Nehemiah 12–13; Acts 4:23–37

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, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was fin charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 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, for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse themyet our God turned the curse into a blessing. As soon as the people heard the law, tthey separated from Israel all uthose of foreign descent.

Now before this, vEliashib the priest, who wwas appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to xTobiah, 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. 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 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. And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 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, gWhy 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 disaster3 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.


The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices ptogether to God and said, Sovereign Lord, qwho made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,1 said by the Holy Spirit,

rWhy did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and sthe rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his tAnointed2

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your uholy servant Jesus, vwhom you anointed, both wHerod and xPontius Pilate, along ywith the Gentiles and zthe peoples of Israel, 28 ato do whatever your hand and byour plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, clook upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all dboldness, 30 while eyou stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed fthrough the name of your gholy servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, hthe place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and ithey were all filled with the Holy Spirit and jcontinued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of kone heart and lsoul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but mthey had everything in common. 33 And with great npower the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and ogreat grace was upon them all. 34 pThere was not a needy person among them, for qas many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and rlaid it at the apostles' feet, and sit was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means tson of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and ulaid it at the apostles' feet.