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Nehemiah 3:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananel.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred [and] the Tower of Hananel.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brethren the priests, and they built the sheep-gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even to the tower of Meah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananeel.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they built the sheep-gate. They hallowed it, and set up its doors; and they hallowed it even to the tower of Meah, to the tower of Hananeel.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then arose Eliashib the high priest and his brethren the priests, and built the sheep-gate, they, hallowed it, and set up the doors thereof,—even unto the tower of Hammeah, hallowed they it, unto the tower of Hananel;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Eliashib the high priest riseth, and his brethren the priests, and they build the sheep-gate; they have sanctified it, and set up its doors, even unto the tower of Meah they have sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Then Eliasib the high priest arose, and his brethren the priests, and they built the flock gate: they sanctified it, and set up the doors thereof, even unto the tower of a hundred cubits they sanctified it unto the tower of Hananeel.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then Eliashib the hie priest, rose vp with his brethren the Priests, and they built the sheepe-gate, they sanctified it, & set vp the doores of it, euen vnto the towre of Meah they sanctified it, vnto the towre of Hananeel.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Then Eliashib{gr.Eliasub} the high priest, and his brethren the priests, rose up, and built the sheep-gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even to the tower of the hundred they sanctified [it], to the tower of Hananeel{gr.Anameel}.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then Elyashiv the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Chananel.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then Elyv אֶליָשִׁיב 475
{0475} Prime
אֶלְיָשִׁיב
'Elyashiyb
{el-yaw-sheeb'}
From H0410 and H7725; God will restore; Eljashib, the name of six Israelites.
the high 1419
{1419} Prime
גָּדוֹל
gadowl
{gaw-dole'}
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
priest 3548
{3548} Prime
כֹּהֵן
kohen
{ko-hane'}
Active participle of H3547; literally one officiating, a priest; also (by courtesy) an acting priest (although a layman).
rose up 6965
{6965} Prime
קוּם
quwm
{koom}
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
with his brethren 251
{0251} Prime
אָח
'ach
{awkh}
A primitive word; a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like H0001)).
the priests, 3548
{3548} Prime
כֹּהֵן
kohen
{ko-hane'}
Active participle of H3547; literally one officiating, a priest; also (by courtesy) an acting priest (although a layman).
and they builded 1129
{1129} Prime
בָּנָה
banah
{baw-naw'}
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the sheep 6629
{6629} Prime
צֹאן
tso'n
{tsone}
From an unused root meaning to migrate; a collective name for a flock (of sheep or goats); also figuratively (of men).
gate; 8179
{8179} Prime
שַׁעַר
sha`ar
{shah'-ar}
From H8176 in its original sense; an opening, that is, door or gate.
they x1992
(1992) Complement
הֵם
hem
{haym}
Masculine plural from H1931; they (only used when emphatic).
sanctified 6942
{6942} Prime
קָדַשׁ
qadash
{kaw-dash'}
A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally).
z8765
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
it, and set up 5975
{5975} Prime
עָמַד
`amad
{aw-mad'}
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively).
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
the doors 1817
{1817} Prime
דֶּלֶת
deleth
{deh'-leth}
From H1802; something swinging, that is, the valve of a door.
of it; even unto x5704
(5704) Complement
עַד
`ad
{ad}
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
the tower 4026
{4026} Prime
מִגְדָּל
migdal
{mig-dawl'}
From H1431; a tower (from its size or height); by analogy a rostrum; figuratively a (pyramidal) bed of flowers.
of M מֵאָה 3968
{3968} Prime
מֵּאָה
Me'ah
{may-aw'}
The same as H3967; Meah, a tower in Jerusalem.
they sanctified 6942
{6942} Prime
קָדַשׁ
qadash
{kaw-dash'}
A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally).
z8765
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
it, unto x5704
(5704) Complement
עַד
`ad
{ad}
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
the tower 4026
{4026} Prime
מִגְדָּל
migdal
{mig-dawl'}
From H1431; a tower (from its size or height); by analogy a rostrum; figuratively a (pyramidal) bed of flowers.
of nanl חֲנַנאֵל. 2606
{2606} Prime
חֲנַנְאֵל
Chanan'el
{khan-an-ale'}
From H2603 and H0410; God has favored; Chananel, probably an Israelite, from whom a tower of Jerusalem was named.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Nehemiah 3:1

_ _ Nehemiah 3:1-32. The names and order of them that builded the wall of Jerusalem.

_ _ Then Eliashib the high priest — the grandson of Jeshua, and the first high priest after the return from Babylon.

_ _ rose up with his brethren the priests — that is, set an example by commencing the work, their labors being confined to the sacred localities.

_ _ and they builded the sheep gate — close to the temple. Its name arose either from the sheep market, or from the pool of Bethesda, which was there (John 5:2). There the sheep were washed and then taken to the temple for sacrifice.

_ _ they sanctified it, and set up the doors — Being the common entrance into the temple, and the first part of the building repaired, it is probable that some religious ceremonies were observed in gratitude for its completion. “It was the first-fruits, and therefore, in the sanctification of it, the whole lump and building was sanctified” [Poole].

_ _ the tower of Meah — This word is improperly considered, in our version, as the name of a tower; it is the Hebrew word for “a hundred,” so that the meaning is: they not only rebuilt the sheep gate, but also a hundred cubits of the wall, which extended as far as the tower of Hananeel.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 3:1-32

_ _ The best way to know how to divide this chapter is to observe how the work was divided among the undertakers, that every one might know what he had to do, and mind it accordingly with a holy emulation, and desire to excel, yet without any contention, animosity, or separate interest. No strife appears among them but which should do most for the public good. Several things are observable in the account here given of the building of the wall about Jerusalem: —

_ _ I. That Eliashib the high priest, with his brethren the priests, led the van in this troop of builders, Nehemiah 3:1. Ministers should be foremost in every good work; for their office obliges them to teach and quicken by their example, as well as by their doctrine. If there be labour in it, who so fit as they to work? if danger, who so fit as they to venture? The dignity of the high priest was very great, and obliged him to signalize himself in this service. The priests repaired the sheep-gate, so called because through it were brought the sheep that were to be sacrificed in the temple; and therefore the priests undertook the repair of it because the offerings of the Lord made by fire were their inheritance. And of this gate only it is said that they sanctified it with the word and prayer, and perhaps with sacrifices perhaps, 1. Because it led to the temple; or, 2. Because with this the building of the wall began, and it is probable (though they were at work in all parts of the wall at the same time) that this was first finished, and therefore at this gate they solemnly committed their city and the walls of it to the divine protection; or, 3. Because the priests were the builders of it; and it becomes ministers above others, being themselves in a peculiar manner sanctified to God, to sanctify to him all their performances, and to do even their common actions after a godly sort.

_ _ II. That the undertakers were very many, who each took his share, some more and some less, in this work, according as their ability was. Note, What is to be done for the public good every one should assist in, and further, to the utmost of his place and power. United force will conquer that which no individual dares venture on. Many hands will make light work.

_ _ III. That many were active in this work who were not themselves inhabitants of Jerusalem, and therefore consulted purely the public welfare and not any private interest or advantage of their own. Here are the men of Jericho with the first (Nehemiah 3:2), the men of Gibeon and Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:7), and Zanoah, Nehemiah 3:13. Every Israelite should lend a hand towards the building up of Jerusalem.

_ _ IV. That several rulers, both of Jerusalem and of other cities, were active in this work, thinking themselves bound in honour to do the utmost that their wealth and power enabled them to do for the furtherance of this good work. But it is observable that they are called rulers of part, or the half part, of their respective cities. One was ruler of the half part of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:12), another of part of Beth-haccerem (Nehemiah 3:14), another of part of Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:15), another of the half part of Beth-zur (Nehemiah 3:16), one was ruler of one half part, and another of the other half part, of Keilah, Nehemiah 3:17, Nehemiah 3:18. Perhaps the Persian government would not entrust any one with a strong city, but appointed two to be a watch upon each other. Rome had two consuls.

_ _ V. Here is a just reproach fastened upon the nobles of Tekoa, that they put not their necks to the work of their Lord (Nehemiah 3:5), that is, they would not come under the yoke of an obligation to this service; as if the dignity and liberty of their peerage were their discharge from serving God and doing good, which are indeed the highest honour and the truest freedom. Let not nobles think any thing below them by which they may advance the interests of their country; for what else is their nobility good for but that it puts them in a higher and larger sphere of usefulness than that in which inferior persons move?

_ _ VI. Two persons joined in repairing the old gate (Nehemiah 3:6), and so were co-founders, and shared the honour of it between them. The good work which we cannot compass ourselves we must be thankful to those that will go partners with us in. Some think that this is called the old gate because it belonged to the ancient Salem, which was said to be first built by Melchizedek.

_ _ VII. Several good honest tradesmen, as well as priests and rulers, were active in this work — goldsmiths, apothecaries, merchants, Nehemiah 3:8, Nehemiah 3:32. They did not think their callings excused them, nor plead that they could not leave their shops to attend the public business, knowing that what they lost would certainly be made up to them by the blessing of God upon their callings.

_ _ VIII. Some ladies are spoken of as helping forward this work — Shallum and his daughters (Nehemiah 3:12), who, though not capable of personal service, yet having their portions in their own hands, or being rich widows, contributed money for buying materials and paying workmen. St. Paul speaks of some good women that laboured with him in the gospel, Philippians 4:3.

_ _ IX. Of some it is said that they repaired over against their houses (Nehemiah 3:10, Nehemiah 3:23, Nehemiah 3:28, Nehemiah 3:29), and of one (who, it is likely, was only a lodger) that he repaired over against his chamber, Nehemiah 3:30. When a general good work is to be done each should apply himself to that part of it that falls nearest to him and 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 be all mended. If he that has but a chamber will repair before that, he does his part.

_ _ X. Of one it is said that he earnestly repaired that which fell to his share (Nehemiah 3:20) — he did it with an inflamed zeal; not that others were cold or indifferent, but he was the most vigorous of any of them and consequently made himself remarkable. It is good to be thus zealously affected in a good thin; and it is probable that this good man's zeal provoked very many to take the more pains and make the more haste.

_ _ XI. Of one of these builders it is observed that he was the sixth son of his father, Nehemiah 3:30. His five elder brethren, it seems, laid not their hand to this work, but he did. In doing that which is good we need not stay to see our elders go before us; if they decline it, it does not therefore follow that we must. Thus the younger brother, if he be the better man, and does God and his generation better service, is indeed the better gentleman; those are most honourable that are most useful.

_ _ XII. Some of those that had first done helped their fellows, and undertook another share where they saw there was most need. Meremoth repaired, Nehemiah 3:4. and again, Nehemiah 3:21. And the Tekoites, besides the piece they repaired (Nehemiah 3:5), undertook another piece (Nehemiah 3:27), which is the more remarkable because their nobles set them a bad example by withdrawing from the service, which, instead of serving them for an excuse to sit still, perhaps made them the more forward to do double work, that by their zeal they might either shame or atone for the covetousness and carelessness of their nobles.

_ _ Lastly, Here is no mention of any particular share that Nehemiah himself had in this work. A name-sake of his is mentioned, Nehemiah 3:16. But did he do nothing? Yes, though he undertook not any particular piece of the wall, yet he did more than any of them, for he had the oversight of them all; half of his servants worked where there was most need, and the other half stood sentinel, as we find afterwards (Nehemiah 4:16), while he himself in his own person walked the rounds, directed and encouraged the builders, set his hand to the work where he saw occasion, and kept a watchful eye upon the motions of the enemy, as we shall find in the next chapter. The pilot needs not haul at a rope: it is enough for him to steer.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Nehemiah 3:1

Eliashib — Grand — child of Joshua, the first high — priest after their return from Babylon. Rose — Began the work. Ministers should be foremost in every good work, animating others by their example as well as doctrine. Sheep — gate — Which was next to the temple; so called, because the sheep were brought thro' it to be sacrificed. Sanctified — Or, they prepared or repaired it: for so the word sometimes signifies. But our translation seems best, both because that use of the word is most common, and because this is spoken only of this gate, which being built by the priests, and nighest to the temple, and with a special eye to the service of the temple, for which both men and things were most commonly brought in this way, and being also the first part of the building, might be in a peculiar manner sanctified by solemn prayer and sacrifice, whereby it was dedicated to God's service.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Nehemiah 3:1

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they (a) sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

(a) In Hebrew they sanctified it, that is, they finished it, and so dedicated it to the Lord by prayer, in desiring him to maintain it.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Eliashib:

Nehemiah 12:10 And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada,
Nehemiah 13:28 And [one] of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, [was] son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

the sheep gate:
This gate is supposed to have immediately communicated with the temple, and to have been called the sheep gate, because the sheep intended for sacrifice passed through it. But, after all which learned men have written on this subject, which is but of little interest, we scarcely know anything about these gates. What they were, why called by these names, or in what part of the wall they were situated, beyond what may be learned from the parallel passages.
Nehemiah 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.
John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep [market] a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

sanctified it:

Nehemiah 12:30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
Deuteronomy 20:5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man [is there] that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.
Psalms 30:1 [[A Psalm [and] Song [at] the dedication of the house of David.]] I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
*title
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

the tower:

Nehemiah 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.
Jeremiah 31:38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
Zechariah 14:10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and [from] the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.
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Dt 20:5. Ne 12:10, 30, 39; 13:28. Ps 30:1. Pv 3:6, 9. Jr 31:38. Zc 14:10. Jn 5:2.

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