The list of men by towns returning (Neh 7:25-7:38)

“The men of Gibeon were ninety-five. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah were one hundred eighty-eight. The men of Anathoth were one hundred twenty-eight. The men of Beth-Azmaveth were forty-two. The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth were seven hundred forty-three. The men of Ramah and Geba were six hundred twenty-one. The men of Michmas were one hundred twenty-two. The men of Bethel and Ai were one hundred twenty-three. The men of the other Nebo were fifty-two. The descendents of the other Elam were one thousand two hundred fifty-four. The descendents of Harim were three hundred twenty. The men of Jericho were three hundred forty-five. The men of Lod, Hadid, and Ono were seven hundred twenty-one. The men of Senaah were three thousand nine hundred thirty.”

Once again, we have a very close similarity with Ezra, chapter 2, almost word for word. This list refers to the towns that they had come from in Judah, but also a lot from the Benjamin territory. These were the leaders there that had been taken into captivity. Gibbar or the town of Gibeon had a mere 95 people, the same as Ezra. Bethlehem had 188 not 123 people. Here it is combined with Netophah, a small town near Bethlehem that only had 56 people, so that the net change is only 9 more people here. Anathoth, another small town in Benjamin, had exactly the same amount of 128 people. Beth-Azmaveth or just Azmaveth, a town near Jerusalem, had 42 people, the smallest amount, but exactly the same as in Ezra. There was a group of 3 towns near Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth with exactly the same amount of 743 people. Ramah and Geba were northern towns in Benjamin with exactly the same amount of 621 people. Michmas was another Benjamin town with exactly the same amount of 122 people. Bethel and Ai were 2 northern Benjaminite towns with 123 instead of 223 people as in Ezra. This Nebo was a small town near Bethel and Ai with exactly the same amount of 52 people. There was no mention here of Magbish, a small town in Benjamin with 156 people as there was in Ezra. This other Elam had 1,254 people, but that is the exact amount as mentioned in the previous paragraph and in Ezra. Harim with 320 people was exactly the same as in Ezra. Lod, Hadid, and Ono were 3 Benjaminite towns with 721 instead of 725 people. Jericho had exactly the same amount of 345 people. Senaah, a town in northern Benjamin had the largest group with 3,930 instead of 3,630 people as in Ezra. Thus there were only minor discrepancies between this account and the one in Ezra.

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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 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.

Those who came with Ezra (Ezra 8:1-8:14)

“These are the family heads. This is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia, in the reign of King Artaxerxes. There was the descendent of Phinehas, Gershom. There was the descendent of Ithamar, Daniel. There was the descendent of David, Hattush. There were the descendents of Shecaniah. There were the descendents of Parosh, Zechariah with one hundred fifty registered men. There were the descendents of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah with two hundred men. There were the descendents of Zattu, Shecaniah son of Jahaziel with three hundred men. There were the descendents of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan with fifty men. There were the descendents of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah with seventy men. There were the descendents of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael with eighty men. There were the descendents of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel with two hundred eighteen men. There were the descendents of Bani, Shelomith son of Josiphiah with one hundred sixty men. There were the descendents of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai with twenty-eight men. There were the descendents of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan with one hundred ten men. There were the descendents of Adonikam, those who came later, their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah with sixty men. There were the descendents of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur with seventy men.”

Once again, we have the use of the singular personal pronoun “with me.” This no longer is a story about someone else but a personal eye witness account. It is the story of Ezra himself, or someone pretending to be him. These are the people who were with him, about 1,500 men. If you count women and children then this would be about 5,000, about a 10% the size of the group that set out under King Cyrus in 537 BCE, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. A number of these families seem to have only 1 person since there is no number given unlike the others with specific numbers. Thus the descendents of Phinehas, Ithamar, David, and Shecaniah have either one or no one listed. Phinehas and Ithamar were the son and grandson of Aaron. This Shecaniah is virtually unknown since a lot of biblical people had that name. Most of these people were the descendents of those who had come to Jerusalem in chapter 2 of this book 80 years earlier. Thus the descendents of Parosh only had 150 men instead of 2,172 men 80 years earlier. The descendents of Pahath-moab are only 200 instead of 2,800. The descendents of Zattu were 300 instead of 945. The descendents of Adin were 50 instead of 445. The descendents of Elam were 70 instead of 1,294. The descendents of Shephatiah were 80 instead of 372. The descendents of Bani were 160 instead of 642. The descendents of Bebai were 28 instead of 623. The descendents of Azgad were 110 instead of 1,222. The descendents of Adonikam were 60 instead of 666. The descendents of Bigvai were 70 instead of 2,256. There was no mention of the descendents of Arah, Zaccai, Ater, Bezai, Hashum, or Jorah that were in chapter 2. The only new group here was Joab with 218 men.

The list of the men returning by towns (Ezra 2:20-2:35)

“There were the descendents of Gibbar, ninety-five. There were the descendents of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three. There were the descendents of Netophah, fifty-six. There were the descendents of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight. There were the descendents of Azmaveth, forty-two. There were the descendents of Kiriatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three. There were the descendents of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one. There were the descendents of Michmas, one hundred twenty-two. There were the descendents of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty-three. There were the descendents of Nebo, fifty-two. There were the descendents of Magbish, one hundred fifty-six. There were the descendents of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four. There were the descendents of Harim, three hundred twenty. There were the descendents of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-five. There were the descendents of Jericho, three hundred forty-five. There were the descendents of Senaah, three thousand six hundred thirty.”

The second part of this list refers to the towns that they came from in Judah, but also in Benjamin. Thus these were the leaders there that had been taken into captivity. Gibbar or the town of Gibeon had a mere 95 people. Bethlehem had 123 people. Netophah was another small town near Bethlehem that only had 56 people, while Anathoth, another small town in Benjamin, had 128 people. Azmaveth, a town near Jerusalem, had 42 people, the smallest amount. There was a group of 3 towns near Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory of Kiriatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth with 743 people. Ramah and Geba were northern towns in Benjamin with 621 people. Michmas was another Benjamin town with 122 people. Bethel and Ai were 2 northern Benjaminite towns with about 223 people. Although there are many places with the name of Nebo, this Nebo was a small town near Bethel and Ai with 52 people. Magbish was a small town in Benjamin with 156 people. From the other Elam there were 1,254 people. Harim had 320 people. Lod, Hadid, and Ono were 3 Benjaminite towns with 725 people. Jericho had 345 people. Senaah, a town in northern Benjamin had the largest group of 3,630 people.

The list of the men returning by ancestral leaders (Ezra 2:3-2:19)

“Here is the number of the Israelite people returning. There were the descendents of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two. There were the descendents of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two. There were the descendents of Arah, seven hundred seventy-five. There were the descendents of Pahath-moab, namely the descendents of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred twelve. There were the descendents of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four. There were the descendents of Zattu, nine hundred forty-five. There were the descendents of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty. There were the descendents of Bani, six hundred forty-two. There were the descendents of Bebai, six hundred twenty-three. There were the descendents of Azgad, one thousand two hundred twenty-two. There were the descendents of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-six. There were the descendents of Bigvai, two thousand fifty-six. There were the descendents of Adin, four hundred fifty-four. There were the descendents of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. There were the descendents of Bezai, three hundred twenty-three. There were the descendents of Jorah, one hundred twelve.  There were the descendents of Hashum, two hundred twenty-three.”

Here we have a listing of the heads of the families with the number of people that were returning with them. There is a similar list in Nehemiah, chapter 7. 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. There must have been a recording of these names and people as they left. The Parosh folks had 2,172 people. Shephatiah was the name of one of King David’s son, but I do not think that this is him since there were only 372 of them. The Arah folks had 775 people. Pahath-moab literally means a sheik of Moab with 2,812 people. Elam here, one group had 1,254 people. There also was a territory name Elam, but that was over by Persia. Zattu had 945 people. There were 760 of the Zaccai people. There were a lot of Levites with the name of Bani, as they had 642 people. The Bebai people had 623. There were 1,222 Azgad people. Adonikam had the infamous number 666 people. There were a lot of Bigvai people, 2,056, but there were only 454 Adin people. The Ater group was only 98 gatekeepers. 323 Bezai people returned. Jorah had only 112 people, while Hashum had 223 people.

The Korahite gatekeepers (1 Chr 26:1-26:3)

“As for the divisions of the gatekeepers, the Korahites had Meshelemiah son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. Meshelemiah had sons, Zechariah the first-born, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, and Eliehoenai the seventh.”

The Korahites were the dominate gatekeepers. The most important man was Meshelemiah as we find out about his family. Somehow he is related to Kore and Asaph. Meshelemiah had 7 sons, who were gatekeepers. There were 27 biblical people with the name of (1) Zechariah with the most famous being the prophet and his book, Zechariah. There were 2 other people with the name of (2) Jediael. 8 others had the name of (3) Zebadiah. This is the only mention of (4) Jathniel. There were 5 other people called (5) Elam and (6) Jehohanan, while there was only 1 other person with the name of (7) Eliehoenai.