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 response of the Levites (2 Chr 29:12-29:15)

“Then the Levites arose. Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites arose. Of the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel arose. Of the Gershonites, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah arose. The sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel also arose. Of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah arose. Of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei arose. Of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel arose. They gathered their brothers. They sanctified themselves. They went in as the king had commanded, by the words of Yahweh, to cleanse the house of Yahweh.”

The Levites responded positively. 2 people from each of the Levitical tribes arose from the Kohathites, the Merarites, and the Gershonites. The same was true for the 3 groups of singers or cantors, the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, all had 2 people stand up. On top of that, the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel also rose up. They gathered their brother Levites and sanctified themselves. Then they went in to cleanse the house of Yahweh. I wonder why they had not done more to sustain the house of Yahweh even in the face of indifference.

The sons of Heman (1 Chr 25:4-25:6)

“The sons of Heman were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him. God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. They were all under the direction of their father for the music in the house of Yahweh. They played cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God.”

Heman had 14 sons and 3 daughters. Apparently, they all performed music in the house of Yahweh, the Temple, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. Heman was also called a seer or prophet to the king. Of Heman’s 14 listed sons, 8 of them are names that only are mentioned here and in the giving of the lots, but nowhere else in the biblical literature, (1) Bukkiah, (8) Eliathah, (9) Giddalti, (10) Romamti-ezer, (11) Joshbekashah, (12) Mallothi, (13) Hothir, and (14) Mahazioth. There were 9 different people with the name of (2) Mattaniah, but this Mattaniah will be in charge of the 9th group of singers. There were 8 different people with this name of (3) Uzziel. There was only 1 other (4) Shebuel. There were 7 different people with the name of (5) Jerimoth. There were 13 different people with the name of (6) Hananiah. There were 5 different people with the name of (7) Hanani.

The sons of Kohath (1 Chr 23:12-23:20)

“The four sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to consecrate the most holy things. He and his sons should forever make offering before Yahweh. They were to minister to him and pronounce blessings in his name forever. The sons of Moses, the man of God, were reckoned among the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. The son of Gershom was Shebuel the chief. The son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. The son of Izhar was Shelomith the chief. The sons of Hebron were Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. The sons of Uzziel were Micah the chief and Isshiah the second.”

Based on chapter 6 of this book and loosely based on Numbers, chapter 4, Kohath had four sons (1) Amram, (2) Izhar, (3) Hebron, and (4) Uzziel, so that there is no dispute about these names. Kohath was the second of the three sons of Levi. (1) Amram was the father of Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his sons were set aside to make offerings to Yahweh forever. Aaron was a Levite, but his sons are not mentioned by name here. The 2 sons of Moses were also Levites, but they were not as attached to the worship cult as the sons of Aaron. One of the sons of Moses was called Gershom, the same name as the son of Levi. The other son was Eliezer, whose name only appears here and in Exodus, chapter 18, although it is a fairly common name. Shebuel, the son of Gershom was in charge of the treasures, which seems to be a common position like chief. Rehabiah, Eliezer’s son did not have many children. (2) Izhar’s son Shelomith had something to do with the treasures also. (3) Hebron apparently had 4 sons but Jeriah and Jahaziel were only mentioned here. Amariah and Jekameam were the names of some other Levites. (4) Uzziel’s descendants were Micah, not the prophet, and Isshiah, which is the name of other Levites.

The Levites prepare to transport the ark (1 Chr 15:3-15:10)

“King David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh to the place that he had prepared for it. King David gathered together the descendents of Aaron and the Levites. There were the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with one hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with two hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with one hundred thirty of his kindred. There were the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with two hundred of his kindred. There were the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with eighty of his kindred. There were the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with one hundred and twelve of his kindred.”

This biblical writer said that King David called everyone to Jerusalem, which would have been difficult. More particularly, he gathered the descendents of Aaron, the 3 groups of Levites, the Kohathites, Merarites, and Gershonites with their chiefs and family. However, 3 other groups of Levites, the descendents of Elizaphan, Hebron, and Uzziel were also named, but they were actually the sons of Kohath. Thus 4 of these groups were Kohathites. Each group had a leader and a number of their clan. Thus we have the following assigned to carry and care for the Ark of the Covenant. This has become a big deal with over 800 people directly involved.

The sons of Bela (1 Chr 7:7-7:7)

“The five sons of Bela were Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri, heads of the ancestral houses, mighty warriors. Their enrollment by genealogies was twenty-two thousand and thirty-four.”

Bela had 5 sons. (1) Ezbon was also the name of 1 of the sons of Gad in Genesis, chapter 46, and Numbers, chapter 15, but not among the clans of Gad in chapter 4 of this book. There are 7 different people with the name of (2) Uzzi, including the son of Tola in the Issachar family. There are 5 other biblical characters with the name (3) Uzziel, including a son of the Levite Kohath. There 8 other biblical people with the name of (4) Jerimoth, while (5) Iri only appears here. These were the heads of the ancestral house and mighty warriors, so that these Belaites numbered 22,034, probably around the time of David.

The sons of Kohath (1 Chr 6:18-6:18)

“The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”

In Exodus, chapter 6, and earlier in this chapter, Kohath had four sons (1) Amram, (2) Izhar, (3) Hebron, and (4) Uzziel. Kohath was the second of the three sons of Levi. The Kohathites were in charge of the tabernacle in the wilderness. 23 cities were assigned to the Kohathites in Joshua, chapter 21. In David’s time and after, Heman, a Kohathite, and his family had a prominent place in the Temple service as a cantor. Kohath through Amram will be the grandfather of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. His descendents will be called the Amramites. Izhar was then the uncle of Moses and a clan developed named the Izeharites. Hebron’s family became known as the Hebronites. The town of Hebron has existed for over 3,500 years. Uzziel’s descendants were called Uzzielites. There were 5 other biblical characters with the same name.