The Temple servants returning (Neh 7:46-7:56)

“The temple servants were the descendents of Ziha, the descendents of Hasupha, the descendents of Tabbaoth, the descendents of Keros, the descendents of Sia, the descendents of Padon, the descendents of Lebana, the descendents of Hagaba, the descendents of Shalmai, the descendents of Hanan, the descendents of Giddel, the descendents of Gahar, the descendents of Reaiah, the descendents of Rezin, the descendents of Nekoda, the descendents of Gazzam, the descendents of Uzza, the descendents of Paseah, the descendents of Besai, the descendents of Meunim, the descendents of Nephushesim, the descendents of Bakbuk, the descendents of Hakupha, the descendents of Harhur, the descendents of Bazlith, the descendents of Mehida, the descendents of Harsha, the descendents of Barkos, the descendents of Sisera, the descendents of Temah, the descendents of Neziah, and the descendents of Hatipha.”

This is the list of the hereditary Temple servants, the Nethinim, people dedicated to the Temple. Often they were not Israelites, but captured slave laborers given to the Temple. They became hereditary slaves dedicated to the Temple. However, there was no Temple, so it is not clear why they were returning.   Thus these names were not common biblical names since most of these names only appear here and in Ezra, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Of the 35 temple servants, 27 names are exactly the same as in Ezra, chapter 2. The minor exceptions are Sia for Siaha, Lebana for Lebanah, Hagaba for Hagabah, Nephushesim for Nephisim, and Bazlith for Bazluth. Akkub, Hagab, and Asnah were in Ezra, but are not here.

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