Nehemiah 3:7
And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.
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(7) Unto the throne.Unto the seat of the pechah of the whole district this side the Euphrates: his residence when he came to Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 3:7. Unto the throne of the governor on this side the river — Unto the place where the governor of the country on this side Euphrates, under the Persian kings, sometimes had a palace or throne.

3:1-32 The rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. - The work was divided, so that every one might know what he had to do, and mind it, with a desire to excel; yet without contention, or separate interests. No strife appears among them, but which should do most for the public good. Every Israelite should lend a hand toward the building up of Jerusalem. Let not nobles think any thing below them, by which they may advance the good of their country. Even some females helped forward the work. Some repaired over against their houses, and one repaired over against his chamber. When a general good work is to be done, each should apply himself to that part which is within his reach. If every one will sweep before his own door, the street will be clean; if every one will mend one, we shall all be mended. Some that had first done helped their fellows. The walls of Jerusalem, in heaps of rubbish, represent the desperate state of the world around, while the number and malice of those who hindered the building, give some faint idea of the enemies we have to contend with, while executing the work of God. Every one must begin at home; for it is by getting the work of God advanced in our own souls that we shall best contribute to the good of the church of Christ. May the Lord thus stir up the hearts of his people, to lay aside their petty disputes, and to disregard their worldly interests, compared with building the walls of Jerusalem, and defending the cause of truth and godliness against the assaults of avowed enemies.Unto the throne ... - The meaning is thought to be "the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, who, though they worked for Nehemiah, were not under his government, but belonged to the jurisdiction of the governor on this side the river." 2. next unto him builded the men of Jericho, &c.—The wall was divided into portions, one of which was assigned respectively to each of the great families which had returned from the captivity. This distribution, by which the building was carried on in all parts simultaneously with great energy, was eminently favorable to despatch. "The villages where the restorers resided being mostly mentioned, it will be seen that this circumstance affords a general indication of the part of the wall upon which they labored, such places being on that side of the city nearest their place of abode; the only apparent exception being, perhaps, where they repaired more than their piece. Having completed their first undertaking (if they worked any more), there being no more work to be done on the side next their residence, or having arrived after the repairs on that part of the city nearest them under operation were completed, they would go wherever their services would be required" [Barclay, City of the Great King]. i.e. Unto the place where the governor of the country on this side the river Euphrates, for and under the Persian kings, sometimes had a palace or throne, to which all persons living in the adjacent parts were to resort for judgment.

And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and Mizpah,.... Which places were both in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25 and one of these men was of the one place, and the other of the other:

unto the throne of the governor on this side the river; where the governor of those parts under the king of Persia had his seat, and now Nehemiah; but, according to Aben Ezra, Cisse, rendered "throne", is the name of a man who was the governor.

And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the {c} throne of the governor on this side the river.

(c) To the place where the Duke was wont to sit in judgment, who governed the country in their absence.

7. Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah] In this arrangement of names it is natural to see the names of two leaders followed by the description of their respective followers. Melatiah is thus at the head of the Gibeonites, Jadon at the head of the men of Mizpah. But as the latter is called ‘the Meronothite’ (see also 1 Chronicles 27:30), we conclude that Meronoth, his native place, must have been a village in the immediate neighbourhood of Mizpah.

The men of Gibeon are included in Nehemiah 7:25 among those who returned with Zerubbabel (see the parallel passage, Ezra 2:20).

Mizpah, about 3½ miles N. of Jerusalem, the modern Nebi-Samwil. Rulers of Mizpah are further on mentioned as concerned in the restoration of other portions of the wall (Nehemiah 3:15; Nehemiah 3:19). The men of Mizpah referred to in this verse may have been under different control (see next note).

unto the throne of the governor on this side the river] R.V. which appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the river.

This obscure clause has occasioned great difficulty. (a) According to the rendering of the A.V., it denotes the limit of the restoration undertaken by the men mentioned in this verse. ‘The throne of the governor, &c.’ will then be the official residence of the Persian satrap or the actual throne in which he sate dispensing justice. The preposition ‘unto’ may be understood to mean, either that the governor’s house was built on the wall, and that the restoration mentioned in this verse reached this point; or that the governor’s ‘throne’ was in the vicinity, and the restoration was carried on to a point over against it.

The chief objection to this rendering is the use of the word ‘throne.’ But it is more simple than the alternative rendering given below. And the supposition is very natural, that an official spot, close to the chief northern gate of the city (Nehemiah 3:6), should become a recognised landmark. The visit of the satrap of the country W. of the Euphrates to the provincial capitals would be a rare event; and the spot which symbolised his dignity would receive a distinctive name.

(b) According to the rendering of the R.V., the clause is added by way of limitation after the mention of Mizpah. Mizpah it is supposed was partly under Jewish rulers (Nehemiah 3:15; Nehemiah 3:19), partly under the rule of the Persian provincial governor. The boundary passed through the district of Mizpah. ‘The men of Mizpah,’ mentioned here, represented the portion under Persian rule, in which perhaps the village of Maronoth was included. By the indulgence of the Persian rulers (cf. Nehemiah 2:7) a contingent was permitted to render aid to their brethren.

The phrase ‘the throne of the governor beyond the river’ will then be a technical term of authority in vogue among the Jews during the Persian supremacy. ‘Throne’ in the sense of ‘rule’ is poetical, cf. Psalm 89:29; Psalm 89:36.

There is nothing to be said in favour of another proposed rendering ‘in the name of the governor, &c.’ The Vulgate renders ‘pro duce,’ the LXX. ἕως θρόνου τοῦ ἄρχοντος.

Verse 7. - Gibeon and Mispah lay due north of Jerusalem, at the distance respectively of about 5.5 and 4.5 miles The inhabitants were set to repair the middle part of the north wall. Unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. So the Septuagint; and, among moderns, Michaelis, Pool, and A. Clarke. Others translate - "the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, who belonged to the jurisdiction of the governor across the river." But this can scarcely have been the fact, since Gibeon is mentioned among the re-occupied cities in Nehemiah 7:25, and if Bethel was Jewish, as we know that it was from Nehemiah 11:31, Gibeon and Mizpah, which were nearer Jerusalem, cannot have remained Syrian. Altogether, there is no reason to dispute the commonly received rendering, since Nehemiah again uses ל for עד in ver. 32, and the governor of Syria may well have had a "throne," or tribunal, at Jerusalem, which was usually under his jurisdiction, though exempted from his authority under the existing regime. Nehemiah 3:7Next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah. If Melatiah is to be regarded as the superintendent of the men of Gibeon, Jadon the Meronothite must be equally esteemed that of the men of Mizpah. Meronoth, mentioned only here and 1 Chronicles 27:30, must have been some small place near Mizpah. Mizpah (המּצפּה, the watch-tower) is probably the modern Nebi Samwil, two leagues to the north-east of Jerusalem; see rem. on Joshua 19:26. The meaning of the words next following, וגו פּחת לכּסּא, is questionable. Bertheau, together with Osiander, Cler., de Wette, and others, understands them as more precisely defining the men before named, as men of Gibeon and Mizpah, of the throne or belonging to the throne of the Pechah of Eber hannahar. This addition brings to light the fact that Jews who were not under the jurisdiction of Nehemiah, nevertheless took part in the restoration of the wall. It also distinguishes these men of Mizpah from those mentioned Nehemiah 3:15 and Nehemiah 3:19, who were certainly not under the Pechah of Eber hannahar. Finally, the boundary of the little territory of the returned Jewish community must have been at about Mizpah and Gibeon; and a statement that certain inhabitants of this district were not under the Pechah of Jerusalem, but under the Pechah of the province west of Euphrates, would agree with the position of Gibeon and Mizpah. None, however, of these reasons are of much force. For if, according to Nehemiah 3:5 and Nehemiah 3:27, the Tekoites repaired two different lengths of wall, without this fact implying any distinction between these two parties of Tekoite builders, the same may be the case with the men of Gibeon and Mizpah. Besides, neither in this verse nor in Nehemiah 3:15 and Nehemiah 3:19 are the men of Mizpah in general spoken of, so as to make a distinction necessary; for in this verse two chiefs, Melatiah and Jadon, are designated as men of Gibeon and Mizpah, and in Nehemiah 3:15 and Nehemiah 3:19 two rulers of the district of Mizpah are specified by name. Hence the view that part of the inhabitants of Mizpah were under the jurisdiction of the Pechah of the province west of Euphrates, and part under that of the Pechah of Jerusalem, is devoid of probability. Finally, there is no adequate analogy for the metonomy set up in support of this view, viz., that כּסּא, a seat, a throne, stands for jurisdiction. The words in question can have only a local signification. כּסּא may indeed by metonomy be used for the official residence, but not for the official or judicial district, or jurisdiction of the Pechah. לכּסּא does not state the point to which, but the direction or locality in which, these persons repaired the wall: "towards the seat of the Pechah," i.e., at the place where the court or tribunal of the governor placed over the province on this side Euphrates was held when he came to Jerusalem to administer justice, or to perform any other official duties required of him. This being so, it appears from this verse that this court was within the northern wall, and undoubtedly near a gate.
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