Nehemiah 7; Nehemiah 8; Nehemiah 9; Acts 3

1 And now the wall had been rebuilt, the gates had all been put in place, and the Temple guards, the members of the sacred choir, and the other Levites had been assigned their work. 2 I put two men in charge of governing the city of Jerusalem: my brother Hanani and Hananiah, commanding officer of the fortress. Hananiah was a reliable and God-fearing man without equal. 3 I told them not to have the gates of Jerusalem opened in the morning until well after sunrise and to have them closed and barred before the guards went off duty at sunset. I also told them to appoint guards from among the people who lived in Jerusalem and to assign some of them to specific posts and others to patrol the area around their own houses. 4 Jerusalem was a large city, but not many people were living in it, and not many houses had been built yet. 5 God inspired me to assemble the people and their leaders and officials and to check their family records. I located the records of those who had first returned from captivity, and this is the information I found: 6 Many of the exiles left the province of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own hometown. Their families had been living in exile in Babylonia ever since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners. 7 Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. 8 This is the list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned from exile: Parosh - 2,172 9 Shephatiah - 372 10 Arah - 652 11 Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) - 2,818 12 Elam - 1,254 13 Zattu - 845 14 Zaccai - 760 15 Binnui - 648 16 Bebai - 628 17 Azgad - 2,322 18 Adonikam - 667 19 Bigvai - 2,067 20 Adin - 655 21 Ater (also called Hezekiah) - 98 22 Hashum - 328 23 Bezai - 324 24 Hariph - 112 25 Gibeon - 95 26 People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned: Bethlehem and Netophah - 188 27 Anathoth - 128 28 Beth Azmaveth - 42 29 Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth - 743 30 Ramah and Geba - 621 31 Michmash - 122 32 Bethel and Ai - 123 33 The other Nebo - 52 34 The other Elam - 1,254 35 Harim - 320 36 Jericho - 345 37 Lod, Hadid, and Ono - 721 38 Senaah - 3,930 39 This is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile: Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua) - 973 40 Immer - 1,052 41 Pashhur - 1,247 42 Harim - 1,017 43 Clans of Levites who returned from exile: Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) - 74 44 Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) - 148 45 Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) - 138 46 Clans of temple workmen who returned from exile: Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, 47 Keros, Sia, Padon, 48 Lebana, Hagaba, 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 Clans of Solomon's servants who returned from exile: Sotai, Sophereth, Perida, 58 Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel, 59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Amon. 60 The total number of descendants of the temple workmen and of Solomon's servants who returned from exile was 392. 61 There were 642 belonging to the clans of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; 62 but they could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites. 63 The following priestly clans could find no record to prove their ancestry: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai. (The ancestor of the priestly clan of Barzillai had married a woman from the clan of Barzillai of Gilead and taken the name of his father-in-law's clan.) 64 Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not accepted as priests. 65 The Jewish governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a priest who could use the Urim and Thummim. 66 Total number of exiles who returned - 42,360 Their male and female servants - 7,337 67 Male and female musicians - 245 68 Horses - 736, Mules - 245 69 Camels - 435, Donkeys - 6,720 70 Many of the people contributed to help pay the cost of restoring the Temple: The governor 8 kilogrammes of gold, 50 ceremonial bowls, 530 robes for priests 71 eads of clans 168 kilogrammes of gold, 1,250 kilogrammes of silver, 72 he rest of the people 168 kilogrammes of gold, 140 kilogrammes of silver, 67 robes for priests 73 The priests, the Levites, the temple guards, the musicians, many of the ordinary people, the temple workmen - all the people of Israel - settled in the towns and cities of Judah.
1 By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to get the book of the Law. 2 So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered - men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3 There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively. 4 Ezra was standing on a wooden platform that had been built for the occasion. The following men stood at his right: Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and the following stood at his left: Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6 Ezra said, "Praise the Lord, the great God!" All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, "Amen! Amen!" They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground. 7 Then they rose and stood in their places, and the following Levites explained the Law to them: Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah. 8 They gave an oral translation of God's Law and explained it so that the people could understand it. 9 When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the Law told all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your God, so you are not to mourn or cry. 10 Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don't have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don't be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong." 11 The Levites went around calming the people and telling them not to be sad on such a holy day. 12 So all the people went home and ate and drank joyfully and shared what they had with others, because they understood what had been read to them. 13 The next day the heads of the clans, together with the priests and the Levites, went to Ezra to study the teachings of the Law. 14 They discovered that the Law, which the Lord gave through Moses, ordered the people of Israel to live in temporary shelters during the Festival of Shelters. 15 So they gave the following instructions and sent them all through Jerusalem and the other cities and towns: "Go out to the hills and get branches from pines, olives, myrtles, palms, and other trees to make shelters according to the instructions written in the Law." 16 So the people got branches and built shelters on the flat roofs of their houses, in their yards, in the Temple courtyard, and in the public squares by the Water Gate and by the Ephraim Gate. 17 All the people who had come back from captivity built shelters and lived in them. This was the first time it had been done since the days of Joshua son of Nun, and everybody was excited and happy. 18 From the first day of the festival to the last they read a part of God's Law every day. They celebrated for seven days, and on the eighth day there was a closing ceremony, as required in the Law.
1 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month the people of Israel gathered to fast in order to show sorrow for their sins. They had already separated themselves from all foreigners. They wore sackcloth and put dust on their heads as signs of grief. Then they stood and began to confess the sins that they and their ancestors had committed. 3 For about three hours the Law of the Lord their God was read to them, and for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 There was a platform for the Levites, and on it stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani. They prayed aloud to the Lord their God. 5 The following Levites gave a call to worship: Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah. They said: "Stand up and praise the Lord your God; praise him forever and ever! Let everyone praise his glorious name, although no human praise is great enough." 6 And then the people of Israel prayed this prayer: "You, Lord, you alone are Lord; you made the heavens and the stars of the sky. You made land and sea and everything in them; you gave life to all. The heavenly powers bow down and worship you. 7 You, Lord God, chose Abram and led him out of Ur in Babylonia; you changed his name to Abraham. 8 You found that he was faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him. You promised to give him the land of the Canaanites, the land of the Hittites and the Amorites, the land of the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Girgashites, to be a land where his descendants would live. You kept your promise, because you are faithful. 9 "You saw how our ancestors suffered in Egypt; you heard their call for help at the Red Sea. 10 You worked amazing miracles against the king, against his officials and the people of his land, because you knew how they oppressed your people. You won then the fame you still have today. 11 Through the sea you made a path for your people and led them through on dry ground. Those who pursued them drowned in deep water, as a stone sinks in the raging sea. 12 With a cloud you led them in daytime, and at night you lighted their way with fire. 13 At Mount Sinai you came down from heaven; you spoke to your people and gave them good laws and sound teachings. 14 You taught them to keep your Sabbaths holy, and through your servant Moses you gave them your laws. 15 "When they were hungry, you gave them bread from heaven, and water from a rock when they were thirsty. You told them to take control of the land which you had promised to give them. 16 But our ancestors grew proud and stubborn and refused to obey your commands. 17 They refused to obey; they forgot all you did; they forgot the miracles you had performed. In their pride they chose a leader to take them back to slavery in Egypt. But you are a God who forgives; you are gracious and loving, slow to be angry. Your mercy is great; you did not forsake them. 18 They made an idol in the shape of a bull-calf and said it was the god who led them from Egypt! How much they insulted you, Lord! 19 But you did not abandon them there in the desert, for your mercy is great. You did not take away the cloud or the fire that showed them the path by day and night. 20 In your goodness you told them what they should do; you fed them manna and gave them water to drink. 21 Through forty years in the desert you provided all that they needed; their clothing never wore out, and their feet were not swollen with pain. 22 "You let them conquer nations and kingdoms, lands that bordered their own. They conquered the land of Heshbon, where Sihon ruled, and the land of Bashan, where Og was king. 23 You gave them as many children as there are stars in the sky, and let them conquer and live in the land that you had promised their ancestors to give them. 24 They conquered the land of Canaan; you overcame the people living there. You gave your people the power to do as they pleased with the people and kings of Canaan. 25 Your people captured fortified cities, fertile land, houses full of wealth, cisterns already dug, olive trees, fruit trees, and vineyards. They ate all they wanted and grew fat; they enjoyed all the good things you gave them. 26 "But your people rebelled and disobeyed you; they turned their backs on your Law. They killed the prophets who warned them, who told them to turn back to you. They insulted you time after time, 27 so you let their enemies conquer and rule them. In their trouble they called to you for help, and you answered them from heaven. In your great mercy you sent them leaders who rescued them from their foes. 28 When peace returned, they sinned again, and again you let their enemies conquer them. Yet when they repented and asked you to save them, in heaven you heard, and time after time you rescued them in your great mercy. 29 You warned them to obey your teachings, but in pride they rejected your laws, although keeping your Law is the way to life. Hard-headed and stubborn, they refused to obey. 30 Year after year you patiently warned them. You inspired your prophets to speak, but your people were deaf, so you let them be conquered by other nations. 31 And yet, because your mercy is great, you did not forsake or destroy them. You are a gracious and merciful God! 32 "O God, our God, how great you are! How terrifying, how powerful! You faithfully keep your covenant promises. From the time when Assyrian kings oppressed us, even till now, how much we have suffered! Our kings, our leaders, our priests and prophets, our ancestors, and all our people have suffered. Remember how much we have suffered! 33 You have done right to punish us; you have been faithful, even though we have sinned. 34 Our ancestors, our kings, leaders, and priests have not kept your Law. They did not listen to your commands and warnings. 35 With your blessing, kings ruled your people when they lived in the broad, fertile land you gave them; but they failed to turn from sin and serve you. 36 And now we are slaves in the land that you gave us, this fertile land which gives us food. 37 What the land produces goes to the kings that you put over us because we sinned. They do as they please with us and our livestock, and we are in deep distress!" 38 Because of all that has happened, we, the people of Israel, hereby make a solemn written agreement, and our leaders, our Levites, and our priests put their seals to it.
1 One day Peter and John went to the Temple at three o'clock in the afternoon, the hour for prayer. 2 There at the Beautiful Gate, as it was called, was a man who had been lame all his life. Every day he was carried to the gate to beg for money from the people who were going into the Temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John going in, he begged them to give him something. 4 They looked straight at him, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So he looked at them, expecting to get something from them. 6 But Peter said to him, "I have no money at all, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I order you to get up and walk!" 7 Then he took him by his right hand and helped him up. At once the man's feet and ankles became strong; 8 he jumped up, stood on his feet, and started walking around. Then he went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. 9 The people there saw him walking and praising God, 10 and when they recognized him as the beggar who had sat at the Beautiful Gate, they were all surprised and amazed at what had happened to him. 11 As the man held on to Peter and John in Solomon's Porch, as it was called, the people were amazed and ran to them. 12 When Peter saw the people, he said to them, "Fellow Israelites, why are you surprised at this, and why do you stare at us? Do you think that it was by means of our own power or godliness that we made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has given divine glory to his Servant Jesus. But you handed him over to the authorities, and you rejected him in Pilate's presence, even after Pilate had decided to set him free. 14 He was holy and good, but you rejected him, and instead you asked Pilate to do you the favor of turning loose a murderer. 15 You killed the one who leads to life, but God raised him from death - and we are witnesses to this. 16 It was the power of his name that gave strength to this lame man. What you see and know was done by faith in his name; it was faith in Jesus that has made him well, as you can all see. 17 "And now, my friends, I know that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was due to your ignorance. 18 God announced long ago through all the prophets that his Messiah had to suffer; and he made it come true in this way. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins. If you do, 20 times of spiritual strength will come from the Lord, and he will send Jesus, who is the Messiah he has already chosen for you. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for all things to be made new, as God announced through his holy prophets of long ago. 22 For Moses said, "The Lord your God will send you a prophet, just as he sent me, and he will be one of your own people. You are to obey everything that he tells you to do. 23 Anyone who does not obey that prophet shall be separated from God's people and destroyed.' 24 And all the prophets who had a message, including Samuel and those who came after him, also announced what has been happening these days. 25 The promises of God through his prophets are for you, and you share in the covenant which God made with your ancestors. As he said to Abraham, "Through your descendants I will bless all the people on earth.' 26 And so God chose his Servant and sent him to you first, to bless you by making every one of you turn away from your wicked ways."
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