At the dedication1 of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals,2 harps and lyres.328
The singers also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem--from the villages of the Netophathites,429
from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem.
When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people,5 the gates and the wall.
I had the leaders of Judah go up on topa of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on topb of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate.632
Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them,
along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
Judah, Benjamin,7 Shemaiah, Jeremiah,
as well as some priests with trumpets,8 and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph,
and his associates--Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani--with musical instruments9 [ prescribed by] David the man of God.10 Ezra11 the scribe led the procession.
At the Fountain Gate12 they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the house of David to the Water Gate13 on the east.
The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on topc of the wall, together with half the people--past the Tower of the Ovens14 to the Broad Wall,1539
over the Gate of Ephraim,16 the Jeshanahd Gate,17 the Fish Gate,18 the Tower of Hananel19 and the Tower of the Hundred,20 as far as the Sheep Gate.21 At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials,
as well as the priests--Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets--
and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah.
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms22 for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes.23 From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.2445
They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David25 and his son Solomon.2646
For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph,27 there had been directors for the singers and for the songs of praise28 and thanksgiving to God.
So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the singers and gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.29