Ver. 1. Israel. These registers were preserved by those who fled from the arms of Salmanasar, into the kingdom of Juda. Such records were preserved with the utmost care, and were collected by the author; who could give an account of what happened during and after the captivity, as he was an irreproachable eye-witness; not to mention the divine inspiration, which places his testimony out of the reach of criticism. C.
--- And Juda; perhaps by some historian. M.
--- Babylon, while Israel was removed elsewhere, by the Assyrians. H.
--- The genealogies of Israel being hitherto recited, now those who came back from captivity appear. W.
Ver. 2. First. He only treats of those who returned first, (T.) under Esdras. H.
--- Nehemias brought back others, and more returned afterwards. Many also retook possession of their lands, which they had enjoyed before the captivity. 1 Esd. iii. 12.
--- Nathineans. These were the posterity of the Gabaonites, whose office was to bring wood, water, &c. for the service of the temple. Ch. Jos. ix. 27.
--- David and Solomon consigned others of the Chanaanites, whose lives they spared, to perform the same office. They were like public slaves. The number of those who returned was so small, that days were appointed for all the people to help to carry wood for the temple. At Jerusalem the Nathineans, "or people given," resided on the east side of the city; (2 Esd. ii. 26.) and other towns were assigned them. 1 Esd. ii. 70. C.
--- The people continued to be divided into four classes, as they had been before the captivity. Malvenda.
Ver. 3. Manasses. People from these tribes particularly, (H.) as well as from others, had fled to the kingdom of Juda, when the Assyrians took their brethren prisoners; and these returned to Jerusalem. M.
--- Cyrus gave a general leave for all Israel to return. The country was too spacious for them; and it was found necessary to force the tenth part of the people, by lot, to repair to Jerusalem, as it wanted inhabitants. 2 Esd. xi. 1.
Ver. 4. Othei; perhaps Hathaia, son of Husias. The Heb. names are differently pronounced. C.
Ver. 5. Siloni may mean a native of Silo, or a descendant of Sela. See Num. xxvi. 20. and 2 Esd. xi. 5. C.
Ver. 7. Oduia, or Johed, or Juda. 2 Esd. xi. and vii. 9. Junius.
Ver. 11. Azarias, or Saraias, ib. 11.
--- Mosollam, or Sellum. C. vi. 12. C.
--- High is not expressed in Pontifex; and this Azarias was only (H.) one of the principal families; (M. D.) perhaps the second in dignity; (4 K. xxv. 18.) while Jesus was the successor of Aaron, 1 Esd. iii. 8. C.
--- Heb. and Sept. "the ruler," (H.) or "captain of the guard of the house." C.
--- They were styled pontiffs, or princes of the priests. T.
Ver. 12. Phassur, Phesur, (H.) or Phetur. From him sprung Zacharias, Amsi, Phelelia, Jehoram; so that the last was only the great-grandson of Phassur, 2 Esd. xi. 12.
--- Maasai. In Esd. (v. 13) Amassai, the son of Azreel, the son of Ahazi.
Ver. 14. Levites, established at Jerusalem.
Ver. 15. Carpenter. Heb. Cheresh, is taken by some to be a surname. Sept. "And Ares." It is asserted that the priests and Levites could follow no mechanical profession, (Abul.) and the Bacbacar only presided over the carpenters, who wrought in the temple. M. T.
--- But why might not people of this order employ themselves in such arts and labours, which were never deemed degrading among the Hebrews, nor incompatible with the sacred ministry, during the leisure hours? C.
--- S. Paul did not disdain to make tents. H.
Ver. 16. Suburbs, or "courts," atriis. H.
--- Heb. "villages." M.
--- Netophati was a town of Juda. The ancient regulations could not be observed exactly. C.
--- The priests received the Levites into their cities. D.
Ver. 17. Sellum had the superintendency over all the porters. H.
--- He was also at the head of one of the four bands which guarded the doors, east, west, north, and south of the temple, with various apartments, v. 26. C.
--- Brother. Heb. "brethren," or bands. H.
Ver. 18. Time. Heb. "and hitherto." This custom has been observed at the king's gate, who entered his tribune by the eastern gate of the temple. 4 K. xvi. 18. So far the ancient records reach. Some would infer from this passage, that a guard was still kept at the king's gate, even though there was none sitting upon the throne after the captivity. C.
--- Prot. ("who hitherto waited in the king's gate eastward.) They were porters in the companies of the children of Levi." H.
--- These different bands attended by turns. M.
--- But the captains were on duty every day, v. 25, and 26, and 34.
Ver. 19. Service, to keep watch. C.
--- Families. Heb. "fathers over the host, (H.) or camp of the Lord: keepers of the entry." The Corites, though not perhaps alone, performed what their fathers had done before the tabernacle, in the desert, and in the temple of Solomon; which were considered as the camp of the great king.
Ver. 20. Before. Heb. "the Lord with him," an usual form of blessing, (C.) or of wishing well (H.) to the deceased. C.
--- This Phinees lived after the captivity, (M.) and possessed the same power as Eleazar and Joiada. C. xii. 27. Num. iii. 32. It is not necessary to refute the fables of the Rabbins, who pretend that the famous Phinees was an angel, who appeared at different times, and particularly at the return from Babylon. C.
--- Heb. may refer to the ancient Phinees: "And Phinees...was ruler over them formerly, and the Lord was with him." D.
Ver. 22. Towns, where they resided, when they were not on duty. M.
--- Seer, or prophet. H.
--- We read not of his making any such regulation. But he probably made it after the misconduct of the sons of Heli, and when the ark was brought back. C.
--- He might also give private instructions to David for the same purpose; (H.) as Gad and Nathan did. 2 Par. xxix. 25. The same plans were still adopted, though the number of Levites was small. C.
--- Trust, while they were at the head of affairs, and acting by God's authority. Lit. "in their faith;" (H.) enlightened from above, and regulating matters according to the dispositions, which they discovered in the sacred ministers: or rather Heb. "in their established employment," which was to subsist in future ages. C.
Ver. 24. Quarters: lit. "by the four winds."
Ver. 25. Up on. Heb. "after seven days...with them," to take their place for a week.
Ver. 26. To these. Heb. "for these Levites, (Sellum, &c. v. 17) four chief porters were in their set office," for life, or as long as they were able to serve, and did not change every week like the rest.
--- Lord: the apartments of the priests, and the storehouses, (H.) where all precious ornaments, wine, &c. were kept. C.
Ver. 30. Priests. They alone were allowed to make the composition, which no mortal was permitted to use (C.) for his own pleasure. H. Ex. xxx. 34.
Ver. 31. Pan, to be offered on the altar of holocausts, (Lev. ii. 4. and vii. 12.) or to be eaten by the priests. Ezec. xlvi. 20. Mathathias was to take care that all this was done with decency, (C.) and to look after the utensils.
Ver. 32. Propositions. Heb. "of arrangement;" (Ex. xxxv. 13.) "of faces." These loaves were made by the Levites, but arranged upon the golden table every week (C.) before the ark. See C. xxiii. 92.
Ver. 33. These; probably Sellum, &c. (v. 17) though it is not certain that the chief porters presided over the singers. C. xv. and xvi. Heb. "And these are the singers, chief of the families (C. or fathers) of the Levites, in the chambers (of the temple) free" from all other avocations, (H.) that they may watch over the porters and musicians. Sept. is clearer: (C.) "And these are the masters of music over the bands of Levites, observing their daily courses, because they are day and night over them in the works." H.
--- The sons of Caath seem to be chiefly specified, (v. 32) though other families sung. C. vi. 39.
--- Chambers, at a distance from their wives, to trim the lamps in the evening, and to see that none were extinguished, (M.) as also to teach music, &c. The Synagogues were used afterwards. D.
Ver. 34. Jerusalem, having no substitute; (C. xxvi. H.) or the chiefs of each family resided there. M.
Ver. 35. And in. These verses are repeated from the last chapter, in order to bring us to the death of Saul, (M.) and the reign of David. C.
--- "Tis difficult to account for the repetition, provided they were repeated originally; but if they have been repeated through the blunder of a transcriber, the existence of the same words" before them may be the reason. Kennicott.
--- The father of Gabaon. This is the explanation of Abigabaon. C. viii. 29. H.
--- Wife. So the former chapter, and all the ancient versions, with some Heb. MSS. read, instead of the printed Heb. "sister," (Ken.) which seems to be corrupted; (C.) and the Prot. venture to correct it. H.
Abdon(Josh 21:30, etc.): Khirbet Abdeh, N. of the Wâdy el-Karn.
BaalBaal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.
Ver. 41. Tharaa. Heb. "Tachrea." Ken. e, is substituted for a. H.
--- And Ahaz, is omitted in Hebrew, (Ken.) and Sept..
Ver. 42. Jara. Heb. Yahra instead of Jeuade, or Johada, (C.) viii. 36, twice. Sept. Jada here, and Joiada above. H.
Ver. 44. These. All is omitted, though it is found C. viii. 38, and in MS. ii. Kennicott.
--- These remarks, which may appear to some minute, shew that all Hebrew MSS. are not absolutely alike, as some once pretended; and that the Hebrew Bible is not printed from the best copies. H.
--- "The sacred volume in Hebrew has, therefore, been published with such carelessness, as no other printed copy with which I am acquainted." Houbigant, prol. p. 2.
--- Yet this is the copy, which alone Protestants hold up as the standard of perfection, and the Rule of Faith! H.