The Old City Gate was repaired by Joiada…and Meshullam… They laid the beams, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars. Next to them were Melatiah from Gibeon, Jadon from Meronoth, people from Gibeon, and people from Mizpah, the headquarters of the governor of the province west of the Euphrates River. Next was Uzziel…a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah, a manufacturer of perfumes. They left out a section of Jerusalem as they built the Broad Wall.
Rephaiah…the leader of half the district of Jerusalem, was next to them on the wall. Next Jedaiah…repaired the wall across from his own house, and next to him was Hattush… Then came Malkijah…and Hasshub…who repaired another section of the wall and the Tower of the Ovens. Shallum…and his daughters repaired the next section. He was the leader of the other half of the district of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 3:6-12 NLT
Last time we looked in on the Fish Gate which was lovingly tended to by everyone but the nobles from Tekoa. Today we get to continue counter-clockwise around our wall project:
In today’s section we cover the Old City Gate (called Gate of Yeshanah on our map), sections of the wall near it, and the Tower of the Ovens. Did you notice a section is not mentioned? So have scholars. Our verses bluntly read, “They left out a section of Jerusalem as they built the Broad Wall.”
The most probable explanation is the circumference of the new wall was smaller than the original. So the builders left out a portion of the old, ruined city of Jerusalem when rebuilding the new.
What stands out most to me is the collaboration exercised by all: goldsmiths, perfumers, those of neighboring cities under other governors, women, rulers of half the city. And some of them simply began right where they were, close to home. As one commentator put it:
“The work was divided, so that every one might know what he had to do, and mind it, with a desire to excel; yet without contention, or separate interests. No strife appears among them, but which should do most for the public good. Every Israelite should lend a hand toward the building up of Jerusalem…When a general good work is to be done, each should apply himself to that part which is within his reach…Every one must begin at home; for it is by getting the work of God advanced in our own souls that we shall best contribute to the good of the church of Christ.”
That our best work would be in our homes, our own hearts. And from that grounding of walking with Him in private, we join hands in public to work for the good of all. Oh, to stay in our lane and be faithful to our post while simultaneously cheering others on. To battle in prayer not only for our own family, friends, and ministries, but those of others’. In areas we don’t understand, with people we may not agree with. If we are loving God, loving people, and loving His Word, we are allies.
There is much, much work to be done. Let’s rally together.