Nehemiah 9-11 Revised Standard Version

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Ezra's Confession of Israel's Sins

9 1  Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth upon their heads. 2  And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3  And they stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; for another fourth of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.

4  Upon the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kad'mi-el, Shebani'ah, Bunni, Sherebi'ah, Bani, and Chena'ni; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5  Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kad'mi-el, Bani, Hashabnei'ah, Sherebi'ah, Hodi'ah, Shebani'ah, and Pethahi'ah, said, "Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be thy glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise." 6  And Ezra said: "Thou art the Lord, thou alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and thou preservest all of them; and the host of heaven worships thee. 7  Thou art the Lord, the God who didst choose Abram and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chalde'ans and give him the name Abraham; 8  and thou didst find his heart faithful before thee, and didst make with him the covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Per'izzite, the Jeb'usite, and the Gir'gashite; and thou hast fulfilled thy promise, for thou art righteous. 9  "And thou didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and hear their cry at the Red Sea, 10  and didst perform signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for thou knewest that they acted insolently against our fathers; and thou didst get thee a name, as it is to this day. 11  And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land; and thou didst cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12  By a pillar of cloud thou didst lead them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13  Thou didst come down upon Mount Sinai, and speak with them from heaven and give them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14  and thou didst make known to them thy holy sabbath and command them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses thy servant. 15  Thou didst give them bread from heaven for their hunger and bring forth water for them from the rock for their thirst, and thou didst tell them to go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16  "But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey thy commandments; 17  they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders which thou didst perform among them; but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But thou art a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and didst not forsake them. 18  Even when they had made for themselves a molten calf and said, 'This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,' and had committed great blasphemies, 19  thou in thy great mercies didst not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud which led them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night which lighted for them the way by which they should go. 20  Thou gavest thy good Spirit to instruct them, and didst not withhold thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21  Forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22  And thou didst give them kingdoms and peoples, and didst allot to them every corner; so they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23  Thou didst multiply their descendants as the stars of heaven, and thou didst bring them into the land which thou hadst told their fathers to enter and possess. 24  So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and thou didst subdue before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and didst give them into their hands, 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 hewn out, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance; so they ate, and were filled and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26  "Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against thee and cast thy law behind their back and killed thy prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to thee, and they committed great blasphemies. 27  Therefore thou didst give them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer; and in the time of their suffering they cried to thee and thou didst hear them from heaven; and according to thy great mercies thou didst give them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28  But after they had rest they did evil again before thee, and thou didst abandon them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to thee thou didst hear from heaven, and many times thou didst deliver them according to thy mercies. 29  And thou didst warn them in order to turn them back to thy law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey thy commandments, but sinned against thy ordinances, by the observance of which a man shall live, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30  Many years thou didst bear with them, and didst warn them by thy Spirit through thy prophets; yet they would not give ear. Therefore thou didst give them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31  Nevertheless in thy great mercies thou didst not make an end of them or forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. 32  "Now therefore, our God, the great and mighty and terrible God, who keepest covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to thee that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33  Yet thou hast been just in all that has come upon us, for thou hast dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; 34  our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept thy law or heeded thy commandments and thy warnings which thou didst give them. 35  They did not serve thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness which thou gavest them, and in the large and rich land which thou didst set before them; and they did not turn from their wicked works. 36  Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that thou gavest to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37  And its rich yield goes to the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."

The People Covenant to Keep the Law

38  Because of all this we make a firm covenant and write it, and our princes, our Levites, and our priests set their seal to it.

10 1  Those who set their seal are Nehemi'ah the governor, the son of Hacali'ah, Zedeki'ah, 2  Serai'ah, Azari'ah, Jeremiah, 3  Pashhur, Amari'ah, Malchi'jah, 4  Hattush, Shebani'ah, Malluch, 5  Harim, Mer'emoth, Obadi'ah, 6  Daniel, Gin'nethon, Baruch, 7  Meshul'lam, Abi'jah, Mi'jamin, 8  Ma-azi'ah, Bil'gai, Shemai'ah; these are the priests. 9  And the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azani'ah, Bin'nui of the sons of Hen'adad, Kad'mi-el; 10  and their brethren, Shebani'ah, Hodi'ah, Keli'ta, Pelai'ah, Hanan, 11  Mica, Rehob, Hashabi'ah, 12  Zaccur, Sherebi'ah, Shebani'ah, 13  Hodi'ah, Bani, Beni'nu. 14  The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pa'hath-mo'ab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15  Bunni, Azgad, Be'bai, 16  Adoni'jah, Bigva'i, Adin, 17  Ater, Hezeki'ah, Azzur, 18  Hodi'ah, Hashum, Be'zai, 19  Hariph, An'athoth, Ne'bai, 20  Mag'piash, Meshul'lam, Hezir, 21  Meshez'abel, Zadok, Jad'du-a, 22  Pelati'ah, Hanan, Anai'ah, 23  Hoshe'a, Hanani'ah, Hasshub, 24  Hallo'hesh, Pi'lha, Shobek, 25  Rehum, Hashab'nah, Ma-asei'ah, 26  Ahi'ah, Hanan, Anan, 27  Malluch, Harim, Ba'anah. 28  The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, 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 brethren, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's law which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his ordinances and his statutes. 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 bring in wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on a holy day; and we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

32  We also lay upon ourselves the obligation to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33  for the showbread, the continual cereal offering, the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed feasts, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34  We have likewise cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law. 35  We obligate ourselves to bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; 36  also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, 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; 37  and to bring the first of our coarse meal, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our rural towns. 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, to the storehouse. 39  For the people of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.

The Residents of Jerusalem

11 1  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 tenths remained in the other towns. 2  And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. 3  These are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem; but in the towns of Judah every one lived on his property in their towns: Israel, the priests, the Levites, the temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon's servants. 4  And in Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin. Of the sons of Judah: Athai'ah the son of Uzzi'ah, son of Zechari'ah, son of Amari'ah, son of Shephati'ah, son of Mahal'alel, of the sons of Perez; 5  and Ma-asei'ah the son of Baruch, son of Col-ho'zeh, son of Hazai'ah, son of Adai'ah, son of Joi'arib, son of Zechari'ah, son of the Shi'lonite. 6  All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight valiant men. 7  And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshul'lam, son of Jo'ed, son of Pedai'ah, son of Kolai'ah, son of Ma-asei'ah, son of I'thi-el, son of Jeshai'ah. 8  And after him Gabba'i, Salla'i, nine hundred and twenty-eight. 9  Jo'el the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassen'u-ah was second over the city. 10  Of the priests: Jedai'ah the son of Joi'arib, Jachin, 11  Serai'ah the son of Hilki'ah, son of Meshul'lam, son of Zadok, son of Merai'oth, son of Ahi'tub, ruler of the house of God, 12  and their brethren who did the work of the house, eight hundred and twenty-two; and Adai'ah the son of Jero'ham, son of Pelali'ah, son of Amzi, son of Zechari'ah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchi'jah, 13  and his brethren, heads of fathers' houses, two hundred and forty-two; and Amash'sai, the son of Az'arel, son of Ah'zai, son of Meshil'lemoth, son of Immer, 14  and their brethren, mighty men of valor, a hundred and twenty-eight; their overseer was Zab'diel the son of Haggedo'lim. 15  And of the Levites: Shemai'ah the son of Hasshub, son of Azri'kam, son of Hashabi'ah, son of Bunni; 16  and Shab'bethai and Jo'zabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who were over the outside work of the house of God; 17  and Mattani'ah the son of Mica, son of Zabdi, son of Asaph, who was the leader to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbuki'ah, the second among his brethren; and Abda the son of Sham'mua, son of Galal, son of Jedu'thun. 18  All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four. 19  The gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon and their brethren, who kept watch at the gates, were a hundred and seventy-two.

20  And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, every one in his inheritance. 21  But the temple servants lived on Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the temple servants. 22  The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, son of Hashabi'ah, son of Mattani'ah, 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 settled provision for the singers, as every day required. 24  And Pethahi'ah the son of Meshez'abel, of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.

The Settlement outside of Jerusalem

25  And as for the villages, with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kir'iath-ar'ba and its villages, and in Dibon and its villages, and in Jekab'zeel and its villages, 26  and in Jeshua and in Mola'dah and Beth-pelet, 27  in Ha'zar-shu'al, in Beer-sheba and its villages, 28  in Ziklag, in Meco'nah and its villages, 29  in En-rim'mon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth, 30  Zano'ah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Aze'kah and its villages. So they encamped from Beer-sheba to the valley of Hinnom. 31  The people of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash, Ai'ja, Bethel and its villages, 32  An'athoth, Nob, Anani'ah, 33  Hazor, Ramah, Git'taim, 34  Hadid, Zebo'im, Nebal'lat, 35  Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. 36  And certain divisions of the Levites in Judah were joined to Benjamin.

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