During the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, lyres, and harps.
The singers were brought together from Jerusalem and its surrounding villages and from the villages of the Netophathites.
They also came from Beth-gilgal and the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own villages around Jerusalem.
The priests and Levites first dedicated themselves, then the people, the gates, and the wall.
I led the leaders of Judah to the top of the wall and organized two large choirs to give thanks. One of the choirs proceeded southward a along the top of the wall to the Dung Gate.
Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them,
along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah,
and some priests who played trumpets. Then came Zechariah son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, a descendant of Asaph.
And finally came Zechariah's colleagues Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. They used the musical instruments prescribed by David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe led this procession.
At the Fountain Gate they went straight up the steps on the ascent of the city wall toward the City of David. They passed the house of David and then proceeded to the Water Gate on the east.
The second choir went northward b around the other way to meet them. I followed them, with the other half of the people, along the top of the wall past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,
then past the Ephraim Gate to the Old City Gate, c past the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel, and went on to the Tower of the Hundred. Then we continued on to the Sheep Gate and stopped at the Guard Gate.
The two choirs that were giving thanks then proceeded to the Temple of God, where they took their places. So did I, together with the group of leaders who were with me.
We went together with the trumpet-playing priests -- Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah --
and the singers -- Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. They played and sang loudly and clearly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director.
Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)