Nehemiah 13

1 On that day they read in the book of Moshe in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that an `Ammonite and a Mo'avite should not enter into the assembly of God forever,
2 because they didn't meet the children of Yisra'el with bread and with water, but hired Bil`am against them, to curse them: however our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 It came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Yisra'el all the mixed multitude.
4 Now before this, Elyashiv the Kohen, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied to Toviyah,
5 had prepared for him a great chamber, where before they laid the meal-offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by mitzvah to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the heave-offerings for the Kohanim.
6 But in all this [time] I was not at Yerushalayim; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artachshasta king of Bavel I went to the king: and after certain days asked I leave of the king,
7 and I came to Yerushalayim, and understood the evil that Elyashiv had done for Toviyah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
8 It grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Toviyah out of the chamber.
9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and there brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meal-offerings and the frankincense.
10 I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, were fled everyone to his field.
11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
12 Then brought all Yehudah the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries.
13 I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemyahu the Kohen, and Tzadok the Sofer, and of the Levites, Pedayahu: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zakkur, the son of Mattanyah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute to their brothers.
14 Remember me, my God, concerning this, and don't wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the observances of it.
15 In those days saw I in Yehudah some men treading wine-presses on the Shabbat, and bringing in sheaves, and lading donkeys [therewith]; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Yerushalayim on the day of Shabbat: and I testified [against them] in the day in which they sold victuals.
16 There lived men of Tzor also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the Shabbat to the children of Yehudah, and in Yerushalayim.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Yehudah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the day of Shabbat?
18 Didn't your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this evil on us, and on this city? yet you bring more wrath on Yisra'el by profaning the Shabbat.
19 It came to pass that, when the gates of Yerushalayim began to be dark before the Shabbat, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Shabbat: and some of my servants set I over the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the day of Shabbat.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged outside of Yerushalayim once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why lodge you about the wall? if you do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Shabbat.
22 I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the day of Shabbat. Remember to me, my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of your lovingkindness.
23 In those days also saw I the Yehudim who had married women of Ashdod, of `Ammon, [and] of Mo'av:
24 and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Yehudim' language, but according to the language of each people.
25 I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, [saying], You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Shlomo king of Yisra'el sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Yisra'el: nevertheless even him did foreign women cause to sin.
27 Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil, to trespass against our God in marrying foreign women?
28 One of the sons of Yoiada, the son of Elyashiv the Kohen Gadol, was son-in-law to Sanvallat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
29 Remember them, my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
30 Thus cleansed I them from all foreigners, and appointed charges for the Kohanim and for the Levites, everyone in his work;
31 and for the wood-offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, my God, for good.
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