A response and reply to the notes on Nehemiah 7 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,

2
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace,
charge over Jerusalem: for he *was* a faithful man, and feared God
above many.

3
And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be
opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the
doors, and bar *them:* and appoint watches of the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one *to be* over against
his house.

4
Now the city *was* large and great: but the people
*were* few therein, and the houses *were* not builded.

5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,

6
These *are* the children of the province, that
went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to
Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;

This list was made in Babylon, of the people who said
they would go. But not all of them arrived in Jerusalem, either because
they changed their mind, or they died before arriving, see Ezra 2:5.

7
Who came with
Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, PrAzariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan,
Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, *I say,* of the men of
the people of Israel *was this; *

8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.

9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.

10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.

(7:10-62)
Here we find the same long, boring list that is given in the second chapter of Ezra. The only
interesting thing about these two lists is that they directly
contradict one another. For instance, Neh.7:10 says that 652 children of Arah returned
from captivity in Babylon, while Ezra
2:5 says that 775 of them returned. There are 15 similar
contradictions between the two accounts.

(7:10) How many of children of Arah returned from Babylon?

(7:11) of Pahathmoab, Jeshua, and Joab?

(7:13) of Zattu?

(7:15) of Binnui?

(7:16) of Bebai?

(7:17) of Azgad?

(7:18) of Adonikam?

(7:19) of Bigvai?

(7:20) of Adin?

(7:10) How many of children of Arah returned from Babylon?

(7:11) of Pahathmoab, Jeshua, and Joab?

(7:13) of Zattu?

(7:15) of Binnui?

(7:16) of Bebai?

(7:17) of Azgad?

(7:18) of Adonikam?

(7:19) of Bigvai?

(7:20) of Adin?

See Ezra 2:5.

11
The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab,
two thousand and eight hundred *and* eighteen.

12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.

14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.

15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.

16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.

17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.

18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.

19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.

20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.

21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.

22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.

24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.

25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.

26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.

(7:26) of Bethlehem?

See Ezra 2:5.

27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.

28 The men of Beth- azmaveth, forty and two.

29 The men of Kirjath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.

30 The men of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.

31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.

32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.

Joshua 8:28 says that Ai was never again
occupied after it was destroyed by Joshua. But this verse lists it
among the cities of Israel at the time of the Babylonian
captivity.

See Jos. 8:28.

33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.

34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.

36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.

37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.

See Ezra 2:5.

39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.

40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.

41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.

42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

43
The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, *and* of the
children of Hodevah, seventy and four.

44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.

See Ezra 2:5.

45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.

(7:45) of the porters?

See Ezra 2:5.

46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,

48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,

49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,

50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,

51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,

52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,

53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,

56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

57 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,

58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.

60
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants,
*were* three hundred ninety and two.

61
And these *were* they
which went up *also* from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and
Immer: but they could not shew their father’s house, nor their seed, whether
they *were* of Israel.

62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.

(7:62) of Delaiah?

See Ezra 2:5.

63
And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the
children of Barzillai, which took *one* of the daughters of Barzillai
the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.

64
These sought
their register *among* those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it
was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.

65
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most
holy things, till there stood *up* a priest with Urim and Thummim.

The Urim and Thummim were like the
two sides a magic coin that could be flipped to to give a yes or no
answer to any question. They were also what
Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon.

See Ex. 28:30.

66
The whole congregation together *was* forty and two thousand
three hundred and threescore,

(7:8-62, 66)
Here we are told that the whole congregation totaled 42,360. But if
we just total up the numbers given in Neh.7:8-62 we come up with
only 31,089.

It would be illogical to accuse Nehemiah of giving an
incorrect total, if he does not attempt to give an exact number for
every individual item he mentions. And indeed, Nehemiah gives here the
total, but does not give exact numbers for every item he mentions. For
example in verse verse 63 a group of people is
mentioned, without giving their individual numbers. And there might be
more groups, perhaps individuals or groups without an important or
recognized father.

67
Beside their manservants and their
maidservants, of whom *there were* seven thousand three hundred thirty
and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing
women.

See Ezra 2:5.

68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:

69
*Their* camels, four hundred thirty and
five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.

70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments.

71
And *some* of the chief of the fathers
gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two
thousand and two hundred pounds of silver.

72
And *that* which the
rest of the people gave *was* twenty thousand drams of gold, and two
thousand pounds of silver, and threescore and seven priests’ garments.

Nehemiah says the people
gave 20,000 drams of gold, 2000 pounds of silver, and 67 priestly
garments. Yet in Ezra 2:29 these
values are given as 1060, 5000, and 100, respectively.

How much gold, silver, and clothing did the people give?

How much gold, silver, and clothing did the people give?

See Ezra 2:69.

73
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and
*some* of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their
cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel *were*
in their cities.