The Levites with Zerubbabel (Neh 12:8-12:9)

“The Levites returning were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. Bakbukiah and Unno, and their associates, stood opposite them in the service.”

Jeshua was the high priest with Zerubbabel. The house of Jeshua returned with the original group in Ezra, chapter 2. There is no mention here of the Immer group, the Pashhur group, the Harim group, and the Hodaviah group. However, the Kadmiel group is mentioned here, while Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah are added here. Bakbukiah and Unno are new here also. They stood opposite them which might refer to antiphonal singers, but it is not definitive.

The Levites who sign the agreement with Nehemiah (Neh 10:9-10:13)

“The Levites were Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel, and their associates Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.”

Most of these 16 Levite names have appeared earlier in his book. Hodiah is mentioned twice. Only Rehob and Beninu are not mentioned elsewhere in this book. All the other Levites are mentioned from 2 – 5 times in this book.

The number of people by ancestral families returning (Neh 7:8-7:24)

“The number of the Israelite people was as follows. The descendents of Parosh were two thousand one hundred seventy-two. The descendents of Shephatiah were three hundred seventy-two. The descendents of Arah were six hundred fifty-two. The descendents of Pahath-moab, namely the descendents of Jeshua and Joab, were two thousand eight hundred eighteen. The descendents of Elam were one thousand two hundred fifty-four. The descendents of Zattu were eight hundred forty-five. The descendents of Zaccai were seven hundred sixty. The descendents of Binnui were six hundred forty-eight. The descendents of Bebai were six hundred twenty-eight. The descendents of Azgad were two thousand three hundred twenty-two. The descendents of Adonikam were six hundred sixty-seven. The descendents of Bigvai were two thousand sixty-seven. The descendents of Adin were six hundred fifty-five. The descendents of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, were ninety-eight. The descendents of Hashum were three hundred twenty-eight. The descendents of Bezai were three hundred twenty-four. The descendents of Hariph were one hundred twelve.”

Here we have a listing of the heads of the families with the number of people that were returning with them. There was a similar list in Ezra, chapter 2. There were some minor differences, but nothing substantially different. Once again, these were the well to do leaders, not the poor who had stayed. They were listed by their important ancestors with very exact numbers, not rounded off. These groupings were large enough to form small towns or at least neighborhoods in cities. The Parosh folks had 2,172 people, exactly the same as in Ezra. The Shephatiah folks had exactly the same number, 372. However, the Arah folks had 652 instead of 775 people. The Pahath-moab folks were 2,818 instead of 2,812 people. The Elam group had 1,254 people, the same as in Ezra. The Zattu group had 845 and not 945 people. There was exactly the same amount of the Zaccai people, 760. The descendents of Binnui were 648 instead of the 642 descendents of Bani in Ezra. The Bebai people had 5more people, 628 instead of 623. There was a major difference with Azgad people, 2,322 instead of 1,222. Adonikam had 667 people here instead of the infamous number 666 people in Ezra. There were a lot of Bigvai people, 2,067 instead of 2,056. The descendents of Adin were 655 not 454. The Ater group was exactly the same, only 98 gatekeepers. The Hashum people had 328 instead of 223 people. 324 was 1 more than the 323 of Bezai people who returned in Ezra. The descendents of Hariph were 112, the same number of 112 descendents of Jorah in Ezra.

The wall to the Ophel (Neh 3:22-3:27)

“After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, made repairs. After them Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house. After them Azariah son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his own house. After him Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the Angle and to the corner. Palal son of Uzai repaired opposite the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah son of Parosh and the temple servants living on Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.”

The wall continued east to the temple. The Ophel was on the east hill of Jerusalem, the higher ground south of the temple. The unnamed priests from the surrounding area helped from the high priest’s house east. Then a number of people began to repair the wall near their own houses. That seemed simple enough. Even those living near the Ophel repaired the area around the Water Gate. Apparently these were the Temple servants who lived near the Temple and the Ophel. Finally the people of Tekoa were helpful also as earlier in this chapter.



Repair of the old wall (Neh 3:16-3:19)

“After him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired from a point opposite the graves of David, as far as the artificial pool and the house of the warriors. After him the Levites made repairs. There was Rehum son of Bani. Next to him was Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, who made repairs for his district. After him their kin made repairs. There was Binnui son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah. Next to him was Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, who repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the Angle.”

The old wall was inside the northern new wall. This is a different Nehemiah. This one was the half ruler of Beth-zur, which was on the main road south about 20 miles from Jerusalem. The work continued along the east wall outside the graveyard of the kings of Judah, the artificial pool and the army barracks. Then the various Levites worked on this wall. Rehum was a descendent of those who had come back with the early group, 80 years earlier. Both the leaders of Keilah, Hashabiah and Binnui, with their relatives, also helped with the repairs. Keilah was about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Then we have another ruler of Mizpah, Ezer, who was helping with the repairs. Remember that the other ruler of Mizpah, Shallum was at the Fountain Gate. Both these towns of Keilah and Mizpah were well represented in the repair work.

The list of the guilty Israelites by family (Ezra 10:25-10:44)

“The descendents of Parosh were Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah, and Benaiah. The descendents of Elam were Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah. The descendents of Zattu were Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza. The descendents of Bebai were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. The descendents of Bani were Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth. The descendents of Pahath-moab were Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh. The descendents of Harim were Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah. The descendents of Hashum were Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei. The descendents of Bani were Maadai, Amram, Uel, Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu. The descendents of Binnui were Shimei, Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph. The descendents of Nebo were Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah. All these had married foreign women. They sent them away with their children.”

This list reads like the list of people who came with Ezra with the heads of the families. There were 11 different families with 83 people sending their wives away. 7 of these families came with Ezra from Babylon. Only 4 families did not come with him, Harim, Hashum, Binnui, and Nebo. The Bani family is listed twice. Some of these names more than once, while other names only appear here and nowhere else in biblical literature. This means that 109 people were listed as haven given up their foreign wives. In fact, it does not seem like a lot of people if this list includes everyone. This list is interesting in that these people will become known as sinners. The assumption is that they were dead at the time of this writing. Why should we remember their names? They sacrificed their families for Yahweh by divorcing their wives and sending away their children.

The planners for the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 3:8-3:9)

“In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning. Together with the rest of their people, the priests, the Levites, and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity, they began work on the house of God at Jerusalem. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Yahweh. Jeshua with his sons and his kinsmen, Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah, along with the sons of Henadad, these Levites, their sons and kinsmen took charge of the workers in the house of God.”

Clearly this is the 2nd year after the big assembly, which would put it under King Cyrus. They put various Levites in charge of building the foundation. Once again, this was led by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, just as in the previous year. Working in conjunction with the other returnees, they began to plan the foundation of the Temple. The Levites, over 20 years old, were to be in charge of this activity. The leaders would be Jeshua and his family, Kadmiel and Hodaviah were the leading Levites as mentioned in the previous chapter. Binnui and Henadad are new names not mentioned before this.