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The names of those who presided over the builders, and the parts which
each company built, ver. 1 - 32.
1: Eliashib - Grand - child of Joshua, the first high - priest after
their return from Babylon. Rose - Began the work. Ministers should
be foremost in every good work, animating others by their example as well
as doctrine. Sheep - gate - Which was next to the temple; so called,
because the sheep were brought thro' it to be sacrificed.
Sanctified - Or, they prepared or repaired it: for so the word
sometimes signifies. But our translation seems best, both because that use
of the word is most common, and because this is spoken only of this gate,
which being built by the priests, and nighest to the temple, and with a
special eye to the service of the temple, for which both men and things
were most commonly brought in this way, and being also the first part of
the building, might be in a peculiar manner sanctified by solemn prayer
and sacrifice, whereby it was dedicated to God's service.
5: Their nobles - Did not submit to it, would not further it, either
through sloth or covetousness, or secret compliance with the enemies of
the Jews. Of their Lord - Of God, whom they owned for their Lord,
whose work this was, because it had proceeded thus far by his singular
providence: and because it was done for the defence of the city, and
people, and temple of God. And therefore they are branded to all posterity.
Let not nobles think any thing beneath them, by which they may benefit their
country. What is their nobility good for, but that it places them in an
higher and larger sphere of usefulness?
7: The throne - Unto the place where the governor of the country on
this side Euphrates, under the Persian kings, sometimes had a palace
8: Fortified - It is not said, they repaired, but they
fortified it, either because this part of the wall was less demolished
than the other, and therefore they needed not to repair it, but only to
make it stronger: or, to note their extraordinary care and diligence,
that they would not only repair it, but make it stronger than ever.
9: Half part - As Rome was anciently divided into several
quarters or regions, so was Jerusalem; and especially into two
parts, whereof one was in the tribe of Benjamin, and nearest the
temple, the other in the tribe of Judah, these accordingly had two
several rulers, this man and the other, ver.(12), but both under
the chief governor of the city.
12: His daughters - Who were either heiresses or rich widows, and
caused part to be done at their charges.
14: Beth - haccerem - A town or territory, the government whereof was
divided between two persons.
16: Made - By Hezekiah, (2Ki 20:20). Whereby it is
distinguished from that pool which was natural. Mighty - Or, of the
valiant: which possibly was formerly appointed for the receipt of
those chief captains that should attend upon the king in their courses.
20: Earnestly - Did his work with eminent diligence and fervency:
which is here noted to his commendation. And it is probable, this good
man's zeal provoked many, to take the more pains, and make the more haste.
21: The door - Therefore the door was not in the middle of the house,
as now they commonly are, but at one end of it.
27: Tekoites - The same spoken of before, who having dispatched their
first share sooner than their brethren, freely offered to supply the defects
of others, who, as it seems, neglected that part of the work which had
been committed to them. And this their double diligence is noted both for
the greater shame of their nobles, who would not do any part of it, and for
their own honour, who were so far from being corrupted by that bad example,
that they were quickened to greater zeal and industry in this pious work.
30: The sixth son of Zalaph - It seems, his five elder brethren, laid
not their hands to the work. But in doing that which is good, we need not
stay to see our betters go before us.