3 Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. 4 Next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz made repairs. And next to him Meshullam the son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel made repairs. And next to [c]him Zadok the son of Baana also made repairs. 5 Moreover, next to [d]him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not [e]support the work of their masters.
6 Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars. 7 Next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, [f]also made repairs for the official seat of the governor of the province beyond the River. 8 Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah of the goldsmiths made repairs. And next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of Furnaces. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.
13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars, and a thousand cubits of the wall to the [g]Refuse Gate.
14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of Beth-haccherem repaired the [h]Refuse Gate. He built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars.
15 Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, the official of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it, covered it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah at the king’s garden as far as the steps that descend from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, official of half the district of Beth-zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites carried out repairs under Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, the official of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 After him their brothers carried out repairs under Bavvai the son of Henadad, official of the other half of the district of Keilah. 19 Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the official of Mizpah, repaired [i]another section in front of the ascent of the armory at the Angle. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the Angle to the doorway of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another section, from the doorway of Eliashib’s house even as far as the end of [j]his house. 22 After him the priests, the men of the [k]valley, carried out repairs. 23 After [l]them Benjamin and Hasshub carried out repairs in front of their house. After [m]them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, carried out repairs beside his house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah as far as the Angle and as far as the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs in front of the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 26 The temple servants living in Ophel made repairs as far as the front of the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. 27 After [n]them the Tekoites repaired another section in front of the great projecting tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.
28 Above the Horse Gate the priests carried out repairs, each in front of his house. 29 After [o]them Zadok the son of Immer carried out repairs in front of his house. And after him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, carried out repairs. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah carried out repairs in front of his own [p]quarters. 31 After him Malchijah, [q]one of the goldsmiths, carried out repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, in front of the [r]Inspection Gate and as far as the upper room of the corner. 32 Between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants carried out repairs.
Though it is a long chapter, I couldn't leave out any portion of this text as it is very important to see the links between each verse. It is clear that there are three aspects important to this work: unity, dedication and vision.
It may seem too obvious a statement, but note the unity of each of these workers (note the phrase in the text - next to him...). Each began where the other left off; each had their role in a specific place and gave way for the other to complete their work. I imagine much conversation and comradery in this rebuilding - a blending of joy and effort must have been present here. Imagine yourself working on your section of the wall. Literally picking up stones that have been left in ruins. You place your stone on top of the pre-made mortar and find that the end of that line is complete as your partner in building and re-building literally right next to you with his chosen stone and pre-made mortar. I just can't help but see this as a reflection on our work as Christians today. We cannot possibly do the work of Glorifying the LORD on our own - He is too big a God to have just one person building His fame. We are all called to work in unity together to re-build that which has been broken. Yet please note unity is the essence of this work. All have their part to play. All do it for the Glory of the LORD. All receive their reward (see 1 Cor. 12:12 for a NT example of this).
Dedicated workers came from all over. All for the purpose of re-building. They saw the effort that was required, and gave it their all. It is clear that there were some that did more than others, but that does not mean that their efforts were of less value. We need the dedicated worker in all paths of work. It is interesting to note that there were some who decided to repair what was only in front of where they lived and others who clearly had a greater vision. Both are necessary. Their pride in their work of those who chose to work close at home was due to close proximity to where they live. I see this as an echo of the work we do for the LORD today. The work that we do should be closest to where we live. First start in the home and what surrounds your home dwelling, then work your way out - not the opposite. Some have clearly been sent to 'go' and others have clearly been sent to 'stay'. Both are necessary for the LORD's Glory.
No where do we hear that there was a lack of vision. In fact, this chapter is written in such a way that it just seems that all knew what they were supposed to do and did it. I find it interesting that no where do we read that Nehemiah commissioned one person, group or other to their section - each simply knew what they needed to do, and no doubt, Nehemiah was intricately involved in their work, yet also watching from a distance. It is clear that throughout this plan that Nehemiah had, he clearly had a vision and knew what was required for him to complete it the task the LORD gave him to do.
Nehemiah most definitely needed a unified group of people, dedicated to the task of re-building the wall but if he didn't have a vision, the whole plan would have come to nothing. As the writer of Proverbs puts it, Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained (Prov. 29:18). It is an interesting picture - this unrestrained. Eugene Peterson, in The Message paraphrase translates it, If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. If the people who worked on this wall did not submit to the vision that was cast, they literally would stumble all over themselves, but they did not - they accepted their part in the greater picture and internalized the vision that was given.
This, my friends, is a great and lasting picture of who we are in Christ. We all need vision. In this vision, rather than stumbling all over ourselves, we can learn to live and work together for the Glory of the LORD - knowing our part to play in the greater picture of how the LORD has caused all of us to be unified for His purposes and glory.