The Word Made Fresh
1Then Eliashib the high priest went to work with the priests and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They blessed it and set up its panels as far as the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel. 2The men of Jericho worked the section next to them, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.
3Hassenaah’s sons built the Fish Gate. They laid the beams and set up its doors along with the bolts and bars to secure it. 4Next to them, Meremoth son of Uriah son of Hakkoz worked on repairs. Next them Meshullam son of Berechaiah son of Meshezabel worked. 5Then the Tekoites worked, but their nobles refused to work alongside them.
6Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah worked on the Old Gate. They laid the beams and hung the doors with their bolts and bars. 7Next to them the work of repair was undertaken by Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite with the men of Gibeon and Mizpah who were under the governor of the province beyond the River. 8Then next to them one of the goldsmiths, Harhaiah, worked on repairs, and next to him Hananiah the perfumer worked, and together they restored the wall of Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
9The next section was repaired by Rephaiah son of Hur, who ruled half the district of Jerusalem. 10Beside him Jedaiah son of Harumaph worked on the wall across from his house, and next to him Hattush son of Hashabneiah worked. 11Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab worked another section along with the Tower of the Ovens, 12and next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, who was in charge of half the city, worked with his daughters to repair the wall.
13Hanun and the people from Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate and installed its doors with bolts and bars. They repaired about five hundred yards of the wall all the way to the Dung Gate. 14The Dung Gate itself, with its doors, bolts and bars, was rebuilt by Malchijah son of Rechab, who was mayor of the district of Beth-Haccherem.
15Shallum son of Col-Hozeh, mayor of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate, rebuilding it and setting it up with its doors and bolts and bars. He also built the walls around the pool of Shelah in the king’s garden as far as the stairs that descend from the city of David. 16Next to him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, who supervised the half-district of Beth-Zur, repaired the wall from a point across from the graves of David and as far as the man-made pool and the barracks of the soldiers. 17Next to him the Levites – Rehum son of Bani and Hashabiah who was in charge of half the portion assigned to Keilah – made repairs. 18Their kinsmen made repairs from there: Binnui son of Henadad who was overseer of half the district of Keilah; 19and Ezer son of Jeshua who ruled Mizpah repaired another portion across from the ascent to the weapons station at the Angle.
20Baruch son of Zabbai repaired another part from the Angle to the door of the high priest Eliashib. 21Then Meremoth son of Uriah son of Hakkoz made repairs from the door of Eliashib’s house to the corner of the house. 22Starting there some of the priests who lived nearby made repairs. 23Benjamin and Hasshub worked on the wall opposite their house, and after them Azariah son of Maaseiah son of Ananiah made repairs beside his house. 24From that point Binnui son of Henadad worked on another section from Azariah’s house to the Angle and then on to the corner. 25Palal son of Uzai worked on the wall across from the Angle and also the tower rising at the upper part of the king’s house at the court of the guard, and beside him Pedaiah son of Parosh 26with help from the temple servants who lived on Ophel. They repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east where there was a projecting tower. 27From there the Tekoites repaired a section of the wall across from the great tower to the wall of Ophel.
28The priests made repairs above the Horse Gate. Each one worked on a section next to his own house. 29From there Zadok son of Immer repaired the wall across from his house, and Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, who was responsible for the East Gate, made repairs there. 30Next to him Hananiah son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section; then Meshullam son of Berechiah repaired the wall beside his house. 31Next, the goldsmith Malchijah repaired the wall down to the barracks for the temple servants and merchants across from the Muster Gate and as far as the upper room at the corner; 32Then between the upper room and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs.
1-2: A list is given of who is responsible for repairing each gate and section of the walls. The priests repair the Sheep Gate (located in the northeast corner of the wall near the temple) and rebuild the walls that protect the northern approaches to the city.
3-5: Another group repairs the Fish Gate on the northwestern corner, and a portion of the upper part of the western walls. The VIPs don’t lift a finger to help. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
6-12: The Old Gate is unidentifiable, but if the list is in order counterclockwise around the city (as appears to be the case in most instances), it must have been part of a rather lengthy portion of the upper western wall.
13: The Valley Gate is about halfway down the western side, and the Zanoahites repair it and the walls from there down to the southern tip of the walled city, about 500 yards (1000 cubits).
14: The Dung Gate, located at the southern tip of the walled city, is repaired by somebody named Malchijah. Surely he had some other people helping him even though he is the only one whose name is given. On the other hand, the gate’s name might indicate that it is the least popular place to be.
15-27: Shallum and others repair the section of the walls and the gates near the Pool of Shelah. This pool, and the Lower Pool, were important sources of water for the whole city, and were located where the two valleys, Tyropean and Kidron, converge at the southern end of the walls. Another Nehemiah is in charge of a section along the southeastern wall beside the royal cemeteries. The Levites are responsible for repairs of the long section northward from there to the Horse Gate, about 100 yards from the northeastern corner of the walls.
28-32: Finally, the priests repair the section that protects their little residential community between the temple compound and the city walls at the northeastern corner of the walled city.
The chapter is tedious to read, and I suggest strongly that you have before you a map of Jerusalem from the time of Nehemiah. You can Google “Nehemiah’s Jerusalem,” and see a number of maps of the city walls during that time. Another source is The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume III, page 760. The extent of the work is impressive. Even more impressive is the terrible condition of Jerusalem that makes all these repairs necessary.