6 - Two persons working together.  This is always better.

8.   Verse 13 - 1,000 cubits (about 1500 feet, {1320' is 1/4 mile}) repaired.  Compare with verse 30.  Hanun repairing another place.

9.   Verse 8, 32 - Some people working out of their chosen vocation.  Note:  They didn't say, "I can't work because I'm not trained."  or "I can't leave my business."

10.  Verse 12 - Some women also helped, but never in an ungodly fashion.  Perhaps Shallum had no sons to help him.

11.  Verse 10, 23, 28, 29 - Some worked near to their houses, or chambers (verse 30).  A person should do the work nearest him.

a.   A church will not do true missionary work a long way off that does no missionary work at home.

b.   If every church would carry the gospel to their own neighborhoods, this United States would be covered with the gospel.

12.  Verse 20 - Baruch repaired earnestly.  A godly zeal is a precious thing.

13.  Verse 30 - The 6th son - no mention is made of the other 5.  maybe they were dead, or moved away, or careless.  Regardless, our responsibility is to do our work whether anybody else does or not.  We shall all be judged.

14.  Some who had finished their work helped others.

a.   Compare verse 4 and 21 - Meremoth.

b.   Compare verse 5 and 27 - Tekoites.  Note that the Tekoites nobles set a bad example.  Just because you have a bad example doesn't excuse you from faithfully serving God.

c.   Compare verse 5 and 24 - Binnui, Son of Henadad (see verse 18, another son?)

15.  The work of Nehemiah.

a.   Did not himself share in the work.

b.   But he was the overseer of the entire work.

c.   Took care of the major administrative duties so the work could go on (combating the enemies lies and conducting the army of Israel.)

d.   He knew people's names.  Ministers ought to know the names and talents of those they are over in the Lord.)

e.   Delegation of authority.

1.   More work can be done when the responsibility and authority is delegated.

2.   Pastors must delegate authority and responsibility to those that have the same spiritual desires and vision as the pastor (all from the Lord.)

3.   Members given this authority and responsibility must understand they are working under the direction of the pastor that the church as a whole might accomplish the desired goal.

4.      Example: Acts 6:3 - ye (church) chose the deacons and we (pastors) put them to work.


Verse 26 - The Nethinims -  The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s", "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s" #Ezra 2:70 7:7,24 8:20 etc. The tradition is that the Gibeonites #Joshua 9:27 were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinims. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites #Ezra 8:20 and so were called Nethinims, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinims returned from Babylon #Ezra 2:58 8:20 They were under the control of a chief from among themselves #Ezra 2:43 Nehemiah 7:46 No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.