Verses 1-3 – The wall was complete. Then Nehemiah assigned each family the task of protecting the section of wall next to their home.
City gates were usually opened at Sunrise, enabling merchants to enter and set up their tent-stores. Nehemiah didn’t want Jerusalem to be caught off guard by an enemy attack, so he ordered the gates to remain closed to well after the sunrise, when the people would be fully alert.
Verses 4, 5 – During the previous 80 years, thousands had returned from Babylon, but the city’s population was still small. The solution of protecting Jerusalem with such a small number of people came to Nehemiah when God placed in his heart the idea of an accurate census. Nehemiah found the genealogical records in the temple. They were identical to what Ezra had written.
Verse 61 – Genealogies were valued because they meant proof that the Jew was a descendant of Abraham. A lost genealogy put one’s status as a Jew at risk.