The words of Nehemiah in the days of Ezra the priest, the scribe
The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
And they said to me, "The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach, the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire."
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [certain] days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
And said, "I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love Him and observe His commandments.
Let Your ear now be attentive, and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the Children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the Children of Israel, which we have sinned against You, both I and my father's house have sinned.
We have dealt very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which You commanded Your servant Moses.
Remember, I beseech You, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, '[If] you transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations.
But [if] you turn to Me, and keep My commandments, and do them; though there were of you, cast out to the uttermost part of the heaven, [yet] I will gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen to set My name there.'
Now these [are] Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.
O Lord, I beseech You, let now Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants, who desire to fear Your name, and prosper, I pray You, Your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." For I was the king's cupbearer.
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him, and I took up the wine, and gave [it] to the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence.
Therefore the king said to me, "Why [is] your countenance sad, seeing you [are] not sick? This [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart." Then I was very sore afraid,
And said to the king, "Let the king live forever, why should my countenance not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchers, [lies] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?"
Then the king said to me, "For what do you make request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven.
And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' sepulchers, that I may build it."
And the king said to me, (the queen also sitting by him), "For how long will your journey be? And when you will return?" So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
Moreover I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over until I come into Judah;
And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which [appertained] to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I will enter into." And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that a man was brought to seek the welfare of the Children of Israel.
So I came to Jerusalem, and was there for three days.
And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither did I tell [any] man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem, neither [was there any] beast with me, except the beast that I rode upon.
And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool, but [there was] no place for the beast [that was] under me to pass.
Then I went up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and [so] returned.
Then I said to them, "You see the distress that we [are] in, how Jerusalem [lies] waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire, come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem [*Sirach 49:13], that we are no longer a reproach."
Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken to me. And they said, "Let us rise up and build." So they strengthened their hands for [this] good [work].
But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, "What [is] this thing that you do? Will you rebel against the king?"
Then I answered them, and said to them, "The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we, His servants, will arise and build, but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem."
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren, the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even to the tower of Meah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananeel.
And the men of Jericho built next to him. And Zaccur, the son of Imri, built next to them.
But the sons of Hassenaah built the fish gate, who [also] laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
And Meremoth, the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, repaired next to them. And Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel, repaired next to them. And Zadok, the son of Baana, repaired next to them.
And the Tekoites repaired next to them; but their nobles do not put their necks to the work of their Lord.
Moreover Jehoiada, the son of Paseah, and Meshullam, the son of Besodeiah repaired the old gate; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
And Melatiah the Gibeonite repaired next to them, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, to the throne of the governor on this side the river.
Uzziel, the son of Harhaiah, repaired next to him, of the goldsmiths. Hananiah, the son of [one of] the apothecaries, also repaired next to him, and they fortified Jerusalem to the broad wall.
And Rephaiah, the son of Hur, repaired next to them, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.
And Jedaiah, the son of Harumaph, repaired next to them, even over against his house. And Hattush, the son of Hashabniah, repaired next to him.
Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
And Shallum, the son of Halohesh, repaired next to him, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
Hanun repaired the valley gate, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall to the dung gate.
But Malchiah, the son of Rechab, repaired the dung gate, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
But Shallun, the son of Colhozeh, repaired the gate of the fountain, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and to the stairs that go down from the city of David.
Nehemiah, the son of Azbuk, repaired after him, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, to [the place] over against the sepulchers of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty.
The Levites repaired after him, Rehum, the son of Bani. Hashabiah repaired next to him, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
Their brethren repaired after him, Bavai, the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.
And Ezer, the son of Jeshua, repaired next to him, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armory at the turning [of the wall].
After him, Baruch, the son of Zabbai, earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning [of the wall] to the door of the house of Eliashib, the high priest.
After him, Meremoth, the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, repaired another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
And the priests repaired after him, the men of the plain.
After him, Benjamin and Hashub repaired over against their house. After him, Azariah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, repaired by his house.
After him, Binnui, the son of Henadad, repaired another piece, from the house of Azariah to the turning [of the wall], even to the corner.
Palal, the son of Uzai, over against the turning [of the wall], and the tower which lies out from the king's high house, that [was] by the court of the prison. After him, Pedaiah, the son of Parosh.
Moreover, the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, to [the place] over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lies out.
After them, the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lies out, even to the wall of Ophel.
The priests repaired from above the horse gate, everyone over against his house.
After them, Zadok, the son of Immer, repaired over against his house. After him also, Shemaiah, the son of Shechaniah, repaired the keeper of the east gate.
After him, Hananiah, the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another piece. After him, Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, repaired over against his chamber.
After him, Malchiah, the goldsmith's son, repaired to the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.
And the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired between the going up of the corner to the sheep gate.
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What do these feeble Jews do? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?"
Now Tobiah the Ammonite [was] by him, and he said, "Even that which they build, if a fox goes up, even he will break down their stone wall."
Hear, O our God; for we are despised, and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity.
And do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You, for they have provoked [You] to anger before the builders.
So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to the half thereof, for the people had a mind to work.
But it came to pass, [that] when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, [and] that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
And all of them conspired together to come [and] to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
And Judah said, "The strength of the bearers of burdens has decayed, and [there is] much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall."
And our adversaries said, "They will not know, neither see, until we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease."
And it came to pass, that when the Jews who dwelt by them came, they said to us ten times, "From all places from where you will return to us [they will be upon you]."
Therefore I set in the lower places behind the wall, [and] on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
And I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord, [who is] great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses."
And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, everyone to his work.
And it came to pass from that time forth, [that] the half of my servants worked in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers [were] behind all the house of Judah.
Those who built on the wall, and those who bore burdens, with those who laded, [every one] with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other [hand] held a weapon.
For the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and [so] built. And he who sounded the trumpet [was] by me.
And I said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, "The work [is] great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, far from one another.
In what place you [therefore] hear the sound of the trumpet, resort there to us, our God will fight for us."
So we labored in the work, and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared.
Likewise at the same time, I said to the people, "Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labor on the day."
So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, [except that] everyone put them off for washing.
And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.
For there were some who said, "We, our sons, and our daughters, [are] many, therefore we take up corn [for them], that we may eat, and live."
There were also [some] who said, "We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the famine."
There were also [some] who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and vineyards.
Yet now our flesh [is] as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children, and, look, we bring our sons and our daughters into bondage to be servants, and [some] of our daughters are [already] brought to bondage, neither [is it] in our power [to redeem them]; for other men have our lands and vineyards."
And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said to them, "You exact usury, everyone of his brother." And I set a great assembly against them.
And I said to them, "We, after our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, who were sold to the heathen; and you will even sell your brethren? Or they will be sold to us?" Then they held their peace, and found nothing [to answer].
I likewise, [and] my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn, I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that you exact of them."
Then they said, "We will restore [them], and will require nothing of them; so we will do as you say." Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. [*2:278 - 279]
I also shook my lap, and said, "So God shakes out every man from his house, and from his labor, who does not perform this promise, even thus is he shaken out, and emptied." And all the congregation said, "Amen," and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise.
Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty second year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is], twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
But the former governors that [had been] before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; indeed, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God.
Indeed, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither did we buy any land, and all my servants [were] gathered there to the work.
Moreover, [there were] a hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers at my table, beside those who came to us from among the heathen who [are] about us.
Now [that] which was prepared [for me] daily [was] one ox [and] six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days, store of all sorts of wine, yet for all this I did not require the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
Think upon me, my God, for good, [according] to all that I have done for this people.
Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had built the wall, and [that] there was no breach left therein (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates);
That Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together in [one of] the villages in the plain of Ono." But they thought to do me mischief.
And I sent messengers to them, saying, "I [am] doing a great work, so that I cannot come down, why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?"
Yet they sent to me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
Wherein [was] written, "It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu says [it, that] you and the Jews think to rebel, for which cause you build the wall, that you may be their king, according to these words.
And you have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, '[There is] a king in Judah,' and now will it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together."
Then I sent to him, saying, "There are no such things done as you say, but you feign them out of your own heart."
For they all made us afraid, saying, "Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it is not done." Now therefore, [O God], strengthen my hands.
Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabeel, who [was] shut up; and he said, "Let us meet together in the House of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple, for they will come to slay you; indeed, in the night they will come to slay you."
And I said, "Should such a man as I flee? And who [is there], who, [being] as I [am], would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in."
And, look, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me, for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
Therefore he [was] hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and [that] they might have [matter] for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
So the wall was finished [*Sirach 49:13] in the twenty fifth [day] of [the month] Elul, in fifty two days.
And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard [thereof], and all the heathen who [were] about us saw [these things], they had exceedingly cast down in their own eyes, for they perceived that this work was done of our God.
Moreover, in those days, the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and [the letters] of Tobiah came to them.
For [there were] many in Judah sworn to him, because he [was] the son in law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah.
They also reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. [And] Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah, the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem, for he [was] a faithful man, and feared God above many.
And I said to them, "Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar [them], and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, and everyone [to be] over against his house."
Now the city [was] large and great, but the people [were] few therein, and the houses [were] not built.
And my God put into my heart to gather the nobles together, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who came up at first, and found written therein,
"These [are] the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, everyone to his city;
Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, [I say], of the men of the people of Israel [was this];
The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy two.
The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy two.
The children of Arah, six hundred fifty two.
The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred [and] eighteen.
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty four.
The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty five.
The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty.
The children of Binnui, six hundred forty eight.
The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty eight.
The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty two.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty seven.
The children of Bigvai, two thousand sixty seven.
The children of Adin, six hundred fifty five.
The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety eight.
The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty eight.
The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty four.
The children of Hariph, a hundred and twelve.
The children of Gibeon, ninety five.
The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, a hundred eighty eight.
The men of Anathoth, a hundred twenty eight.
The men of Bethazmaveth, forty two.
The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty three.
The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty one.
The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred twenty three.
The men of the other Nebo, fifty two.
The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty four.
The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
The children of Jericho, three hundred forty five.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty one.
The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
The priests, the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy three.
The children of Immer, a thousand fifty two.
The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty seven.
The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
The Levites, the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, [and] of the children of Hodevah, seventy four.
The singers, the children of Asaph, a hundred forty eight.
The porters, the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, a hundred thirty eight.
The Nethinims, the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants, the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred ninety two.
And these [were] those who went up [also] from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not show their father's house, nor their seed, whether they [were] of Israel.
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty two.
And of the priests, the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, who took [one] of the daughters of Barzillai, the Gileadite, to wife, and was called after their name."
These sought their register [among] those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found, therefore they were put from the priesthood as polluted.
And the Tirshatha said to them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, until a priest stood [up] with Urim and Thummim.
The whole congregation together [was] forty two thousand three hundred and sixty,
Beside their menservants and their maidservants, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty seven, and they had two hundred forty five singing men and singing women.
Their horses, seven hundred thirty six, their mules, two hundred forty five.
[Their] camels, four hundred thirty five, six thousand seven hundred and twenty donkeys.
And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the work. The Tirshatha gave a thousand drams of gold to the treasure, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
And [some] of the chief of the fathers gave twenty thousand drams of gold to the treasure of the work, and two thousand two hundred pound of silver.
And [that] which the rest of the people gave [was] twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and sixty seven priests' garments.
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and [some] of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the Children of Israel [were] in their cities.
And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that [was] before the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra, the scribe, to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.
And Ezra, the priest, brought the law before the congregation, both of men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
And he read therein before the street that [was] before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people [were attentive] to the Book of the Law.
And Ezra, the scribe, stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, [and] Meshullam.
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," with their hands lifting up, and they bowed their heads, and prostrated to the Lord with [their] faces to the ground. [*48:29]
Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law, and the people [stood] in their place.
So they read in the Book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.
And Nehemiah, who [is] the Tirshatha, and Ezra, the priest, the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, "This day [is] holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn, nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared, for [this] day [is] holy to our Lord, neither be sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, "Hold your peace, for the day [is] holy; neither be grieved."
And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
And on the second day, the chief of the fathers of all the people were gathered together, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the Children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month.
And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go forth to the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as [it is] written."
So the people went forth, and brought [them], and made themselves booths, everyone upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the House of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
And all the congregation of those who were brought out again of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths, for since the days of Jeshua, the son of Nun, to that day the Children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness.
Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast for seven days; and on the eighth day [was] a solemn assembly, according to the manner.
Now in the twenty fourth day of this month, the Children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth upon them.
And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
And they stood up in their place, and read in the Book of the Law of the Lord their God [one] fourth part of the day; and [another] fourth part they confessed, and worshiped the Lord their God.
Then [some] stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, [and] Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God.
You, [even] You, [are] Lord alone; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and You preserve them all; and the host of heaven prostrates to You. [*22:18]
You [are] the Lord the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham;
And found his heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give [it, I say], to his seed, and have performed Your words; for You [are] righteous.
And You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea;
And showed signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land, for You knew that they dealt proudly against them. So You got a name, as [it is] this day.
And You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and You threw their persecutors into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
Moreover You led them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments.
And made known to them Your holy sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant.
And gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promised them that they should go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them.
But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and did not listen to Your commandments,
And refused to obey, neither were they mindful of Your wonders that You did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion, they appointed a captain to return to their bondage, but You [are] a God ready to pardon, Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and did not forsake them.
Indeed, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, 'This [is] your god who brought you up out of Egypt, and had done great provocations;'
Yet You in Your manifold mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness, the pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.
You gave also Your Good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.
Indeed, You sustain them in the wilderness for forty years, [so that] they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wax old, and their feet did not swell.
Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations, and divided them into corners, so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og, king of Bashan.
You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land, concerning which You had promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess [it].
So the children went in and possessed the land, and You subdued the inhabitants of the land before them, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, dug wells, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance, so they ate, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in Your great goodness.
Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs, and slew Your prophets who testified against them to turn them to You, and they did great provocations.
Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them, and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard [them] from heaven; and according to Your manifold mercies You gave them saviors, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
But after they had rest, they did evil again before You, therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them, yet when they returned, and cried to You, You heard [them] from heaven; and You delivered them many times according to Your mercies;
And testified against them, that You might bring them again to Your law, yet they dealt proudly, and did not listen to Your commandments, but sinned against Your judgments (which if a man does, he will live in them); and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
Yet You admonished them for many years, and testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets, yet would they not give ear, therefore You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands.
Nevertheless for Your great mercies' sake, You did not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for You [are] a Gracious and Merciful God.
Now therefore, our God, the Great, the Mighty, and the terrible God, who keeps covenant and mercy, do not let all the trouble seem little before You, that has come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
Howbeit You [are] just in all that is brought upon us; for You have done right, but we have done wickedly.
Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept Your law, nor listened to Your commandments and Your testimonies, whereby You did testify against them.
For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and fat land which You gave before them, neither did they turn from their wicked works.
Behold, we [are] servants this day, and [for] the land that You gave to our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we [are] servants in it.
And because of all this we make a sure [covenant], and write [it]; and our princes, Levites, [and] priests, seal [to it]." [*2:40]
Now those that sealed [were], Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,
Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah,
Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah, these [were] the priests.
And the Levites, both Jeshua, the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;
And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,
Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.
The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,
Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,
Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,
Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,
Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,
Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek,
Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,
Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His judgments and His statutes; [*2:40]
And that we would not give our daughters to the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons.
And [if] the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, [that] we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day, and [that] we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the House of our God;
For the bread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy [things], and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and [for] all the work of the House of our God.
And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring [it] into the House of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the Lord our God, as [it is] written in the law.
And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the House of the Lord.
Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as [it is] written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the House of our God, to the priests who minister in the House of our God.
And [that] we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the House of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
And the priest, the son of Aaron, will be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes, and the Levites will bring up the tithe of the tithes to the House of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
For the Children of Israel and the Children of Levi will bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, to the chambers, where the vessels of the sanctuary [are], and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers, and we will not forsake the House of our God.
And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem, the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts [to dwell] in [other] cities.
And the people blessed all the men, who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
Now these [are] the chief of the province who dwelt in Jerusalem, but in the cities of Judah everyone dwelt in his possession in their cities, [to knowledge], Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants.
And [some] of the Children of Judah dwelt at Jerusalem, and of the Children of Benjamin. Of the Children of Judah; Athaiah, the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;
And Maaseiah, the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.
All the sons of Perez who dwelt at Jerusalem [were] four hundred sixty eight valiant men.
And these [are] the sons of Benjamin; Sallu, the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah.
And after him, Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty eight.
And Joel, the son of Zichri, [was] their overseer, and Judah, the son of Senuah, [was] second over the city.
Of the priests, Jedaiah, the son of Joiarib, Jachin.
Seraiah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, [was] the ruler of the House of God.
And their brethren who did the work of the House [were] eight hundred twenty two, and Adaiah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,
And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty two, and Amashai, the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
And their brethren, mighty men of valor, a hundred twenty eight, and their overseer [was] Zabdiel, the son of [one of] the great men.
Also of the Levites, Shemaiah, the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, [had] the oversight of the outward business of the House of God.
And Mattaniah, the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, [was] the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brethren, and Abda, the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
All the Levites in the holy city [were] two hundred eighty four.
Moreover, the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren who kept the gates, [were] a hundred seventy two.
And the residue of Israel, of the priests, [and] the Levites, [were] in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.
But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, and Ziha and Gispa [were] over the Nethinims.
The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem [was] Uzzi, the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers [were] over the business of the House of God.
For [it was] the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due every day.
And Pethahiah, the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, [was] at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.
And for the villages, with their fields, [some] of the Children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and [in] the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and [in] the villages thereof,
And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet,
And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and [in] the villages thereof,
And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,
And at Enrimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth,
Zanoah, Adullam, and [in] their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and [in] the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom.
The children also of Benjamin from Geba [dwelt] at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and [in] their villages,
[And] at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,
Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,
Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
And of the Levites [were] divisions [in] Judah, [and] in Benjamin.
Now these [are] the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah,
Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,
Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These [were] the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.
Moreover the Levites, Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, [and] Mattaniah, [who was] over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.
Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, [were] over against them in the watches.
And Jeshua fathered Joiakim, Joiakim also fathered Eliashib, and Eliashib fathered Joiada,
And Joiada fathered Jonathan, and Jonathan fathered Jaddua.
And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers, of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;
Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;
Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;
Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;
Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;
Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.
The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, [were] recorded chief of the fathers, also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.
The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, [were] written in the Book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan, the son of Eliashib.
And the chief of the Levites, Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise [and] to give thanks, according to the commandment of David, the man of God, ward over against ward.
Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, [were] porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.
These [were] in the days of Joiakim, the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, [with] cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.
And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country around Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;
Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built themselves villages around Jerusalem.
And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great [companies of those who gave] thanks, [whereof one] went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate.
And Hoshaiah went after them, and half of the princes of Judah,
And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,
And [some] of the priests' sons with trumpets; [namely], Zechariah, the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph.
And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David, the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.
And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even to the water gate eastward.
And the other [company of those who gave] thanks went over against [them], and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even to the broad wall;
And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even to the sheep gate, and they stood still in the prison gate.
So the two [companies of those who gave] thanks stood in the House of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me.
And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, [and] Hananiah, with trumpets;
And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah [their] overseer.
Also that day, they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy, the wives also and the children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
And at that time, some were appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites, for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited.
And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, [and] of Solomon his son.
For in the days of David and Asaph of old [there were] chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion, and they sanctified [holy things] to the Levites; and the Levites sanctified [them] to the children of Aaron.
On that day, they read in the Book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever;
Because they did not meet the Children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them, howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.
And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the House of our God, [was] allied to Tobiah.
And he had prepared a great chamber for him, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded [to be given] to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
But in all this [time] I was not at Jerusalem, for in the thirty second year of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, I came to the king, and after certain days I obtained leave of the king.
And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the House of God.
And it grieved me sore, therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought the vessels of the House of God there again, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given [to them], for the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled, everyone to his field.
Then I contended with the rulers, and said, "Why is the House of God forsaken?" And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
Then all Judah brought the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries.
And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah, and next to them [was] Hanan, the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, for they were counted faithful, and their office [was] to distribute to their brethren.
Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the House of my God, and for the offices thereof.
In those days I saw [some] treading wine presses on the sabbath in Judah, and bringing in sheaves, and lading donkeys; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all [manner of] burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day, and I testified [against them] in the day wherein they sold victuals.
There men of Tyre also dwelt therein, who brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath to the Children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing [is] this that you do, and profane the sabbath day?
Did your fathers not do thus, and did our God not bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath."
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened until after the sabbath, and I set [some] of my servants at the gates, [that] no burden should be brought in there on the sabbath day.
So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
Then I testified against them, and said to them, "Why do you lodge about the wall? If you do [so] again, I will lay hands on you." From that time forth, they no [longer] came on the sabbath.
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and [that] they should come [and] keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, [concerning] this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy.
In those days I also saw Jews [who] had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, [and] of Moab.
And their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
And I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck some of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, [saying], "You will not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons, or for yourselves.
Did Solomon, king of Israel, not sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel, nevertheless outlandish women even caused him to sin.
Should we then listen to you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?"
And [one] of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib, the high priest, [was] son in law to Sanballat the Horonite, therefore I chased him from me.
Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
Thus I cleansed them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, everyone in his business;
And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.