6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Nethinim


Given, or consecrated, a term first applied to the Levites, Nu 8:19; but after the settlement in Canaan, to servants dedicated to the service of the tabernacle and temple, to perform the most laborious offices, as carrying of wood and water. At first the Gibeonites were destined to this station, Jg 9:27; afterwards, other Canaanites who surrendered themselves, and whose lives were spared. Many of them appear to have been first assigned to David, Solomon, and other princes, and by them transferred to the temple service, 1Ki 9:20-21; Ezr 2:58,70; 8:20; Ne 11:3. It is probable that they became proselytes, Ne 10:28, and that many of them could cordially unite with David in saying, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness," Ps 84:10. The Nethinim were carried into captivity with the tribe of Judah, and great numbers were placed not far from the Caspian sea, whence Ezra brought two hundred and twenty of them into Judea, Ezr 8:17.

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the name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s", "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s" (Ezr 2:70; 7:7,24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Jos 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezr 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezr 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (Ezr 2:43; Ne 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.

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("given".) Ne 11:21; Ezr 2:43; 7:24; 8:17,20; 1Ch 9:2. Servants of the temple (Josephus uses of them the name given to the slaves attached to the Greek temples, hiero douloi, Ant. 11:5, section 1). So the Levites were "given" (nethunim) unto Jehovah instead of the firstborn, and by Jehovah "given" to Aaron (see Nu 3:9; 8:16-19). (See LEVITES.) Nethinim occurs only in the later books: Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. To the Levites 320 of the Midianite captives were given, and 32 to the priests ( Nu 31:40,42,47). To these slaves doubtless the Levites and priests assigned the more laborious work of the tabernacle service. The Gibeonites similarly, having obtained by craft a covenant from Joshua (Jos 9:9,27), "because of the name" and "fame of Jehovah, Israel's God," were made "hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and altar."

The Nethinim were their successors; a larger number of servants of the sanctuary being needed when David was reorganizing the worship, he and the princes "appointed" (Hebrew, "gave") Nethinim for the service of the Levites (Ezr 8:20), probably from the prisoners taken in war, upon their embracing the worship of Jehovah. The foreign or Canaanite names confirm this view: "Mehunim, Nephusim, and the children of Sisera" (Ezr 2:43-54). So "Solomon's servants" (Ezr 2:55; Ne 7:60), those "left of the Amorites, Hittites ... upon whom he levied a tribute of bond service" (1Ki 9:20). The rabbis represent them as having no right of intermarriage with Israelites (Gemara Babyl., Jebam. ii. 4, Kiddusch. iv. 1, Carpsov. App. Crit. de Neth.); below the children of "mixed marriages" (mamzerim), but above proselytes fresh from paganism and emancipated slaves.

But when the Levites were slow in coming forward at the return from Babylon, 341 only under Zerubbabel as contrasted with 4,289 priests (Ezr 2:36-58) and none under Ezra until especially called (Ezr 8:15,17,20), the Nethinim became more conspicuous, 392 under Zerubbabel, 220 under Ezra, "all expressed by name," registered after the Levites (1Ch 9:2) and admitted to join the covenant (Ne 10:28, compare De 29:11). (See LEVITES.) Exempted from taxation by Artaxerxes (Ezr 7:24). Ophel and the Levite cities were their dwelling place, and they had their own rulers (Ezr 2:70; Ne 11:21). Josephus (B.J. ii. 17, section 6) mentions "a feast of carrying wood", xylophoria, in which all the people brought wood for the sacrifices of the year, probably relieving the Nethinim; its beginning may be traced in Ne 10:34.

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The word is a late form of a passive participle n?th

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Name, signifying 'given, devoted ones,' applied to those who assisted the Levites in the service of the tabernacle and the temple. The name does not occur until 1Ch 9:2, and afterwards in Ezra and Nehemiah. The Gibeonites were made "hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar." Jos 9:27. These are not mentioned after 2 Samuel, so that they and their descendants may have been the 'Nethinim.' It does not appear that God appointed them, as He did the Levites, but 'David and the princes' appointed them 'for the service of the Levites.' Ezr 8:20. Some of the Midianite captives were also given to the Levites. Nu 31:46-47. After the return from exile the Nethinim are called the 'ministers of this house of God.' They were, along with the priests and Levites, exempt from 'toll, tribute, or custom.' Ezr 7:24. A list of them is given in Ezr 2:43-54; Ne 7:46-56,60; 10:28; etc.

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(given, dedicated), As applied specifically to a distinct body of men connected with the services of the temple, this name first meets us in the later books of the Old Testament-- in 1 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, The word and the ideas embodied in it may, however, be traced to a much earlier period. As derived from the verb nathan, i.e. give, set apart, dedicate, it was applied to those who were pointed to the liturgical offices of the tabernacle. We must not forget that the Levites were given to Aaron and his sons, i.e. to the priests as an order, and were accordingly the first Nethinim.

Nu 3:9; 8:19

At first they were the only attendants, and their work must have been laborious enough. The first conquests, however, brought them their share of the captive slaves of the Midianites and 320 were given to them as having charge of the tabernacle,

Nu 31:47

while 32 only were assigned specially to the priests. This disposition to devolve the more laborious offices of their ritual upon slaves of another race showed itself again in the treatment of the Gibeonites. No addition to the number thus employed pears to have been mad ring the period of the judges, and they continued to be known by their own name as the Gibeonites. Either the massacre at Nob had involved the Gibeonites as well as the priests,

1Sa 22:19

or else they had fallen victims to some other outburst of Saul's fury; and though there were survivors,

2Sa 21:2

the number was likely to be quite inadequate for the greater stateliness of the new worship at Jerusalem. It is to this period accordingly that the origin of the class bearing this name may be traced. The Nethinim were those "whom David and the princes appointed (Heb. gave) for the service of the Levites."

Ezr 8:20

At this time the Nethinim probably lived within the precincts of the temple, doing its rougher work and so enabling the Levites to take a higher position as the religious representatives and instructors of the people. The example set by David was followed by his successor.

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