Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in the fortress-city of Shushan,
2that Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah, he and certain men. And I asked them about the Jews who had escaped and survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem.
3And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great affliction and reproach. Also, the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.”
“I beg you, Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and covenant faithfulness with those who love him and keep his commandments:
6let your ear now be attentive and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant that I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel that we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned.
7We have dealt very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, or the statutes, or the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses.
8“Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples;
9but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there.’
10“Now these are your servants and your people whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.
11Lord, I beg you, let your ear be attentive now to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant this day and grant him mercy in the presence of this man.”
Now I was cupbearer to the king.
1It came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad before in his presence.
2The king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart.”
Then I was very much afraid.
3I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates have been consumed with fire?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
7Moreover I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors beyond the River, so that they will let me pass through until I come to Judah,
8and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house that I will occupy.” The king granted my requests, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
9Then I came to the governors beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen.
10When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that a man had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
11So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days.
12I arose in the night, I and some few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem, nor was there any animal with me except the animal that I rode on.
13I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal’s well and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down, and its gates that had been consumed by fire.
14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass.
15Then went I up in the night by the ravine and viewed the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.
16The rulers did not know where I went or what I did, nor had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work.
17Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste and its gates are burned with fire. Come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”
18I told them of the gracious hand of my God that had been upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me.
They said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.
19But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian heard it, they ridiculed us and spoke of us with contempt, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?”
1Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and hung its doors. They dedicated the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.
2Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri.
3The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and hung its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
4Next to them, Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz made repairs. Next to them, Meshullam the son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel made repairs. Next to them, Zadok the son of Baana made repairs.
5Next to them, the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their necks to the work of their lords.
6Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate. They laid its beams, and hung its doors, and its bolts, and its bars.
7Next to them, Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor of the province beyond the River.
8Next to him, Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him, Hananiah one of the perfumers made repairs, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
9Next to them, Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs.
10Next to them, Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him, Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs.
11Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab repaired another portion, and the Tower of the Ovens.
12Next to him, Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters made repairs.
13Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it and hung its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and 1,000 cubitsa of the wall to the Dung Gate.
14Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate. He built it and hung its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
15Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it and covered it, and hung its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah by the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David.
16After him, Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and to the House of the Warriors.
17After him, the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani made repairs. Next to him, Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district.
18After him, their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs.
19Next to him, Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another portion, across from the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall.
20After him, Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
21After him, Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
22After him, the priests, the men of the Plain, made repairs.
23After them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs across from their house. After them, Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah made repairs beside his own house.
24After him, Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner.
25Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king that is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs.
26And the temple servants living in Ophel made repairs as far as the place opposite the Water Gate toward the east, and the tower that projects out.
27After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, opposite the great tower that projects out and as far as the wall of Ophel.
28Above the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each one across from his own house.
29After them, Zadok the son of Immer made repairs across from his own house. After him, Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs.
30After him, Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another portion.
After him, Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs across from his own quarters.
31After him, Malchijah one of the goldsmiths made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, across from the Gate of Hammiphkad, and as far as the upper room of the corner.
32Between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.
1But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
2He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, since they are burned?”
3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, “What they are building, if a fox climbed up it, he would break down their stone wall.”
4“Hear, our God, for we are despised; and turn back their reproach on their own head, give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity;
5do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before you, for they have insulted the builders.”
7But it came to pass that when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be filled, then they were very angry;
8and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.
9But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night because of them.
“The strength of the those who carry burdens is fading,
and there is much rubbish,
so that we are not able
to build the wall.”
11Our adversaries said, “They will not know nor see until we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.”
12It came to pass that when the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us ten times from all places, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13Therefore I set men behind the wall at the lowest points, at the exposed places of the space; I set the people according to their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14I looked, and rose up and said to the nobles and to the rulers and to 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 houses.”
15It came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, everyone to his work.
16It came to pass from that time forth that half of my servants worked in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17They all built the wall and those who carried burdens loaded themselves; everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon,
18and the builders, everyone wore his sword at his side, and so built. He who sounded the shofar was by me.
19I said to the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and large, and we are separated on the wall one far from another.
20Wherever you hear the sound of the shofar, rally there to us. Our God will fight for us.”
21So we worked in the work, and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared.
22Likewise at the same time said I to the people, “Let everyone with his servant lodge inside Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us and may labor in the day.”
23So neither I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes. Everyone took his weapon to the water.
1Then there arose a great cry out of the people and out of their wives against their brothers the Jews.
2For there were that said, “We, our sons and our daughters, are many. Let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”
3Some also there were that said, “We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses. Let us get grain because of the famine.”
4There were also some who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute using our fields and our vineyards as collateral.
5Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children. Behold, we bring into slavery our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. Nor is it in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”
6I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
7Then I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, “You exact usury, every one of his brother.” I held a great assembly against them.
8I said to them, “We, after our ability, have redeemed our brothers the Jews that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us?” Then they held their peace and found never a word.
9Also I said, “The thing that you do is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies?
10I likewise, my brothers and my servants, lend them money and grain. Please let us stop this usury.
11Please restore to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil that you are charging them.”
Then I called the priests and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise.
13Also I shook out my lap, and said, “So may God shake out every man from his house and from his labor that doesn’t perform this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied.”
All the assembly said, “Amen,” and praised Yahweh. The people did according to this promise.
14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the 32nd year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, 12 years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.
15But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people, but I didn’t do so, because of the fear of God.
16Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land, and all my servants were gathered there to the work.
17Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, 150 men besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us.
18Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I did not demand the bread of the governor, because the burden on the people was so heavy.
1Now it came to pass when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates)
2that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to harm me.
3I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease, while I leave it and come down to you?”
4They sent to me four times after this sort, and I answered them the same way.
5Then Sanballat sent his servant to me the same way the fifth time with an open letter in his hand
6in which was written,
“It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel. Because of that, you are building the wall. You would be their king, according to these words.
7You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.”
8Then I sent to him, saying, “There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart.”
9For they all would have made us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it not be done.”
But now, strengthen my hands.
“Let us meet together in God’s house,
inside the temple,
and let us shut the doors of the temple;
for they will come to kill you,
yes, in the night will they come to kill you.”
11I said, “Should such a man as I flee? Who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
12I discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13He hired so that I would be afraid, do so, and sin, and that they might have material for an evil report, that they might reproach me.”
15So the wall was finished in the 25th day of Elul, in 52 days.
16It came to pass when all our enemies heard of it that all the nations that were about us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes, for they perceived that this work was worked of our God.
17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them.
18For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son–in–law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.
19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
1Now it came to pass when the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
2that I put my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the castle, in charge of Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
3I said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them, and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, with everyone near his house.”
4Now the city was wide and large, but the people were few in it and the houses were not built.
5My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles and the rulers and the people that they might be reckoned by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:
6These are the sons of the province who went up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one to his city;
7who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.
The number of the men of the people of Israel:
46The Temple servants:
the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha,
the sons of Tabbaoth, 47the sons of Keros,
the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon,
63Of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called according to their name. 64These searched for their genealogical records, but could not find them. Therefore were they deemed defiled and excluded from the priesthood. 65The governor said to them that they could not eat of the most holy things until a priest arose who could consult the with Urim and Thummim.
70Some from among the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, fifty basins and 530 priests’ garments.
71Some of the heads of fathers’ households gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver.
72That which the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, and 2,000 minas of silver and 67 priests’ garments.
73So the priests, and the Levites, and the gatekeepers, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their cities.
1All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the wide place that was before the water gate, and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses that Yahweh had commanded to Israel.
2Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
3He read from it facing the open space that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and of those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
4Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood that they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
5Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was standing above all the people) and when he opened it, all the people stood up
6and Ezra blessed Yahweh the great God. All the people answered, “Amen, amen,” with the lifting up of their hands. They bowed their heads and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground.
7Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah and the Levites caused the people to understand the law, and the people stayed in their place.
8They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and they gave the sense so that they understood the reading.
9Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, “This day is holy to Yahweh your God. Do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.
10Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of Yahweh is your strength.”
11So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved.”
12All the people went their way to eat and to drink and to send portions and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
13On the second day were gathered together the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law.
14They found written in the law how that Yahweh had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month,
15and that they should proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain and get olive branches and branches of wild olive, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees to make booths, as it is written.”
16So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on the roof of his house and in their courtyards, and in the courtyards of the house of God and in the wide place of the water gate and in the wide place of the gate of Ephraim.
17All the assembly of those who had come again out of the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not celebrated in that way. There was very great gladness.
18Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.
1Now in the 24th day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackcloth and dirt on them.
2The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
3They stood up in their place and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed and worshiped Yahweh their God.
4Then Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani of the Levites stood up on the stairs and cried out with a loud voice to Yahweh their God.
5Then the Levites, Jeshua and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah said, “Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting!
“Blessed be your glorious name,
which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You have made heaven,
the heaven of heavens with all their army,
the earth and all things that are on it,
the seas and all that is in them,
and you preserve them all.
The army of heaven worships you.
the God who chose Abram
and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees,
and gave him the name of Abraham
and cut a covenant with him
to give the land of the Canaanite,
the Hittite, the Amorite and the Perizzite,
and the Jebusite and the Girgashite,
to give it to his seed,
and have performed your words;
for you are righteous.
and heard their cry by the Red Sea,
and against all his servants and against all the people of his land;
for you knew that they dealt proudly against them
and made a name for yourself,
as it is this day.
so that they went through the middle of the sea on the dry land,
and you cast their pursuers into the depths
as a stone into the mighty waters.
and in a pillar of fire by night,
to give them light in the way in which they should go.
and spoke with them from heaven
and gave them right ordinances and true laws,
good statutes and commandments,
and commanded them commandments and statutes
and a law by Moses your servant,
and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst,
and commanded them that they should go in to possess the land
that you had sworn to give them.
and hardened their necks, and did not listen to your commands,
nor did they keep in mind your wonders
that you did among them,
but they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader
to return to their slavery in Egypt.
But you are a God ready to pardon,
gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abundant in covenant faithfulness,
and did not forsake them.
‘This is your god who brought you up out of Egypt,’
and had committed awful blasphemies,
didn’t forsake them in the wilderness;
the pillar of cloud
didn’t depart from over them by day,
to lead them in the way,
neither the pillar of fire by night,
to show them light and the way in which they should go.
and didn’t withhold your manna from their mouth,
and gave them water for their thirst.
They lacked nothing.
Their clothes didn’t grow old
and their feet didn’t swell.
that you allotted according to their portions.
So they possessed the land of Sihon,
even the land of the king of Heshbon,
and the land of Og king of Bashan.
as the stars of heaven
and brought them into the land
concerning which you said to their fathers that they should go in to possess it.
and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,
and gave them into their hands,
with their kings and the peoples of the land,
that they might do with them as they pleased.
and possessed houses full of all good things,
cisterns dug out, vineyards
and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate, were filled,
became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.
and cast your law behind their back,
and killed your prophets
that testified against them
to turn them again to you,
and they committed awful blasphemies.
who distressed them.
In the time of their trouble, when they cried out to you,
you heard from heaven;
and according to your manifold mercies
you gave them saviors who saved them
out of the hand of their adversaries.
they did evil again before you;
therefore left you them in the hand of their enemies
so that they had the dominion over them;
yet when they returned and cried out to you,
you heard from heaven,
and many times you delivered them according to your mercies
Yet they dealt proudly
and did not listen to your commandments,
but sinned against your ordinances,
(which if a man does, he will live by them)
turned their backs,
stiffened their necks, and would not hear.
you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them;
for you are a gracious and merciful God.
and the awesome God who keeps covenant and covenant faithfulness,
do not let all the travail that has come on us seem little to you,
on our kings, on our leaders
and on our priests, and on our prophets,
and on our fathers, and on all your people
since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
because you have dealt truly,
but we have done wickedly,
nor our fathers kept your law,
nor listened to your commandments
and your testimonies with which you testified against them.
and in your great goodness that you gave them
and in the large and rich land that you gave before them,
neither did they turn from their wicked works.
and as for the land that you gave to our fathers
to eat its fruit and its good,
behold, we are servants in it.
whom you have set over us
because of our sins:
also they have power over our bodies
and over our livestock at their pleasure,
and we are in great distress.”Israel’s Vow of Faithfulness
Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah,
28The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding—
29they joined with their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse and into an oath, to walk in God’s law that was given by Moses the servant of God and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes;
31And if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
To charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God,
33for the show bread, and for the regular grain offering, and for the burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
34We cast lots, the priests, the Levites and the people for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God according to our fathers’ houses at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God as it is written in the law;
35And to bring the firstfruit of our ground and the firstfruit of all fruit of all kinds of trees, year by year, to the house of Yahweh;
36also the firstborn of our sons and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God;
37and that we should bring the firstfruit of our dough and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all kinds of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
38The priest the son of Aaron must be with the Levites when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites must bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms, into the treasure house.
39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi are to bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine and of the oil to the rooms, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers, and the singers. We will not forsake the house of our God.
1The leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem; the rest of the people also cast lots to bring one of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities.
2The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to live in Jerusalem.
3Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem, but in the cities of Judah everyone lived in his possession in their cities: Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the Temple servants, and the children of Solomon’s servants.
4In Jerusalem lived certain of the children of Judah and of the children of Benjamin.
Of the children of Judah:
Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel of the children of Perez; 5and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite. 6All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were 468 valiant men.
7These are the sons of Benjamin:
Sallu the 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. 8After him Gabbai, Sallai, 928. 9Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer, and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.
10Of the priests:
Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of God’s house, 12and their brothers who did the work of the house, 822; and Adaiah the 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 brothers, chiefs of fathers’ households, 242; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14and their brothers, mighty men of valor, 128; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.
15Of the Levites:
Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16and Shabbethai and Jozabad of the chiefs of the Levites who had the oversight of the outward business of God’s house; 17and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18All the Levites in the holy city were 284.
20The residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.
21But the Temple servants lived in Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Temple servants.
22The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the business of the house of God.
23For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers as every day required.
24Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel of the children of Zerah the son of Judah was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.
Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.
Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel,
Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah,
who was over the thanksgiving, he and his brothers.
of Seraiah, Meraiah;
of Jeremiah, Hananiah;
22As for the Levites, in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan and Jaddua, there were recorded the heads of fathers’ households; also the priests, in the reign of Darius the Persian.
23The sons of Levi, heads of fathers’ households, were written in the Book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.
24The chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers over against them, to praise and give thanks according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch next to watch.
25Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were gatekeepers, keeping the watch at the storehouses of the gates.
26These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest the scribe.
27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with giving thanks and with singing, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and with harps.
28The sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites;
29also from Beth Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built them villages around Jerusalem.
30The priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.
31Then I brought up the officials of Judah on the wall and appointed two great companies who gave thanks and went in procession. One went on the right hand on the wall toward the dung gate,
32and after them went Hoshaiah and half of the officials of Judah,
33and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
34Judah and Benjamin and Shemaiah and Jeremiah,
35and certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets: Zechariah the 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 brothers, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God; and Ezra the scribe was before them.
37By the spring gate, and straight before them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, even to the water gate eastward.
38The other company of those who gave thanks went to meet them, and I after them with the half of the people, on the wall above the tower of the furnaces, even to the Broad Wall,
39and above the gate of Ephraim, and by the old gate, and by the fish gate, and the tower of Hananel, and the tower of Hammeah, even to the sheep gate; and they stood still in the gate of the guard.
40So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in God’s house, and I and the half of the rulers with me;
41and the priests,
Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin,
Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah
and Hananiah, with trumpets;
The singers sang loud with Jezrahiah their overseer. 43They offered great sacrifices that day, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; and the women also and the children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
44On that day were men appointed over the rooms for the treasures, for the wave offerings, for the firstfruit and for the tithes, to gather into them, according to the fields of the cities, the portions appointed by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited.
45They performed the duty of their God and the duty of the purification, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the commandment of David and of Solomon his son.
46For in the days of David and Asaph of old there was a chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47All Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the portions of the singers and the gatekeepers, as every day required; and they set apart that which was for the Levites, and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron.
1On that day they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter into the assembly of God,
2because they did not meet the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them (however our God turned the curse into a blessing).
3It came to pass when they had heard the law that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
4Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being related to Tobiah,
5had prepared for him a large chamber where previously they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers; and the wave offerings for the priests.
6But during all this time I was not at Jerusalem, for in the 32nd year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after certain days asked I leave of the king,
7and I came to Jerusalem and I discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him a chamber in the courts of God’s house.
8And I was extremely displeased and I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.
9Then I commanded and they cleansed the rooms, and there brought I again the vessels of God’s house, with the grain offerings and the frankincense.
10I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who did the work had fled everyone to his field.
11Then I contended with the rulers, and said, “Why is God’s house forsaken?” I gathered them together and set them in their place.
12Then brought all Judah the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries.
13I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah, and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute to their brothers.
15In those days saw I in Judah some men treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves and loading donkeys; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens that they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; and I testified against them in the day in which they sold food.
16There lived men of Tyre also in it, who brought in fish and all kinds of wares, and sold on the Sabbath to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.
17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day?
18Didn’t your fathers do thus, and didn’t our God bring all this evil on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
19It came to pass that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. I set some of my servants over the gates, that no burden should be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside of Jerusalem once or twice.
21Then I testified against them and said to them, “Why do you stay around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on, they didn’t come on the Sabbath.
22I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.
Remember to me, my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of your loving kindness.
23In those days also saw I the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
24and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.
25I contended with them and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair and made them swear by God, “You must not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.
26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless foreign women caused even him to sin.
27Should we then listen to you and do all this great evil, to be unfaithful against our God in marrying foreign women?”
Remember me, my God, for good.