Nehemiah 12; Nehemiah 13

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Nehemiah 12

1 These are the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Jeshua. There were Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
4 Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah,
5 Mijamin, Moadiah, Bilgah,
6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. They were the leaders of the priests and their relatives in the days of Jeshua.
8 The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah. Mattaniah and his relatives were in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.
9 Bakbukiah and Unni, their relatives, stood across from them in the services.
10 Jeshua was the father of Joiakim. Joiakim was the father of Eliashib. Eliashib was the father of Joiada.
11 Joiada was the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.
12 In the days of Joiakim, these priests were the leaders of the families of priests: Meraiah, from Seraiah's family; Hananiah, from Jeremiah's family;
13 Meshullam, from Ezra's family; Jehohanan, from Amariah's family;
14 Jonathan, from Malluch's family; Joseph, from Shecaniah's family;
15 Adna, from Harim's family; Helkai, from Meremoth's family;
16 Zechariah, from Iddo's family; Meshullam, from Ginnethon's family;
17 Zicri, from Abijah's family; Piltai, from Miniamin's and Moadiah's families;
18 Shammua, from Bilgah's family; Jehonathan, from Shemaiah's family;
19 Mattenai, from Joiarib's family; Uzzi, from Jedaiah's family;
20 Kallai, from Sallu's family; Eber, from Amok's family;
21 Hashabiah, from Hilkiah's family; and Nethanel, from Jedaiah's family.
22 The leaders of the families of the Levites and the priests were written down in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, while Darius the Persian was king.
23 The family leaders among the Levites were written down in the history book, but only up to the time of Johanan son of Eliashib.
24 The leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their relatives. Their relatives stood across from them and gave praise and thanksgiving to God. One group answered the other group, as David, the man of God, had commanded.
25 These were the gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms next to the gates: Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub.
26 They served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak. They also served in the days of Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest and teacher.
27 When the wall of Jerusalem was offered as a gift to God, they asked the Levites to come from wherever they lived to Jerusalem to celebrate with joy the gift of the wall. They were to celebrate with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres.
28 They also brought together singers from all around Jerusalem, from the Netophathite villages,
29 from Beth Gilgal, and from the areas of Geba and Azmaveth. The singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem.
30 The priests and Levites made themselves pure, and they also made the people, the gates, and the wall of Jerusalem pure.
31 I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall, and I appointed two large choruses to give thanks. One chorus went to the right on top of the wall, toward the Trash Gate.
32 Behind them went Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah.
33 Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah also went.
35 Some priests with trumpets also went, along with Zechariah son of Jonathan. (Jonathan was the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah. Mattaniah was the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur. Zaccur was the son of Asaph.)
36 Zechariah's relatives also went. They were Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. These men played the musical instruments of David, the man of God, and Ezra the teacher walked in front of them.
37 They went from the Fountain Gate straight up the steps to the highest part of the wall by the older part of the city. They went on above the house of David to the Water Gate on the east.
38 The second chorus went to the left, while I followed them on top of the wall with half the people. We went from the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,
39 over the Gate of Ephraim to the Old Gate and the Fish Gate, to the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred. We went as far as the Sheep Gate and stopped at the Gate of the Guard.
40 The two choruses took their places at the Temple. Half of the leaders and I did also.
41 These priests were there with their trumpets: Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah.
42 These people were also there: Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. The choruses sang, led by Jezrahiah.
43 The people offered many sacrifices that day and were happy because God had given them great joy. The women and children were happy. The sound of happiness in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
44 At that time the leaders appointed men to be in charge of the storerooms. These rooms were for the gifts, the first fruits, and the ten percent that the people brought. The Teachings said they should bring a share for the priests and Levites from the fields around the towns. The people of Judah were happy to do this for the priests and Levites who served.
45 They performed the service of their God in making things pure. The singers and gatekeepers also did their jobs, as David had commanded his son Solomon.
46 Earlier, in the time of David and Asaph, there was a leader of the singers and of the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47 So it was in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah. All the people of Israel gave something to the singers and gatekeepers, and they also set aside part for the Levites. Then the Levites set aside part for the descendants of Aaron.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Nehemiah 13

1 On that day they read the Book of Mosesto the people, and they found that it said no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be allowed in the meeting to worship.
2 The Ammonites and Moabites had not welcomed the Israelites with food and water. Instead, they had hired Balaam to put a curse on Israel. (But our God turned the curse into a blessing.)
3 When the people heard this teaching, they separated all foreigners from Israel.
4 Before that happened, Eliashib the priest, who was in charge of the Temple storerooms, was friendly with Tobiah.
5 Eliashib let Tobiah use one of the large storerooms. Earlier it had been used for grain offerings, incense, the utensils, and the tenth offerings of grain, new wine, and olive oil that belonged to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers. It had also been used for gifts for the priests.
6 I was not in Jerusalem when this happened. I had gone back to Artaxerxes king of Babylon in the thirty-second year he was king. Finally I asked the king to let me leave.
7 When I returned to Jerusalem, I found out the evil Eliashib had done by letting Tobiah have a room in the Temple courtyard.
8 I was very upset at this, so I threw all of Tobiah's goods out of the room.
9 I ordered the rooms to be purified, and I brought back the utensils for God's Temple, the grain offerings, and the incense.
10 Then I found out the people were not giving the Levites their shares. So the Levites and singers who served had gone back to their own farms.
11 I argued with the officers, saying, "Why haven't you taken care of the Temple?" Then I gathered the Levites and singers and put them back at their places.
12 All the people of Judah then brought to the storerooms a tenth of their crops, new wine, and olive oil.
13 I put these men in charge of the storerooms: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the teacher, and Pedaiah a Levite. I made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their helper. Everyone knew they were honest men. They gave out the portions that went to their relatives.
14 Remember me, my God, for this. Do not ignore my love for the Temple and its service.
15 In those days I saw people in Judah working in the winepresses on the Sabbath day. They were bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys. And they were bringing loads of wine, grapes, and figs into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them about selling food on that day.
16 People from the city of Tyre who were living in Jerusalem brought in fish and other things and sold them there on the Sabbath day to the people of Judah.
17 I argued with the important men of Judah and said to them, "What is this evil thing you are doing? You are ruining the Sabbath day.
18 This is just what your ancestors did. So our God did terrible things to us and this city. Now you are making him even more angry at Israel by ruining the Sabbath day."
19 So I ordered that the doors be shut at sunset before the Sabbath and not be opened until the Sabbath was over. I put my servants at the gates so no load could come in on the Sabbath.
20 Once or twice traders and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
21 So I warned them, "Why are you spending the night by the wall? If you do it again, I will force you away." After that, they did not come back on the Sabbath.
22 Then I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the city gates to make sure the Sabbath remained holy. Remember me, my God, for this. Have mercy on me because of your great love.
23 In those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
24 Half their children were speaking the language of Ashdod or some other place, and they couldn't speak the language of Judah.
25 I argued with those people, put curses on them, hit some of them, and pulled out their hair. I forced them to make a promise to God, saying, "Do not let your daughters marry the sons of foreigners, and do not take the daughters of foreigners as wives for your sons or yourselves.
26 Foreign women made King Solomon of Israel sin. There was never a king like him in any of the nations. God loved Solomon and made him king over all Israel, but foreign women made him sin.
27 And now you are not obedient when you do this evil thing. You are unfaithful to our God when you marry foreign wives."
28 Joiada was the son of Eliashib the high priest. One of Joiada's sons married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, so I sent him away from me.
29 Remember them, my God, because they made the priesthood unclean and the agreement of the priests and Levites unclean.
30 So I purified them of everything that was foreign. I appointed duties for the priests and Levites, giving each man his own job.
31 I also made sure wood was brought for the altar at regular times and that the first fruits were brought. Remember me, my God; be kind to me.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.