The Names and Order of Them That Builded the
Wall of Jerusalem.
1. Then Eliashib the high priest—the
grandson of Jeshua, and the first high priest after the return from
rose up with his brethren the
priests—that is, set an example by commencing the work, their
labors being confined to the sacred localities.
and they builded the sheep gate—close
to the temple. Its name arose either from the sheep market, or from the
pool of Bethesda, which was there (Joh 5:2). There the sheep were washed and then
taken to the temple for sacrifice.
they sanctified it, and set up the
doors—Being the common entrance into the temple, and the
first part of the building repaired, it is probable that some religious
ceremonies were observed in gratitude for its completion. "It was the
first-fruits, and therefore, in the sanctification of it, the whole
lump and building was sanctified" [Poole].
the tower of Meah—This word is
improperly considered, in our version, as the name of a tower; it is
the Hebrew word for "a hundred," so that the meaning is: they
not only rebuilt the sheep gate, but also a hundred cubits of the wall,
which extended as far as the tower of Hananeel.
2. next unto him builded the men of Jericho,
&c.—The wall was divided into portions, one of which was
assigned respectively to each of the great families which had returned
from the captivity. This distribution, by which the building was
carried on in all parts simultaneously with great energy, was eminently
favorable to despatch. "The villages where the restorers resided being
mostly mentioned, it will be seen that this circumstance affords a
general indication of the part of the wall upon which they labored,
such places being on that side of the city nearest their place of
abode; the only apparent exception being, perhaps, where they repaired
more than their piece. Having completed their first undertaking (if
they worked any more), there being no more work to be done on the side
next their residence, or having arrived after the repairs on that part
of the city nearest them under operation were completed, they would go
wherever their services would be required" [Barclay, City of the Great King].
8. they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad
wall—or, "double wall," extending from the gate of Ephraim to
the corner gate, four hundred cubits in length, formerly broken down by
Joash, king of Israel [2Ch 25:23],
but afterwards rebuilt by Uzziah [2Ch 26:9], who made it so strong that the
Chaldeans, finding it difficult to demolish, had left it standing.
12. Shallum … he and his
daughters—who were either heiresses or rich widows. They
undertook to defray the expenses of a part of the wall next them.
13. the inhabitants of Zanoah—There were
two towns so called in the territory of Judah (Jos 15:34, 56).
14. Beth-haccerem—a city of Judah,
supposed to be now occupied by Bethulia, on a hill of the same name,
which is sometimes called also the mountain of the Franks, between
Jerusalem and Tekoa.
16. the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that
was made, and unto the house of the mighty—that is, along the
precipitous cliffs of Zion [Barclay].
19. at the turning of the wall—that is,
the wall across the Tyropœon, being a continuation of the first
wall, connecting Mount Zion with the temple wall [Barclay].
25. the tower which lieth out from the king's high
house—that is, watchtower by the royal palace [Barclay].
26. the Nethinims—Not only the priests
and the Levites, but the common persons that belonged to the house of
God, contributed to the work. The names of those who repaired the walls
of Jerusalem are commemorated because it was a work of piety and
patriotism to repair the holy city. It was an instance of religion and
courage to defend the true worshippers of God, that they might serve
Him in quietness and safety, and, in the midst of so many enemies, go
on with this work, piously confiding in the power of God to support
them [Bishop Patrick].