The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleNehemiah 8:4
And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had
made for the purpose…
Or to speak out of, as the Syriac and Arabic
versions; this, in the Hebrew text, is called a "tower" F9, partly
because of its height, and partly because in the form of one; and also
for its largeness, considering the use it was for; for it was so large
as to hold fourteen men, as appears by what follows: a pulpit of wood
was made for the king in the court, to read the law from F11; though,
according to Jacob Leo, it was a throne like an high tower,
(See Gill on 11:14), the pulpits, in the Jewish synagogues,
made after the same manner, as Aben Ezra observes, are called by the
same F12 name:
and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah; and Urijah, and
Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand,
Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana,
Zechariah, and Meshullam;
in all thirteen; there were six on his
right, and seven on his left, who stood here, not merely in honour to
him, and as approvers and supporters of the truth of what he read, but
to relieve him when weary.
F9 (Ue ldgm le) "super turrem ligni", Montanus; so Dionysius is said,
"concionari ex turri alta", Ciceron. Tuscul. Quaest. l. 5.
F11 Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 141. sect. 7.
F12 Misn. Sotah, c. 7. sect. 8.