NEHEMIAH: The same man listed in Neh 7:7, but not the
more well-known Nehemiah (who flourished about 80 years later).
Vv 36-39: Only 4 of the original 24 "courses" returned. By
lot, the 4 were expanded to 24 again. Note: Zechariah was not of the family of
Abia, but of the course of Abia by appointment (Luk 1:5) (Temple
THE TEMPLE SERVANTS: Or "Nethinim" (AV). They are said
specifically to be those "whom David and the princes had appointed for the
service of the Levites" (Ezr 8:20), thus indicating both their realm of activity
and their historical origin. In most of the occurrences they are listed with and
after the Levites (cf 1Ch 9:2; Ezr 7:7; Neh 7:73). Because of this reference to
the activity of David and their being joined with Solomon's servants (Ezr 2:58;
Neh 7:60; cf 1Ki 9:21) and the foreign names that they bear, it has been thought
that they were foreigners, mostly captives of war, put into this service. For
example, Mehunim (Ezr 2:50; Neh 7:52) may refer to those overcome by Uzziah (2Ch
26:7). Nephusim (Ezr 2:50; Neh 7:52) may refer to the Hagarite clan of Naphish
(Gen 25:15; 1Ch 5:19). Because of the similarity of duty, some have sought their
background in the Gibeonites, "hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house
of my God" (Jos 9:23,27) and also in the Midianites (Num 31:30,47). The
correlation is probably no more than that of similarity of service, not direct
relationship. Whatever may be the roots of their origin, they were treated as
part of the people of God, at least as proselytes (Neh 10:28...). They are
mentioned by name in the OT in post-Exilic times. From Babylon 612 returned, 392
with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:58: Neh 7:60) a count which includes "the children of
Solomon's servants") and 220 with Ezra (Ezr 8:20) as "ministers for the house of
our God" from the place Casiphia (Ezr 8:17) "in the seventh year of Artaxerxes
the king (Ezr 7:7). Like other sacred ministers, they were exempted from
taxation (Ezr 7:24).
GOVERNOR: "Tirshatha" in KJV. Simply sig "governor" in
Persian, and refers here to Nehemiah (Neh 8:9).
THE WHOLE COMPANY NUMBERED 42,360: A reconciliation of
Ezra's numbers (Ezr 2:64) with Nehemiah's numbers (Neh 7:66):
* The totals in Ezra: Men of Israel: 24,144; priests: 4,289;
Levites, singers, etc: 341; temple servants 392; men of unproven origin: 652.
Total of 29,818.
* The totals in Nehemiah: 25,406 (vv 5-38) + 4,289 (vv 39-42)
+ 360 (vv 43-45) + 392 (vv 46-60) + 642 (vv 61,62) = 31,089.
* Ezra: 29,818 (from Ezr 2), plus 1,765 (others, in Neh) =
* Nehemiah: 31,089 (from totals of Neh 7), plus 494 (others,
in Ezr) = 31,583.
* The 31,583, plus 10,777 (possibly from other ten tribes) =
42,360 (the total congregation: cp Ezr 2:64 and Neh 7:66).