Nehemiah 7; Nehemiah 8

1 When the wall had been built and I had hung the doors, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. 2 Then I put my brother Hanani and Hananiah the commander of the fortress in charge of Jerusalem. Hananiah was a faithful man who revered God more than many. 3 I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem aren't to be opened during the hottest time of the day. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut and bar the doors. Also, appoint guards from among those who live in Jerusalem. Station some at their watch posts and some in front of their own houses." 4 Now although the city was wide and large, only a few people were living within it, and no houses had been rebuilt. 5 My God then prompted me to assemble the officials, the officers, and the people so that they could be registered by families. I found the record of the families who were the first to return, and I found the following written in it: 6 These are the people of the province who returned from the captivity of those exiles whom Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile. They all returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to their own town. 7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. The number of the people of Israel: 8 The family of Parosh 2,172 9 of Shephatiah 372 10 of Arah 652 11 of Pahath-moab, that is, of the descendants of Jeshua and Joab 2,818 12 of Elam 1,254 13 of Zattu 845 14 of Zaccai 760 15 of Binnui 648 16 of Bebai 628 17 of Azgad 2,322 18 of Adonikam 667 19 of Bigvai 2,067 20 of Adin 655 21 of Ater, that is, of the descendants of Hezekiah 98 22 of Hashum 328 23 of Bezai 324 24 of Hariph 112 25 of Gibeon 95 26 The people of Bethlehem and Netophah 188 27 of Anathoth 128 28 of Beth-azmaveth 42 29 of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth 743 30 of Ramah and Geba 621 31 of Michmas 122 32 of Bethel and Ai 123 33 of the other Nebo 52 34 the inhabitants of the other Elam 1,254 35 of Harim 320 36 of Jericho 345 37 of Lod, Hadid, and Ono 721 38 of Senaah 3,930 39 The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah, that is, of the house of Jeshua 973 40 of Immer 1,052 41 of Pashhur 1,247 42 of Harim 1,017 43 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua, that is, of Kadmiel, of the descendants of Hodaviah 74 44 The singers: the descendants of Asaph 148 45 The descendants of gatekeepers: of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai 138 46 The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, 47 Keros, Sia, Padon, 48 Lebanah, Hagabah, Shalmai, 49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar, 50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, 51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, 52 Besai, Meunim, Nephushesim, 53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, 54 Bazlith, Mehida, Harsha, 55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah, 56 Neziah, and Hatipha. 57 The descendants of Solomon's servants: Sotai, Sophereth, Perida, 58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel, 59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth-hazzebaim, and Amon. 60 All of the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon's servants totaled 392. 61 The following came up from Tel-Melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but were unable to prove that their family or their descent was from Israel: 62 the descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, 642. 63 And of the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai (who had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by his name) 64 looked for their entries in the genealogical records, but they weren't found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor ordered that they shouldn't eat of the most holy food until a priest arose who could consult Urim and Thummim. 66 The whole assembly together totaled 42,360. 67 This number doesn't include their 7,337 male and female servants; they also had 245 male and female singers, 68 736 horses, 245 mules, 69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 70 Some of the heads of families made a donation for the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, 50 bowls, and 530 priestly robes. 71 Some of the heads of families gave 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 manehs of silver to the treasury for the work. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 manehs of silver, and 67 priestly robes. 73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel settled in their towns.
1 When the seventh month came and the people of Israel were settled in their towns, all the people gathered together in the area in front of the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Instruction scroll from Moses, according to which the LORD had instructed Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Instruction before the assembly. This assembly was made up of both men and women and anyone who could understand what they heard. 3 Facing the area in front of the Water Gate, he read it aloud, from early morning until the middle of the day. He read it in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand, and everyone listened attentively to the Instruction scroll. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for this purpose. And standing beside him were Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his righthand side; while Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam stood on his lefthand side. 5 Standing above all of the people, Ezra the scribe opened the scroll in the sight of all of the people. And as he opened it, all of the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all of the people answered, "Amen! Amen!" while raising their hands. Then they bowed down and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah—helped the people to understand the Instruction while the people remained in their places. 8 They read aloud from the scroll, the Instruction from God, explaining and interpreting it so the people could understand what they heard. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all of the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God. Don't mourn or weep." They said this because all the people wept when they heard the words of the Instruction. 10 "Go, eat rich food, and drink something sweet," he said to them, "and send portions of this to any who have nothing ready! This day is holy to our LORD. Don't be sad, because the joy from the LORD is your strength!" 11 The Levites also calmed all of the people, saying, "Be quiet, for this day is holy. Don't be sad!" 12 Then all of the people went to eat and to drink, to send portions, and to have a great celebration, because they understood what had been said to them. 13 On the second day, the heads of the families of all the people, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered together around Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Instruction. 14 And they found written in the Instruction that the LORD had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should live in booths during the festival of the seventh month. 15 They also found that they should make the following proclamation and announce it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: "Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written." 16 So the people went out and brought them, and made booths for themselves, each on the roofs of their houses or their courtyards, in the courtyards of God's house, in the area by the Water Gate, or in the area by the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The whole assembly of those who had returned from captivity made booths and lived in them. This was something that the people of Israel hadn't done since the days of Joshua, Nun's son, and there was very great rejoicing. 18 He read from God's Instruction scroll every day, from the first until the last day of the festival. They kept the festival for seven days and held a solemn assembly on the eighth day, just as the Instruction required.
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