next to him, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house; and next to him, Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs.
I. Devotion and effort in the cause of God are worthy of DISTINCTION AND REMEMBRANCE. Names have great power, both among contemporaries and successors. We are stimulated by individual examples.
1. The priests are mentioned first; and God's ministers should be first and foremost in every good work, especially that which is most closely connected with his house.
2. Not only individuals are honoured in thin record, but families. Our household life should be intimately bound up with our Church life. The best family title is that which is won in the field of holy enterprise.
3. While all were invited, some refused. The "nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord." But over against that disgraceful idleness we can place the superabundant zeal of others, who not only did their own work, but the work of others as well.
II. Even THE WOMEN WERE READY TO DO THEIR PART, and, understanding "daughters" in the sense of women, the daughters of Shallum, "ruler of the half part of Jerusalem," not too high or too weak to unite in such a cause. In the building of the spiritual Jerusalem the "daughters" contribute no mean portion.
III. SOME UNDERTOOK THE WORK "OVER AGAINST THEIR OWN HOUSE." We may find the opportunity close at hand. No greater honour can we attach to our own house than to connect it with the praise and glory of Jerusalem.
IV. The EFFECT of this general and contemporaneous effort of all the Lord's people to repair the ruins of their city in uniting them, effacing wrong distinctions, developing great qualities, lifting up their faith to a higher platform. Reformation both effect and cause of revival. - R.
Even over against his house.
1. In the first place, before he undertook the work at all, Nehemiah prayed unto the God of heaven — "Lord, undertake for me." "Unless the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it." We must ask God to restore in us all that the fraud and malice of the devil have decayed in us.
2. The next thing which Nehemiah did, after praying to God, was to set to work, and to set others to work, at repairs. Work and prayer must go together; pray most earnestly, work with a will.
3. Nehemiah made each worker wear a sword by his side, because of the enemies around them who would try to hinder them. That teaches us that whatever our work may be, we must have our religion with us. We must have the sword of the Spirit beside us. Our enemies — the world, the flesh, and the devil — are sure to attack us, and woe unto us if we are unarmed! There was a drummer-boy in the great American war who lost his Bible, a book which he valued above all things. So he set to work to repair his loss as far as possible. He remembered many texts which he had learnt at Sunday-school, and these he wrote on the parchment of his drum. Thus, on the march, in the field of battle, or wherever he did his work, God's Word was before his eyes. Like Nehemiah's builders, he had the sword by his side. Before the work of repairs actually began, Nehemiah made a careful examination of the state of the ruins, that he might know exactly what was wanted. Let us survey the ruins, the breaches in the walls, the rubbish that has accumulated, the weak points in the building.And where shall we begin?
1. For the most part, he set each of his workers to repair "over against his own house." In trying to repair the mistakes and faults and failures of our lives, let us begin over against our own house. Let us survey the ruins there, not those of our neighbour. Mending our own ways is the surest and best plan to fit us to help others to repair theirs. Let us look boldly into the neglected corners of our life, and see what repairs are needed.
2. Let us examine the ruins again; is there no need of repairs in our business life? Is our way of doing our work, whatever it is, quite satisfactory, quite true, and honest, and straightforward?
3. Then is there no need of repairs in the home circle, remembering that we must begin over against our own house? The children are often unruly, selfish, troublesome. The servants are frequently a source of discomfort. One husband sees much need of repairs in his wife. The wife says the same of the husband. Well, let us begin over against our own house. Are we doing our best to set a good example in the family?
4. Is there no need of repairs in our praying? I think many of us feel that our prayers are sometimes neglected, often hurried, formal, cold, unreal. Then there is Bible-reading. Some of us neglect this altogether, others read without interest or under-standing. Is there not something to be mended here?
(H. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.)
I. THE CARE OF ONE'S OWN SOUL. Is it saved? Is it prospering?
II. A DEEP INTEREST IN THE SPIRITUAL WELFARE OF THOSE WHO LIVE UNDER THE SAME ROOF.
III. LABOUR FOR THE SALVATION OF ALL WHO IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD ARE BROUGHT INTO CLOSE OR FREQUENT RELATIONS WITH US.
(W. P. Lockhart.)
I. THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE AT OUR VERY DOORS. There is still plenty of work to be done in our own hearts. The best wall we can build for the protection of our own homes is the structure of a Christlike life. It is as real a defence to our homes to have them surrounded by pure-hearted men and women as was to Jerusalem the wall that Nehemiah raised. The reason that so many missionaries send their children is not always for the sake of the superior education to be had in our schools, but oftener, perhaps, because it would not be safe to allow their children to grow up in the midst of the moral miasma of a heathen land. In the ruined characters and worse than wasted lives of many of the men and women among whom we live, we see the broken wall, and the work of repair consists in the efforts we make to Christianise them. Here there is, work at every one's door.
II. EACH MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BIT OF WORK THAT LIES NEAREST TO HIS OWN HOUSE. A minister is placed over a congregation, not to do the people's work for them, but to induce each of them to do the work that God has laid at the door for each to do. I know a successful minister who attributes much of his success to the fact that he will not do anything himself that he can get one of his people to do.
(A. Soutar, M. A.)
PeopleAnaniah, Azariah, Azbuk, Baana, Bani, Baruch, Bavai, Benjamin, Berechiah, Besodeiah, Binnui, Colhozeh, David, Eliashib, Ezer, Gibeon, Hakkoz, Hallohesh, Halohesh, Hananiah, Hanun, Harhaiah, Harim, Harumaph, Hashabiah, Hashabniah, Hashub, Hassenaah, Hasshub, Hattush, Henadad, Hur, Immer, Imri, Jadon, Jedaiah, Jehoiada, Jeshua, Joiada, Koz, Levites, Maaseiah, Malchiah, Malchijah, Melatiah, Meremoth, Meshezabeel, Meshullam, Nehemiah, Pahathmoab, Palal, Parosh, Paseah, Pedaiah, Rechab, Rehum, Rephaiah, Shallum, Shallun, Shecaniah, Shechaniah, Shelah, Shelemiah, Shemaiah, Tekoites, Uriah, Urijah, Uzai, Uzziel, Zabbai, Zaccai, Zaccur, Zadok, Zalaph, Zur
PlacesBeth-haccherem, Beth-zur, Beyond the River, Broad Wall, Dung Gate, East Gate, Fish Gate, Fountain Gate, Gate of Yeshanah, Gibeon, Horse Gate, Jericho, Jerusalem, Keilah, Mizpah, Muster Gate, Ophel, Pool of Shelah, Sheep Gate, Tower of Hananel, Tower of the Hundred, Tower of the Ovens, Valley Gate, Water Gate, Zanoah
TopicsHarumaph, Haru'maph, Hashabneiah, Hashabnei'ah, Hashabniah, Hattush, Jedaiah, Jedai'ah, Opposite, Over-against, Repaired, Repairs, Strengthened
Outline1. The names and order of those who built the wall
Dictionary of Bible ThemesNehemiah 3:9
Library'Over against his House'
'The priests repaired every one over against his house.'--NEH. iii. 28. The condition of our great cities has lately been forced upon public attention, and all kinds of men have been offering their panaceas. I am not about to enter upon that discussion, but I am glad to seize the opportunity of saying one or two things which I think very much need to be said to individual Christian people about their duty in the matter. 'Every man over against his house' is the principle I desire to commend to you …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Broad Wall
Some Buildings in Acra. Bezeiha. Millo.
The Girdle of the City. Nehemiah 3
Gihon, the Same with the Fountain of Siloam.
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