and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes1 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 Artaxerxes2 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 Eliashib3 had done in providing Tobiah4 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.59
I gave orders to purify the rooms,6 and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.710
I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them,8 and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.911
So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?"10 Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.
All Judah brought the tithes11 of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms.1213
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.1314
Remember14 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.
In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath.15 Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.