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Nehemiah 7


7:1 When the wall had been rebuilt and I had positioned the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 7:2 I then put in charge over Jerusalem 1  my brother Hanani and Hananiah 2  the chief of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many do. 7:3 I 3  said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem must not be opened in the early morning, 4  until those who are standing guard close the doors and lock them. 5  Position residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their guard stations and some near their homes.” 7:4 Now the city was spread out 6  and large, and there were not a lot of people in it. 7  At that time houses had not been rebuilt. 7:5 My God placed it on my heart to gather the leaders, 8  the officials, and the ordinary people so they could be enrolled on the basis of genealogy. I found the genealogical records 9  of those who had formerly returned. Here is what I found written in that record: 10 

7:6 These are the people 11  of the province who returned 12  from the captivity of the exiles, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had forced into exile. 13  They returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, each to his own city. 7:7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

The number of Israelite men 14  was as follows:

7:8 the descendants 15  of Parosh, 2,172;

7:9 the descendants of Shephatiah, 372;

7:10 the descendants of Arah, 652;

7:11 the descendants of Pahath-Moab (from the line 16  of Jeshua and Joab), 2,818;

7:12 the descendants of Elam, 1,254;

7:13 the descendants of Zattu, 845;

7:14 the descendants of Zaccai, 760;

7:15 the descendants of Binnui, 648;

7:16 the descendants of Bebai, 628;

7:17 the descendants of Azgad, 2,322;

7:18 the descendants of Adonikam, 667;

7:19 the descendants of Bigvai, 2,067;

7:20 the descendants of Adin, 655;

7:21 the descendants of Ater (through Hezekiah), 98;

7:22 the descendants of Hashum, 328;

7:23 the descendants of Bezai, 324;

7:24 the descendants of Harif, 112;

7:25 the descendants of Gibeon, 95;

7:26 The men of Bethlehem 17  and Netophah, 188;

7:27 the men of Anathoth, 128;

7:28 the men of the family 18  of Azmaveth, 42;

7:29 the men of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth, 743;

7:30 the men of Ramah and Geba, 621;

7:31 the men of Micmash, 122;

7:32 the men of Bethel 19  and Ai, 123;

7:33 the men of the other Nebo, 52;

7:34 the descendants of the other Elam, 1,254;

7:35 the descendants of Harim, 320;

7:36 the descendants of Jericho, 345;

7:37 the descendants of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721;

7:38 the descendants of Senaah, 3,930.

7:39 The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family 20  of Jeshua), 973;

7:40 the descendants of Immer, 1,052;

7:41 the descendants of Pashhur, 1,247;

7:42 the descendants of Harim, 1,017.

7:43 The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel, through the line of Hodaviah), 74.

7:44 The singers:

the descendants of Asaph, 148.

7:45 The gatekeepers:

the descendants of Shallum, the descendants of Ater, the descendants of Talmon, the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Hatita, and the descendants of Shobai, 138.

7:46 The temple servants:

the descendants of Ziha, the descendants of Hasupha, the descendants of Tabbaoth, 7:47 the descendants of Keros, the descendants of Sia, the descendants of Padon, 7:48 the descendants of Lebanah, the descendants of Hagabah, the descendants of Shalmai, 7:49 the descendants of Hanan, the descendants of Giddel, the descendants of Gahar, 7:50 the descendants of Reaiah, the descendants of Rezin, the descendants of Nekoda, 7:51 the descendants of Gazzam, the descendants of Uzzah, the descendants of Paseah, 7:52 the descendants of Besai, the descendants of Meunim, the descendants of Nephussim, 7:53 the descendants of Bakbuk, the descendants of Hakupha, the descendants of Harhur, 7:54 the descendants of Bazluth, the descendants of Mehida, the descendants of Harsha, 7:55 the descendants of Barkos, the descendants of Sisera, the descendants of Temah, 7:56 the descendants of Neziah, the descendants of Hatipha.

7:57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of Sotai, the descendants of Sophereth, the descendants of Perida, 7:58 the descendants of Jaala, the descendants of Darkon, the descendants of Giddel, 7:59 the descendants of Shephatiah, the descendants of Hattil, the descendants of Pokereth-Hazzebaim, and the descendants of Amon.

7:60 All the temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon, 392.

7:61 These are the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer (although they were unable to certify 21  their family connection 22  or their ancestry, 23  as to whether they were really from Israel):

7:62 the descendants of Delaiah, the descendants of Tobiah, and the descendants of Nekoda, 642.

7:63 And from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai (who had married a woman from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name). 7:64 They searched for their records in the genealogical materials, but none were found. They were therefore excluded 24  from the priesthood. 7:65 The governor 25  instructed them not to eat any of the sacred food until there was a priest who could consult 26  the Urim and Thummim.

7:66 The entire group numbered 42,360, 7:67 not counting their 7,337 male and female servants. They also had 245 male and female singers. 7:68 They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 7:69 (7:68) 27  435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 7:70 Some of the family leaders 28  contributed to the work. The governor contributed to the treasury 1,000 gold drachmas, 29  50 bowls, and 530 priestly garments. 7:71 Some of the family leaders gave to the project treasury 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,200 silver minas. 7:72 What the rest of the people gave amounted to 20,000 gold drachmas, 2,000 silver minas, and 67 priestly garments.

7:73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all the rest of Israel lived in their cities.

The People Respond to the Reading of the Law

When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites 30  were settled in their cities, 31 

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1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Some have suggested that “Hananiah” is another name for Hanani, Nehemiah’s brother, so that only one individual is mentioned here. However, the third person plural in v. 3 indicates two people are in view.

3 tc The present translation (along with most English versions) reads with the Qere, a Qumran text, and the ancient versions וָאֹמַר (vaomar, “and I said”) rather than the Kethib of the MT, which reads וַיֹּאמֶר (vayyomer, “and he said”).

4 tn Heb “until the heat of the sun.” The phrase probably means that the gates were to be opened only after the day had progressed a bit, not at the first sign of morning light (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, CEV). It is possible, however, that the Hebrew preposition עַד (’ad), here translated as “until,” has a more rare sense of “during.” If so, this would mean that the gates were not to be left open and unattended during the hot part of the day when people typically would be at rest (cf. NLT).

5 tn Presumably this would mean the gates were not to be opened until later in the morning and were to remain open until evening. Some, however, have understood Nehemiah’s instructions to mean that the gates were not to be left open during the hottest part of the day, but must be shut and locked while the guards are still on duty. See J. Barr, “Hebrew עַד, especially at Job i.18 and Neh vii.3,” JJS 27 (1982): 177-88.

6 tn Heb “wide of two hands.”

7 tn Heb “the people were few in its midst.”

8 tn Heb “nobles”; NCV “important men.”

9 tn Heb “the book of genealogy.”

10 tn Heb “in it”; the referent (the genealogical record) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “the sons of”; KJV, ASV “the children of”; NAB “the inhabitants of.”

12 tn Heb “who were going up.”

13 tc One medieval Hebrew manuscript has “to Babylon.” Cf. Ezra 2:1.

14 tn Heb “the men of the people of Israel.” Some English versions translate as “the people from Israel” (NCV) or “the Israelite people” (NRSV), but “men” should be retained because the following numbers presumably include only adult males.

15 tn Heb “the sons of.”

16 tn Heb “to the sons of.”

17 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

18 tc The translation reads בְּנֵי (bÿne, “the sons of”) rather than the MT reading בֵית אַנְשֵׁי (’anshey vet, “men of the house of”). Cf. Ezra 2:24.

19 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

20 tn Heb “to the house of.”

21 tn Heb “relate.”

22 tn Heb “the house of their fathers.”

23 tn Heb “their seed.”

24 tn Heb “they were desecrated.”

25 tn The Hebrew term תִּרְשָׁתָא (tirshata’; KJV “Tirshatha”) is the official title of a Persian governor in Judea. In meaning it may be similar to “excellency” (cf. NAB). See further BDB 1077 s.v.; W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 395; HALOT 1798 s.v.

26 tn Heb “stood.”

27 tc Most Hebrew MSS omit 7:68 ET, which reads “They had 736 horses, 245 mules,” and thus have one less verse in chap. 7, ending the chapter at 7:72. This verse is included in the LXX and most English versions. Cf. Ezra 2:66.

28 tn Heb “the heads of the fathers.”

29 tn Heb “darics” (also in vv. 71, 72).

30 tn Heb “the sons of Israel.” So also in vv. 14, 17; 9:1.

31 tn The traditional understanding of the chapter and verse division here is probably incorrect. The final part of v. 73 is best understood as belonging with 8:1.

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