The People of Israel Confess Their Sin
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of vthis month the people of Israel were assembled wwith fasting xand in sackcloth, yand with earth on their heads. 2 zAnd the Israelites1 separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 aAnd they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 On the stairs of the Levites stood bJeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. cBlessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.2
6 d“You are the Lord, you alone. eYou have made heaven, fthe heaven of heavens, gwith all their host, ethe earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; hand you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the Lord, the God iwho chose Abram and brought him out of jUr of the Chaldeans kand gave him the name Abraham. 8 lYou found his heart faithful before you, mand made with him the covenant to give to his offspring nthe land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. oAnd you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
9 p“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard qtheir cry at the Red Sea, 10 rand performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that sthey acted arrogantly against our fathers. And tyou made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11 uAnd you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, vas a stone into mighty waters. 12 By wa pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 xYou came down on Mount Sinai yand spoke with them from heaven and gave them zright rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 aand you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15 bYou gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and cbrought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you dtold them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them.
16 “But they and our fathers eacted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey fand were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.3 But you are a God ready to forgive, ggracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even hwhen they had made for themselves a golden4 calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ iand had committed great blasphemies, 19 you jin your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. kThe pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, knor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 lYou gave your good Spirit to instruct them mand did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 nForty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.
22 “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. oSo they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon pand the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their children qas the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. 24 rSo the descendants went in and possessed the land, sand you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they captured tfortified cities and ua rich land, and took possession of vhouses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled wand became fat and delighted themselves in xyour great goodness.
26 y“Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you zand cast your law behind their back aand killed your prophets, who bhad warned them in order to turn them back to you, cand they committed great blasphemies. 27 dTherefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. eAnd in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them fsaviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 gBut after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, hand many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 bAnd you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet ithey acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, jwhich if a person does them, he shall live by them, kand they turned a stubborn shoulder land stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30 Many years myou bore with them nand warned them oby your Spirit through your prophets. pYet they would not give ear. qTherefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, rin your great mercies syou did not make an end of them or forsake them, tfor you are a gracious and merciful God.
32 “Now, therefore, our God, uthe great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, vsince the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 wYet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully xand we have acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, yand amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and yrich land that you set before them, zthey did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Behold, awe are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37 bAnd its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.5
38 “Because of all this cwe make a firm covenant in writing; on dthe sealed document are the names of6 our princes, our Levites, and our priests.
The People Who Sealed the Covenant
10 e“On the seals are the names of1 Nehemiah fthe governor, gthe son of Hacaliah, Zedekiah, 2 hSeraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 iHattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these are the priests. 9 And the Levites: jJeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of kHenadad, Kadmiel; 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chiefs of the people: lParosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
The Obligations of the Covenant
28 m“The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, nand all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29 join with their brothers, their nobles, oand enter into a curse and an oath pto walk in God’s Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his rules and his statutes. 30 qWe will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 rAnd if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day. And we will forego the crops of the sseventh year and the texaction of every debt.
32 “We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly ua third part of a shekel2 for the service of the house of our God: 33 vfor the showbread, wthe regular grain offering, wthe regular burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed feasts, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34 xWe, the priests, the Levites, and the people, have likewise cast lots yfor the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers’ houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, zas it is written in the Law. 35 We obligate ourselves ato bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; 36 also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, bas it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks; 37 cand to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, dto the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of ethe storehouse. 39 For the people of Israel and the sons of Levi fshall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the chambers, where the vessels of the sanctuary are, as well as the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. gWe will not neglect the house of our God.”
The Leaders in Jerusalem
11 Now the leaders of the people hlived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people icast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem jthe holy city, while nine out of ten1 remained in the other towns. 2 And the people blessed all the men kwho willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.
3 lThese are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem; but in the towns of Judah meveryone lived on his property in their towns: Israel, the priests, the Levites, nthe temple servants, oand the descendants of Solomon’s servants. 4 And in Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin. Of the sons of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mahalalel, of the sons of pPerez; 5 and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, son of Col-hozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, son of the Shilonite. 6 All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were 468 valiant men.
7 And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, son of Joed, son of Pedaiah, son of Kolaiah, son of Maaseiah, son of Ithiel, son of Jeshaiah, 8 and his brothers, men of valor, 928.2 9 Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.
10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, ruler of the house of God, 12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, 822; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, 13 and his brothers, heads of fathers’ houses, 242; and Amashsai, the son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer, 14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, 128; their overseer was Zabdiel the son of Haggedolim.
15 And of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, son of Bunni; 16 and Shabbethai and qJozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who were over rthe outside work of the house of God; 17 and sMattaniah the son of Mica, son of Zabdi, son of Asaph, who was the leader of the praise,3 who gave thanks, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun. 18 All the Levites in tthe holy city were 284.
19 The gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were 172. 20 And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, uevery one in his inheritance. 21 vBut the temple servants lived on Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the temple servants.
22 The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the work of the house of God. 23 wFor there was a command from the king concerning them, and a fixed provision for the singers, xas every day required. 24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s side4 in all matters concerning the people.
Villages Outside Jerusalem
25 And as for the villages, with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in yKiriath-arba and its villages, and in Dibon and its villages, and in Jekabzeel and its villages, 26 and in Jeshua and in Moladah and Beth-pelet, 27 in Hazar-shual, in Beersheba and its villages, 28 in Ziklag, in Meconah and its villages, 29 in En-rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beersheba to zthe Valley of Hinnom. 31 The people of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its villages, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, and aOno, the valley of craftsmen. 36 And certain divisions of the Levites in Judah were assigned to Benjamin.
Priests and Levites
12 These are bthe priests and the Levites who came up with cZerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and dJeshua: eSeraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.
8 And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was fin charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9 And Bakbukiah and Unni and their brothers stood opposite them gin the service. 10 And Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, Eliashib the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua.
12 hAnd in the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers’ houses: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.
22 In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the Levites were recorded as heads of fathers’ houses; so too were the priests in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 As for the sons of Levi, their heads of fathers’ houses iwere written in the Book of the Chronicles until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24 And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and jJeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers who stood opposite them, kto praise and to give thanks, laccording to the commandment of David mthe man of God, nwatch by watch. 25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers standing guard at othe storehouses of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and in the days of pNehemiah the governor and of pEzra, the priest and scribe.
Dedication of the Wall
27 And at qthe dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, rwith cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the district surrounding Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29 also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites spurified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.
31 Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks. tOne went to the south on the wall to uthe Dung Gate. 32 And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, 33 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 and certain of the priests’ sons vwith trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph; 36 and his relatives, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, wwith the musical instruments of David xthe man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them. 37 At ythe Fountain Gate they went up straight before them by zthe stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to athe Water Gate on the east.
38 bThe other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north, and I followed them with half of the people, on the wall, above cthe Tower of the Ovens, to dthe Broad Wall, 39 and above ethe Gate of Ephraim, and by fthe Gate of Yeshanah,1 and by gthe Fish Gate and hthe Tower of Hananel and hthe Tower of the Hundred, to ithe Sheep Gate; and they came to a halt at jthe Gate of the Guard. 40 So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, kwith trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.
Service at the Temple
44 lOn that day men were appointed over the storerooms, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the towns, for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45 And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, maccording to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46 For long ago in the days of David and nAsaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs2 of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the odaily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers; pand they set apart that which was for the Levites; qand the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron.
Nehemiah’s Final Reforms
13 On that day rthey read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written sthat no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2 for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 As soon as the people heard the law, tthey separated from Israel all uthose of foreign descent.
4 Now before this, vEliashib the priest, who wwas appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to xTobiah, 5 prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, ywhich were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6 While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for zin the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes aking of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, bpreparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I gave orders, and they ccleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
10 I also found out that dthe portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each eto his field. 11 fSo I confronted the officials and said, g“Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought hthe tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And iI appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, jfor they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 kRemember 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 his service.
15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses lon the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, mwhich they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And nI warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! 17 oThen I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, pprofaning the Sabbath day? 18 qDid not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster1 on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
19 As soon as it rbegan to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 sBut I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites tthat they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. uRemember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.
23 In those days also I saw the Jews vwho had married women wof Ashdod, xAmmon, and xMoab. 24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people. 25 oAnd I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. yAnd I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 zDid not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? aAmong the many nations there was no king like him, and he was bbeloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. 27 Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and cact treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?”
28 And one of the sons of dJehoiada, the son of eEliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of fSanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me. 29 gRemember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood hand the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
30 iThus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; 31 and I provided jfor the wood offering kat appointed times, and for the firstfruits.
lRemember me, O my God, for good.