Nehemiah
Nehemiah 1 Par ▾ 

Nehemiah's Prayer
(2 Kings 25:8-17; Jeremiah 52:12-23)

1These are the words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:

In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah. So I questioned them about the remnant of the Jews who had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3And they told me, “The remnant who survived the exile are there in the province, in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”

4When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

5Then I said:

“I pray, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of loving devotion with those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6may Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear the prayer that I, Your servant, now pray before You day and night for Your servants, the Israelites.

I confess the sins we Israelites have committed against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7We have behaved corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that You gave Your servant Moses.

8Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses when You said, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9but if you return to Me to keep and practice My commandments, then even if your exiles have been banished to the ends of the earth, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name.’

10They are Your servants and Your people. You redeemed them by Your great power and mighty hand. 11O Lord, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to the prayers of Your servants who delight in reverence of Your name. Give Your servant success this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” (For I was the cupbearer to the king.)


Nehemiah 2
Nehemiah 2 Par ▾ 

Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem

1Now in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, 2so the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, though you are not ill? This could only be sadness of the heart.”

I was overwhelmed with fear 3and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

4“What is your request?” replied the king.

So I prayed to the God of heaven 5and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city where my fathers are buried, so that I may rebuild it.”

6Then the king, with the queen seated beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I set a time.

7I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may letters be given to me for the governors west of the Euphrates, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. 8And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house I will occupy.”

And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.

9Then I went to the governors west of the Euphrates and gave them the king's letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.

10But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were deeply disturbed that someone had come to seek the well-being of the Israelites.

Nehemiah Inspects the Walls

11After I arrived in Jerusalem and had been there three days, 12I set out at night with a few men. I did not tell anyone what my God had laid on my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal with me was the one on which I was riding.

13So I went out at night through the Valley Gate toward the Well of the Serpenta and the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and the gates that had been destroyed by fire.

14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to get through; 15so I went up the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I headed back and reentered through the Valley Gate.

16The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, for I had not yet told the Jews or priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work. 17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned down. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”

18I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me, and what the king had said to me.

“Let us start rebuilding,” they replied, and they set their hands to this good work.

19When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about this, they mocked us and ridiculed us, saying, “What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”

20So I answered them and said, “The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success. We, His servants, will start rebuilding, but you have no portion, right, or claim in Jerusalem.”

Footnotes:

13 a Or Dragon or Jackal

Nehemiah 3
Nehemiah 3 Par ▾ 

The Builders of the Walls

1At the Sheep Gate, Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests began rebuilding. They dedicated it and installed its doors. After building as far as the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel, they dedicated the wall. 2The men of Jericho built next to Eliashib, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.

3The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. 4Next to them, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, made repairs; next to him, Meshullam son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs; and next to him, Zadok son of Baana made repairs as well. 5Next to them, the Tekoites made repairs, but their noblesa did not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

6The Jeshanah Gateb was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. 7Next to them, repairs were made by Melatiah the Gibeonite, Jadon the Meronothite, and the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, who were under the authority of the governor of the region west of the Euphrates. 8Next to them, Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs, and next to him, Hananiah son of the perfumer made repairs. They fortified Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.

9Next to them, Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, made repairs; 10next to them, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house; and next to him, Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab made repairs to another section, as well as to the Tower of the Ovens. 12And next to them, Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, made repairs, with the help of his daughters.

13The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it, installed its doors, bolts, and bars, and repaired a thousand cubitsc of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.

14The Dung Gate was repaired by Malchijah son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem, He rebuilt it and installed its doors, bolts, and bars.

15The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallund son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofed it, and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelahe near the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that descend from the City of David.

16Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth-zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Mighty.

17Next to him, the Levites made repairs under Rehum son of Bani, and next to him, Hashabiah, ruler of a half-district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. 18Next to them, their countrymen made repairs under Binnuif son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. 19And next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, made repairs to another section opposite the Ascent to the Armory, near the angle in the wall.

20Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai diligently repaired another section, from the angle to from the doorway of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, made repairs to another section, from the doorway of the house of Eliashib to the end of it. 22And next to him, the priests from the surrounding area made repairs.

23Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house, and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house. 24After him, Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the angle and the corner, 25and Palal son of Uzai made repairs opposite the angle and the tower that juts out from the upper palace of the king near the courtyard of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh 26and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the tower that juts out. 27And next to them, the Tekoites made repairs to another section, from a point opposite the great tower that juts out to the wall of Ophel.

28Above the Horse Gate, each of the priests made repairs in front of his own house. 29Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house, and next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard of the East Gate, made repairs.

30Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, as well as Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, made repairs to another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berechiah made repairs opposite his own quarters. 31Next to him, Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the upper room above the corner. 32And between the upper room above the corner and the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs.

Footnotes:

5 a Or their Lord or the governor
6 b Or Old City Gate
13 c That is, about 1,500 feet or 457 meters
15 d Hebrew; Syriac Shallum
15 e Pool of Shelah is another name for the pool of Siloam
18 f Two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also LXX and Nehemiah 3;24); most Hebrew manuscripts Bavvai

Nehemiah 4
Nehemiah 4 Par ▾ 

The Work is Ridiculed

1Now when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and was filled with indignation. He ridiculed the Jews 2before his associates and the army of Samaria, saying, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore the wall by themselves?a Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?”

3Then Tobiah the Ammonite, who was beside him, said, “If even a fox were to climb up on what they are building, it would break down their wall of stones!”

4Hear us, O God, for we are despised. Turn their scorn back upon their own heads, and let them be taken as plunder to a land of captivity. 5Do not cover up their iniquity or let their sin be blotted out from Your sight, for they have provoked the builders.b

6So we rebuilt the wall until all of it was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

7When Sanballat and Tobiah, together with the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites, heard that the repair to the walls of Jerusalem was progressing and that the gaps were being closed, they were furious, 8and all of them conspired to come and fight against Jerusalem and create a hindrance.

Discouragement Overcome

9So we prayed to our God and posted a guard against them day and night.

10Meanwhile, the people of Judah said:c

“The strength of the laborer fails,

and there is so much rubble

that we will never be able

to rebuild the wall.”

11And our enemies said, “Before they know or see a thing, we will come into their midst, kill them, and put an end to the work.”

12At that time the Jews who lived nearby came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

13So I stationed men behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas. I stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows.

14After I had made an inspection, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

15When our enemies heard that we were aware of their scheme and that God had frustrated it, each of us returned to his own work on the wall. 16And from that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows, and armor.

The officers stationed themselves behind all the people of Judah 17who were rebuilding the wall. The laborers who carried materials worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. 18And each of the builders worked with his sword strapped at his side. But the trumpeter stayed beside me.

19Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “The work is great and extensive, and we are spread out far from one another along the wall. 20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!”

21So we continued the work, while half of the men held spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. 22At that time I also said to the people, “Let every man and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, so that they can stand guard by night and work by day.”

23So neither I nor brothers nor my men nor the guards with me changed out of our clothes; each carried his weapon, even to go for water.d

Footnotes:

2 a Or Will they commit themselves to God?
5 b Or have aroused Your anger before the builders
10 c Or Judah said
23 d Or each carried his weapon in his right hand

Nehemiah 5
Nehemiah 5 Par ▾ 

Nehemiah Defends the Oppressed

1About this time there was a great outcry from the people and their wives against their fellow Jews.

2Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous. We must get grain to eat and live.”

3Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our homes to get grain during the famine.”

4Still others were saying, “We have borrowed money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards. 5We and our children are just like our countrymen and their children, yet we are subjecting our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters are already enslaved, but we are powerless to redeem them because our fields and vineyards belong to others.”

6When I heard their outcry and these complaints, I became extremely angry, 7and after serious thought I rebuked the nobles and officials, saying, “You are exacting usury from your own brothers!”

So I called a large assembly against them 8and said, “We have done our best to buy back our Jewish brothers who were sold to foreigners, but now you are selling your own brothers, that they may be sold back to us!”

But they remained silent, for they could find nothing to say.

9So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our foreign enemies? 10I, as well as my brothers and my servants, have been lending the people money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury. 11Please restore to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses, along with the percentage of the money, grain, new wine, and olive oil that you have been assessing them.”

12“We will restore it,” they replied, “and will require nothing more from them. We will do as you say.”

So I summoned the priests and required of the nobles and officials an oath that they would do what they had promised. 13I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “May God likewise shake out of his House and possession every man who does not keep this promise. May such a man be shaken out and have nothing!”

The whole assembly said, “Amen,” and they praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised.

Nehemiah's Generosity

14Furthermore, from the day King Artaxerxes appointed me to be their governor in the land of Judah, from his twentieth year until his thirty-second year (12 years total), neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor.

15The governors before me had heavily burdened the people, taking from them bread and wine plus forty shekelsa of silver. Their servants also oppressed the people, but I did not do this because of my fear of God. 16Instead, I devoted myself to the construction of the wall, and all my servants were gathered there for the work; we did not acquire any land.

17There were 150 Jews and officials at my table, besides the guests from the surrounding nations 18Each day, one ox, six choice sheep, and some fowl were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine was provided. But I did not demand the food allotted to the governor, because the burden on the people was so heavy.

19Remember me favorably, O my God, for all that I have done for this people.

Footnotes:

15 a That is, about 1 pound or 454 grams

Nehemiah 6
Nehemiah 6 Par ▾ 

Sanballat's Conspiracy

1When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left—though to that time I had not yet installed the doors in the gates— 2Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villagesa on the plainb of Ono.”

But they were planning to harm me.

3So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to go down to you?”

4Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.

5The fifth time, Sanballat sent me this same message by his young servant, who had in his hand an unsealed letter 6that read:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshemc agrees—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and this is why you are building the wall. According to these reports, you are to become their king, 7and you have even appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim on your behalf: ‘There is a king in Judah.’ Soon these rumors will reach the ears of the king. So come, let us confer together.”

8Then I sent him this reply: “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.”

9For they were all trying to frighten us, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will never be finished.”

But now, my God, strengthend my hands.

10Later, I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his house. He said:

“Let us meet at the house of God

inside the temple.

Let us shut the temple doors

because they are coming to kill you—

by night they are coming to kill you!”

11But I replied, “Should a man like me run away? Should one like me go into the temple to save his own life? I will not go!”

12I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would sin by doing as he suggested, so they could give me a bad name in order to discredit me.

14O my God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat for what they have done, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the other prophets who tried to intimidate me.

Completion of the Wall

15So the wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth of Elul. 16When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations feared and were disheartened, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.

17Also in those days, the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came back to them. 18For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, since he was a son-in-law of Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah.

19Moreover, these nobles kept reporting to me Tobiah’s good deeds, and they relayed my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Footnotes:

2 a Or in Kephirim
2 b Or in the valley
6 c Hebrew Gashmu, a variant of Geshem
9 d LXX; Hebrew But now strengthen my hands

Nehemiah 7
Nehemiah 7 Par ▾ 

Securing the City

1When the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed.

2Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. 3And I told them, “Do not open the gates of Jerusalem until the sun is hot. While the guards are on duty, keep the doors shut and securely fastened. And appoint the residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some at their own homes.”

The List of Returning Exiles
(Ezra 2:1-68)

4Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. 5Then my God put into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials, and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. I found the genealogical register of those who had first returned, and I found the following written in it:

6These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar its king. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, 7accompanied by Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

This is the count of the men of Israel:

8the descendants of Parosh, 2,172;

9the descendants of Shephatiah, 372;

10the descendants of Arah, 652;

11the descendants of Pahath-moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab), 2,818;

12the descendants of Elam, 1,254;

13the descendants of Zattu, 845;

14the descendants of Zaccai, 760;

15the descendants of Binnui, 648;

16the descendants of Bebai, 628;

17the descendants of Azgad, 2,322;

18the descendants of Adonikam, 667;

19the descendants of Bigvai, 2,067;

20the descendants of Adin, 655;

21the descendants of Ater (through Hezekiah), 98;

22the descendants of Hashum, 328;

23the descendants of Bezai, 324;

24the descendants of Hariph, 112;

25the descendants of Gibeon, 95;

26the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188,

27the men of Anathoth, 128;

28the men of the family of Beth-azmaveth, 42;

29the men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743;

30the men of Ramah and Geba, 621;

31the men of Michmas, 122;

32the men of Bethel and Ai, 123;

33the men of the other Nebo, 52;

34the descendants of the other Elam, 1,254;

35the descendants of Harim, 320;

36the descendants of Jericho, 345;

37the descendants of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721;

38and the descendants of Senaah, 3,930.

39The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the house of Jeshua), 973;

40the descendants of Immer, 1,052;

41the descendants of Pashhur, 1,247;

42the descendants of Harim, 1,017.

43The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel, through the line of Hodevah), 74.

44The singers:

the descendants of Asaph, 148.

45The gatekeepers:

the descendants of Shallum,

the descendants of Ater,

the descendants of Talmon,

the descendants of Akkub,

the descendants of Hatita,

and the descendants of Shobai,

138 in all.

46The temple servants:

the descendants of Ziha,

the descendants of Hasupha,

the descendants of Tabbaoth,

47the descendants of Keros,

the descendants of Sia,

the descendants of Padon,

48the descendants of Lebanah,

the descendants of Hagabah,

the descendants of Shalmai,

49the descendants of Hanan,

the descendants of Giddel,

the descendants of Gahar,

50the descendants of Reaiah,

the descendants of Rezin,

the descendants of Nekoda,

51the descendants of Gazzam,

the descendants of Uzza,

the descendants of Paseah,

52the descendants of Besai,

the descendants of Meunim,

the descendants of Nephishesim,

53the descendants of Bakbuk,

the descendants of Hakupha,

the descendants of Harhur,

54the descendants of Bazlith,

the descendants of Mehida,

the descendants of Harsha,

55the descendants of Barkos,

the descendants of Sisera,

the descendants of Temah,

56the descendants of Neziah,

the descendants of Hatipha.

57The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of Sotai,

the descendants of Sophereth,

the descendants of Perida,

58the descendants of Jaala,

the descendants of Darkon,

the descendants of Giddel,

59the descendants of Shephatiah,

the descendants of Hattil,

the descendants of Pochereth-hazzebaim,

the descendants of Amon.

60The temple servants and descendants of the servants of Solomon numbered 392 in all.

61The following came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but could not prove that their families were descended from Israel:

62the descendants of Delaiah,

the descendants of Tobiah,

and the descendants of Nekoda,

642 in all.

63And from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah,

the descendants of Hakkoz,

and the descendants of Barzillai (who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name).

64These men searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest to consult the Urim and Thummim.

66The whole assembly numbered 42,360, 67in addition to their 7,337 menservants and maidservants, as well as their 245 male and female singers. 68They had 736 horses, 245 mules,a 69435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

Offerings by the Exiles
(Ezra 2:68-70)

70Some of the heads of the families contributed to the project. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 daricsb of gold, 50 bowls, and 530 priestly garments. 71And some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the project 20,000 daricsc of gold and 2,200 minasd of silver. 72The rest of the people gave a total of 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minase of silver, and 67 priestly garments.

73So the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, and temple servants, along with some of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns. And by the seventh month the Israelites had settled in their towns.

Footnotes:

69 a Compare Ezra 2:66 and the margins of some Hebrew manuscripts; Most Hebrew manuscripts do not include They had 736 horses, 245 mules,
70 b Or drachmas; that is, probably about 18.7 pounds or 8.4 kilograms
71 c Or drachmas; that is, probably about 374 pounds or 168 kilograms; also in verse 72
71 d That is, about 1.35 tons or 1.2 metric tons
72 e That is, about 1.25 tons or 1.1 metric tons

Nehemiah 8
Nehemiah 8 Par ▾ 

Ezra Reads the Law
(Deuteronomy 31:9-13)

1At that time all the people gathered together at the square before the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel.

2On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could listen and understand. 3So Ezra read it aloud from daybreak until noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate, in front of the men and women and those who could understand.

And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

4Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for this occasion. At his right side stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, and at his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

5Ezra opened the book in full view of all the people, since he was standing above them all, and as he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and with their hands uplifted, all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

7The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah—explained the law to the people as they stood in their places. 8So they read from the Book of the Law of God, explaining ita and giving insight, so that the people could understand what was being read.

9Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.”

For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the Law.

10Then Nehemiah told them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send out portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

11And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, since today is holy. Do not grieve.”

12Then all the people began to eat and drink, to send out portions, and to rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that had been made known to them.

The Feast of Tabernacles
(Leviticus 23:33-44)

13On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and Levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to study the words of the Law. 14And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month.

15So they proclaimed this message and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hill country and bring back branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.”b

16And the people went out, brought back branches, and made booths on their own rooftops, in their courtyards, in the court of the house of God, and in the squares by the Water Gate and by the Gate of Ephraim. 17The whole assembly who had returned from exile made booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, they had not celebrated like this. And there was great rejoicing.

18Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. The Israelites kept the feast for seven days, and on the eighth day they held an assembly, according to the ordinance.

Footnotes:

8 a Or translating it, or paragraph by paragraph
15 b See Leviticus 23:37-40

Nehemiah 9
Nehemiah 9 Par ▾ 

The People Confess Their Sins

1On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth, with dust on their heads. 2Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all the foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.

3While they stood in their places, they read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and they spent another quarter of the day in confession and worship of the LORD their God.

4And the Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani—stood on the raised platform and cried out in a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5Then the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting:

‘Blessed be Your glorious name,

and may it be exalted

above all blessing and praise.

6You alone are the LORD.

You created the heavens,

the highest heavens with all their host,

the earth and all that is on it,

the seas and all that is in them.

You give life to all things,

and the heavenly host worships You.

7You are the LORD,

the God who chose Abram,

who brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans

and gave him the name Abraham.

8You found his heart faithful before You,

and made a covenant with him

to give the land

of the Canaanites and Hittites,

of the Amorites and Perizzites,

of the Jebusites and Girgashites,

to give it to his descendants.

You have kept Your promise,

because You are righteous.

9You saw the oppression of our fathers in Egypt;

You heard their cry at the Red Sea.a

10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,

all his officials, and all the people of his land,

for You knew that they had acted with arrogance

against our fathers.

You made a name for Yourself

that endures to this day.

11You divided the sea before them,

and they crossed through it on dry ground.

You hurled their pursuers into the depths

like a stone into raging waters.

12You led them with a pillar of cloud by day,

and a pillar of fire by night,

to light for them the way

which they should travel.

13You came down on Mount Sinai,

and spoke to them from heaven.

You gave them just ordinances, true laws,

and good statutes and commandments.

14You revealed to them Your holy Sabbath,

and gave them commandments

and statutes and laws

through Your servant Moses.

15In their hunger You provided bread from heaven;

in their thirst You brought water from the rock.

You told them to go in and possess the land

which You had sworn to give them.

16But they and our fathers became arrogant and stiff-necked

and did not obey Your commandments.

17They refused to listen and failed to remember

the wonders You performed among them.

They stiffened their necks and appointed a leader

to return them to their bondage.

But You are a forgiving God,

gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in loving devotion,

and You did not forsake them.

18Even after they had cast for themselves

an image of a calf and said,

“This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,”

and they had committed terrible blasphemies,

19You, because of Your great compassion,

did not forsake them in the wilderness.

By day the pillar of cloud never turned away

from guiding them on their path;

and by the night the pillar of fire

illuminated the way they should go.

20You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them.

You did not withhold Your manna from their mouths,

and You gave them water for their thirst.

21For forty years You sustained them in the wilderness,

so that they lacked nothing.

Their clothes did not wear out,

and their feet did not swell.

22You gave them kingdoms and peoples

and allotted to them every corner of the land.

So they took the land of Sihonb king of Heshbon

and of Og king of Bashan.

23You multiplied their descendants

like the stars of heaven

and brought them to the land

You had told their fathers to enter and possess.

24So their descendants went in and possessed the land.

You subdued before them the Canaanites dwelling in the land;

You handed their kings and peoples over to them,

to do with them as they wished.

25They captured fortified cities and fertile land

and took houses full of all goods,

wells already dug,

vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance.

So they ate and were filled;

they grew fat and delighted in Your great goodness.

26But they were disobedient and rebelled against You;

they flung Your law behind their backs.

They killed Your prophets

who had admonished them

to turn back to You.

They committed terrible blasphemies.

27So You delivered them into the hands of their enemies,

who oppressed them.

And in their time of distress, they cried out to You,

and You heard them from heaven.

In Your abundant compassion

You gave them deliverers,

who rescued them

from the hands of their enemies.

28But as soon as they had rest,

they again did evil in Your sight.

So You abandoned them to the hands of their enemies,

who had dominion over them.

When they cried out to You again,

You heard from heaven,

And You delivered them many times

in Your compassion.

29You admonished them to turn back to Your law,

but they were arrogant and disobeyed Your commandments.

They sinned against Your ordinances,

by which a man will live if he practices them.

They stubbornly shrugged their shoulders;

they stiffened their necks and would not obey.

30Yet You were patient with them for many years,

and Your Spirit admonished them through Your prophets,

but they would not listen;

so You gave them into the hands of the people of the land.

31But in Your great compassion,

You did not put an end to them;

nor did You forsake them,

for You are a gracious and compassionate God.

32So now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God

who keeps His gracious covenant,

do not view lightly all the hardships

that has come upon us,

and upon our kings and leaders,

our priests and prophets,

our ancestors and all Your people,

from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.

33You are just in all that has befallen us,

because You have acted faithfully,

while we have acted wickedly.

34Our kings and leaders and priests and fathers

did not obey Your law

or listen to Your commandments

and warnings that You gave them.

35For even while they were in their kingdom,

with the abundant goodness You had given them,

and in the spacious and fertile land You set before them,

they would not serve You or turn from their wicked ways.

36So here we are today,

slaves in the land You gave our fathers

to enjoy its fruit and its goodness.

And here we are as slaves!

37Its abundant harvest goes to the kings

You have set over us because of our sins.

And they rule over our bodies

and our livestock as they please.

We are in great distress.’

38In view of all this, we make a binding agreement, putting it in writing and sealing it with the names ofc our leaders, Levites, and priests.”

Footnotes:

9 a Or the Sea of Reeds
22 b One Hebrew manuscript and LXX; most Hebrew manuscripts Sihon, the country of the
38 c Hebrew does not include the names of

Nehemiah 10
Nehemiah 10 Par ▾ 

Signers of the Covenant

1Now those who sealed the document were:

Nehemiah the governor, son of Hacaliah,

and also Zedekiah,

2Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

3Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,

4Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

5Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

6Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

7Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

8Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah.

These were the priests.

9The Levites:

Jeshua son of Azaniah,

Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,

10and their associates: Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

11Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

12Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

13Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.

14The leaders of the people:

Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

15Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

16Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

17Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

18Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

19Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

20Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

21Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

22Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

23Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

24Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

25Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

26Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,

27Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.

The Vows of the Covenant

28“The rest of the people—the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, and temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the people of the land to obey the law of God—along with their wives and all their sons and daughters who were able to understand, 29hereby join with their noble brothers and commit themselves with a sworn oath to follow the Law of God given through His servant Moses and to carefully obey all the commandments, ordinances, and statutes of the LORD our Lord.

30We will not give our daughters in marriage to the people of the land, and we will not take their daughters for our sons.

31When the people of the land bring merchandise or any kind of grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we will not buy from them on a Sabbath day or holy day. Every seventh year we will let the fields lie fallow, and will cancel every debt.

32We also place ourselves under the obligation to contribute a third of a shekela yearly for the service of the house of our God: 33for the showbread, for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings, for the Sabbath offerings, for the New Moon and appointed feasts, for the holy offerings, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the duties of the house of our God.

34We have cast lots among the priests, Levites, and people for the donation of wood by our families at the appointed times each year. They are to bring it to the house of our God to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the Law.

35We will also bring the firstfruits of our land and of every fruit tree to the house of the LORD year by year. 36And we will bring the firstborn of our sons and our livestock, as it is written in the Law, and will bring the firstborn of our herds and flocks to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God.

37Moreover, we will bring to the priests at the storerooms of the house of our God the firstfruits of our dough, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees, and of our new wine and oil. A tenth of our produce belongs to the Levites, for they should receive tithes in all the towns where we labor. 38A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they collect the tenth, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of these tithes to the storerooms of the treasury in the house of our God. 39For the Israelites and the Levites are to bring the contributions of grain, new wine, and oil to the storerooms where the articles of the sanctuary are kept and where the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers stay.

Thus we will not neglect the house of our God.”

Footnotes:

32 a That is, about 0.13 ounce or 4 grams

Nehemiah 11
Nehemiah 11 Par ▾ 

The New Settlers in Jerusalem

1Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in the holy city of Jerusalem, while the remaining ninea were to dwell in their own cities. 2And the people blessed all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.

3These are the heads of the provinces who settled in Jerusalem (but in the villages of Judah each lived on his own property in their towns—the Israelites, priests, Levites, temple servants, and descendants of Solomon’s servants— 4while some of the descendants of Judah and Benjamin settled in Jerusalem.)

From the descendants of Judah:

Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, a descendant of Perez; 5and Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, a descendant of Shelah. 6The descendants of Perez who settled in Jerusalem totaled 468 men of valor.

7From the descendants of Benjamin:

Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah, 8and his followers Gabbai and Sallai—928 men. 9Joel son of Zichri was the officer over them, and Judah son of Hassenuah was over the city's second district.

10From the priests:

Jedaiah son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the chief official of the house of God, 12and their associates who did the work at the temple—822 men;

Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah 13and his associates, the leaders of families—242 men;

and Amashai son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14and his associatesb —128 mighty warriors. Zabdiel son of Haggedolim was their overseer.

15From the Levites:

Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16Shabbethai and Jozabad, two leaders of the Levites, who supervised the work outside the house of God; 17Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his associates; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18The Levites in the holy city totaled 284.

19And the gatekeepers:

Akkub, Talmon, and their associates, who kept watch at the gates—172 men.

Residents Outside Jerusalem

20The rest of the Israelites, with the priests and Levites, were in all the villages of Judah, each on his own inheritance. 21The temple servants lived on the hill of Ophel, with Ziha and Gishpa over them.

22Now the overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. He was one of Asaph's descendants, who were the singers in charge of the service of the house of God. 23For there was a command from the king concerning the singers, an ordinance regulating their daily activities. 24Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, a descendant of Zerah son of Judah, was the king’s agentc in every matter concerning the people.

25As for the villages with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba, Dibon, and Jekabzeel, and their villages; 26in Jeshua, Moladah, and Beth-pelet; 27in Hazar-shual, in Beersheba and its villages; 28in Ziklag, in Meconah and its villages; 29in En-rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, 30Zanoah, and Adullam, with their villages; in Lachish with its fields and Azekah and its villages. So they settled from Beersheba all the way to the Valley of Hinnom.

31The descendants of Benjamin from Geba lived in Michmash, Aija, and Bethel and its villages, 32Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35Lod, Ono, and in the Valley of the Craftsmen.

36And some divisions of the Levites of Judah settled in Benjamin.

Footnotes:

1 a Hebrew nine hands
14 b Most LXX manuscripts; Hebrew their associates
24 c Hebrew hand

Nehemiah 12
Nehemiah 12 Par ▾ 

The Priests and Levites who Returned

1Now these are the priests and Levites who went up with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Jeshua:

Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,

2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

3Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

4Iddo, Ginnethon,a Abijah,

5Mijamin,b Maadiah, Bilgah,

6Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,

7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah.

These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Jeshua.

8The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who, with his associates, led the songs of thanksgiving. 9Bakbukiah and Unni, their associates, stood across from them in the services.

10Jeshua was the father of Joiakim,

Joiakim was the father of Eliashib,

Eliashib was the father of Joiada,

11Joiada was the father of Jonathan,

and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.

12In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families:

of the family of Seraiah, Meraiah;

of Jeremiah, Hananiah;

13of Ezra, Meshullam;

of Amariah, Jehohanan;

14of Melichu, Jonathan;

of Shebaniah,c Joseph;

15of Harim, Adna;

of Meraioth,d Helkai;

16of Iddo, Zechariah;

of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

17of Abijah, Zichri;

of Minjamin and of Moadiah, Piltai;

18of Bilgah, Shammua;

of Shemaiah, Jonathan;

19of Joiarib, Mattenai;

of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

20of Sallu, Kallai;

of Amok, Eber;

21of Hilkiah, Hashabiah;

and of Jedaiah, Nethanel;

22In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the heads of the families of the Levites and priests were recorded during the reign of Darius the Persian.

23As for the descendants of Levi, the family heads up to the days of Johanan son of Eliashib were recorded in the Book of the Chronicles. 24The leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua son of Kadmiel, along with their associates, who stood across from them to give praise and thanksgiving as one section alternated with the other, as prescribed by David the man of God.

25Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms at the gates. 26They served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest and scribe.

The Dedication of the Wall

27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from all their homes and brought to Jerusalem to celebrate the joyous dedication with thanksgiving and singing, accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28The singers were also assembled from the region around Jerusalem, from the villages of the Netophathites, 29from Beth-gilgal, and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for they had built villages for themselves all around Jerusalem. 30After the priests and Levites had purified themselves, they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

31Then I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and I appointed two great thanksgiving choirs. One was to proceed alonge the top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. 32Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed, 33along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35and some of the priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 36and his associates—Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani—with the musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. Ezra the scribe led the procession. 37At the Fountain Gate they climbed the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the house of David to the Water Gate on the east.

38The second thanksgiving choir proceeded to the left, and I followed it with half the people along the topf of the wall, past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 39over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate,g the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. And they stopped at the Gate of the Guard.

40The two thanksgiving choirs then stood in the house of God, as did I, along with the half of the officials accompanying me, 41as well as the priests with their trumpets—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah— 42and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. Then the choirs sang out under the direction of Jezrahiah.

43On that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.

Provisions for Temple Worship

44And on that same day men were appointed over the rooms that housed the supplies, contributions, firstfruits, and tithes. The portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites were gathered into these storerooms from the fields of the villages, because Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who were serving.

45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, along with the singers and gatekeepers, as David and his son Solomon had prescribed. 46For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there were directors for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

47So in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the singers and gatekeepers. They also set aside daily portions for the Levites, and the Levites set aside daily portions for the descendants of Aaron.

Footnotes:

4 a Many Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also Nehemiah 12:16); most Hebrew manuscripts Ginnethoi
5 b Mijamin is a variant of Miniamin; compare Nehemiah 12:17
14 c Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, some LXX manuscripts and Syriac (see also Nehemiah 12:3)
15 d Hebrew; some LXX manuscripts (see also Nehemiah 12:3) Meramoth
31 e Or go alongside, Or proceed alongside
38 f Or alongside
39 g Or the Old Gate

Nehemiah 13
Nehemiah 13 Par ▾ 

Foreigners Excluded

1At that time the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people, and in it they found the passage stating that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2because they had not met the Israelites with food and water, but had hired Balaam to call down a curse against them (although our God had turned the curse into a blessing).

3As soon as the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all of foreign descent.

The Temple Cleansed

4Now before this, Eliashib the priest, a relative of Tobiah, had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God 5and had prepared for Tobiah a large room where they had previously stored the grain offerings, the incense, the temple articles, and the tithes of grain, new wine, and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, along with the contributions for the priests.

6While all this was happening, I was not in Jerusalem, because I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign. Some time later I obtained leave from the king 7to return to Jerusalem. Then I discovered the evil that Eliashib had done on behalf of Tobiah by providing him a room in the courts of the house of God.

8And I was greatly displeased and threw all of Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9Then I ordered that the rooms be purified, and I had the articles of the house of God restored to them, along with the grain offerings and incense.

Tithes Restored
(Leviticus 27:30-34; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Deuteronomy 26:1-15)

10I also learned that because the portions for the Levites had not been given them, all the Levites and singers responsible for performing the service had gone back to their own fields. 11So I rebuked the officials and asked, “Why has the house of God been neglected?”

Then I gathered the Levites and singers together and stationed them at their posts, 12and all Judah brought a tenth of the grain, new wine, and oil into the storerooms. 13I appointed as treasurers over the storerooms Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, with Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, to assist them, because they were considered trustworthy. They were responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites.

14Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out my deeds of loving devotion for the house of my God and for its services.

The Sabbath Restored

15In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them against selling food on that day. 16Additionally, men of Tyre who lived there were importing fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerusalem.

17Then I rebuked the nobles of Judah and asked, “What is this evil you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day? 18Did not your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this disaster on us and on this city? And now you are rekindling His wrath against Israel by profaning the Sabbath!”

19When the evening shadows began to fall on the gates of Jerusalem, just before the Sabbath, I ordered that the gates be shut and not opened until after the Sabbath. I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no goods could enter on the Sabbath day.

20Once or twice, the merchants and those who sell all kinds of goods camped outside Jerusalem, 21but I warned them, “Why are you camping in front of the wall? If you do it again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on, they did not return on the Sabbath. 22Then I instructed the Levites to purify themselves and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Remember me for this as well, O my God, and show me mercy according to Your abundant loving devotion.

Intermarriage Forbidden
(Ezra 9:1-4)

23In those days I also saw Jews who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or of the other peoples, but could not speak Hebrew. 25I rebuked them and called down curses on them. I beat some of these men and pulled out their hair.

Then I made them take an oath before God and said: “You must not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters as wives for your sons or for yourselves! 26Did not King Solomon of Israel sin in matters like this? There was not a king like him among many nations. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, yet foreign women drew him into sin. 27Why should we now hear that you too are doing all this terrible evil and acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?”

28Even one of the sons of Jehoiada son of Eliashib the high priest had become a son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I drove him away from me.

29Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.

30Thus I purified the priests and Levites from everything foreign, and I assigned specific duties to each of the priests and Levites. 31I also arranged for contributions of wood at the appointed times, and for the firstfruits.

Remember me, O my God, with favor.



The Berean Bible (www.Berean.Bible) Berean Study Bible (BSB) © 2016, 2018 by Bible Hub and Berean.Bible. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved. Free downloads and licensing available. See also the Berean Literal Bible and Berean Interlinear Bible.

Bible Hub

Ezra
Top of Page
Top of Page