Nehemiah Chapter 3
"Commencement of Work."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
We will see now the starting of the work to rebuilding the wall and each of the twelve gates on that wall. We read in Revelation 21:11-13 that the wall of the eternal city in the new Jerusalem will also have twelve gates. In that the rebuilding of this wall with it's twelve gates are according to God's plan, the people assigned to rebuild each of the gate sections of the wall are probably assigned for some symbolic reason. It is not written in His Word as such, however God does things in a natural way, and with order.
The rebuilding of the walls and it's twelve gates are important, for it has to be done before the Temple can be rebuilt. We will cover this whole third chapter to make one point.
Nehemiah 3:1 "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the preists, 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."
What is interesting about the name of this high priest, "Eliashib", is that his name means "God restored" in the Hebrew tongue.
The starting of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem was at the sheep gate. It was so named because the sheep were brought in and prepared for the blood sacrifices.
Nehemiah 3:2 "and next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri."
Nehemiah 3:3 "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."
This gate was called the fish gate because it was on the road to Jappa where the fish were brought into the city. This gate later would become symbolic of Christianity.
Nehemiah 3:4 "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."
This was the order that placed these men on the wall, or assigned them for their part in the reconstruction.
Nehemiah 3:5 "And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord."
There is no difference between then as it is today. Some people think it is to far below them to partake in the work of the Lord, and tend to the things that must be done. Instead they give mouth service, and verbally push the others on. Do you think God will not remember that? Though in this earth age period many things go unrecorded, however in due times, all things are recorded and accounted for.
Nehemiah 3:6 "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."
These names of the gates changed as different Temples were built, and in Jesus day it was also called the Damascus gate. However in the day of Nehemiah it was called the old gate.
Nehemiah 3:7 "And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the throne of the governor on this side the river."
God is taking us on a real slow journey around the whole temple, and He will show us the important point of this chapter. God is going to put us to sleep with boring names, and out of the way places. When you grow tired of all these strange names and places, "bang" you will miss the main point. Most of the Bible teachers will skip right over long lists of names and what they did, or where they are going, but the point here is to bring out one thing. This one point is critical even today, and was the key to what the Jesus said was the only thing acceptable to Him of the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. See if you can catch that point when we come to it.
Nehemiah 3:8 "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."
These people were the bankers of the community, as well as the main business people. These men are working on the old wall and making it stronger.
Nehemiah 3:9 "And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem."
Notice here that even the princes are in there digging and carrying mortar. It is sort of like the sandbagging that went on during the floods lately in the Midwest, where the whole community, form all levels of life pitched in together.
Nehemiah 3:10 "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."
Aren't these interesting names?
Nehemiah 3:11 "Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces."
This "tower of the furnaces" will later be called the potters gate. It is on the northwest corner, and it is that piece of property that was bought with the thirty pieces of silver, where all the broken pieces of pottery would be cast. Those broken pots are symbolic of our broken lives, that are cast away, until the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas was used to purchase the whole field, so that certain ones in that field could be restored. It was Christ's blood on the cross, that paid the price for our restoration, and that thirty pieces of silver that bought the whole field.
When each soul sins against God, regardless what the sin is, that soul [or pottery] has been redeemed from the field, and will be restored to perfection through Christ, if they will but repent and believe of Jesus Christ. It is not the flesh that causes the person to sin, but the soul within the flesh body. That soul will live until God determines that it shall have eternal life, or whether He shall kill it. Jesus said that we are not to fear those who can kill the flesh body, but He that can destroy the flesh body, and cause the soul to parish.
Nehemiah 3:12 "And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters."
This is the location of the oven gate, or the furnace gate, and it is where the bread is baked. Notice that even the women were involved in the rebuilding of the Walls and gates of Jerusalem. And in these later days, even the women will have a part in the building of the Temple of God, made up of all the believers of the body of Christ. God intends to put to work both the sons and the daughters in this end generation. To state that women should keep quiet in the work of the Lord in this end generation, shows their ignorance of God's Word.
Nehemiah 3:13 "The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zonoan; 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."
The valley gate is the main gate that Nehemiah entered into upon his arrival to Jerusalem. These men had a long stretch to work on, from the valley gate, all the way to the dung gate. The dung gate is where all the dead animals and trash goes through on the way to the city dump, which is called the the valley of Gihenon, or the valley of Jehosephat where the great battle will take place some day. All the waste was burned, and destroyed for health reasons.
Jesus used this place many times to compare the body and soul in His teaching.
Nehemiah 3:14 "But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, and locks thereof, and the bars thereof."
Keep in mind that the entire wall and all the gates are being rebuilt all at the sme time. You can hear the sound of the rocks being broke and chipped, and the mortar being mixed, as the men and women are singing, and talking around the entire city. It was a busy place, except for the nobles of the Tekoites [verse five].
Nehemiah 3:15 "But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereoff, 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."
This gate is where the pool of Silaom is located, This is the gate wher the long stairs that led out of the city of Jerusalem to the head of Kedron. We are now at the south tip and are now turning to the north, and we are approaching the place where Nehemiah's beast could not pass, in the last chapter.
Nehemiah 3:16 "After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty."
This Nehemiah is not the same as the author of this book. It is interesting that very recently archaeologist have dug up a stone that was written upon it in ancient philo Hepbrew, "The house of David" in this location. As time passes, more and more writings are being dug up to find that God's word is true, and only a fool would doubt God's word.
Nehemiah 3:17 "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."
Here we come to the priest's line. These are very important people in their day, and were nobles in their day.
Nehemiah 3:18 "After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah."
So here we have the other half of the leadership of the town of Keilah. The whole bunch is out to get the job done.
Nehemiah 3:19 "And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armory at the turning of the wall."
This location is where the guard gate was, and here we see the men of the town of Mizpah, and their leaders build the wall here.
Nehemiah 3:20 "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."
So here we are at the turning of the wall to the door of the high priest, and it is time to pay attention.
Nehemiah 3:21 "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."
Remember Eliashib from verse one, where this was the start of the rebuilding point of the wall. It is right here at the high priests quarters, which is right next to both the king's house and the armory that we have the tower of Ophel, keep this location in mind and lets continue.
Nehemiah 3:22 "And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain."
This is because the priests quarters are here.
Nehemiah 3:23 "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."
Nehemiah 3:24 "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."
Nehemiah 3:25 "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."
So we have rounded the corner and heading towards the east gate. Notice that these families are working the wall next to their homes, and the next tower we come upon is the tower of Ophel. Verse twenty six is the reason for any importance to this chapter at all, it is what we call a parenthetical expression. It draws special attention by the Biblical scholar.
Nehemiah 3:26 "(Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.)"
Here these characters are again, "the Nethinims" are there and they are dwelling in the tower of Ophel, right next to the kings house, and the house of the high priest. What is also here at the water gate? It is the "fountain of the virgin".
The tower of Ophel, and the section of the city of Jerusalem called Ophel sits directly over the "virgin's fountain", which represents Jesus Christ. Even today, no matter how hard the Kenites build their rock of deception around us, Jesus Christ, the "Virgin's fountain will undercut their Satanic illusions and supply us with the spiritual waters from Christ's fountain. We can always have the living waters that only our Lord can give.
For the Bible student that pays attention to the details of God's Word, these Nethinims being placed right in the center of the important parts of Jerusalem, and controlling the Temple tower [Ophel], and placing themselves next to the king's house, and that of the high priest would ring a bell that things are not as they should be, and that something is wrong. The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia in Revelation 2, and 3 know who these Kenites are, and how they operate, for they follow their father Satan's way of doing things, and they have his character.
The drawing below created from a sketch by Sir Charles Warren will give the crosscut of the tower of Ophel, with respect to the "Virgin's fountain", and the passages and channels leading to it.
Nehemiah 3:27 "After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel."
This place is the home of the Kenites, and with them the Tekoites with their nobles that wont work.
Nehemiah 3:28 "From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house."
This horse gate is the gate where the king entered and left the city by his horse. Nest to it is the east gate.
Nehemiah 3:29 "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."
We are now at the east gate, overlooking the mount of olives, the main entrance.
Nehemiah 3:30 "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."
These names are now mentioned the second time, for many of the families were working in more then one location.
Nehemiah 3:31 "After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Mipkad, and to the going up of the corner."
This is the second location of the Nethinims, for here we see what their main trade is. It is here that the merchandising and trade exists, and it is no different today as it was then.
A point of interest here is the fact that Nehemiah 3:32 is the middle of the 635 verses that made up the original book of Ezra, which was later split into two books, and then changed into what we have today. This verse draws us right up next to the temple of God, and it is a good place for God to remind us that it is the place where the Nethinims are taking control. These are the Kenites that mixed in with the house of Judah, now control the the priests areas, as well as the financial areas of the city of Jerusalem, and there is little difference between then and now.
Though the critics of the Bible tell us that these were the woodcutters of the Temple, I hope you have more common sense then to believe that the King and the woodcutters were next door neighbors. The nature and character of the Kenites, the sons of Satan through Cain, haven't changed in the past three thousand years. Friend they control the Temple, and the duties both in ritual, and as scribes at this time, for as we saw in Ezra, from top to bottom, the Kenite Nethinims filled all the positions. If that is all you get from this chapter, this third chapter of Nehemiah has been a gold mine for you.
They were woodcutters in king Solomon's day, but as I Chronicles 2:55 points out their three families had taken over the scribes duties in "Jabus" which is Jerusalem. This is one of the priests duties, and it was given over to the Kenites [Nethinims]. Remember in Ezra 8:15? "And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the People, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi."
Friend, there were Nethinim priests there ministering to the people of Judah, but not Levitical priests. It is the Levitical priest that God appointed to be the ministers to the people, so how did the Kenites, the very sons and offspring of Satan take the control of the duties before the altar of God? They assumed it, and they wrote themselves into the record with noone objecting. Then to the disgrace to Ezra, he had to send an Nethinim back to get some Levitical priests, and the top positions in that day were also Nethinims, who in turn sent Ezra 37 Levitical priests, along with 220 more Kenites. So now we had over 600 Kenites [Nethinim] prists, and thirty seven Levitical priests. You can guess who did the wood cutting?
Also among the priest besides the Kenites there were Perizzites, Hittites, and other foreigners who were not to come even clost to the Temple, and here they are preparing to serve at the very altar of God. Moses laid out the limits of those doing the duties of the the Temple and at the altar of God, and by this time these Kenites have become a mockery of all thing holy unto God. They have elevated themselves above the ministers, and here they even live in the Tower of Ophel.
Nehemiah 3:32 "And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants."
They are back at the sheep gate, and thus we have made an observation of the entire wall construction. By this chapter we can now understand why Jesus said in Matthew 23:2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat:" They have taken over the Levitical priesthood, and they even took over law and its administration.
When we read Revelation 21:21-27 we see that the eternal holy city has no Temple, for God is the Temple. There is no sun nor moon nor any need or light source, for the glory of God becomes the only need, "and the Lamb is the light thereof." There will be a wall around the city and the gates will be twelve pearls, with the streets made of pure gold.
And in that holy city there will be glory and honor to all nations, for all peoples and races will be present and will given to our Lord.
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