Nehemiah: The Remnant in Jerusalem, 12:1-26

Nehemiah 12:1-26
The Remnant in Jerusalem
Nehemiah 12:1-261Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, 5Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua. 8Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren. 9Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches. 10And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada, 11And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua. 12And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel. 22The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian. 23The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward. 25Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates. 26These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe. (Nehemiah 12:1‑26).
HERE we have little to remark save that the Lord takes pleasure in recording even the names of His servants. The special object appears to connect the priests and Levites in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra at this point with those who at the first returned from the captivity, and with the intermediate generation. It is not only that He has been a dwelling place for His own in all generations, but He honors those that honor Him and records their names in His word now, as He will glorify their persons in the great day that hastens.
First then we begin with the earlier company.
“And these [are] the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra; Amariah, Malluch, Hattush; Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth; Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah; Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah; Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah; Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua” (vers. 1-7).
The reader must not confound the last two of ver. 1 with the inspired men of similar names, who were also priests, but at a different epoch; the one before, the other after the return. Those enumerated were contemporaries of Jeshua or Joshua the high priest of that day, which was weak indeed compared with the past, shorn of its ornaments as became a remnant of the people now Loammi, but under all that provisional condition about to behold at length the Man that is Jehovah's fellow, His shepherd, smitten, and the sheep scattered, whatever the hand that protected the little ones. (Zech. 13:77Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (Zechariah 13:7)). Yet neither that glory nor the dark cloud that veiled it appears in the book, which opens out the intermediate services of the humble, devoted, courageous, Israelite who was too glad to leave a splendid court to serve his poor and little grateful brethren for His sake Who watched over them aggrieved, but ever compassionate and faithful.
Next we have the Levites of the same early period. It is of interest to note that “the thanksgiving” did not fail in that day of shame and small things, any more than the “wards” or “watches.” They were careful of order to God's glory.
“And the Levites Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren. Also Bakbukiah and Unno, their brethren, were over against them in wards” (vers. 8, 9).
In verses 10, 11, we have the succession of high priests from Jeshua to Jaddua. Now the history of the book does not carry us later than the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and the high priesthood of faithless Eliashib and the unworthy son of Joiada his son. It is a brief record of humiliating ways to the last high priest of whom O. T. scripture takes any notice.
“And Jeshua begat Joiakim, and Joiakim begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada, and Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua” (vers. 10, 11).
Then we have mention of the next generation, which accounts for “of” or “for” each of these persons, priests, chief fathers.
“And in the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers' [houses]: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel” (vers. 12-21).
In due place follow the Levites, though first in a general way to the days of the latest high priest named (ver. 22), recorded (yen. 23) “in the book of the chronicles” until the days of the high priest before, Jonathan or Johanan. Then in vers. 24, 25, we have the specific services first of the chief Levites, next of door-keepers keeping the ward at the storehouses of the gates in the days of Joiakim, Jeshua's son, and in the days of Nehemiah and of Ezra. This gives the connection, if not the reason for the insertion of the paragraph here.
“The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded heads of fathers' houses: also the priests, in (or, to) the reign of Darius the Persian. The sons of Levi, heads of fathers' houses, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward against ward. Mattaniah, and Baksbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the storehouses of the gates. These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest the scribe” (vers. 22-26).
It is good to serve the Lord in the position He assigns each and for the end of attesting His glory; and it is full of cheer to know that He remembers each and would have all to forget not even the least one that serves Him.