283. Watch Man Porter

2 Samuel 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10; 2 Kings 9:17-20; 1 Chronicles 23:5; 1 Chronicles 26:13; 2 Chronicles 8:14; Nehemiah 7:1; Isaiah 21:5-12; Isaiah 62:6; Ezekiel 33:2; Ezekiel 33:6; Ezekiel 33:7; Habakkuk 2:1
1. Even strong walls and double gates would not of themselves secure a city from the enemy. Men were therefore employed to watch day and night on the top of the walls, and especially by the gates. It was thus that the messengers from the army were seen long before they reached the place where David anxiously sat. In like manner the watchman of Jezreel saw in the distance the company of Jehu driving furiously (2 Kings 9:17-2017And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace? 18So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. 19Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. 20And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. (2 Kings 9:17‑20)). So Isaiah in one of his sublime visions saw a watchman standing by his tower day and night (Isaiah 21:5-125Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. 6For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. 7And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: 8And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: 9And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. 10O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you. 11The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? 12The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come. (Isaiah 21:5‑12)). A figurative use of the watchman and his work is beautifully made in Isaiah 62:66I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, (Isaiah 62:6); Ezekiel 33:2,6-72Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: (Ezekiel 33:2)
6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (Ezekiel 33:6‑7)
; Habakkuk 2:11I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. (Habakkuk 2:1).
2. It was the business of the porter to open and shut the gates at the proper time. In this case the porter, being in a convenient position below, could receive the intelligence from the watchman above and communicate the same to David. In 2 Kings 7:1010So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. (2 Kings 7:10) this officer is called “the porter of the city.” Porters are spoken of in connection with the rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah (Neh. 7:11Now 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 7:1)). In Solomon’s Temple there were four thousand of them (1 Chron. 23:55Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. (1 Chronicles 23:5)) who were divided into courses (2 Chron. 8:1414And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. (2 Chronicles 8:14)) and had their posts assigned by lot (1 Chron. 26:1313And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate. (1 Chronicles 26:13)).