Reading for June  Nehemiah 6:1 — Psalms 72:20

 June 1

Nehemiah 6:1 — 8:18

6  Now it came about that, as soon as it was told to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arabian and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and there had not been left in it a gap (although up to that time the doors themselves I had not set up in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem immediately sent to me, saying: “Do come, and let us meet together by appointment in the villages of the valley plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to do me harm. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying: “It is a great work that I am doing, and I am not able to go down. Why should the work cease while I take off from it and have to go down to YOU?” 4 However, they sent me the same word four times, and I kept replying to them with the same word.

5 Finally Sanballat sent his attendant to me with the same word a fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. 6 There was written in it: “Among the nations it has been heard, and Geshem is saying [it], that you and the Jews are scheming to rebel. That is why you are building the wall; and you are becoming a king to them, according to these words. 7 And there are even prophets that you have appointed to call out concerning you throughout Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now things like these will be told to the king. So now do come, and let us consult together.”

8 However, I sent to him, saying: “Things such as you are saying have not been brought about, but it is out of your own heart that you are inventing them.” 9 For all of them were trying to make us afraid, saying: “Their hands will drop down from the work so that it will not be done.” But now strengthen my hands.

10 And I myself entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel while he was shut up. And he proceeded to say: “Let us meet by appointment at the house of the [true] God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple; for they are coming in to kill you, even by night they are coming in to kill you.” 11 But I said: “Should a man like me run away? And who is there like me that could enter into the temple and live? I shall not enter!” 12 So I investigated, and here it was not God that had sent him, but he had spoken this prophecy against me as Tobiah and Sanballat themselves had hired him. 13 For this reason he had been hired in order that I might be afraid and do that way, and I should certainly sin and it should certainly become in their possession a bad reputation, in order that they might reproach me.

14 Do remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these deeds of [each] one, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets that were continually trying to make me afraid.

15 At length the wall came to completion on the twenty-fifth [day] of Elul, in fifty-two days.

16 And it came about that, as soon as all our enemies heard [of it] and all the nations that were around us got to see it, they at once fell very much in their own eyes, and they got to know that it was from our God that this work had been done. 17 In those days also the nobles of Judah were making numerous their letters that were going to Tobiah and those of Tobiah that were coming in to them. 18 For many in Judah were sworn to him, for a son-in-law he was to Shecaniah the son of Arah; and Jehohanan his son had himself taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. 19 Also, good things about him they were continually saying before me. And my own words they were continually taking out to him. There were letters that Tobiah sent to make me afraid.

7 And it came about that, as soon as the wall had been rebuilt, I at once set up the doors. Then there were appointed the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites. 2 And I went on to put in command of Jerusalem Hanani my brother and Hananiah the prince of the Castle, for he was such a trustworthy man and feared the [true] God more than many others. 3 So I said to them: “The gates of Jerusalem should not be opened until the sun gets hot; and while they are standing by they should shut the doors and bolt [them]. And station guards of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, each one at his own guardpost and each one in front of his own house.” 4 Now the city was wide and great, and there were few people inside it, and there were no houses built.

5 But my God put [it] into my heart that I should collect together the nobles and the deputy rulers and the people to get themselves enrolled genealogically. Then I found the book of genealogical enrollment of those who came up at the first, and found written in it:

6 These are the sons of the jurisdictional district who came up out of the captivity of the exiled people whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had taken into exile and who later returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, each to his own city; 7 those who came in with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 The sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two; 9 the sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two; 10 the sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two; 11 the sons of Pahath-moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen; 12 the sons of Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four; 13 the sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five; 14 the sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty; 15 the sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight; 16 the sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight; 17 the sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two; 18 the sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven; 19 the sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven; 20 the sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five; 21 the sons of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight; 22 the sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight; 23 the sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four; 24 the sons of Hariph, a hundred and twelve; 25 the sons of Gibeon, ninety-five; 26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, a hundred and eighty-eight; 27 the men of Anathoth, a hundred and twenty-eight; 28 the men of Beth-azmaveth, forty-two; 29 the men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three; 30 the men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one; 31 the men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty-two; 32 the men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred and twenty-three; 33 the men of the other Nebo, fifty-two; 34 the sons of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four; 35 the sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty; 36 the sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five; 37 the sons of Lod, Hadid and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one; 38 the sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39 The priests: The sons of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three; 40 the sons of Immer, a thousand and fifty-two; 41 the sons of Pashhur, a thousand two hundred and forty-seven; 42 the sons of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

43 The Levites: The sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodevah, seventy-four. 44 The singers, the sons of Asaph, a hundred and forty-eight. 45 The gatekeepers, the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, a hundred and thirty-eight.

46 The Nethinim: The sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Salmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of the servants of Solomon: The sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon. 60 All the Nethinim and the sons of the servants of Solomon were three hundred and ninety-two.

61 And these were the ones going up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon and Immer, and they were not able to tell the house of their fathers and their origin, whether they were of Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two. 63 And of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and came to be called by their name. 64 These were the ones that looked for their register, to establish their genealogy publicly, and it was not found, so that they were barred as polluted from the priesthood. 65 Consequently the Tirshatha said to them that they should not eat from the most holy things until the priest with Urim and Thummim stood up.

66 The entire congregation as one group was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 apart from their men slaves and their slave girls, these being seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five male singers and female singers. [68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five.] 69 The camels were four hundred and thirty-five. The asses were six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

70 And there was a part of the heads of the paternal houses that gave to the work. The Tirshatha himself gave to the treasure a thousand gold drachmas, fifty bowls, five hundred and thirty priests’ robes. 71 And there were some of the heads of the paternal houses that gave to the treasure for the work twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand silver minas and sixty-seven priests’ robes.

73 And the priests and the Levites and the gatekeepers and the singers and some of the people and the Nethinim and all Israel took up dwelling in their cities. When the seventh month arrived, the sons of Israel were then in their cities.

8 And all the people proceeded to gather themselves as one man at the public square that was before the Water Gate. Then they said to Ezra the copyist to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded Israel. 2 Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation of men as well as of women and of all intelligent enough to listen, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he continued to read aloud from it before the public square that is before the Water Gate, from daybreak till midday, in front of the men and the women and the other intelligent ones; and the ears of all the people were [attentive] to the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the copyist kept standing upon a wooden podium, which they had made for the occasion; and there were standing alongside him Mattithiah and Shema and Anaiah and Uriah and Hilkiah and Maaseiah to his right hand, and at his left Pedaiah and Mishael and Malchijah and Hashum and Hash-baddanah, Zechariah [and] Meshullam.

5 And Ezra proceeded to open the book before the eyes of all the people, for he happened to be above all the people; and as he opened it all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed Jehovah the [true] God, the great One, at which all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!” with the lifting up of their hands. They then bowed low and prostrated themselves to Jehovah with [their] faces to the earth. 7 And Jeshua and Bani and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, even the Levites, were explaining the law to the people, while the people were in a standing position. 8 And they continued reading aloud from the book, from the law of the [true] God, it being expounded, and there being a putting of meaning [into it]; and they continued giving understanding in the reading.

9 And Nehemiah, that is, the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest, the copyist, and the Levites who were instructing the people proceeded to say to all the people: “This very day is holy to Jehovah YOUR God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they were hearing the words of the law. 10 And he went on to say to them: “Go, eat the fatty things and drink the sweet things, and send portions to the one for whom nothing has been prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord, and do not feel hurt, for the joy of Jehovah is YOUR stronghold.” 11 And the Levites were ordering all the people to be silent, saying: “Keep quiet! for this day is holy; and do not feel hurt.” 12 So all the people went away to eat and drink and to send out portions and to carry on a great rejoicing, for they had understood the words that had been made known to them.

13 And on the second day the heads of the fathers of all the people, the priests and the Levites, gathered themselves together to Ezra the copyist, even to gain insight into the words of the law. 14 Then they found written in the law that Jehovah had commanded by means of Moses that the sons of Israel should dwell in booths during the festival in the seventh month, 15 and that they should make proclamation and cause a call to pass throughout all their cities and throughout Jerusalem, saying: “Go out to the mountainous region and bring in olive leaves and the leaves of oil trees and myrtle leaves and palm leaves and the leaves of branchy trees to make booths, according to what is written.”

16 And the people proceeded to go out and bring [them] in and make booths for themselves, each one upon his own roof and in their courtyards and in the courtyards of the house of the [true] God and in the public square of the Water Gate and in the public square of the Gate of Ephraim. 17 Thus all the congregation of those who had come back from the captivity made booths and took up dwelling in the booths; for the sons of Israel had not done that way from the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day, so that there came to be very great rejoicing. 18 And there was a reading aloud of the book of the law of the [true] God day by day, from the first day until the last day; and they went on holding the festival seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.