- The names of those who presided over the builders, and the parts which each company built, verse 1-32.
Eliashib - Grand-child of Joshua, the first high-priest after their return from Babylon. Rose - Began the work. Ministers should be foremost in every good work, animating others by their example as well as doctrine. Sheep-gate - Which was next to the temple; so called, because the sheep were brought thro' it to be sacrificed. Sanctified - Or, they prepared or repaired it: for so the word sometimes signifies. But our translation seems best, both because that use of the word is most common, and because this is spoken only of this gate, which being built by the priests, and nighest to the temple, and with a special eye to the service of the temple, for which both men and things were most commonly brought in this way, and being also the first part of the building, might be in a peculiar manner sanctified by solemn prayer and sacrifice, whereby it was dedicated to God's service.
Their nobles - Did not submit to it, would not further it, either through sloth or covetousness, or secret compliance with the enemies of the Jews. Of their Lord - Of God, whom they owned for their Lord, whose work this was, because it had proceeded thus far by his singular providence: and because it was done for the defence of the city, and people, and temple of God. And therefore they are branded to all posterity. Let not nobles think any thing beneath them, by which they may benefit their country. What is their nobility good for, but that it places them in an higher and larger sphere of usefulness?
The throne - Unto the place where the governor of the country on this side Euphrates, under the Persian kings, sometimes had a palace or throne.
Fortified - It is not said, they repaired, but they fortified it, either because this part of the wall was less demolished than the other, and therefore they needed not to repair it, but only to make it stronger: or, to note their extraordinary care and diligence, that they would not only repair it, but make it stronger than ever.
Half part - As Rome was anciently divided into several quarters or regions, so was Jerusalem; and especially into two parts, whereof one was in the tribe of Benjamin, and nearest the temple, the other in the tribe of Judah, these accordingly had two several rulers, this man and the other, verse 12, but both under the chief governor of the city.
His daughters - Who were either heiresses or rich widows, and caused part to be done at their charges.
Beth-haccerem - A town or territory, the government whereof was divided between two persons.
Made - By Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20:20. Whereby it is distinguished from that pool which was natural. Mighty - Or, of the valiant: which possibly was formerly appointed for the receipt of those chief captains that should attend upon the king in their courses.
Earnestly - Did his work with eminent diligence and fervency: which is here noted to his commendation. And it is probable, this good man's zeal provoked many, to take the more pains, and make the more haste.
The door - Therefore the door was not in the middle of the house, as now they commonly are, but at one end of it.
Tekoites - The same spoken of before, who having dispatched their first share sooner than their brethren, freely offered to supply the defects of others, who, as it seems, neglected that part of the work which had been committed to them. And this their double diligence is noted both for the greater shame of their nobles, who would not do any part of it, and for their own honour, who were so far from being corrupted by that bad example, that they were quickened to greater zeal and industry in this pious work.
The sixth son of Zalaph - It seems, his five elder brethren, laid not their hands to the work. But in doing that which is good, we need not stay to see our betters go before us.