Ezra 2:42
The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(42) The children of the porters.—The porters, or gatekeepers, number six families, three of which appear in the old Jerusalem (1Chronicles 9:17).

2:36-63 Those who undervalue their relation to the Lord in times of reproach, persecution, or distress, will have no benefit from it when it becomes honourable or profitable. Those who have no evidence that they are, by the new birth, spiritual priests unto God, through Jesus Christ, have no right to the comforts and privileges of Christians.The province - Judaea was no longer a kingdom, but a mere "province" of Persia. "The children of the province" are the Israelites who returned to Palestine, as distinct from those who remained in Babylonia and Persia.

Every one unto his city - That is, to the city whereto his forefathers had belonged. Of course, in the few cases where this was not known Ezra 2:59-62, the plan could not be carried out.

Two other copies of the following list have come down to us - one in Nehemiah 7:7-69, and the other in 1 Esdras 5:8-43. All seem to have been taken from the same original document, and to have suffered more or less from corruption. Where two out of the three agree, the reading should prevail over that of the third.

36-39. The priests—Each of their families was ranged under its prince or head, like those of the other tribes. It will be remembered that the whole body was divided into twenty-four courses, one of which, in rotation, discharged the sacerdotal duties every week, and each division was called after the name of its first prince or chief. It appears from this passage that only four of the courses of the priests returned from the Babylonish captivity; but these four courses were afterwards, as the families increased, divided into twenty-four, which were distinguished by the names of the original courses appointed by David [1Ch 23:6-13]. Hence we find the course of Abijah or Abia (1Ch 24:10) subsisting at the commencement of the Christian era (Lu 1:5). No text from Poole on this verse.

The Levites,.... Singers and porters, who are reckoned in this, and the two following verses, whose numbers were no more than three hundred and forty one; whereas, in the times of David, they were 38,000, 1 Chronicles 23:3. The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
42. the porters] so also R.V.; although it is noteworthy that having substituted ‘door-keepers’ for ‘porters’ (A.V.) in 1 Chronicles 26:1, the R.V. has not for the sake of consistency made a similar alteration here, the word in Hebrew being the same in both instances. The door-keepers mentioned here and in 1 Chronicles 26:1-19 are Levites: possibly the name ‘porters’ was preserved to distinguish the Levitical attendants from the priestly door-keepers (or more literally ‘keepers of the threshold’) mentioned in 2 Kings 25:18, Jeremiah 35:4. Compare Psalm 84:10 ‘I had rather be a doorkeeper in (marg.: ‘stand at the threshold of’) the house of my God’.

The names are clearly the names of households or courses, since Shallum, Akkub and Talmon are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:17, and Akkub and Talmon are referred to in Nehemiah 11:19.

Verse 42. - The porters. Six families of doorkeepers returned; three of which bear old names, those of Shallum, Talmon, and Akkub (1 Chronicles 9:17), while the other three have names that are new to us. One hundred and thirty-nine. The smallness of this and the two preceding numbers is remarkable. While the returning priests numbered 4289, the returning Levites of all classes were no more than 341 (350, Nehemiah). It would seem as if some jealousy of the priests, like that which animated Korah and his followers (Numbers 16:1-10), must have grown up during the captivity (comp. below, Ezra 8:15). Ezra 2:42Of door-keepers, six orders or divisions returned, among which those of Shallum, Talmon, and Akkub dwelt, according to 1 Chronicles 9:17, at Jerusalem before the captivity. Of the sons of Ater, Hatita and Shobai, nothing further is known.
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