The overseers (Neh 11:20-11:24)

“The rest of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah. All of them were in their own inheritance. But the temple servants lived on Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were over the temple servants. The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, of the descendents of Asaph, the singers, in charge of the work of the house of God. There was a command from the king concerning them. A settled provision for the singers was required every day. Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, of the descendents of Zerah, son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.”

The rest of the people lived in their own towns with their own inheritance. It is hard to figure out their inheritance since they returned from captivity with what they had. Did they get back their family inheritance? The Temple servants lived on the Ophel hill. Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of them. The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi. He was a descended from Asaph, the singer, so he was in charge of the singers. The singers were to be provided for each day. It says the king commanded this, but the king was in Persia. There was no king in Jerusalem. Perhaps Nehemiah and Ezra were acting in the name of the king, but it is not clear. Another descendent of Judah from the Zerah line was Pethahiah who someone was the king’s hand in all this. It is not clear what his connection to the King of Persia was.

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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.

 

 

King Jotham the builder (2 Chr 27:3-27:4)

“King Jotham built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh. He did extensive building on the wall of Ophel. Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah. He built forts and towers on the wooded hills.”

Nevertheless, King Jotham did put a gate on the house of Yahweh, the Temple. He also built up the wall or the slope or the Ophel that the Temple sat on. He also did some building in the hill country of Judah, with forts and towers.