The remembrance (Zech 6:14-6:14)

“The crown

Shall be in the care

Of Heldai,

Tobijah,

Jedaiah,

With Josiah,

The son of Zephaniah,

As a memorial

In the Temple of Yahweh.”

Those returning captives mentioned earlier, Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah were to take care of this crown.  It would be in the Temple of Yahweh as a reminder or memorial of their former captivity.

The chosen ones (Zech 6:9-6:10)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Collect silver!

Collect gold

From the exiles

Heldai,

Tobijah,

Jedaiah!

They have arrived

From Babylon.

Go the same day

To the house of Josiah,

The son of Zephaniah.”

Yahweh spoke to Zechariah again.  He told him to collect silver and gold from the exiles that had returned from Babylon.  There are 3 people named here who were exiles from the captivity, Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah.  However, we know nothing about them, since they only appear in this work without any kind of titles.  Apparently, they were rich.  Zechariah was also to go to Josiah, the son of Zephaniah.

The priests with Zerubbabel (Neh 12:1-12:7)

“These are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua. They were Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the leaders of the priests and of their associates in the days of Jeshua.”

Now suddenly we are back to the list of those who came with Zerubbabel some 90 years earlier. This is like an appendix to this document. It refers to Ezra, chapter 2. There are 22 priests listed here. Of the 22, only 2 were listed in Ezra, chapter 2, Seraiah and Rehum. Jedaiah is listed twice. Clearly Zerubbabel and Jeshua were the leaders. 11 off these same people, Seraiah, Jeremiah, Amariah, Hattush, Malluch, Meremoth, Ginnethon, Abijah, Mijamin, and Shemaiah, signed the agreement with Nehemiah in chapter 10 of this book. However this took place about 90-100 years after the original group, which would make it difficult for these same people to sign the document, after having returned 90 years earlier. Ezra is mentioned with this group but he did not return until about 10 years before Nehemiah.   Iddo was with Ezra so that he would not have been with the original group. Shecaniah and Meremoth were builders of the wall so that they could not have come with the original group, almost a century earlier. This is the only mention of Maadiah, Bilgah, and Amok so they are real possibilities. Jedaiah was the son of Joiarib, so that he could not have come with the original group, but Joiarib might have. Sallu was the son of Meshullam so that he could not have been there 100 years earlier. Seraiah was the son of Hilkiah, so that he could have been with the original group. Thus, not more than 4 or 5 of the named priests could have come back with Zerubbabel, unless the ones at the time of Nehemiah had the same name as the ones who came nearly a century earlier.

The priests living in Jerusalem (Neh 11:10-11:14)

“Of the priests, there were Jedaiah son of Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, officer of the house of God. Their associates who did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty-two. Adaiah son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, and his associates, heads of ancestral houses were two hundred forty-two. Amashsai son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer, and their associates, valiant warriors were one hundred twenty-eight. Their overseer was Zabdiel son of Haggedolim.”

The priests in Jerusalem were Jedaiah, Jachin, and Seraiah, who was the chief officer or the high priest. Their associates worked in the house of God and numbered 822. Adaiah and his associates were the heads of the ancestral houses and numbered 242. Then there was Amashsai the warrior priests that numbered 128. Their overseer was Zabdiel. This seems like a lot of people, over 1,000, for a relatively small Temple in Jerusalem.

The list of priests returning (Neh 7:39-7:42)

“The priests who were the descendents of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, were nine hundred seventy-three. The descendents of Immer were one thousand fifty-two. The descendents of Pashhur were one thousand two hundred forty-seven. The descendents of Harim were one thousand seventeen.”

Once again, this list is very similar to that found in Ezra, chapter 2. There are only 4 groups of priests rather than 24 that where in 1 Chronicles, chapter 24. However, there numbers are very large and the same as in Ezra. The Jedaiah group, that was the 2nd division, had 973 people. The Immer group, that was the 16th division, had 1,052 people. The Pashhur group had 1,247 people.   However, the descendents of Harim were mentioned in a larger number here and in Ezra, 1,017 rather than the 320 in the Harim group in the preceding paragraph.  


The west Old Gate (Neh 3:6-3:12)

“Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate. They laid its beams, set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Next to them repairs were made by Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite. These were the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, who were under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province Beyond the River. Next to them Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Next to them, Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. Next to them, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs. Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.  Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.”

Next, they began repairing on the northwest side of Jerusalem from the Fish Gate to the Tower of the Ovens on the west side. The Old Gate was on the west side of Jerusalem. They also repaired the old wall on the northwest side. Joiada and Meshullam, who is different from the other Meshullam, were probably priests who worked on the beams, doors, bolts, and bars of this gate. This is the only biblical mention of Melatiah and Jadon. They are from Gibeon and Mizpah, both nearby, but outside Jerusalem. Nehemiah mentions they were under the governor of the Province Beyond the River, indicating that there might have been a tacit approval. Even though there were perfumers in 1 Samuel, chapter 8, and 2 Chronicles, chapter 16, Nehemiah was the only biblical writer who ever mentioned goldsmiths. Uzziel and Hananiah worked on the old northwest wall, the Broad Wall where the street was a little bigger. Interesting enough, the both rulers of Jerusalem were involved in this project. Rephaiah and Shallum seem to be rulers of different halves of Jerusalem, which is strange in itself. Nehemiah also mentions the daughters of Shallum working on the wall. This mention of females doing manual labor is a little unusual. However, we know that young women went out for water and picked up after the harvest, besides the internal household work. At least, one person, Jedaiah, worked just outside his house. The family of Pahath-moab built the Tower of the Ovens, which is probably the Tower of the Angles on the west side.

The list of the priests returning (Ezra 2:36-2:39)

“The priests were the descendents of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy-three. The descendents of Immer were one thousand fifty-two. The descendents of Pashhur were one thousand two hundred forty-seven. The descendents of Harim were one thousand seventeen.”

Here there are only 4 groups of priests rather than 24 that where in 1 Chronicles, chapter 24. However, there numbers are very large. The Jedaiah group, that was the 2nd division, had 973. The Immer group, that was the 16th division, had 1,052. The Pashhur group had 1,247. The descendents of Harim are mentioned in a larger number here, 1,017 than the 320 in the Harim group in the preceding paragraph.