Now these are the priests - Not the whole, but the chief of them, as we are informed, Nehemiah 12:7, Nehemiah 12:22, Nehemiah 12:23, and Nehemiah 12:24. The Septuagint omit Nehemiah 12:3, except the word Shechaniah; as also Nehemiah 12:4, Nehemiah 12:5, Nehemiah 12:6, Nehemiah 12:9, Nehemiah 12:37, Nehemiah 12:38, Nehemiah 12:39, Nehemiah 12:40, and Nehemiah 12:41. The Arabic omits the first twenty-six verses, and Nehemiah 12:29. Mention is made of Ezra in this verse; and he is generally allowed to be that Ezra whose book the reader has already passed over, and who came to Jerusalem in the time of Cyrus, with Zerubbabel. If this were the same, he must have been at this time upward of a hundred years of age: and this case is not improbable, as an especial providence might preserve such a very useful man beyond the ordinary age of men. See what has been said on the case of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 1:1; (note).
The priests - The number of the names here given, which is 22, is probably to be connected with that of the Davidic “courses,” which was 24 1 Chronicles 24:7-18. Eight names are identical with those of the heads in David‘s time. On comparing the present list with that of the families who sealed to Nehemiah‘s covenant Nehemiah 10:2-8, we shall find that the first sixteen recur in that document nearly in the same order; but that the last six are absent from it. It would seem that as these six declined to seal to Nehemiah‘s covenant, they were placed below the rest here in a sort of supplementary list. Note especially the “and” which connects the second part of the lists with the earlier part, both in Nehemiah 12:6 and in Nehemiah 12:19.