Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms1 of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,25
and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes3 of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes4 king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission
and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib5 had done in providing Tobiah6 a room in the courts of the house of God.
I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah's household goods out of the room.79
I gave orders to purify the rooms,8 and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.910
I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them,10 and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.1111
So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?"12 Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.
All Judah brought the tithes13 of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms.1413
I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because these men were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their brothers.1514
Remember16 me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.