Who Are The Nethinim?

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 8 – 9

As I was reeading today’s passage, I was caught by the name used in verse 2 of chapter 9, Nethinims:

Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims. (1Chronicles 9:2)

I decided to do a little study on these people and I discovered that the Nethinims were a group of people that were actually slaves or servants to the Israelites. The Gibeonites were such a people (see Joshua 9). Apparently these folks were assigned to serve the Levites in the temple. These folks are mentioned by name several times, but only in two other books of the Bible: Ezra, and Nehemiah. It is apparent that the Books of the Chronicles were actually written after the captivity years, and may have actually been written by Ezra. Nevertheless, it appears that these Nethenims existed as bondservants  before the captivity, early in Israel’s history; and then chose to retain their position as servants in the temple when the Israelites returned to the land from Persia.

These Nethenims must have been a dedicated people to willingly be slaves to the God of Israel and servants to the Levites in His temple. I would like to be that kind of a servant; not the guy with the robes on who is always in front of the people but the guy who just loves and humbly serves the Lord, the Lord’s House, and the Lord’s people. Would to God we had more Nethenims today in our churches who are willing to work behind the scenes; people who are willing to quietly serve the Lord without the applause and honor of men.


Posted in Devotions by with 14 comments.


  • Rich Frick says:

    Most of us do stuggle with not looking for that pat on the back. I think people look for it because it makes them feel important or needed. I am learning just to do things just because you want to please the Lord.

  • Samantha Schanck says:

    If there was no light at the end of the tunnel, do you really think people would want to get to the other side? Unless there is a reward or idolization by others most people are not interested. However, the Nethinims have the idea of the greatest reward of them all; knowing they are doing their best to serve God. Although most people like to have a materialistic reward, the more I think about it the more unnecessary it is. As long as your doing right by God, it doesnt matter what others see.

  • dennis cogle says:

    these Nethinims where trying to take over.
    the priests got lazy an let the Nethinims
    do there job.
    By the time Jesus was hear the priest where Nethinims or Kenites (son of Cain)
    the son of Satan.

    • Chris says:

      Indeed, it is quite possible that the Nethinim were descendants of the Gibeonites as well as possibly other tribes. But certainly, regardless of their heritage, they were originally enemies of God who were taken as what equates to temple slaves. If they were indeed the Gibeonites, then this was intentional on their part.

      Additionally, the Nethinim were almost certainly absorbed into the priesthood and very likely did make up at least a part of the Pharisees and other priests during Jesus’ time.

      Which seems all the more telling when Jesus accuses the Pharisees of being descended from Satan (John 8:44).

      However, the overall message of the above Devotion is no less true. We should all seek to serve in humility, thankful for what little God has already given us, and praying and seeking for more. Knowledge, that is.

      • Sherri says:

        Thank you for being the voice of reason in all of this and for doing your homework. There is no ‘s’ on the word nethenim because the ‘im’ on the end of a hebrew word is the plural form.

  • do you realize says:

    wake up read your bible entirely the nethinims were very evil they committed the worst case of identity theft in God’s temple posing as Jews and high priest… some of them are modern day Rabbi’s that continue to keep God’s people in ignorance and from believing in Jesus Christ the son of the living God

    when you understand actually Jesus exposed these people that crucified him of the so called Jewish council…. that actually sat on Jewish priest and Rabbi council were imposters (nethinims)yes people those so called Jewish priest had not one drop of Abrahams blood in them..
    Levites were the only chosen by God to serve in his temple..over time Former slaves(nethinims/) actually bred like freaking rabbits and took over the priesthood and high council positions and duties in the Jewish temple

    Read Ezra ch 8

    nethinims took over the preisthood they outnumbered the Levites (who were to be the only servers of Gods house..) you had evil decendants of satan himself in places of Gods temple and in power.. and the Jewish people did not know it.. Jesus tells you they sit in the seat of Moses Mathew 23:2
    Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

    All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

    But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

    And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

    But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

    And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

    Now read Revelation Jesus tells you they are imposters

    Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

    Revelation 2:9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan

  • dennis cogle says:

    Not all Israelite are Jews or of the Jewish faith. Not all Jews or of the Jewish faith are Israelite.
    Read (Rev 1:20) , (Rev 2:1-29) , (Rev 3:1-22) ” the seven churches”
    God was only happy of 2 churches. Do you go to a church that teach who the Kenites and the Nethinims are?
    Kenites : (1Ch 2:55) where scribes for Judah.
    Kenites is the name of the posterity of Cain the first murderer.
    PHARISEES AND SADDUCEE These sects had no existence, as such, till the return from Babylon.
    No proof they were a Levite or even a Israelite.
    Annas was appointed high priest by Quirinus, the imperial governor of Syria.
    Caiaphas the High priests was of the sect of the Sadducees . Valerius Gratus, appointed him to the dignity not God.
    In (Mat 23:2) Jesus was not talking to just the Nethinims but also the kenites.

    Read the parable of the tares. In (Mat 13:24-30) But really read an study where Jesus tells the disciples what it means in (Mat 13:36-43).
    The sons of Satan is the Kenites.

    • Robert Berentz says:

      Were not these people also the Priest of Baal who introduced the wearing of black robes .. the gang colors of Satan? Baby killers and whore mongers in the church. Look at who wear these colors today. Black and red. They can not look up when they pray.

  • Virginia Jones says:

    Great article! I had questions about who they were. I kept seeing them in the books of 2nd Chronicles and Ezra. I think I would like to do more reading on them.

  • Sandy says:

    Wow! Thank you. You saved me a lot of research. And yes, may God give all his people servants heart’s.

  • John P. says:

    I believe the research to be wrong. The bible is clear about who they are. Why wonder?

  • Natalie :) says:

    Wow, I was just reading about the Nethinim in the book of Ezra.
    The back and forth of people’s opinions can really confuse people I thank God for the Holy Spirit. Who leads us and guide us into all truth. I do thank you for all your opinions, it was really helpful and thank you for being Bereans.

  • scott says:

    wow. some of u people have really done your homework. it makes me very happy to know there are some actual Bible studying Christians out there in these difficult end times. when we read supposedly scholarly articles written by mainstream Christianity regarding the nethinims the only people mentioned are the gibeonites. this is untrue. the gibeonites were taken in to Temple service by the Israelites but we also find that the kenites found their way in somehow as well. it is not clear as to how the kenites got in and became water haulers and wood cutters for the priests but it is VERY clear that they did. it is also clear that they were not fully purged from the priesthood and remained there…..eventually becoming scribes and priests themselves…..which means they eventually became the pharisees sadducees and sanhedrin in the days that Christ walked the earth in His fleshly body. for proof of this i give u this Verse…..1 Chronicles 2:55. if u look up that one Verse u will find that the kenites WERE scribes within the Israelite priesthood. how they got in is not nearly as important as knowing that indeed they did get in. this proof is irrefutable. now then…..simply look up the word ‘kenite’ in your strongs concordance…..and the words related meanings. youll find that the kenites were indeed the literal sons of satan. so…..we have the literal sons of satan infiltrating the priesthood of Israel…..and they eventually became the chief priests and sit in the seat of Moses even until the last days of this earth age. Moses was ruler and leader over Israel. get it? the sons of satan rule over Israel even until the very last day of this earth age. right up till the 7th trump.

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