Nehemiah 7:1 ¶ Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
Nehemiah 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
When the wall was completed and the doors hung, Nehemiah oversaw the appointment of the porters (those that guarded the doors/gates to the city), singers and Levites.
Nehemiah designated his brother Hanani and Hananiah the ruler of the palace as the ruling co-authorities over Jerusalem. Hananiah was well known for his faithfulness and reverence to God.
Reminder: It was his brother Hanani that first told Nehemiah about how the situation stood in Jerusalem, resulting in galvanizing Nehemiah into action.
Many commentators make note of the fact that Nehemiah planned to go back to Babylon and wanted to make sure that dependable men were left in charge of the city.
Nehemiah 7:3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.
Nehemiah 7:4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
Nehemiah left instructions that the gates of the city not be opened until well into the morning. This would seem to imply that the gates be shut well before it got dark. The doorkeepers were to be in charge of the opening and closing of the gates and remain on duty during the time they were opened. The rulers were to appoint some of the men that lived in the city as watchers of the city entrances when the gates were closed. They were to serve on a rotating schedule at the gate nearest their home.
I liked Guzik’s application: “In the Christian life, often a victory is won and later lost because there was no guard. An enemy may come in because we are not watching.”
Nehemiah notes that though the city was large, only a few people lived there and housing had not yet been built.
Nehemiah 7:5 ¶ And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
Nehemiah 7:6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;
Nehemiah notes that God put it on his heart to establish a genealogical record of all the people. In that process he found the register of those that had first returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. The listing that follows seems to be a repeat of the information in Ezra 2.
Coffman makes an important observation: “Nothing is of less interest to current readers than these genealogical registers in the O.T.; but the importance of them is great indeed. The great promise of God looking to the redemption of fallen humanity, and the bringing into our world of the Dayspring from On High, specifically tied that promise to the "Seed (singular) of Abraham" (Genesis 12:3); and when Mary cradled the Son of God in the Bethlehem manger, it was absolutely necessary that all men should have been certain that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed that Seed. It was the concern and diligence of men like Nehemiah who preserved and honored the genealogies of the people that were absolutely the prerequisites of Christian confidence in the identity of Jesus Christ.”
Next comment is at verse 65.
Nehemiah 7:7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;
Nehemiah 7:8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
Nehemiah 7:9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
Nehemiah 7:10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.
Nehemiah 7:11 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.
Nehemiah 7:12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Nehemiah 7:13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.
Nehemiah 7:14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
Nehemiah 7:15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.
Nehemiah 7:18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
Nehemiah 7:19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.
Nehemiah 7:20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.
Nehemiah 7:21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
Nehemiah 7:22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.
Nehemiah 7:24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.
Nehemiah 7:25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.
Nehemiah 7:26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.
Nehemiah 7:27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:28 The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two.
Nehemiah 7:29 The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.
Nehemiah 7:30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.
Nehemiah 7:31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
Nehemiah 7:32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
Nehemiah 7:33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
Nehemiah 7:34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Nehemiah 7:35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
Nehemiah 7:36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
Nehemiah 7:37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.
Nehemiah 7:38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
Nehemiah 7:39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
Nehemiah 7:40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
Nehemiah 7:41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
Nehemiah 7:42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
Nehemiah 7:43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.
Nehemiah 7:44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
Nehemiah 7:46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
Nehemiah 7:47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
Nehemiah 7:48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
Nehemiah 7:49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
Nehemiah 7:50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
Nehemiah 7:51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
Nehemiah 7:52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
Nehemiah 7:53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Nehemiah 7:54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Nehemiah 7:55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
Nehemiah 7:56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Nehemiah 7:57 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
Nehemiah 7:58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Nehemiah 7:59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
Nehemiah 7:60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
Nehemiah 7:61 And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father’s house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.
Nehemiah 7:62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
Nehemiah 7:63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
Nehemiah 7:64 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
Nehemiah 7:65 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
Verses 61-65 makes note of those who could not prove their genealogy, including some claiming to be priests. These men would not be allowed to serve until they could be verified by a priest through the use of the Urim and Thummim.
Nehemiah 7:66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Nehemiah 7:67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.
It is recorded that the list totaled 42,360 plus 7,337 servants. There were also 245 male and female singers.
JFB notes that it is not surprising to find some discrepancies between the records of Ezra and Nehemiah in that Ezra’s was made before leaving Babylon and Nehemiah’s is being recorded years after that in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 7:68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
Nehemiah 7:69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
It is also recorded that they had 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels and 7,720 asses.
Nehemiah 7:70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments.
Nehemiah 7:71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
Nehemiah 7:72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests’ garments.
Nehemiah made note of the financial contributions made by some of the leading men and others. Their contributions included money (gold and silver), valuable items and garments for the priests.
Tirshatha is a reference to the governor, and Nehemiah was the governor at that time. It seems natural to me that he would not want to refer to himself by name when recording donations.
Nehemiah 7:73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
This chapter closes with a note that everyone had returned to their own cities by the seventh month (September/October). Afterwards, Jerusalem was left with a very small population.