June 3

Nehemiah 12:1 — 13:31

12  And these were the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the heads of the priests and their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

8 And the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, Mattaniah, over the giving of thanks, he and his brothers. 9 And Bakbukiah and Unni their brothers were opposite them for guard duties. 10 Jeshua himself became father to Joiakim, and Joiakim himself became father to Eliashib, and Eliashib to Joiada. 11 And Joiada himself became father to Jonathan, and Jonathan himself became father to Jaddua.

12 And in the days of Joiakim there happened to be priests, the heads of the paternal houses: for Seraiah, Meraiah; for Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 for Ezra, Meshullam; for Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 for Malluchi, Jonathan; for Shebaniah, Joseph; 15 for Harim, Adna; for Meraioth, Helkai; 16 for Iddo, Zechariah; for Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 for Abijah, Zichri; for Miniamin, ——; for Moadiah, Piltai; 18 for Bilgah, Shammua; for Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 and for Joiarib, Mattenai; for Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 for Sallai, Kallai; for Amok, Eber; 21 for Hilkiah, Hashabiah; for Jedaiah, Nethanel.

22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada and Johanan and Jaddua were recorded as heads of paternal houses, also the priests, down till the kingship of Darius the Persian.

23 The sons of Levi as heads of the paternal houses were recorded in the book of the affairs of the times, even down till the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24 And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel and their brothers opposite them to offer praise [and] give thanks according to the commandment of David the man of the [true] God, guard group corresponding with guard group. 25 Mattaniah and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub were keeping guard as gatekeepers, a guard group by the stores of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest, the copyist.

27 And at the inauguration of the wall of Jerusalem they looked for the Levites, to bring them out of all their places to Jerusalem to carry on an inauguration and a rejoicing even with thanksgivings and with song, cymbals [and] stringed instruments and with harps. 28 And the sons of the singers proceeded to gather themselves even from the District, from all around Jerusalem and from the settlements of the Netophathites, 29 and from Beth-gilgal and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for there were settlements that the singers had built for themselves all around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites proceeded to cleanse themselves and cleanse the people and the gates and the wall.

31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall. Further, I appointed two large thanksgiving choirs and processions, [and the one was walking] to the right upon the wall to the Gate of the Ash-heaps. 32 And Hoshaiah and half of the princes of Judah began to walk behind them, 33 also Azariah, Ezra and Meshullam, 34 Judah and Benjamin and Shemaiah and Jeremiah; 35 also of the sons of the priests with the trumpets Zechariah the son of Jonathan the son of Shemaiah the son of Mattaniah the son of Micaiah the son of Zaccur the son of Asaph, 36 and his brothers Shemaiah and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel and Judah, Hanani, with the instruments of song of David the man of the [true] God; and Ezra the copyist before them. 37 And at the Fountain Gate and straight ahead of them they went up on the Stairway of the City of David by the ascent of the wall above the House of David and clear to the Water Gate to the east.

38 And the other thanksgiving choir was walking in front, and I after it, also half of the people, upon the wall up over the Tower of the Bake Ovens and on to the Broad Wall, 39 and up over the Gate of Ephraim and on to the Gate of the Old [City] and clear to the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of Meah and on to the Sheep Gate; and they came to a stand at the Gate of the Guard.

40 At length the two thanksgiving choirs came to a stand at the house of the [true] God, also I and half of the deputy rulers with me, 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, Hananiah with the trumpets, 42 and Maaseiah and Shemaiah, and Eleazar and Uzzi and Jehohanan and Malchijah and Elam and Ezer. And the singers with Izrahiah the overseer kept making themselves heard.

43 And they proceeded to sacrifice on that day great sacrifices and to rejoice, for the [true] God himself caused them to rejoice with great joy. And also the women and the children themselves rejoiced, so that the rejoicing of Jerusalem could be heard far away.

44 Further, there were appointed on that day men over the halls for the stores, for the contributions, for the firstfruits and for the tenths, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions [called for by] the law for the priests and the Levites; for the rejoicing of Judah was because of the priests and of the Levites who were in attendance. 45 And they began taking care of the obligation of their God and the obligation of the purification, also the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the commandment of David [and] Solomon his son. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph in bygone time there were heads of the singers and the song of praise and thanksgivings to God. 47 And all Israel during the days of Zerubbabel and during the days of Nehemiah were giving the portions of the singers and of the gatekeepers according to the daily need and were sanctifying [them] to the Levites; and the Levites were sanctifying [them] to the sons of Aaron.

13 On that day there was a reading from the book of Moses in the ears of the people; and there was found written in it that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of the [true] God to time indefinite, 2 for they had not met the sons of Israel with bread and with water, but went hiring against them Balaam to call down evil upon them. However, our God changed the malediction into a benediction. 3 So it came about that, as soon as they heard the law, they began to separate all the mixed company from Israel.

4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest in charge of a dining hall of the house of our God was a relative of Tobiah; 5 and he proceeded to make for him a large dining hall, where previously they were regularly putting the grain offering, the frankincense and the utensils and the tenth of the grain, the new wine and the oil, to which the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers are entitled, and the contribution for the priests.

6 And during all this [time] I did not happen to be in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king of Babylon I came to the king, and sometime later I asked leave of absence from the king. 7 Then I came to Jerusalem and got to notice the badness that Eliashib had committed for Tobiah by making for him a hall in the courtyard of the house of the [true] God. 8 And it seemed very bad to me. So I threw all the furniture of Tobiah’s house outside the dining hall. 9 After that I said [the word] and they cleansed the dining halls; and I proceeded to put back there the utensils of the house of the [true] God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10 And I got to find out that the very portions of the Levites had not been given [them], so that the Levites and the singers doing the work went running off, each one to his own field. 11 And I began to find fault with the deputy rulers and say: “Why has the house of the [true] God been neglected?” Consequently I collected them together and stationed them at their standing place. 12 And all Judah, for their part, brought in the tenth of the grain and of the new wine and of the oil to the stores. 13 Then I put Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the copyist and Pedaiah of the Levites in charge of the stores; and under their control there was Hanan the son of Zaccur the son of Mattaniah, for they were considered faithful; and upon them it devolved to do the distributing to their brothers.

14 Do remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my acts of loving-kindness that I have performed in connection with the house of my God and the guardianship of it.

15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the sabbath and bringing in grain heaps and loading [them] upon asses, and also wine, grapes and figs and every sort of burden, and bringing [them] into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I proceeded to bear witness [against them] on the day of their selling provisions. 16 And the Tyrians themselves dwelt in [the city], bringing in fish and every sort of merchandise and making sales on the sabbath to the sons of Judah and in Jerusalem. 17 So I began to find fault with the nobles of Judah and say to them: “What is this bad thing that YOU are doing, even profaning the sabbath day? 18 Was it not this way that YOUR forefathers did, so that our God brought upon us all this calamity, and also upon this city? Yet YOU are adding to the burning anger against Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

19 And it came about that, as soon as the gates of Jerusalem had grown shadowy before the sabbath, I immediately said [the word] and the doors began to be closed. I said further that they should not open them until after the sabbath; and some of my own attendants I stationed at the gates that no burden might come in on the sabbath day. 20 Consequently the traders and the sellers of every sort of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once and a second time. 21 Then I proceeded to bear witness against them and say to them: “Why are YOU spending the night in front of the wall? If YOU do it again, a hand I shall lay on YOU.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath.

22 And I went on to say to the Levites that they should be regularly purifying themselves and coming in, keeping guard of the gates to sanctify the sabbath day. This, also, do remember to my account, O my God, and do feel sorry for me according to the abundance of your loving-kindness.

23 Also, in those days I saw the Jews that had given a dwelling to Ashdodite, Ammonite [and] Moabite wives. 24 And as for their sons, half were speaking Ashdodite, and there were none of them knowing how to speak Jewish, but in the tongue of the different peoples. 25 And I began to find fault with them and call down evil upon them and strike some men of them and pull out their hair and make them swear by God: “YOU should not give YOUR daughters to their sons, and YOU should not accept any of their daughters for YOUR sons or yourselves. 26 Was it not because of these that Solomon the king of Israel sinned? And among the many nations there proved to be no king like him; and loved of his God he happened to be, so that God constituted him king over all Israel. Even him the foreign wives caused to sin. 27 And is it not something unheard of for YOU to commit all this great badness in acting unfaithfully against our God by giving a dwelling to foreign wives?”

28 And one of the sons of Joiada the son of Eliashib the high priest was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. So I chased him away from me.

29 Do remember them, O my God, on account of the defilement of the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.

30 And I purified them from everything foreign and proceeded to assign duties to the priests and to the Levites, each one in his own work, 31 even for the supply of the wood at appointed times and for the first ripe fruits.

Do remember me, O my God, for good.