The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The chief of the people.—Some of the names are personal, some belong to families, some represent places, and some are independent. Comparing the list with Ezra 2, we find that years had added to the number of the houses.Nehemiah 10:14. The chief of the people — It would have been tedious to make all the people subscribe and seal the writing, therefore the chiefs and princes of each family signed and sealed it in the name of the rest; and they seem to have subscribed in the name of him from whom the family was derived.
Ne 10:1-27. The Names of Those Who Sealed the Covenant.
1. Nehemiah, the Tirshatha—His name was placed first in the roll on account of his high official rank, as deputy of the Persian monarch. All classes were included in the subscription; but the people were represented by their elders (Ne 10:14), as it would have been impossible for every one in the country to have been admitted to the sealing.The chief of the people, i.e. their elders, or representatives, acting in the stead and by the appointment of all the rest; for it had been troublesome and unnecessary for every one of the people to seal. Nehemiah 9:38.
Nehemiah the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah; the governor of the Jews:
and Zidkijah; who seems also to have been a prince, since, without, it could not be said it was sealed by their princes, Nehemiah 9:38 though some think both these were priests, and then the princes must be supposed to be among the chief of the people, Nehemiah 10:14, from hence to the end of the twenty seventh their names follow; the names of the priests, Nehemiah 10:2, who were in all twenty one; no mention is made either of Eliashib the high priest, nor of Ezra the priest and scribe; some think the former had not behaved well in his office, and that the latter was either sick, or returned to Babylon, or however hindered by some providence or another, since we hear of him both a little before and after, Nehemiah 8:2 then the names of the Levites, Nehemiah 10:9, in all seventeen, most of which we have met with in this book before; next follow the names of the chief of the people, Nehemiah 10:14, their number in all forty four; and their names may be observed in the list of those that came out of Babylon with Zerubbabel; the whole number of those that sealed, princes, priests, Levites, and chief of the people, were eighty four.The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. The chief of the people] R.V. The chiefs of the people. A comparison with Ezra 2, Nehemiah 7. puts it beyond doubt that here again we have to do with the names of houses, not of individuals.
Zatthu] R.V. Zattu.Verses 14-27. - The chief of the people. Down to Magpiash the names correspond to those of lay families which returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:3-30; Nehemiah 7:8-33), the first eighteen being personal, and the last three names of localities. Nebai is the same as "Nebo" (Nehemiah 7:33), and Magpiash the same as Magbish (Ezra 2:30). From Meshullam to Baanah (vers. 20-27) the names seem to be again personal; but they are new, and therefore probably those of individuals who were not authorised to represent either clans or localities. In ver. 17, the two names Ater and Hizkijah should be united by a hyphen, since it is clear that they represent the single family, Ater of Hezekiah, mentioned in Ezra it. 16 and Nehemiah 7:21. "Hizkijah"and "Hezekiah" are in the original identical. Nehemiah 10:3-10)
At the head of the signatures stood Nehemiah the Tirshatha, as governor of the country, and Zidkijah, a high official, of whom nothing further is known, perhaps (after the analogy of Ezra 4:9, Ezra 4:17) secretary to the governor. Then follow (in vv. 3-9) twenty-one names, with the addition: these, the priests. Of these twenty-one names, fifteen occur in Nehemiah 12:2-7 as chiefs of the priests who came up with Joshua and Zerubbabel from Babylon, and in Nehemiah 12:11-20 as heads of priestly houses. Hence it is obvious that all the twenty-one names are those of heads of priestly classes, who signed the agreement in the names of the houses and families of their respective classes. Seraiah is probably the prince of the house of God dwelling at Jerusalem, mentioned Nehemiah 11:11, who signed in place of the high priest. For further remarks on the orders of priests and their heads, see Nehemiah 12:1.
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