Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?"
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.
I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.
Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"
The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.
So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:
These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town,
in company with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah): The list of the men of Israel:
the descendants of Parosh, 2,172
of Shephatiah, 372
of Arah, 652
of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab), 2,818
of Elam, 1,254
of Zattu, 845
of Zaccai, 760
of Binnui, 648
of Bebai, 628
of Azgad, 2,322
of Adonikam, 667
of Bigvai, 2,067
of Adin, 655
of Ater (through Hezekiah), 98
of Hashum, 328
of Bezai, 324
of Hariph, 112
of Gibeon, 95
the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188
of Anathoth, 128
of Beth Azmaveth, 42
of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth, 743
of Ramah and Geba, 621
of Micmash, 122
of Bethel and Ai, 123
of the other Nebo, 52
of the other Elam, 1,254
of Harim, 320
of Jericho, 345
of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 721
of Senaah, 3,930
The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua), 973
of Immer, 1,052
of Pashhur, 1,247
of Harim, 1,017
The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel through the line of Hodaviah), 74
The singers: the descendants of Asaph, 148
The gatekeepers: the descendants of
The temple servants: the descendants of
Keros, Sia, Padon,
Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,
Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
Neziah and Hatipha
The descendants of the servants of Solomon: the descendants of
Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon, 392
The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:
the descendants of
And from among the priests: the descendants of
These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.
The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.
The whole company numbered 42,360,
besides their %"7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 245 men and women singers.
There were 736 horses, 245 mules,
435 camels and %"6,720 donkeys.
Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury %"1,000 drachmas of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests.
Some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 drachmas of gold and %"2,200 minas of silver.
The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 drachmas of gold, %"2,000 minas of silver and 67 garments for priests.
The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns. When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,
all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.
So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.
He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.
Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
The Levites--Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah--instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there.
They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.