The Aaron Papers 

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1 The words of Ne-hem-i-ah the son of Hach-a-li-ah. Now it came to pass in the month Chis-leu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shu-shan the palace, 2that Ha-na-ni, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven, 5and said, I beseech you, O Jehovah, the God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments: 6Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen unto the prayer of your servant, which 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, which we have sinned against you. yes, I and my fatherís house have sinned: 7we have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moses. 8Remember, I beseech you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples: 9but if you return unto 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 unto the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there. 10Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand. 11O Lord, I beseech you, let now your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and prosper, I pray you, your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cupbearer to the king.


2 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Ar-ta-xerx-es the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. 2And the king said unto me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was greatly afraid. 3And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should my countenance not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathersí sepulchres, lies waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? 4Then the king said unto me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathersí sepulchres, that I may build it. 6And the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let a letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through till I come unto Judah; 8and a letter unto A-saph the keeper of the kingís forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertain to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

9Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the kingís letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10And when San-bal-lat the Hor-on-ite, and To-bi-ah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, because there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. 11So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 12And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. 13And I went out by night through the valley gate, even toward the jackalís well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. 14Then I went on to the fountain gate and to the kingís pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. 15Then I went up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned. 16And the rulers knew not where I went, or what I did; neither 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 that did the work. 17Then I said unto them, you see the evil state that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me, as also of the kingís words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19But when San-bal-lat the Hor-on-ite, and To-bi-ah the servant, the Ammonite, and Ge-shem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that you do? will you rebel against the king? 20Then I answered them, and said, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.


3 Then E-li-ash-ib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Me-ah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Han-a-neel. 2And next unto him built the men of Jericho. And next to them built Zac-cur the son of Imri. 3And the fish gate did the sons of Has-se-na-ah build; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof. 4And next unto them repaired Mer-e-moth the son of U-ri-ah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Me-shul-lam the son of Ber-e-chi-ah, the son of Me-chez-a-beel. And next unto them repaired Za-dok the son of Ba-a-na. 5And next unto them the Te-ko-ites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their lord. 6And the old gate repaired Je-hoi-a-da the son of Pa-se-ah and Me-shul-lam the son of Bel-o-dei-ah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof. 7And next unto them repaired Mel-a-ti-ah the Gibeonite, and Ja-don the Me-ro-no-thite, the men of Gibeon, and of Miz-pah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River. 8Next unto him repaired Uz-zi-el the son of Har-hai-ah, goldsmiths. And next unto him repaired Han-a-ni-ah one of the perfumers, and they fortified Jerusalem even unto the broad wall. 9And next unto them repaired Re-phai-ah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem. 10And next unto them repaired Je-dai-ah the son of Ha-ru-maph, over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hat-tush the son of Hash-ab-ni-ah. 11Mal-chi-ah the son of Har-im, and Hash-ub the son of Pa-has-mo-ab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. 12And next unto him repaired Shal-lum the son of Ha-lo-hesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. 13The valley gate Ha-nun repaired, and the inhabitants of Za-no-ah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits of the wall unto the dung gate. 14And the dung gate was repaired by Mal-chi-ah the son of Re-chab, the ruler of the district of Bath-hec-ce-rem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof. 15And the fountain gate was repaired by Shal-lun the son of Col-ho-zeh, the ruler of the district of Miz-pah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the bolts thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Sa-lah by the kingís garden, even unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16After him repaired Ne-hem-i-ah the son of Az-buk, the ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and unto the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty men. 17After him repaired the Levites, Re-hum the son of Ba-ni. Next unto him repaired Hash-a-bi-ah, the ruler of half the district of Ke-i-lah, for his district. 18After him repaired their brethren, Ba-va-i the son of Hen-a-dad, the ruler of half the district of Ke-i-lah. 19And next to him repaired E-zer the son of Jesh-u-a, the ruler of Miz-pah, another portion, over against the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall. 20After him Bar-uch the son of Zab-ba-i earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of E-li-ash-ib the high priest. 21After him repaired Mer-e-moth the son of U-ri-ah the son of Koz another portion, from the door of the house of E-li-ash-ib even to the end of the house of E-li-ash-ib. 22And after him repaired the priests, the men of the Plain. 23After them repaired Benjamin and Hash-ub over against their house. After them repaired Az-a-ri-ah the son of Ma-a-sei-ah the son of An-a-ni-ah beside his own house. 24After him repaired Bin-nu-i the son of Hen-a-dad another portion, from the house of Az-a-ri-ah unto the turning of the wall, and unto the corner. 25Pa-lal the son of U-zai repaired over against the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pe-dai-ah the son of Par-osh repaired. 26(Now the Neth-i-nims dwelt in O-phel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) 27After him the Te-ko-ites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and unto the wall of O-phel. 28Above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his own house. 29After them repaired Za-dok the son of Im-mer over against his own house. And after him repaired Shem-ai-ah the son of Shech-a-ni-ah, the keeper of the east gate. 30After him repaired Han-a-ni-ah the son of Shel-e-mi-ah, and Ha-nun the sixth son of Za-laph, another portion. After him repaired Me-shul-lam the son of Ber-e-chi-ah over against his chamber. 31After him repaired Mal-chi-ah one of the goldsmiths unto the house of the Neth-i-nims, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Miph-kad, and to the ascent of the corner. 32And between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.


4 But it came to pass that, when San-bal-lat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and had great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned? 3Now To-bi-ah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall. 4Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach upon their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity; 5and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before you; for they have provoked you to anger before the builders. 6So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half the height thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

7But it came to pass that, when San-bal-lat, and To-bi-ah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ash-do-dites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be closed, then they were very angry; 8and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein. 9But we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12And it came to pass that, when the Jews that dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times from all places, you must return unto us. 13Therefore I set in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set the people there after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14And I rose up and looked, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

16And it 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 they that bare burdens loaded themselves; every one with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 18and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so they built. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. 19And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another: 20in what place soever you hear the sound of the trumpet, resort you there unto 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 till the stars appeared. 22Likewise at the same time I said unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labor in the day. 23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one went with his weapon to the water.


5 Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2For there were they that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many: let us receive 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 receive grain, because of the dearth. 4There were also they that said, We have borrowed money for the kingís tribute upon our fields and our vineyards. 5yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already: neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.

6And I 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 unto them, you exact usury, every one of his brother. And I held a great assembly against them. 8And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, that were sold unto the nations; and would you even sell your brethren, and should they be sold unto 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? 10And I likewise, my brethren and my servants, do lend them money and grain. I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you exact of them. 12Then they said, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as you say. 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 God will shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performs not this promise; even this way shall he be shaken out and emptied. And all the assembly said, Amen, and praised Jehovah. And 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 unto the thirty-second year of Ar-ta-xerx-es the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15But the former governors that were before me were chargeable unto the people, and took of them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants bare rule over the people: but this I did not do, because of the fear of God. 16Yes, as I continued in the work of this wall, we neither bought any land and all my servants were gathered there unto the work. 17Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, a hundred and fifty men, besides those that came unto us from among the nations that were round about 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 demanded not the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19Remember unto me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.


6 Now it came to pass, when it was reported to San-bal-lat and To-bi-ah, and to Ge-shem the Arabian, and unto the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even unto that time I had not set up the doors in the gates;) 2that San-bal-lat and Ge-shem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of O-no. But they thought to do me mischief. 3And I sent messengers unto 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? 4And they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. 5Then San-bal-lat sent his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, 6wherein was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gash-mu says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause you are building the wall: and you would be their king, according to these words. 7And you have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as you say, but you devise them out of your own heart. 9For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

10And I went unto the house of Shem-ai-ah the son of Del-ai-ah the son of Ha-dar, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay you; yes, in the night will they come to slay you. 11And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. 12And I discerned, and, lo, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me: and To-bi-ah and San-bal-lat had hired him. 13For this cause was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14Remember, O my God, To-bi-ah and San-bal-lat according to these their works, and also the prophetess No-a-di-ah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

15So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16And it came to pass, when all our enemies heard of this, that all the nations that were about us feared, and were much down-cast 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 unto To-bi-ah, and the letters of To-bi-ah came unto them. 18For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shech-a-ni-ah the son of Ar-ah; and his son Jo-ha-nan had taken the daughter of Me-shul-lam the son of Ber-e-chi-ah to wife. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. And To-bi-ah sent letters to put me in fear.


7 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2that I gave my brother Ha-na-ni, and Han-a-ni-ah the governor of the castle, charge over Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand on guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house. 4Now the city was wide and large; but the people therein were few, and the houses were not built.

5And my God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of them that came up at the first, and I found written therein: 6These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity of those that had been carried away, whom Neb-u-chad-nez-zar the king of Babylon had carried away, and that returned unto Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city; 7who came with Ze-rub-ba-bel, Jesh-u-a, Ne-hem-i-ah, Az-a-ri-ah, Ra-a-mi-ah, Na-ha-ma-ni, Mor-de-ca-i, Bil-shan, Mis-pe-reth, Big-va-i, Ne-hum, Ba-a-nah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8The children of Par-osh, two thousand a hundred and seventy-two. 9The children of Steph-a-ti-ah, three hundred seventy-two. 10The children of Ar-ah, six hundred fifty-two. 11The children of Pa-has-mo-ab, of the children of Jesh-u-a and Jo-ab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. 12The children of E-lam, a thousand two hundred fifty-four. 13The children of Zat-tu, eight hundred forty-five. 14The children of Zac-ca-i, seven hundred sixty. 15The children of Bin-nu-i, six hundred forty-eight. 16The children of Be-ba-i, six hundred twenty-eight. 17The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty-two. 18The children of Ad-o-ni-kam, six hundred threescore and seven. 19The children of Big-va-i, two thousand sixty-seven. 20The children of A-din, six hundred fifty-five. 21The children of A-ter, of Hez-e-ki-ah, ninety-eight. 22The children of Hash-um, three hundred twenty-eight. 23The children of Be-za-i, three hundred twenty-four. 24The children of Har-iph, a hundred and twelve. 25The children of Gibeon, ninety-five. 26The men of Bethlehem and Ne-to-phah, a hundred eighty-eight. 27The men of An-a-thoth, a hundred twenty-eight. 28The men of Beth-az-ma-veth, forty-two. 29The men of Kir-jath-jeía-rim, Che-phi-rah, and Beer-oth, seven hundred forty-three. 30The men of Ra-mah and Ge-ba, six hundred twenty-one. 31The men of Mich-mas, a hundred and twenty-two. 32The men of Beth-el and Ai, a hundred twenty-three. 33The men of the other Ne-bo, fifty-two. 34The children of the other E-lam, a thousand two hundred fifty-four. 35The children of Har-im, three hundred and twenty. 36The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five. 37The children of Lod, Ha-did, and O-no, seven hundred twenty-one. 38The children of Sen-a-ah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. 39The priests: The children of Je-dai-ah, of the house of Jesh-u-a, nine hundred seventy-three. 40The children of Im-mer, a thousand fifty-two. 41The children of Pash-hur, a thousand two hundred forty-seven. 42The children of Har-im, a thousand and seventeen. 43The Levites: the children of Jesh-u-a, of Kad-mi-el, of the children of Ho-de-vah, seventy-four. 44The singers: the children of A-saph, a hundred forty-eight. 45The porters: the children of Shal-lum, the children of A-ter, the children of Tal-mon, the children of Ak-kub, the children of Ha-ti-ta, the children of Sho-ba-i, a hundred thirty-eight. 46The Neth-i-nim: the children of Zi-ha, the children of Ha-su-pha, the children of Tab-ba-oth, 47the children of Ke-ros, the children of Si-a, the children of Pa-don, 48the children of Le-ba-na, the children of Ha-gaba, the children of Shal-mai, 49the children of Ha-nan, the children of Gid-del, the children of Ga-har, 50the children of Re-ai-ah, the children of Re-zin, the children of Ne-ko-da, 51the children of Gaz-zam, the children of Uz-za, the children of Pa-se-ah. 52The children of Be-sai, the children of Me-u-nim, the children of Ne-phish-e-sim, 53the children of Bak-buk, the children of Ha-ku-pha, the children of Har-hur, 54the children of Baz-lith, the children of Me-hi-da, the children of Har-sha, 55the children of Bar-kos, the children of Sis-e-ra, the children of Tha-mah, 56the children of Ne-zi-ah, the children of Ha-ti-pha. 57The children of Solomonís servants: the children of So-ta-i, the children of So-phe-reith, the children of Pe-ri-da, 58the children of Ja-a-la, the children of Dar-kon, the children of Gid-del, 59the children of Steph-a-ti-ah, the children of Hat-til, the children of Po-che-reth of Za-ba-im, the children of Amon. 60All the Neth-i-nim, and the children of Solomonís servants, were three hundred ninety-two. 61And these were they that went up from Tel-me-lah, Tel-ha-er-sha, Cherub, Addon, and Im-mer; but they could not show their fathersí houses, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel: 62The children of Del-ai-ah, the children of To-bi-ah, the children of Ne-ko-da, six hundred forty-two. 63And of the priests: the children of Ha-bai-ah, the children of Koz, the children of Bar-zil-la-i, who took a wife of the daughters of Bar-zil-la-i the Gil-e-adite, and was called after their name. 64These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood. 65And the governor said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with U-rim and Thum-mim. 66The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67besides their men-servants and their maid-servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven: and they had two hundred forty-five singing men and singing women. 68Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five; 69their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70And some from among the heads of fathersí houses gave unto the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priestsí garments. 71And some of the heads of fathersí houses gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pounds of silver. 72And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand pounds of silver, and sixty-seven priestsí garments. 73So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Neth-i-nim, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities. And when the seventh month was come, the children of Israel were in their cities.


8 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded to Israel. 2And Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 3And he read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 4And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for that purpose; and beside him stood Mat-ti-thi-ah, and She-ma, and A-nai-ah, and U-ri-ah, and Hil-ki-ah, and Ma-a-sei-ah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pe-dai-ah, and Mi-sha-el, and Mal-chi-ah, and Hash-um, and Hash-ba-da-na, Zech-a-ri-ah, and Me-shul-lam. 5And 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: 6and Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, *** with the lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped Jehovah with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jesh-u-a, and Ba-ni, and Sher-e-bi-ah, Ja-min, Ak-kub, Shab-be-thai, Ho-di-ah, Ma-a-sei-ah, Ke-li-ta, Az-a-ri-ah, Jo-za-bad, Ha-nan, Pe-lai-ah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8And they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.

9And Ne-hem-i-ah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto Jehovah your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be grieved; for the joy of Jehovah is your strength. 11So the Levites silenced all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved. 12And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

13And on the second day were gathered together the heads of fathersí houses of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law. 14And they found written in the law, how that Jehovah had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; 15and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and bring 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 forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the broad place of the water gate, and in the broad place of the gate of E-phra-im. 17And all the assembly of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and dwelt in the booths; for since the days of Jesh-u-a the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. 18Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the ordinance.


9 Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth upon them. 2And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Jehovah their God.

4Then stood up, upon the stairs of the Levites, Jesh-u-a, and Ba-ni, Kad-mi-el, Sheb-a-ni-ah, Bun-ni, Sher-e-bi-ah, Ba-ni, and Che-na-ni, and cried with a loud voice unto Jehovah their God. 5Then the Levites, Jesh-u-a, and Kad-mi-el, Ba-ni, Hash-ab-ni-ah, Sher-e-bi-ah, Ho-di-ah, Sheb-a-ni-ah, and Peth-a-hi-ah, said, Stand up and bless Jehovah your God from everlasting to everlasting; and blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6you are Jehovah, even you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worship you. 7you are Jehovah the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, 8and found his heart faithful before you, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Pe-riz-zite, and the Jeb-u-site, and the Gir-gash-ite, to give it unto his seed, and have performed your words; for you are righteous. 9And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea, 10and showed signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land; for you knew that they dealt proudly against them, and did get you a name, as it is this day. 11And you did divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers you did cast into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12Moreover in a pillar of cloud you led them by day; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13you came down also upon mount Si-nai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and made known unto them your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses your servant, 15and gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, 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 which you had sworn to give them. 16But they and our fathers dealt proudly and hardened their neck, and listened not to your commandments, 17and refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them, but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and forsook them not. 18Yes, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God that brought you up out of Egypt, and had worked great provocations; 19yet you in your manifold mercies forsook them not in the wilderness: the pillar of cloud departed not 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 wherein they should go. 20you gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and withheld not your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. 21Yes, forty years did you sustain them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you did allot after their portions: so they possessed the land of Si-hon, even the land of the king of Hesh-bon, and the land of Og king of Ba-shan. 23Their children also you multiplied as the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land concerning which you did say to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24So the children went in and possessed the land, 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 would. 25And they took fortified cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns hewn out, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit-trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness. 26Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their back, and slew your prophets that testified against them to turn them again unto you, and they worked great provocations. 27Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviours who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28But after they had rest, they did evil again before you; therefore you left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto you, you heard from heaven; and many times did you deliver them according to your mercies, 29and testified against them, that you might bring them again unto your law. yet they dealt proudly, and listened not unto your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, (which if a man do, he shall live in them,) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30yet many years did you bear with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31Nevertheless in your manifold mercies you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness, let not all the travail seem little before you, that has come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, 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 unto this day. 33Howbeit you are just in all that is come upon us; for you have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly; 34neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept your law, nor listened unto your commandments and your testimonies wherewith you did testify against them. 35For they have not served you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and fat land which you gave before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. 36Behold, we are servants this day, and as for the land that you gave unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it. 37And it yields much increase unto the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have power over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. 38And yet for all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal unto it.


10 Now those that sealed were: Ne-hem-i-ah the governor, the son of Hach-a-li-ah, and Zid-ki-ah, 2Se-rai-ah, Az-a-ri-ah, Jeremiah, 3Pash-hur, Am-a-ri-ah, Mal-chi-ah, 4Hat-tush, Sheb-a-ni-ah, Mal-luch, 5Har-im, Mer-e-moth, O-ba-di-ah, 6Daniel, Gin-ne-thon, Bar-uch, 7Me-shul-lam, A-bi-ah, Mi-a-min, 8Ma-a-zi-ah, Bil-ga-i, Shem-ai-ah; these were the priests. 9And the Levites: namely, Jesh-u-a the son of Az-a-ni-ah, Bin-nu-i of the sons of Hen-a-dad, Kad-mi-el; 10and their brethren, Sheb-a-ni-ah, Ho-di-ah, Ke-li-ta, Pe-lai-ah, Ha-nan, 11Mica, Re-hob, Hash-a-bi-ah, 12Zac-cur, Sher-e-bi-ah, Sheb-a-ni-ah, 13Ho-di-ah, Ba-ni, Be-ni-nu. 14The chiefs of the people: Par-osh, Pa-has-mo-ab, E-lam, Zat-tu, Ba-ni, 15Bun-ni, Azgad, Be-ba-i, 16Ad-o-ni-ah, Big-va-i, A-din, 17A-ter, Hez-e-ki-ah, Azzur, 18Ho-di-ah, Hash-um, Be-za-i, 19Har-iph, An-a-thoth, Ne-ba-i, 20Mag-pi-ash, Me-shul-lam, He-zir, 21Me-shez-a-bel, Za-dok, Jad-du-a, 22Pel-a-ti-ah, Ha-nan, A-nai-ah, 23Ho-she-a, Han-a-ni-ah, Hash-ub, 24Hal-lo-hesh, Pi-le-ha, Sho-bek, 25Re-hum, Ha-shab-nah, Ma-a-sei-ah, 26and A-hi-ah, Ha-nan, Anan, 27Mal-luch, Har-im, Ba-a-nah. 28And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Neth-i-nim, and all they that had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one that had knowledge, and understanding; 29They held to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in Godís law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Jehovah our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes; 30and that we would not give our daughters unto the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 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.

32Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 33for the showbread, and for the continual meal-offering, and for the continual 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. 34And we 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 fathersí houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn upon the altar of Jehovah our God, as it is written in the law; 35and to bring the first-fruits of our ground, and the first-fruits of all fruit of all manner of trees, year by year, unto the house of Jehovah; 36also the first-born of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God; 37and that we should bring the first-fruits of our dough, and our heave-offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, the new wine and the oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure-house. 39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the heave-offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.


11 And the princes of the people dwelt in Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities. 2And the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem. 3Now these are the chiefs of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Neth-i-nims, and the children of Solomonís servants. 4And in Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: A-thai-ah the son of Uz-ziah, the son of Zech-a-ri-ah, the son of Am-a-ri-ah, the son of Steph-a-ti-ah, the son of Ma-hal-a-leel, of the children of Pe-rez; 5and Ma-a-sei-ah the son of Bar-uch, the son of Col-ho-zeh, the son of Ha-zai-ah, the son of A-dai-ah, the son of Joi-a-rib, the son of Zech-a-ri-ah, the son of the Shi-lo-nite. 6All the sons of Pe-rez that dwelt in Jerusalem were four hundred sixty-eight valiant men. 7And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sal-lu the son of Me-shul-lam, the son of Jo-ed, the son of Pe-dai-ah, the son of Ko-lai-ah, the son of Ma-a-sei-ah, the son of I-thi-el, the son of Je-shai-ah. 8And after him Gab-ba-i, Sal-la-i, nine hundred twenty-eight. 9And Joel the son of Zich-ri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Sen-u-ah was second over the city. 10Of the priests: Je-dai-ah the son of Joi-a-rib, Ja-chin, 11Se-rai-ah the son of Hil-ki-ah, the son of Me-shul-lam, the son of Za-dok, the son of Me-rai-oth, the son of A-hi-tub, the ruler of the house of God, 12and their brethren that did the work of the house, eight hundred twenty-two; and A-dai-ah the son of Je-ro-ham, the son of Pel-a-li-ah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zech-a-ri-ah, the son of Pash-hur, the son of Mal-chi-ah, 13and his brethren, chiefs of fathersí houses, two hundred forty-two; and A-mash-ai the son of Az-a-reel, the son of A-ha-sai, the son of Me-shil-le-moth, the son of Im-mer, 14and their brethren, mighty men of valor, a hundred twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zab-di-el, the son of one of the great men. 15And of the Levites: Shem-ai-ah the son of Hash-ub, the son of Az-ri-kam, the son of Hash-a-bi-ah, the son of Bun-ni; 16and Shab-be-thai and Jo-za-bad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God; 17and Mat-ta-ni-ah the son of Mica, the son of Zab-di, the son of A-saph, who was the chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bk-bu-ki-ah, the second among his brethren; and Abda the son of Sham-mu-a, the son of Ga-lal, the son of Je-du-thun. 18All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred eighty-four. 19Moreover the porters, Ak-kub, Tal-mon, and their brethren, that kept watch at the gates, were a hundred seventy-two.

20And the residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance. 21But the Neth-i-nims dwelt in O-phel: and Zi-ha and Gis-pa was over the Neth-i-nims. 22The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uz-zi the son of Ba-ni, the son of Hash-a-bi-ah, the son of Mat-ta-ni-ah, the son of Mica, of the sons of A-saph, 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. 24And Peth-a-hi-ah the son of Me-chez-a-beel, of the children of Ze-rah the son of Judah, was at the kingís hand in all matters concerning the people. 25And as for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt in Kir-jath-ar-ba and the towns thereof, and in Di-bon and the towns thereof, and in Je-keb-zeel and the villages thereof, 26and in Jesh-u-a, and in Mo-la-dah, and Beth-pelet, 27and in Ha-zar-shu-al, and in Beer-she-ba and the towns thereof, 28and in Ziklag, and in Me-ko-nah and in the towns thereof, 29and in En-rim-mon, and in Za-re-ah, and in Jar-muth, 30Za-no-ah, Adullam, and their villages, La-chish and the fields thereof, A-ze-kah and the towns thereof. So they camped from Beer-she-ba unto the valley of Hin-nom. 31The children of Benjamin also dwelt from Ge-ba onward, at Mich-mash and Ai-ja, and at Beth-el and the towns thereof, 32at An-a-thoth, Nob, An-a-ni-ah, 33Ha-zor, Ra-mah, Git-ta-im, 34Ha-did, Ze-bo-im, Ne-bal-lat, 35Lod, and O-no, the valley of craftsmen. 36And of the Levites, certain courses in Judah were joined to Benjamin.


12 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Ze-rub-ba-bel the son of She-al-ti-el, and Jesh-u-a: Se-rai-ah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2Am-a-ri-ah, Mal-luch, Hat-tush, 3Shech-a-ni-ah, Re-hum, Mer-e-moth, 4Ja-dau, Gin-ne-tho, A-bi-ah, 5Mi-a-min, Ma-a-di-ah, Bil-gah, 6Shem-ai-ah, and Joi-a-rib, Je-dai-ah. 7Sal-lu, A-mok, Hil-ki-ah, Je-dai-ah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jesh-u-a. 8Moreover the Levites: Jesh-u-a, Bin-nu-i, Kad-mi-el, Sher-e-bi-ah, Judah, and Mat-ta-ni-ah, who was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren. 9Also Bk-bu-ki-ah and Un-ni, their brethren, were over against them according to their offices. 10And Jesh-u-a begot Joi-a-kim, and Joi-a-kim begot E-li-ash-ib, and E-li-ash-ib begot Je-hoi-a-da, 11and Je-hoi-a-da begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jad-du-a. 12And in the days of Joi-a-kim were priests, heads of fathersí houses: of Se-rai-ah, Me-rai-ah; of Jeremiah, Han-a-ni-ah; 13of Ezra, Me-shul-lam; of Am-a-ri-ah, Jo-ha-nan; 14of Mel-i-cu, Jonathan; of Sheb-a-ni-ah, Joseph; 15of Har-im, Adna; of Me-rai-oth, Hel-ka-i; 16of Ja-dau, Zech-a-ri-ah; of Gin-ne-thon, Me-shul-lam; 17of A-bi-ah, Zich-ri; of Min-i-a-min, of Mo-a-di-ah, Pil-ta-i; 18of Bil-gah, Sham-mu-a; of Shem-ai-ah, Jehonathan; 19and of Joi-a-rib, Mat-te-nai; of Je-dai-ah, Uz-zi; 20of Sal-la-i, Kal-la-i; of A-mok, E-ber; 21of Hil-ki-ah, Hash-a-bi-ah; of Je-dai-ah, Neth-a-neel. 22As for the Levites, in the days of E-li-ash-ib, Je-hoi-a-da, and Jo-ha-nan, and Jad-du-a, there were recorded the heads of fathersí houses; also the priests, in the reign of Da-ri-us the Persian. 23The sons of Levi, heads of fathersí houses, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Jo-ha-nan the son of E-li-ash-ib. 24And the chiefs of the Levites: Hash-a-bi-ah, Sher-e-bi-ah, and Jesh-u-a the son of Kad-mi-el, with their brethren over against them, to praise and give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch next to watch. 25Mat-ta-ni-ah, and Bk-bu-ki-ah, O-ba-di-ah, Me-shul-lam, Tal-mon, Ak-kub, were porters keeping the watch at the store-houses of the gates. 26These were in the days of Joi-a-kim the son of Jesh-u-a, the son of Jo-za-dak, and in the days of Ne-hem-i-ah the governor, and of Ezra the priest the scribe.

27And at 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 thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 28And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Ne-thop-a-thi; 29also from the houses of Gil-gal, and out of the fields of Ge-ba and Az-ma-veth: for the singers had built them villages round about Jerusalem. 30And the priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall. 31Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies that gave thanks and went in procession; whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate: 32and after them went Ho-shai-ah, and half of the princes of Judah, 33and Az-a-ri-ah, Ezra, and Me-shul-lam, 34Judah, and Benjamin, and Shem-ai-ah, and Jeremiah, 35and certain of the priestsí sons with trumpets: Zech-a-ri-ah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shem-ai-ah, the son of Mat-ta-ni-ah, the son of Mi-chai-ah, the son of Zac-cur, the son of A-saph; 36and his brethren, Shem-ai-ah, and Az-a-reel, Mil-a-lai, Gil-a-lai, Ma-ai, Neth-a-neel, and Judah, Ha-na-ni, with the musical instruments of David the man of God; and Ezra the scribe was before them. 37And by the fountain 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 unto the water gate eastward. 38And the other company of them that gave thanks went to meet them, and I after them, with the half of the people, upon the wall, above the tower of the furnaces, even unto the broad wall, 39and above the gate of E-phra-im, and by the old gate, and by the fish gate, and the tower of Han-a-neel, and the tower of Me-ah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the gate of the guard. 40So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me; 41and the priests, E-li-a-kim, Ma-a-sei-ah, Min-i-a-min, Mi-chai-ah, El-i-o-e-nai, Zech-a-ri-ah, and Han-a-ni-ah, with trumpets; 42and Ma-a-sei-ah, and Shem-ai-ah, and El-e-a-zar, and Uz-zi, and Jo-ha-nan, and Mal-chi-ah, and E-lam, and E-zer. And the singers sang loud, with Jez-ra-hi-ah their overseer. 43And they 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.

44And on that day were men appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the heave-offerings, for the first-fruits, 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 that waited. 45And they kept the charge of their God, and the charge of the purification, and so did the singers and the porters, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. 46For in the days of David and A-saph of old there was a chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. 47And all Israel in the days of Ze-rub-ba-bel, and in the days of Ne-hem-i-ah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, 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.


13 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God for ever, 2because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, to curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3And it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. 4Now before this, E-li-ash-ib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied unto To-bi-ah, 5had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meal-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 porters; and the heave-offerings for the priests. 6But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the thirty-second year of Ar-ta-xerx-es king of Babylon I went unto the king: and after certain days I asked leave of the king, 7and I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that E-li-ash-ib had done for To-bi-ah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8And it grieved me greatly: therefore I cast forth all the household things of To-bi-ah out of the chamber. 9Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and I brought again there, the vessels of the house of God, with the meal-offerings and the frankincense.

10And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. 11Then I contended with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. 13And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shel-e-mi-ah the priest, and Za-dok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pe-dai-ah: and next to them was Ha-nan the son of Zac-cur, the son of Mat-ta-ni-ah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute unto their brethren. 14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the observances thereof.

15In those days I saw in Judah some men treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading asses therewith; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold goods. 16There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day? 18Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath. 19And it 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 till after the Sabbath: and I set some of my servants over the gates, that there should be no burden brought in on the Sabbath day. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge you about the wall? if you do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth they came no more on the Sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember unto me, O my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of your lovingkindness.



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  All text copyright © 2005 Aaron Randall. All rights reserved.  Photos, unless otherwise credited, are the property of the auth, all rights reserved.  Originally posted February 24, 2004.  Revised: April 07, 2010.