The rebuilding of Jerusalem (Jer 31:38-31:40)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are coming,

When the city

Shall be rebuilt

For Yahweh,

From the tower

Of Hananel

To the Corner Gate.

The measuring line

Shall go out farther,

Straight to the hill Gareb.

It shall then turn

To Goah.

The whole valley

Of the dead bodies

With the ashes,

As well as all the fields

As far as the Wadi Kidron,

To the corner

Of the Horse Gate

Toward the east,

Shall be sacred to Yahweh.

It shall never again

Be uprooted,

Be overthrown.”

Yahweh simply says that the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt at some future time. It will be rebuilt from the northeastern Tower of Hananel to the northwestern side at the Corner Gate.   The southeast will be Gareb hill with Goah on the southwest. Both these places are only mentioned here and may have been where the lepers lived outside the walls of Jerusalem. The southeast corner would be the Horse Gate. Jerusalem will extend out to the valley of the unclean dead in Hinnom and eastward to the Wadi Kidron. Never again will it be uprooted or overthrown, that is until the Romans in 70 CE.

Nehemiah leads the other group (Neh 12:38-12:43)

“The other company of those who gave thanks went to the left. I followed them with half of the people, upon the wall. We walked to the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, and above the Gate of Ephraim, and by the Old Gate. We walked by the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate. They came to a halt at the Gate of the Guard. So both companies of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God. I and half of the officials were with me. The priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah were with trumpets. Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer were there also. The singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. They offered great sacrifices that day. They rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.”

Nehemiah led the other group on the wall going around the west and north side of the wall. They passed by the Tower of Ovens, the Broad Wall, the Gate of Ephraim, the Old Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred. Finally they came to the Sheep Gate and the Gate of the Guard. There they met at the house of God with the first group. Nehemiah’s group met Ezra’s first group at the Temple. Nehemiah’s priests had trumpets. These singers were led by Jezrahiah, who is only mentioned here and nowhere else. They offered great sacrifices, without being specific how much and what kind. They also rejoiced with all their families including women and children. They made such a noise that they could be heard far away.

The northeast Sheep Gate (Neh 3:1-3:2)

“Then the high priest Eliashib set to work with his fellow priests. They rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it. They set up its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred and as far as the Tower of Hananel. The men of Jericho built next to him. Next to them Zaccur son of Imri built.

Eliashib was the current high priest in Jerusalem, the grandson of Zerubbabel, whose group first came to Jerusalem over a hundred years before this time. He and his fellow priest went to work on the Sheep Gate. They finished it and the walls to the 2 towers, of the Hundred and Hananel. The Tower of Hananel was on the north side of town. This Sheep Gate must have been the gate where they brought sheep into Jerusalem. It might have been near the Temple. It seems to be between the tower of Hundred and the tower of Hananel, on the northeast side of Jerusalem. The 100 tower may have been about 100 cubits from the Temple, about 150 feet from the Temple. This was the gate between the 2 towers. It does not say how long they took to build this gate and the adjoining walls. They had some help from the men of Jericho and Zaccur. Jericho was about 12 miles northeast of Jerusalem. Why they came is not clear since this was in Benjamin territory not Judah. There were 5 or 6 other people with the name of Zaccur.