-The priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel and Jeshua were listed including Ezra and other important men in the first 21 verses. The chief Levites are then given honor as being registered (Nehemiah 12:22-26). The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem is then discussed. They sought out Levites from all their places in the surrounding region, and they were brought to Jerusalem for the mega-celebration that was about to take place. This dedication to the LORD their God was received with great gladness, hymns of thanksgiving, and songs accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres. The Levites purified themselves and all the people along with the gates and the wall in preparation for this monumental event in their national history (Nehemiah 12:27-30).
-At this point Nehemiah had the leaders of Judah come up on top of the wall and two great choirs were appointed. The first choir proceeded to the right on top of the wall toward the Refuse Gate. Half the leaders, including a man named Hoshaiah, followed this first choir. Some of the sons of the priests went with trumpets and some of the instruments of David, “the man of God.” Ezra the scribe went before them. At the Fountain Gate they went directly up the steps of the city of David by the stairway of the wall, which was above the house of David, and then they proceeded to the Water Gate on the east. The second choir proceeded to the left, with Nehemiah following them, and half the people were on the wall above the Tower of Furnaces all the way to the Broad Wall and above the Gate of Ephraim, by the Old Gate, by the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred, the Sheep Gate, and the Gate of the Guard. “Then the two choirs took their stand in the House of God,” so did Nehemiah and half the officials with him. A listing of priests sang with Jezrahiah, their leader. “And on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.” On that day men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, and the tithes to gather into this holy place from the fields of the cities according to the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites; “for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served.” These men performed the worship of their God and the service of purification along with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and his son, Solomon. In the days of King David and the worship leader, Asaph, which were ancient times some 500 or so years prior, there were leaders of the singers who sang songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God. “So all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah gave the portions due the singers and the gatekeepers as each day required, and set apart the consecrated portion for the Levites, and the Levites set apart the consecrated portion for the sons of Aaron (Nehemiah 12:31-47).”
*Application* This was an awesome time of praise and worship as we can imagine. Times of rejoicing lead to great generosity and sharing of the blessings God has provided. A giving heart is seen all throughout these verses as people come together to declare the mighty worth of God and live in His glory. We can practice this as well in our homes, churches, and communities. Sing with all our heart, rejoice with the joy of the LORD, and give abundantly. Let the world know we have a Savior!
Verse to Memorize: Nehemiah 12:43