Nehemiah 12-13 Revised Standard Version

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The Priests and Levites

12 1  These are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, and Jeshua: Serai'ah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2  Amari'ah, Malluch, Hattush, 3  Shecani'ah, Rehum, Mer'emoth, 4  Iddo, Gin'nethoi, Abi'jah, 5  Mi'jamin, Ma-adi'ah, Bilgah, 6  Shemai'ah, Joi'arib, Jedai'ah, 7  Sallu, Amok, Hilki'ah, Jedai'ah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua. 8  And the Levites: Jeshua, Bin'nui, Kad'mi-el, Sherebi'ah, Judah, and Mattani'ah, who with his brethren was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9  And Bakbuki'ah and Unno their brethren stood opposite them in the service. 10  And Jeshua was the father of Joi'akim, Joi'akim the father of Eli'ashib, Eli'ashib the father of Joi'ada, 11  Joi'ada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jad'du-a. 12  And in the days of Joi'akim were priests, heads of fathers' houses: of Serai'ah, Merai'ah; of Jeremiah, Hanani'ah; 13  of Ezra, Meshul'lam; of Amari'ah, Jehoha'nan; 14  of Mal'luchi, Jonathan; of Shebani'ah, Joseph; 15  of Harim, Adna; of Merai'oth, Hel'kai; 16  of Iddo, Zechari'ah; of Gin'nethon, Meshul'lam; 17  of Abi'jah, Zichri; of Mini'amin, of Moadi'ah, Pil'tai; 18  of Bilgah, Sham'mu-a; of Shemai'ah, Jehon'athan; 19  of Joi'arib, Matte'nai; of Jedai'ah, Uzzi; 20  of Sal'lai, Kal'lai; of Amok, Eber; 21  of Hilki'ah, Hashabi'ah; of Jedai'ah, Nethan'el. 22  As for the Levites, in the days of Eli'ashib, Joi'ada, Joha'nan, and Jad'du-a, there were recorded the heads of fathers' houses; also the priests until the reign of Darius the Persian. 23  The sons of Levi, heads of fathers' houses, were written in the Book of the Chronicles until the days of Joha'nan the son of Eli'ashib. 24  And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabi'ah, Sherebi'ah, and Jeshua the son of Kad'mi-el, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch corresponding to watch. 25  Mattani'ah, Bakbuki'ah, Obadi'ah, Meshul'lam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers standing guard at the storehouses of the gates. 26  These were in the days of Joi'akim the son of Jeshua son of Jo'zadak, and in the days of Nehemi'ah the governor and of Ezra the priest the scribe.

The 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 circuit round Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netoph'athites; 29  also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Az'maveth; 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 up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies which gave thanks and went in procession. One went to the right upon the wall to the Dung Gate; 32  and after them went Hoshai'ah and half of the princes of Judah, 33  and Azari'ah, Ezra, Meshul'lam, 34  Judah, Benjamin, Shemai'ah, and Jeremiah, 35  and certain of the priests' sons with trumpets: Zechari'ah the son of Jonathan, son of Shemai'ah, son of Mattani'ah, son of Micai'ah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph; 36  and his kinsmen, Shemai'ah, Az'arel, Mil'alai, Gil'alai, Ma'ai, Nethan'el, Judah, and Hana'ni, 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 company of those who gave thanks went to the left, and I followed them with half of the people, upon the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, 39  and above the Gate of E'phraim, and by the Old Gate, and by the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hanan'el and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate; and they came to a halt at the Gate of the Guard. 40  So both companies of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41  and the priests Eli'akim, Ma-asei'ah, Mini'amin, Micai'ah, Eli-o-e'nai, Zechari'ah, and Hanani'ah, with trumpets; 42  and Ma-asei'ah, Shemai'ah, Elea'zar, Uzzi, Jehoha'nan, Malchi'jah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahi'ah as 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 afar off.

The Provision for the Priests and Levites

44  On that day men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, 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 towns; 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 of old there was a chief of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47  And all Israel in the days of Zerub'babel and in the days of Nehemi'ah 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.

Nehemiah's Reforms

13 1  On that day they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God; 2  for they did not meet the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them--yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3  When the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent. 4  Now before this, Eli'ashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was connected with Tobi'ah, 5  prepared for Tobi'ah a large chamber where they had previously put the cereal offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6  While this was taking place I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Ar-ta-xerx'es king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7  and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eli'ashib had done for Tobi'ah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8  And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobi'ah out of the chamber. 9  Then I gave orders and they cleansed the chambers; and I brought back thither the vessels of the house of God, with the cereal 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 remonstrated with 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 tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13  And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemi'ah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedai'ah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattani'ah, for they were counted faithful; and their duty was to distribute to their brethren. 14  Remember 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 his service.

15  In those days I saw in Judah men treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on asses; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16  Men of Tyre also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of wares and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17  Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this evil thing which you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? 18  Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this evil on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath." 19  When it began to be 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 set some of my servants over the gates, that no burden might be brought in on the sabbath day. 20  Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21  But I warned them and said to them, "Why do you lodge before 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 and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of thy steadfast love.

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 the language of each people. 25  And I contended with them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair; and I made them take oath in the name of God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless foreign women made even him to sin. 27  Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?" 28  And one of the sons of Jehoi'ada, the son of Eli'ashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanbal'lat the Hor'onite; therefore I chased him 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 first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

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