So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
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According to the Hebrews, the month of Elul is the sixth month of the year, which is called September by the Romans. And it is right that the wall of the holy city is completed in the sixth month of the year, so that by this number the perfected action of the faithful, whether penitents or the innocent, might also be designated. For the perfection of a good work is usually designated by the number six, either because the Lord completed the creation of the world on the sixth day and rested on the seventh or because he wished us to sweat with good actions within the six ages of this world but to hope for a sabbath rest for our souls in the seventh, which comes in the next life. It is rightly completed on the twentyfifth day of that same month, namely, on account of the five bodily senses, by the aid of which we ought to do good works outwardly: for just as the simple number five is often a figure of these senses, so when this is multiplied by itself to make twentyfive it designates these...
Elul, the last of the civil year, corresponding with our August and September, when the walls were dedicated, chap. xii. 27.
Days. Josephus ( xi. 5.) says, "two years and three (Greek four) months "(Haydock) had been spent in perfecting the work. (Cajetan)
Others date from the reception of the letter, ver. 5. (Vatable)
But the work only lasted the time here specified, as the materials were at hand, and some of the walls were standing, while the rocks defended other parts; and the city was not then so large as it was afterwards. (Calmet)
The whole people wrought almost day and night, and Nehemias encouraged them with all his power. (Tirinus)
Thus Alexander the Great built the walls of New Alexandria, on the Tanais, 60 stadia, or near 6000 paces (Calmet) long, in less than twenty days; (Tirinus) and Cæsar perfected other works, before Alise, with equal expedition. (Bel. Gal. i., and vii.)
The Romans, at the last siege of Jerusalem, surrounded the city with a wall 5000 paces long, a...