Nechemyah 13

1 3 On that day they read in the Sefer Moshe in the ears of HaAm; and therein was found written, that the Ammoni and the Moavi should not come into the Kehal HaElohim forever,
2 Because they met not the Bnei Yisroel with lechem and with mayim, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them; howbeit Eloheinu turned the kelalah into a brocha.
3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the Torah, that they separated from Yisroel all the foreign descent.
4 And before this, Elyashiv the Kohen, having the oversight of the storeroom of the Beis Eloheinu, was allied unto Toviyah;
5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the minchah, the levonah, and the vessels, and the ma’aser of the grain, the tirosh, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levi’im, and the singers, and the gatekeepers; and the terumat hakohanim.
6 But in all this time was not I at Yerushalayim; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artachshasta Melech Bavel came I unto HaMelech, and after certain days obtained I leave of HaMelech;
7 And I came to Yerushalayim, and understood of the evil that Elyashiv did for Toviyah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the Beis HaElohim.
8 And it grieved me much; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Toviyah out of the chamber.
9 Then I commanded, and they made tahor the chambers, and there brought I again the vessels of the Beis HaElohim, with the minchah and the levonah.
10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levi’im had not been given them, for the Levi’im and the singers, that did the work, had gone back every one to his sadeh.
11 Then contended I with the officials, and said, Why is the Beis HaElohim forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
12 Then brought all Yehudah the ma’asar of the grain and the tirosh and the oil unto the Otzarot.
13 And I made over the Otzarot Shelemyah the Kohen, and Tzadok the Sofer, and of the Levi’im, Pedayah; and next to them was Chanan ben Zakkur, ben Matanyah; for they were considered ne’emanim, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
14 Remember me, O Elohai, concerning this, and wipe not out my faithful deeds that I have done for the Beis Elohai, and for the offices thereof.
15 In those days saw I in Yehudah some treading winepresses on Shabbos, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys; as also yayin, grapes, and figs, and all manner of massa (burdens), which they brought into Yerushalayim on Shabbos; and I warned them against selling food on Shabbos.
16 There dwelt men of Tzor also therein, which brought dag (fish), and all manner of merchandise, and sold on Shabbos unto the Bnei Yehudah, and in Yerushalayim.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Yehudah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, being Mechallel Shabbos (desecrator of Shabbos)?
18 Did not your avot thus, and did not Eloheinu bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Yisroel by committing Chillul Shabbos (desecration of Shabbos).
19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Yerushalayim began to be dark before Shabbos, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after Shabbos, and some of my own men set I at the gates, that there should no massa (burden) be brought in on Shabbos.
20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise lodged outside Yerushalayim.
21 Then I warned them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on Shabbos.
22 And I commanded the Levi’im that they should make themselves tahor, and that they should come and be shomer over the gates, to set apart as kodesh Shabbos. Remember me, O Elohai, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Thy mercy.
23 In those days also saw I Yehudim that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moav,
24 And their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the language of the Yehudim, but according to the language of each people.
25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by Elohim, saying, Ye shall not give your banot unto their banim, nor take their banot unto your banim, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Sh’lomo Melech Yisroel sin by these things? Yet among many Goyim was there no melech like him, who was beloved of Elohav, and Elohim made him melech over kol Yisroel. Nevertheless even him did foreign women cause to sin.
27 Shall we then pay heed unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against Eloheinu in marrying strange wives?
28 And one of the Bnei Yoyada ben Elyashiv, the Kohen HaGadol, was son-inlaw to Sanvalat the Choroni; therefore I drove him away from me.
29 Remember them, O Elohai, because they have defiled the kehunah, and the brit (covenant) of the kehunah, and of the Levi’im.
30 Thus I cleansed them from all that is foreign, and had them attend again to the duties of the Kohanim and the Levi’im, every one in his appointed work;
31 And for the korban of wood, at times appointed, and for the bikkurim. Remember me, O Elohai, for good.
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