But the Nethinims dwelled in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ophel.—The Nethinims on the promontory of Ophel were either within or without the city, according as the one wall or the other was taken. Here they are regarded as outside.Nehemiah 11:21. The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel — Which was upon the wall of Jerusalem, because they were to do the servile work of the temple; therefore they were to be posted near it, that they might be ready to attend. Nehemiah 3:27 might be reckoned either in Jerusalem or outside it. Here it is made a separate place. 2 Chronicles 27:3,
and Ziha, and Gispa, were over the Nethinims; had the oversight of them, and took care that they did their work; they were such themselves, but the principal of them, see Ezra 2:43.But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. the Nethinims] R.V. the Nethinim.
in Ophel] See Nehemiah 3:26. Their quarters were on the summit of the Hill or Mound, S. of the Temple height.
Ziha and Gispa (R.V. Gishpa)] Ziha’s name occurs at the head of the Nethinim in Ezra 2:43; Nehemiah 7:46; and there can be little doubt that ‘Gishpa’ is to be identified with ‘Hasupha’ in the same list.Verse 21. - The Nethinims dwelt in Ophel. See above, ch. 3:26 Ophel, the southern prolongation of the temple hill, was a sort of suburb of Jerusalem, sometimes reckoned as part of the city, sometimes as distinct from it. It was a convenient position for the Nethinims, who were employed in menial offices about the temple. Ziha seems to represent the leading Nethinim family (Ezra 2:43; Nehemiah 7:46). Nehemiah 8:7, as those of two Levites, and are here also personal names of heads of Levites, as the addition הלויּם מראשׁי informs us. As the office of these two is stated, so also is that of those next following in Nehemiah 11:17; whence it appears that Shemaiah, of whom no such particular is given, was head of the Levites charged with attending on the priests at the sacrificial worship (the האלהים בּית מלאכת, Nehemiah 11:22). The three named in Nehemiah 11:17, Mattaniah an Asaphite, Bakbukiah, and Abda a Jeduthunite, are the chiefs of the three Levitical orders of singers. Mattaniah is called התּחלּה ראשׁ, head of the beginning, which gives no meaning; and should probably, as in the lxx and Vulgate, be read התּהלּה ראשׁ: head of the songs of praise, - he praised for who praised, i.e., sounded the Hodu for prayer; comp. 1 Chronicles 16:5, where Asaph is called the chief of the band of singers. He is followed by Bakbukiah as second, that is, leader of the second band (מאחיו משׁנה like משׁנהוּ, 1 Chronicles 16:5); and Abda the Jeduthunite, as leader of the third. All the Levites in the holy city, i.e., all who dwelt in Jerusalem, amounted to two hundred and eighty-four individuals or fathers of families. The number refers only to the three classes named Nehemiah 11:15-17. For the gatekeepers are separately numbered in Nehemiah 11:19 as one hundred and seventy-two, of the families of Akkub and Talmon.
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