"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, August 14, 2023


INTRODUCTION: Jerusalem was transformed, despite the efforts of her enemies; thus, the title of this verse by verse study, Triumph by Transformation. Just as the wall was completed, and the doors of the gates were set in place (this had not yet been accomplished as of the events recorded in NEH 6:1) here in this chapter, all was secured and the city safe from invasion.

Yet there is still work to be done here; Nehemiah’s calling had not yet been fulfilled. The people themselves likewise needed transformation. Hearts of the Jewish people were invaded by the ways of the world that needed to be extracted.
The houses within the city were left to the property owners to restore, yet Nehemiah would lend a hand in these objectives.

In regards to the New Testament saints of GOD, we have all been given victory by vivification (bringing to life); triumph by the transformative power of GOD through the spiritual rebirth. There is no means of victory otherwise. It’s the work of GOD’s Spirit that brings about the eternal effect of eviscerating evil from our souls and installing a holy heart suitable for His habitation.

And with such a miraculous transformation, our sinful citizenship in the kingdom of darkness has been overturned. We now have a saintly citizenship in the kingdom of GOD, all thanks and glory to the LORD Jesus Christ!

As in Chronicles and Numbers, we read many genealogies here. One might wonder, why would the Holy Spirit inspire the writers of the Bible to get into such mundane details as these lists upon lists of Jewish people and their names, their families, and their numbers?

These provide links in chains from antiquity to later generations which may ensure that the tribes were unbroken, and that the Jewish people are readily identifiable and therefore verifiable.

Of greatest interest is the royal line, that is the tribe of Judah from which all of the kingdom of Israel’s kings would come from. This was especially useful where the Messiah is concerned: He would need to prove that His lineage was not only from the tribe of Judah, but from the very House of David itself. We have the evidence from MATT 1 and LUKE 3.

Ultimately these twelve tribes survive and are recognized in REV 7 which is during the reign of antichrist.

There are not, nor have there ever has been “ten lost tribes”. Despite spurious writings and supposed historical accounts to the contrary, GOD knows where all twelve tribes are at any given point in history – and they never became the various houses of Europe! Were that the case, then the last days prophecies concerning Israel would apply to Europeans that would by necessity have to return to Canaan land (dispossessing the current occupants as a whole, who, they say “claim to be Jews and are not” – and invariably quote REV 2:9 to prove it), endure persecution by Muslim and Soviet powers, and become greatly disfavored among the nations of the world. Europeans have no such experiences to date.

Long after the ten tribes were supposedly lost we have the Scriptures own testimonies that Jews mentioned in these pages knew what tribe they were from:

Paul from the tribe of Benjamin (ROM 11:1), Matthias from the tribe of Levi (MK 2:14), Anna from the tribe of Ashur (LK 2:36). These are as valid a record as those of Joseph and his betrothed Mary who were both of the tribe of Judah and of the house of David (LK 1:27).

Enough said about all that – now to the study at hand.

1 Then it was, when the wall was built and I had hung the doors, when the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.

The walls being completed, there are now the appropriate furnishings and quarters for the watchmen who are appointed to the wall. A time for rejoicing when the beloved city is restored, when she is safe and secure from those that would seek her destruction. And even greater rejoicing there shall be when GOD’s people will have more than just the walls about Jerusalem that will bring protection!
ISAIAH 52:6-9
6 Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: 'Behold, it is I.'" 7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" 8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

And how sorrowful and grievous a time when the watchmen (and the shepherds) fail in their sacred duties:

ISAIAH 56:10-12
10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory. 12 "Come," one says, "I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant."
See also: MATT 15:14; 23:16; PHIL 3:2; EZEK 34:2-3; MIC 3:11.
And just as those who were appointed as watchmen on the wall, so too did Nehemiah position those Levitical priests and those of Aaron to attend to that which is within: the temple of the Most High.

Likewise the church is to be adorned with the armor of GOD within and the Spirit’s ministrations within the hearts of the body of Christ, both afforded by the Holy Word!

Notice here that once the doors were hung in all of the gates, it was then that the singers and Levites were appointed. There is a valuable insight here:

The way into Jerusalem had many doors. There are twelve gates leading into the New Jerusalem as well, welcoming all citizens of heaven who are born again of GOD's Spirit (REV 21:9-21, note vs. 21). However, the way to the Father has only one Door (JOHN 10:7,9; 14:6).

Yet just as the Jewish people would enter into their beloved city with praise and thanksgiving, blessing the Name of the LORD (PSA 100:4) so too we saints of the church enter through the LORD Jesus Christ Who is the Way of Salvation! We find ourselves perpetually thankful to our Savior, and praising GOD the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for what they have done – and are doing – for us!

Consider the “doors” and “paths” and “ways” of the Bible; each of these key words would make a worthy study in the Scriptures!

Nehemiah gives the charge of Jerusalem to two men: Hanani (Nehemiah’s brother), and Hananiah (captain of the Citadel) who was among those who feared GOD the most and accounted as faithful by Nehemiah (Hananiah is later mentioned in 10:23).

Passing on authority is seen in replete fashion through the Scriptures: Moses passes authority on to Joshua (and let’s not forget about the seventy elders who were allocated some authority in certain matters; EXOD 18:21); Elijah to Elisha, king David to Solomon, even our LORD Jesus to His Twelve; apostle Paul to pastor Timothy.

As authority is passed on, we recognize the fact that it’s not about the clay pots, but rather about the treasure contained in those clay posts (2 COR 4:7). It’s the same Spirit that works in all of us that raised Christ from the dead (ROM 8:11).

May this keep us in the place of humility, understanding that if a vessel becomes unsuitable for the Master’s use, He will simply find another vessel that is suitable (2 TIM 2:21). Many either aren’t or won’t be suitable because they aren’t fleeing certain things (2 TIM 2:22). Let’s not forget also that the LORD is into restoration of vessels previously rejected (GAL 6:1)!

Unless the Person one is talking about is Jesus Christ, then the church is NOT a one man show. We are all members one of another (ROM 12:5) and we all have purpose and ministry ordained of GOD.

“The fear of the LORD” and “the fear of GOD” are phrases that would likewise make for an excellent study throughout the Scriptures.

3 And I said to them, "Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut and bar the doors; and appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, one at his watch station and another in front of his own house." 4 Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few, and the houses were not rebuilt.

Gates were never to be opened during the night; at the very earliest at daybreak or later.
We have “gates” that lead to our souls and minds: our eyes, and our ears most notably. We do well to keep these gates closed “in the night”, that is, as we are surrounded by iniquity and spiritual darkness, to keep our gates closed but also under guard (PSA 101:3). Only when we are surrounded in the light of the LORD and in His good company, and that of His people, are we at liberty to swing wide the gates and welcome such sanctified company.

It's when Israel was under GOD’s Judgment, that’s when Jerusalem’s gates were left open and unattended, vulnerable to the enemy that came in with ruinous results (NAH 3:13).

Nehemiah gives the command to keep the gates closed all the way to noonday, and only then open them, and then only under guard, with more guards attending the inhabitants of Jerusalem, at the front of their homes!

It’s only during the time when GOD establishes the New Heavens and the New Earth, and brings down the New Jerusalem from heaven, that her twelve gates shall never be closed, but open forever and a day (because there will be no night there).

There will be no evil that could possibly infiltrate the holy city, and without any such threat, the doors remain open, welcoming all who desire to come in and fellowship (REV 21:12-26)!

Yet while the enemies of Jerusalem lingered near her borders, vigilance by the Jewish guards would need to be incessant and untiring.
In these last days, wherein darkness dominates, we must likewise keep our gates closed, and our watchmen must always stand at attention, with their trumpets at the ready to alert the people of GOD.
2 TIMOTHY 4:2-5
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry
(1 PET 4:7).
It seemed that there were too few in the city to adequately guard the entirety of its dimensions; they were spread rather thin for lack of people and too many of the houses were not rebuilt. Jews still residing in Babylon upon hearing this would likely be less inclined to move back to their homeland. This very much reminds me of our LORD’s admonition to us to pray for laborers:
MATTHEW 9:37-38
37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
5 Then my God put it into my heart to gather the nobles, the rulers, and the people, that they might be registered by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who had come up in the first return and found written in it: 6 These are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city.

Zerubbabel (the son of Shealtiel; HAGG 1:1) came to Jerusalem to restore the temple in 536 BC (the temple was completed within 21 years, in 515 BC). Then came Ezra to beautify the temple (458 BC), and Nehemiah and his efforts to restore the city of Jerusalem, beginning in 444 BC.

In the following fifty-three verses we have a listing of Jewish men who were present in Jerusalem at this time.

7 Those who came with Zerubbabel were Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 the sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two; 9 the sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two; 10 the sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two; 11 the sons of Pahath-Moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen;

12 the sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four; 13 the sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five; 14 the sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty; 15 the sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight; 16 the sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight;

17 the sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two; 18 the sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven; 19 the sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven; 20 the sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five;
21 the sons of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight; 22 the sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight; 23 the sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four;

24 the sons of Hariph, one hundred and twelve; 25 the sons of Gibeon, ninety-five; 26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight; 27 the men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight; 28 the men of Beth Azmaveth, forty-two; 29 the men of Kirjath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three;

30 the men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one; 31 the men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two; 32 the men of Bethel and Ai, one hundred and twenty-three; 33 the men of the other Nebo, fifty-two; 34 the sons of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four; 35 the sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty;

36 the sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five; 37 the sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one; 38 the sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. 39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three; 40 the sons of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two; 41 the sons of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven;

42 the sons of Harim, one thousand and seventeen. 43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the sons of Hodevah, seventy-four. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-eight. 46 The Nethinim: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth,

47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Salmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda,\ 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah,

52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephishesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Tamah, 56 the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel,
59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim, and the sons of Amon. 60 All the Nethinim, and the sons of Solomon's servants, were three hundred and ninety-two.

Here I’ll let Matthew Henry speak to the volumes of these names and the purpose behind these calculations of genealogies:
(1.) Here is an account of the heads of the several families that first came up, NEH 7:6-69. As to this,
“[1.] Though it seem of little use to us now, yet then it was of great use, to compare what they had been with what they now were. We may suppose they were much increased by this time; but it would do well for them to remember their small beginnings, that they might acknowledge God in multiplying their families and building them up. By this means likewise their genealogies would be preserved, and the distinction of their families kept up, till the Messiah should come, and then an end be put to all their genealogies, which were preserved for his sake, but afterwards were endless. But,

“[2.] There are many differences in the numbers between this catalogue and that in Ezra. Most of them indeed are exactly the same, and some others within a very few under or over (one or two perhaps); and therefore I cannot think, as some do, that that was the number of these families at their first coming and this as they were now, which was at least forty years after (some make it much more); for we cannot suppose so many families to be not at all, or but little, altered in their numbers in all that time; therefore what differences there are we may suppose to arise either from the mistakes of transcribers, which easily happen in numbers, or from the diversity of the copies from which they were taken. Or perhaps one was the account of them when they set out from Babylon with Zerubbabel, the other when they came to Jerusalem. The sum totals are all just the same there and here, except of the singing-men and singing-women, which there are 200, here 245. These were not of such importance as that they should keep any strict account of them.
(2.) Here is an account of the offerings which were given towards the work of God, NEH 7:70, This differs much from that in EZRA 2:68-69, and it may be questioned whether it refers to the same contribution; here the tirshatha, or chief governor, who there was not mentioned, begins the offering; and the single sum mentioned there exceeds all those here put together; yet it is probable that it was the same, but that followed one copy of the lists, this another; for the last verse is the same here that it was EZRA 2:70, adding NEH 3:1. Blessed be God that our faith and hope are not built upon the niceties of names and numbers, genealogy and chronology, but on the great things of the law and gospel. Whatever is given to the work of God, he is not unrighteous to forget it; nor shall even a cup of cold water, wherewith he is honored, go without its reward [MATT 10:42].”
NEHEMIAH 7:61-67
61 And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not identify their father's house nor their lineage, whether they were of Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two; 63 and of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Koz, the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name. 64 These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled. 65 And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things till a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim. 66 Altogether the whole assembly was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five men and women singers.

Not a lot can be said in these long lists of names, but in consideration of the stringent qualifications for legitimate genealogies of the tribes of Israel, many were discounted, but being able to provide documentation that would verify their lineage was vital.

There could have been an effort made to obfuscate, if not obliterate the record and “fudge it”, forcing a fit regarding qualification and thereby bring admission to those who should rightly be disallowed, but that was not what was done. Though numbers were scant, there would be no compromising the lineages of the tribes of Israel by allowing the disqualified.

Some of the Jewish people intermarried with the locals, thus contaminating the family lines (that brought about the Samaritan people as an ethnic group: part Jewish and part Assyrian). When listings were sought for, they could not be found. The numbers were significant, but unacceptable into the genealogies of the nation.

We as saints cannot include among our ranks as “accepted” the moral, the religious, those whose families served faithfully in the church while they themselves show no evidence of spirituality and godliness. Much less can we include the unbeliever, the amoral, immoral, the ridiculer, the corrupt. We cannot compromise – the ones who are accounted among the church must be born again. They as unregenerate seekers may visit our local fellowships to willingly hear the Gospel and the teaching of the Word, to “taste the heavenly gift” (HEB 6:14), but they must have no part in ministry, or be considered brethren until their Father is our Father, through the LORD Jesus Christ (JOHN 14:6; 1:12-13).

They cannot participate in ministry, their offerings should be returned, they most certainly must not seek matrimony from among GOD’s saints.

In the same manner, we cannot allow the dogmas, traditions, beliefs and practices of the world, even if it’s the religious world, and further – even if such things come from Christendom, but absence of genuine spiritual life is evident. To compromise the body of Christ with such infections will mean ill health for us spiritually speaking.

“Married to the world” is the conduct and condition of the church of Pergamos, which the LORD Jesus found abhorrent, offensive, and deemed that church in need of repentance.

And as believers, disciples of Christ, we have the blessed duty of representing Christ worthily in this dark world, being salt and light (MATT 5:13-16), as well being His holy ambassadors (2 COR 5:20-21).

NEHEMIAH 7:68-73
68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five, 69 their camels four hundred and thirty-five, and donkeys six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70 And some of the heads of the fathers' houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand gold drachmas, fifty basins, and five hundred and thirty priestly garments. 71 Some of the heads of the fathers' houses gave to the treasury of the work twenty thousand gold drachmas, and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand gold drachmas, two thousand silver minas, and sixty-seven priestly garments. 73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the Nethinim, and all Israel dwelt in their cities. When the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.

So here we end this study after having witnessed the restoration of the wall, as well as the registration of the people which leads to Chapter Eight: the restoration of the people of Israel!

In the next chapter we shall witness the Renewal of the Covenant: the interpretation of the Law and in Chapter Nine, the reaffirmation of the Covenant.

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