Dave Burnette's Commentary

Nehemiah Chapter 12


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: Reforming the People (c 8-13)
Message: The Priest and the Levites (1-47)

Nehemiah 12 Commentary 

(12:1-36) Celebrating with a Trumpet - The trumpet that earlier was a tool to rally the workers against a potential threat (4:18) now became one of the instruments used to celebrate the completion of the task, the rededication of the people, and praise to God. Not only had he written powerful psalms, but King David had also instituted music as part of worship in the temple. Although Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the temple, he couldn't destroy worship or the music that served that purpose so well. The reconstruction of the temple and the walls signaled the worship band to start playing once again!

(12:44-42) Celebrating with Song - The dedication of the city wall was characterized by joy, praise, and singing (12:24, 27-29. 35-36, 40-43). Nehemiah repeatedly mentioned David, who began the custom of using choirs in worship. In David's day, Israel was a vigorous, God-fearing nation. These exiles who had returned wanted their rebuilt Jerusalem to be the hub of a renewed nation, strengthened by God; therefore, they dedicated themselves and their city to God.

(12:44) The Storehouse - Further arrangements were made for supporting those who served at the temple. These chambers of the storehouse were administered by men who made sure the tithes and contributions were collected and distributed appropriately. The storerooms had to be large to hold all the grain presented by the people, making the storeroom administration an important responsibility.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Supporting Those Who Minister

 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 12 and we see the dedication of the city walls and arrangements were made for supporting the Levites. In making application we see the need to financially support those who work in the Ministry and the House of God. God's plan is for the the tithes and offerings to supply income and support for Pastors and Ministers. Today many of Pastor friends are grossly underpaid for their service. A good reference point is to pay your Pastor the same as others in your congregation with equal amounts of education and experience. How about you? Do you pay your Pastors and Ministers a fair wage for the sacrifice they make to you and your family? Let us learn from our text today and the example of Israel to pay a fair wage to those who do the Lord's Ministry.


Nehemiah 12

Nehemiah 12

 1Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,

 2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

 3Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

 4Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah,

 5Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

 6Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,

 7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.

 8Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.

 9Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches.

 10And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada,

 11And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua.

 12And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;

 13Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;

 14Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;

 15Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;

 16Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

 17Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai:

 18Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

 19And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

 20Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;

 21Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.

 22The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.

 23The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.

 24And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.

 25Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.

 26These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

 27And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

 28And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;

 29Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

 30And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.

 31Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:

 32And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,

 33And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,

 34Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

 35And certain of the priests' sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:

 36And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

 37And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.

 38And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;

 39And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.

 40So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:

 41And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;

 42And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

 43Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

 44And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.

 45And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son.

 46For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

 47And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.