Dave Burnette's Commentary

Nehemiah Chapter 3

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Nehemiah
Date Penned: (445-432 BC)
Overview:  The Return of the 3rd Group of Jewish Exiles (c 1-13)
Theme: The Rebuilding of the Wall (c 1-7)
Message: The Builders of the City Wall (1-32)

Nehemiah 3 Commentary 

(3:1) A Group Effort - All the citizens of Jerusalem did their part on the huge job of rebuilding the city wall. Similarly, the work of the church requires every member's effort in order for the body of Christ to function effectively (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). The body needs you! Are you doing the part you've been called to do? Find a place to serve God, and start contributing whatever time, talent, or money is needed.

(3:1) The City Gates - Jerusalem was a large city, and because many roads converged there, it required many gates. The wall on each side of these heavy wooden gates was taller and thicker so soldiers could stand guard to defend the gates against attack. Sometimes two stone towers guarded the gate. In times of peace, the city gates were hubs of activity--city council was held there, and shopkeepers set up their wares at the entrance. Building the city walls and gates was not only a military priority but also a boost for trade and commerce.

(3:2) Leading By Example - The high priest is the first person mentioned who pitched in and helped with the work. Spiritual leaders must lead not only by word but also by action. The Sheep Gate was the gate used to bring sheep into the city to the temple for sacrifices. Nehemiah had the priests repair this gate and section of the wall, respecting the priests area of interest and at the same time emphasizing the priority of worship.

(3:3) The Fish Gate - One of the main roads through Jerusalem entered the city through the Fish Gate (2 Chronicles 33:14). The fish market was near the gate, and merchants from Tyre, the Sea of Galilee, and other fishing areas entered this gate to sell their goods.

(3:5) Missing God's Plan - The Tekoites were lazy and wouldn't help. These men were the only ones who did not support the building project in Jerusalem. Every group, even churches, will have those who think they are too wise or important to work hard. Gentle encouragement doesn't seem to help. Sometimes the best policy is to ignore them. They may think they are getting away with something, but their inactivity will be remembered by all who worked hard.

(3:12) Working Together - Shallum's daughters helped with the difficult work of repairing the city walls. Rebuilding Jerusalem's walls was a matter of national emergency for the Jews, not just a civic beautification project. Nearly everyone was dedicated to the task and willing to work at it.

(3:14) The Dung Gate - The Dung Gate was the gate through which the people carried their garbage to be burned in the valley of Hinnom.

(3:27) The Tekoites - Even though their leaders would not participate (3:5), the Tekoites were motivated to work on the project. Regardless of the failures of leadership, we must do what is right, accomplishing what needs to be done.

(3:28) The Horse Gate - The Horse Gate was at the far eastern point of the wall, facing the Kidron Valley.

(3:28) Individual Ownership  - Each priest also repaired the wall in front of his own house, in addition to other sections. If each person was responsible for the part of the wall closest to their own houses, (1) they would be more motivated to build them quickly and properly, (2) they wouldn't waste time by traveling to more distant parts of the wall, (3) they would defend their own homes if the wall was attacked, and (4) they would be able to make the building a family effort. Nehemiah blended self-interest with the group's objectives, helping everyone to feel that the wall project was their own. If you are part of a group working on a large project, make sure each person sees the importance and meaning of the job that he or she has to do. This will ensure high-quality work and personal satisfaction.

(3:31) The Miphkad Gate - The gate Miphkad was in the northern part of the eastern wall.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Doing Our Part

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Nehemiah with Chapter 3 and we see the builders of the city walls. In this rebuilding we had those who received their responsibility and did their part to protect the city and those who did not which put the others in jeopardy. Since each had a responsibility of completing the walls nearest their house - we see those who did their part were more secure. In making application we see a picture of the Church. Those of us who are saved are called to serve in the body. When we fail to do our part in the Ministry we place ourselves and our families at risk for enemy attack. The failure of the redeemed to serve in the Church weakens the body as we are not as strong as the Lord would have us to be. How about you? Are you saved? If so, are you active in the ministry of the Church? Let us learn from our text today and the study of Nehemiah to make application of our lives  to be an example of doing our part of service in the body of Christ-Jesus. 


Nehemiah 3

Nehemiah 3

 1Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

 2And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

 3But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

 4And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

 5And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their LORD.

 6Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

 7And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.

 8Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.

 9And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

 10And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.

 11Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.

 12And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.

 13The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.

 14But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

 15But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.

 16After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.

 17After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.

 18After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.

 19And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.

 20After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

 21After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

 22And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.

 23After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.

 24After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.

 25Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.

 26Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

 27After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.

 28From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.

 29After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

 30After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

 31After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.

 32And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.