Who Are The Nethinims?
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 that 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.