These are the priests and Levites who came back with Zerubbabel (Shealtiel's son) and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah,
Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,
Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the leaders of the priests and of their relatives at the time of Jeshua.
The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his relatives was in charge of the thanksgiving hymns.
Their relatives Bakbukiah and Unno stood across from them in worship.
Jeshua was the father of Joiakim. Joiakim was the father of Eliashib. Eliashib was the father of Joiada.
Joiada was the father of Jonathan. Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.
At the time of Joiakim, these were the priests who were the leaders of their families: From Seraiah, Meraiah; from Jeremiah, Hananiah;
from Ezra, Meshullam; from Amariah, Jehohanan;
from Malluchi, Jonathan; from Shebaniah, Joseph;
from Harim, Adna; from Meraioth, Helkai;
from Iddo, Zechariah; from Ginnethon, Meshullam;
from Abijah, Zichri; from Miniamin, from Moadiah, Piltai;
from Bilgah, Shammua; from Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
from Joiarib, Mattenai; from Jedaiah, Uzzi;
from Sallai, Kallai; from Amok, Eber;
from Hilkiah, Hashabiah; from Jedaiah, Nethanel.
[The names of] the family heads of the Levites and the priests at the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua were recorded until the reign of Darius the Persian.
[The names of] the family heads of the Levites were recorded in the Book of Chronicles until the time of Johanan, grandson of Eliashib.
The heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua (son of Kadmiel). They and their relatives stood in groups across from one another to sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving antiphonally as David, the man of God, had ordered.
Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers standing guard at the storehouses by the gates.
They lived in the days of Joiakim, son of Jeshua, grandson of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.
When the wall of Jerusalem was going to be dedicated, they went to wherever the Levites lived and had them come to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication joyfully with hymns of thanksgiving, with songs and cymbals, and with harps and lyres.
So the groups of singers came together from the countryside around Jerusalem, from the villages of Netophah,
from Beth Gilgal, and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth. The singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem.
The priests and the Levites cleansed themselves. Then they cleansed the people, the gates, and the wall.
Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on the wall, and I arranged two large choirs to give thanks and march in procession. One choir went to the right on the wall to Dung Gate.
Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah followed them.
Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah also followed.
So did some priests with trumpets: Zechariah, who was the son of Jonathan, who was the son of Shemaiah, who was the son of Mattaniah, who was the son of Micaiah, who was the son of Zaccur, who was the son of Asaph.
Also, these relatives of Zechariah followed: Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani with the musical instruments of David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe led them.
At Fountain Gate they went straight up the stairs of the City of David. There the wall rises past David's palace and reaches Water Gate on the east.
The other choir went to the left. I followed them with the other half of the people. We walked on the wall, past the Tower of the Ovens, as far as Broad Wall,
then past Ephraim Gate, over Old Gate and Fish Gate, and by the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as Sheep Gate. The choir stopped at Guard's Gate.
So both choirs stood in God's temple, as did I and the half of the leaders who were with me.
Likewise, these priests stood in God's temple: Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah with trumpets,
and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchiah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang under the direction of Jezrahiah.
That day they offered many sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them reason to rejoice. The women and children rejoiced as well. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away.
On that day men were put in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, the first produce harvested, and a tenth of the people's money. They stored in those rooms the gifts designated by Moses' Teachings for the priests and Levites from the fields around the cities. The people of Judah were pleased with the ministry of the priests and Levites.
They were doing what their God required, what needed to be done for cleansing. The singers and the gatekeepers did what David and his son Solomon had ordered them to do.
Long ago in the time of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the singers to lead [in singing] the songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.
At the time of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all the Israelites were giving gifts for the daily support of the singers and the gatekeepers. They set aside holy gifts for [the daily support of] the Levites, and the Levites set aside holy gifts for support of Aaron's descendants.
On that day the Book of Moses was read while the people were listening. They heard the passage that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into God's assembly.
(After all, they didn't welcome the Israelites with food and water. Instead, they hired Balaam to curse the Israelites. But our God turned the curse into a blessing.)
After the people heard this Teaching, they separated the non-Israelites from the Israelites.
Even before this, the priest Eliashib, who was related to Tobiah and had been put in charge of the storerooms of our God's temple,
had provided a large room for Tobiah. Previously, this room had been used to store grain offerings, incense, utensils, a tenth of all the grain harvested, new wine, and olive oil. These things belonged by law to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers. The contributions for the priests had also been stored there.
While all of this was taking place, I wasn't in Jerusalem. In the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes' reign in Babylon, I returned to the king.Later, I asked the king for permission to return.
I went to Jerusalem and discovered the evil thing Eliashib had done by providing Tobiah with a room in God's temple.
I was furious. So I threw all of Tobiah's household goods out of the room.
Then I told them to cleanse the rooms, and I put back in there the utensils from God's temple, the offerings, and the incense.
I learned that the Levites had not been given their portions. So each of the Levites and singers, who conducted the worship [in the temple], had left for their own fields.
I reprimanded the leaders. "Why is God's temple being neglected?" I asked. So I brought the Levites back together and put them back in their places of service.
Then all Judah brought a tenth of all the grain harvested, new wine, and olive oil to the storerooms.
I appointed the following men to be in charge of the storerooms: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah the Levite, and I appointed Hanan, son of Zaccur and grandson of Mattaniah to help them. Since they could be trusted, I made them responsible for distributing [the portions] to their relatives.
[Nehemiah prayed,] "Remember me for what I have done, my God, and don't wipe out the good things that I have done for your temple and for the worship that is held there."
In those days I saw people in Judah stomping grapes in the winepresses on the day of worship. I saw them bringing in loads of wine, grapes, figs, and every other kind of load. They piled the loads on donkeys and brought them into Jerusalem on the day of worship. I warned them about selling food on that day.
People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of goods. They were selling them on the day of worship to the people of Judah, even in Jerusalem.
I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and asked them, "What is this evil thing you're doing? How dare you treat the day of worship as unholy!
Isn't this what your ancestors did, with the results that our God brought all these evils on us and on this city? Now you're making him even more angry with Israel by treating the day of worship as unholy."
Before the day of worship, when the gates of Jerusalem were cleared of traffic, I ordered the doors to be shut and not to be reopened until after the day of worship. I stationed some of my men by the gates to make sure that no loads could be brought in on the day of worship.
Once or twice merchants and those who sell all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
I warned them. "Why are you spending the night in front of the wall?" I asked them. "If you do it again, I'll arrest you." After that, they no longer came on the day of worship.
Then I told the Levites to cleanse themselves and guard the gates to keep the day of worship holy. [Nehemiah prayed,] "Remember me also for this, my God, and spare me, since you are very kind."
In those days I saw some Jews who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
Half their children spoke the language of Ashdod or one of the other languages, but they couldn't understand the language of Judah well enough to speak it.
So I reprimanded those Jews, cursed them, beat some of them, and pulled out their hair. I made them swear by God: "We won't allow our daughters to marry their sons, and we won't allow their daughters to marry us or our sons."
I said, "Wasn't it because of marriages like these that King Solomon of Israel sinned? There wasn't a king like him among all nations. God loved him, and God made him king of all Israel. But his non-Israelite wives led him to sin.
Should we follow your example, commit such a serious crime against our God, and be unfaithful to him by marrying non-Israelite women?"
Even one of Joiada's sons was a son-in-law of Sanballat from Beth Horon. (Joiada was the son of the chief priest Eliashib.) I chased Joiada's son away from me.
[Nehemiah prayed,] "Remember them, my God, because they have contaminated the priestly office and the promise you made to the priests and Levites."
So I cleansed them from everything that was foreign. I assigned duties to the priests and Levites. Each one had his own assignment.
I also arranged for delivering wood at regular times and for bringing the first produce to be harvested. [Nehemiah prayed,] "Remember me, my God, for my benefit."
When Peter and John were released, they went to the other apostles and told them everything the chief priests and leaders had said.
When the apostles heard this, they were united and loudly prayed to God, "Master, you made the sky, the land, the sea, and everything in them.
You said through the Holy Spirit, who spoke through your servant David (our ancestor), 'Why do the nations act arrogantly? Why do their people devise useless plots?
Kings take their stand. Rulers make plans together against the Lord and against his Messiah.'
"In this city Herod and Pontius Pilate made plans together with non-Jewish people and the people of Israel. They made their plans against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
Through your will and power, they did everything that you had already decided should be done.
"Lord, pay attention to their threats now, and allow us to speak your word boldly.
Show your power by healing, performing miracles, and doing amazing things through the power and the name of your holy servant Jesus."
When the apostles had finished praying, their meeting place shook. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God boldly.
The whole group of believers lived in harmony. No one called any of his possessions his own. Instead, they shared everything.
With great power the apostles continued to testify that the Lord Jesus had come back to life. [God's] abundant good will was with all of them.
None of them needed anything. From time to time, people sold land or houses and brought the money
to the apostles. Then the money was distributed to anyone who needed it.
Joseph, a descendant of Levi, had been born on the island of Cyprus. The apostles called him Barnabas, which means "a person who encourages."
He had some land. He sold it and turned the money over to the apostles.