On that day1they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was foundwritten in it that 2noAmmonite or Moabite should everenter the assembly of God,
2because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but 3hiredBalaamagainst them to curse them. However, 4our Godturned the curse into a blessing.
So when they heard the law, 5they excluded6allforeigners from Israel.
Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest, 7who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being arelated to 8Tobiah,
had prepared a largebroom for him, whereformerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine and oil9prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the ccontributions for the priests.
But during allthis time I was not in Jerusalem, for in 10the thirty-secondyear of 11Artaxerxesking of Babylon I had gone to the king. After some time, however, I asked leave from the king,
and I came to Jerusalem and dlearned about the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, 12by preparing a eroom for him in the courts of the house of God.
It was verydispleasing to me, so I 13threwall of Tobiah'shouseholdgoods out of the room.
Then I gave an order and 14they cleansed the rooms; and I returnedthere the utensils of the house of God with the grain offerings and the frankincense.
I also fdiscovered that 15the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had ggoneaway, 16each to his own field.
So I h17reprimanded the officials and said, "18Why is the house of Godforsaken?" Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts.
12AllJudah then brought19the tithe of the grain, wine and oil into the storehouses.
In charge of the storehouses I appointedShelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and in addition to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for 20they were consideredreliable, and it was itheir task to distribute to their jkinsmen.
1421Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out my loyaldeedswhich I have performed for the house of my God and its services.
In thosedays I saw in Judah some who were treadingwinepresses22on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, 23and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbathday. So 24I admonished them on the day they soldfood.
Also men of Tyre were livingkthere who importedfish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem.
Then 25I lreprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is thisevilthing you are doing, mby profaning the sabbathday?
"26Did not your fathersdo the same, so that our Godbrought on us and on thiscityallthistrouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath."
1927It came about that just as it grewdark at the gates of Jerusalembefore the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shutnand that they should not open them untilafter the sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that noload would enter on the sabbathday.
20Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandisespent the nightoutsideJerusalem.
Then 28I owarned them and said to them, "Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will puseforce against you." From that time on they did not come on the sabbath.
And I commanded the Levites that 29they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbathday. For thisalso30remember me, O my God, and havecompassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.
In thosedays I alsosaw that the Jews had q31marriedwomen from 32Ashdod, 33Ammon and Moab.
As for their children, halfspoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but rthe language of his ownpeople.
So 34I contended with them and cursed them and 35strucksome of them and pulled out their hair, and 36made them swear by God, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nortake of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.
"37Did not Solomonking of Israelsinregardingthesethings? 38Yet among the manynations there was nokinglike him, and 39he was loved by his God, and Godmade him kingoverallIsrael; nevertheless the foreignwomen caused even him to sin.
"sDo we then hear about you that you have committedallthisgreatevil40by actingunfaithfully against our God by tmarryingforeignwomen?"
Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the highpriest, was a son-in-law of 41Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me.
2942Remember them, O my God, ubecause they have defiled the priesthood and the 43covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
3044Thus I purified them from everythingforeign and appointedduties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task,
and I arranged 45for the supply of wood at appointedtimes and for the firstfruits. 46Remember me, O my God, for good.