The Book of Nehemiah

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The Book of Nehemiah

  • Author: Nehemiah
  • Place Written: Jerusalem
  • When Written: c. 440 B.C.E.

CHAPTER 1

Report from Jerusalem

1 [1]The words of Nehemiah[2] the son of Hacaliah.

Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.”

Nehemiah’s Prayer

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of the heavens. And said, “I beseech you, O Jehovah, the God of the heavens, the great and awe-inspiring God, who keeps his covenant and loyal love with them that love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the sons of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, nor the regulations, nor the judgment decisions that you commanded your servant, Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Jehovah,[3] let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and grant success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

Now I was cupbearer to the king.

CHAPTER 2

Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem

2 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I picked up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my forefathers’ burial places, lies in ruins, and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of the heavens. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my forefathers’ burial places, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me, as the queen was sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which is by the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 And when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that a man had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me, and I did not tell any man what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem, and there was no animal with me except the one I was riding. 13 And I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring, and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and its gates were consumed by fire. 14 Then 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. 15 Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, for I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the terrible situation we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a disgrace.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I answered them and said to them, “The God of the heavens will make us successful; therefore, we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right, or memorial in Jerusalem.”

CHAPTER 3

Rebuilding the Walls

3 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. And at his hand[4] the men of Jericho built. And at his hand[5] Zaccur the son of Imri built.

The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And at their hand[6] the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not bring their neck into the service[7] their Lord.

Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Gate of the Old City.[8] They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And at their hand[9] repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, the seat of the governor of the province Beyond the River. At his hand[10] Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. At his hand[11] Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. At their hand[12] Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired. 10 At their hand[13] Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired in front of his house. And at his hand[14] Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 At his hand[15] Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.

13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate.

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

15 And Shallun[16] the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired in front of the tombs[17] of David, as far as the constructed pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani. At his hand[18] Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, repaired for his district. 18 After him their brothers repaired: Bavvai[19] the son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah. 19 At his hand[20] Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section in front of the ascent to the Armory at the Buttress. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai[21] repaired another section from the Buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired in front of their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah repaired beside his own house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the Buttress and to the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai repaired in front of the Buttress and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh 26 and the Nethinim[22] living in Ophel repaired as far as in front of the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. 27 After him the Tekoites repaired another section in front of the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.

28 Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one in front of his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired in front of his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the Gate of the Sunrising,[23] repaired. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah repaired in front of his chamber. 31 After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the Nethinim[24] and of the merchants, in front of the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 [25]And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.

CHAPTER 4

Progress Despite Opposition to the Work

4 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he became furious and very upset and mocked the Jews. And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they do this by themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they bring the burned stones to life out of the heaps of rubble?” Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, even if a fox would climb up on what they are building, it would knock down their stone wall!” Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their reproach on their own heads and give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover their guilt and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger before the builders.

So we built the wall, and all the wall was joined together to half the height, for the people had a mind to work.

Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. And they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion in it. But we prayed to our God and set up a guard against them day and night.

10 And in Judah it was said, The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is so much rubble; we will never be able to build the wall. 11 And our enemies said, “They will not know, nor see, till we come among them, kill them, and cause the work to cease.” 12 And it came about that, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, they said to us ten times from all directions, “You must return to us.” 13 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their kinsmen, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember Jehovah,[26] who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

The Work Resumes with Armed Workers

15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 And it came about from that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the commanders were behind the whole house of Judah. 17 All the builders on the wall and those who were carrying the burden, those loading; everyone with one of his hands doing the work, and with the other held his weapon. 18 And each of the builders had his sword strapped to his hip while building. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. 19 And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widespread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. 20 In the place where you hear the sound of the horn, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

21 So we labored at the work, while the other half held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. 22 I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, and they will guard us by night and laborer by day.” 23 So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our garments; and each of us kept his weapon in his right hand.

CHAPTER 5

Nehemiah Stops Exploitation of the Poor

5 Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live.” And there were others who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine..” And there were those who said, “We have borrowed money on our fields and our vineyards for the king’s tribute. And now our flesh is the same as the flesh of our brothers; our sons are the same as their sons, yet look we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and there are some of our daughters forced into slavery already; and there is no power in our hands for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”

I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. So I considered these things in my heart and then I contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, “You are demanding interest,[27] each from his brother!” And I held a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “According to our ability, we have bought back our own Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your own brothers that they may be sold to us?” They became silent, and they could find a word to say. So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? 10 And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us, please, leave off this lending on interest. 11 Please, restore to them on this day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part[28] of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.” 12 Then they said, “We will restore these and require nothing from them. We will do exactly as you say.” Then I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this word. 13 I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not carry out this word; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised Jehovah. Then the people did according to this word.

Nehemiah’s Kindness

14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen ate the food allowance of the governor. 15 But the former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels[29] of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God. 16 I also took a hand in the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land,[30] and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there were at my table one hundred and fifty Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 Now that which was prepared for each day was one ox and six choice sheep, also birds were prepared for me; and once in ten days all sorts of wine were furnished in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the governor’s food allowance, because the service upon this people was heavy. 19 Remember me, O my God, for good, all that I have done on behalf of this people.

CHAPTER 6

Obstruction to the Rebuilding Continue

6 Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it, although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Kephirim[31] in the valley plain of Ono.” But they planned to do evil to me. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same way a fifth time with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem[32] says, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore, you are building the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these words. And you have appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. So come now, let us take counsel together.” Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things are being done as you say, but you are inventing them out of your own heart.”[33] For all of them were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will drop down from the work so that it will not be done.” But now strengthen my hands.

10 Now when I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined at home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And could one such as I go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.” 12 And I realized and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and do that way, and sin and get a bad reputation, in order that they could reproach me. 14 Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

The Wall Is Finished in Fifty-Two Days

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell very much in their own eyes,[34] for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them. 18 For many in Judah were bound by oath 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 his wife. 19 Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.

CHAPTER 7

City Gates and Gatekeepers

7 Now when the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many. Then I[35] said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot, and while they are standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Also appoint guards from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, each at his post, and each in front of his own house.” Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few and the houses were not built.

Lists of Returned Exiles

Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:

These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city, They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: the sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. The sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. 10 The sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two. 11 The sons of Pahath-Moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 12 The sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 1,254. 13 The sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five. 14 The sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. 760. 15 The sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight. 16 The sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight. 17 The sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two. 18 The sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven. 19 The sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven. 20 The sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 22 The sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight. 23 The sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four. 24 The sons of Hariph, one hundred and twelve. 25 The sons of Gibeon, ninety-five. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight. 27 The men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, forty-two. 29 The men of Kiriath-Jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 31 The men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, one hundred and twenty-three. 33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two. 34 The sons of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 35 The sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 36 The sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one. 38 The sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 40 The sons of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two. 41 The sons of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven. 42 The sons of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.

43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the sons of Hodaviah, seventy-four. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-eight.

Temple Servants

46 The Nethinim:[36] the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar,50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

Sons of Solomon’s Servants

57 The sons of the servants of Solomon: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.

60 All the Nethinim[37] and the sons of the servants of Solomon were three hundred and ninety-two.

61 These were they who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon and Immer; but they could not show their fathers’ houses or their descendants, whether they were of Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two. 63 And of 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 named after them. 64 These sought their record among those enrolled in the genealogy, but it was not found there, so they were excluded as unclean from the priesthood. 65 And the governor said to them that they were not to eat from the most holy things until a priest arose with Urim and Thummim.

Totals of People and Contributions

66 All of the assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 besides their male slaves and their female slaves, these were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven. And the male and female singers were two hundred and forty-five, 69  their camels four hundred and thirty-five, their donkeys six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

70 Now some of the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand gold drachmas, fifty basins, and five hundred and thirty priests’ garments. 71 And some of the heads of fathers’ households gave to the treasury for the work twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand silver minas, and sixty-seven priestly garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the Nethinim,[38] and all Israel, lived in their towns.

And when the seventh month had come, the sons of Israel were in their cities.

CHAPTER 8

Ezra Reads the Law and Explains It

8 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which Jehovah had given to Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the congregation of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read aloud from it before the public square in front of the Water Gate, from daybreak until midday, to the men, the women, and all who could understand; and the people listened attentively to the book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped Jehovah with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, were explaining the Law to the people, while the people remained in their places. They continued reading aloud from the book, from the Law of the God, explaining it and putting meaning into it, so that they could understand the reading.

This Day Is Holy

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to Jehovah your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

Feast of Booths Celebrated

13 On the second day the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to gain further insight into the words of the Law. 14 And they found it written in the Law that Jehovah had commanded by Moses that the sons of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should proclaim it and publish it in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the sons of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. 18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.

CHAPTER 9

The People of Israel Confess Their Sin

9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them. And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the errors of their fathers. And they stood in their place, they read from the book of the Law of Jehovah their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped Jehovah their God. 4 And Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites; and they cried with a loud voice to Jehovah their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless Jehovah your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

6 [39]“You alone are Jehovah. You made the heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens and all their army, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you. You are Jehovah, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.

“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10 Then you performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, and all his servants and all the people of his land; For you knew that they acted arrogantly against them and made a name for yourself as it is to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and their pursuers you cast into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12 You led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to light up for them the way they should go. 13 You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right judgments and true laws, good regulations, and commandments, 14 and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commandments, regulations, and a law by Moses your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had lifted your hand to give them.

16 “But they, our forefathers acted presumptuously and hardened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to listen and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they hardened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.[40] But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had made for themselves a molten statue of a calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud did not depart from over them by day to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their garments did not wear out and their feet did not swell.

22 “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them a portion. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan.[41] 23 You made their sons numerous as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their forefathers to enter and possess. 24 So their sons went in and took possession of the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they captured fortified cities and a rich land and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness.

26 “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your Law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering, they cried out to you and you heard them from the heavens, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their adversaries. 28 But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your Law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not listen to your commandments, but sinned against your regulations, which if a man does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and hardened their neck and would not listen. 30 Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not listen. Therefore, you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great compassion you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loyal love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our forefathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 You have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. 34 As for our kings, our princes, our priests, and our forefathers have not kept your Law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, and amid your abundant goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Look, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our forefathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, look, we are slaves. 37 And its abundant produce goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.

38 “Now because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.

CHAPTER 10

The People Who Sealed the Covenant

10 Now on the sealed document were the names of: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these are the priests. And the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

The Obligations of the Covenant

28 “The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim,[42] and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29 join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and 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 Jehovah our Lord and his judgments and his regulations. 30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 And if the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

32 “Also, we imposed the obligation on ourselves for each of us to give a third of a shekel[43] yearly for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, for the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God. 34 And we, the priests, the Levites, and the people, have likewise cast lots 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 Jehovah our God, as it is written in the Law. 35 We bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all the fruitage of every tree, year by year, to the house of Jehovah; 36 as well as the firstborn of our sons and of our livestock, according to what is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks. We will bring them to the house of our God, to the priests who minister at the house of our God; 37 and to bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all our towns where we labor. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil to the chambers; there are the utensils of the sanctuary, the priests who are ministering, the gatekeepers and the singers. Thus, we will not neglect the house of our God.

CHAPTER 11

Jerusalem Repopulated

11 Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten remained in the other cities. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.

These are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem; but in the towns of Judah everyone lived on his property in their towns: Israel, the priests, the Levites, the Nethinim,[44] and the sons of the servants of Solomon. And in Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin. Of the sons of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mahalalel, of the sons of Perez; and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, son of Col-hozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, son of the Shilonite. All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight capable men.

And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, son of Joed, son of Pedaiah, son of Kolaiah, son of Maaseiah, son of Ithiel, son of Jeshaiah, and after him[45] Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight. Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, ruler of the house of God, 12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, eight hundred and twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, 13 and his brothers, heads of fathers’ houses, two hundred and forty-two; and Amashsai, the son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer, 14 and their brothers,[46] mighty men of valor, one hundred and twenty-eight; their overseer was Zabdiel the son of Haggedolim.

15 And of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, son of Bunni; 16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who were in charge of the outside business of the house of God; 17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the leader in beginning[47] the thanksgiving at prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18 All of the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four.

19 The gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred and seventy-two. 20 And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance. 21 But the Nethinim[48] lived on Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.[49]

22 The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the work of the house of God. 23 For there was a command from the king concerning them, and a fixed provision for the singers, as every day required. 24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s side in all matters concerning the people.

Villages Outside Jerusalem

25 And as for the settlements with their fields, some of the sons of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba and its towns, in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its settlements, 26 and in Jeshua and in Moladah and Beth-pelet, 27 in Hazar-shual, in Beersheba and its towns, 28 in Ziklag, in Meconah and its towns, 29 in En-rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their settlements, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom. 31 The sons of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, at Bethel and its towns, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. 36 And from the Levites, some divisions in Judah belonged to Benjamin.[50]

CHAPTER 12

Priests and Levites

12 Now these are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi,[51] Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the heads of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

And the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving, he and his brothers. Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brothers, stood opposite them in their service divisions. 10 And Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, Eliashib the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua.

12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers’ houses: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 of Malluchi,[52] Jonathan; of Shebaniah,[53] Joseph;15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth,[54] Helkai; 16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.

22 In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the Levites were recorded as heads of fathers’ houses; so too were the priests in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 The sons of Levi, their heads of fathers’ houses were written in the Book of the Chronicles until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24 And the heads of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers who stood opposite them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch by watch. 25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub were gatekeepers keeping watch at the storehouses of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra, the priest and scribe.

Dedication of the Wall

27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the district around about Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29 also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.

31 Then I brought the leaders of Judah up on top of the wall, and I appointed two large processions that gave thanks. One went to the right on the wall, toward the Dung Gate. 32 And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, 33 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 and certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph; 36 and his kinsmen, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went up straight before them by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to the Water Gate on the east.

38 The other thanksgiving choir went in the opposite direction, and I followed it with half of the people, on the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, 39 and above the Gate of Ephraim, by the Ancient Gate, by 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. 40 So two thanksgiving choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahiah their leader. 43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

Service at the Temple

44 On that day men were appointed over the storehouses, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the cities, for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45 And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God. 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers; and they set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron.

CHAPTER 13

Nehemiah’s Final Reforms

13 On that day they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing. As soon as they heard the Law, they began to separate from Israel all those of foreign descent

Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to[55] Tobiah, prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tenth of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. During all of this, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And at the end of days, I asked leave of the king and I came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, by preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. It was very displeasing to me, and I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. 11 So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tenth of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

Sabbath not to be Profaned

15 In those days I saw in Judah some men treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Also men of Tyre dwelt there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem. 17 Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day? 18 Did not your forefathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

19 And it came about as soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the Sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of your loyal love.

Intermarriage Condemned

23 In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless, the foreign women caused even him to sin. 27 Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?”

28 And one of the sons of Joiada,[56] the son of Eliashib the high priest, became a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, so I chased him away from me. 29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.

30 Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; 31 and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits.

Remember me, O my God, for good.

[1] In the LXX this is chapter 11 of Second Esdras (2 Ezra).

[2] Meaning Jah Comforts

[3] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[4] Or next to him

[5] Or next to him

[6] Or next to them

[7] That is, would not stoop to serve

[8] Or Jeshanah

[9] Or next to them

[10] Or next to him

[11] Or next to him

[12] Or next to them

[13] Or next to them

[14] Or next to him

[15] Or next to him

[16] SYR some Heb. MSS “Shallum”

[17] LXX SYR VG “tomb”

[18] Or next to him

[19] SYR few Heb. MSS “Binnui”

[20] Or next to him

[21] SYR VG few Heb. MSS “Zaccai”

[22] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[23] Or keeper of the East Gate

[24] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[25] Ezra and Nehemiah in the Hebrew MSS and the MT were one book, making up 685 Hebrew verses. Here in this verse, in the margin of the MT, it says “half of the book,” meaning this is the middle verse of the two books.

[26] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[27] Or usury

[28] That is, one percent monthly

[29] A shekel weighed 11.4 g (0.367 oz t).

[30] LXX SYR VG some Heb. MSS “I did not buy”

[31] MT “at Kephirim” LXX VG “in one of the villages”

[32] This is the same person that we find in vss Neh. 2:19; 6:1-2 MT “Gashmu”

[33] That is, your own mind

[34] That is, lost their confidence

[35] LXX SYR VG MTmargin “I,” MT “he”

[36] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[37] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[38] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[39] LXX has “And Ezra said” at the beginning of the verse.

[40] LXX some Heb. MSS “in Egypt” MT “in their rebellion”

[41] Most Heb. MSS read “land of Sihon and the land of Og king of Bashan” instead of “the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan.” This would bring it into harmony with Deuteronomy 9:27.

[42] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[43] A shekel equaled 11.4 g (0.367 oz t)

[44] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[45] LXX has “his brothers” instead of “after him”

[46] LXX has “his brothers” instead of “their brothers”

[47] VG LXX have “the praise leader” instead of “the leader in beginning”

[48] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[49] That is (נְּתִינִים), temple servants, literally meaning “the given ones.” These were non-Israelite temple slaves or ministers, who carried out menial tasks in the temple. (1Ch 9:2; Ezra 8:17) Representatives of 35 Nethinim families returned from exile with Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:43–54; Neh. 7:46–56).

[50] LXXGS “For Judah and for Benjamin”

[51] VG several Heb. MSS replace “Ginnethoi” with “Ginnethon”

[52] LXX “Malluch”

[53] SYR some Heb. LXX MSS replace “Shebaniah” with “Shecaniah”

[54] SYR some LXX MSS “Meremoth”

[55] close to

[56] Joiada is a shortened form of Jehoiada, meaning “May Jehovah Know” (Neh. 12:10, 11, 22; 13:28)

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