June 2

Nehemiah 9:1 — 11:36

9 And on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel gathered themselves together with fasting and with sackcloth and dirt upon themselves. 2 And the seed of Israel proceeded to separate themselves from all the foreigners, and to stand and make confession of their own sins and the errors of their fathers. 3 Then they rose up at their place and they read aloud from the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they were making confession and bowing down to Jehovah their God.

4 And Jeshua and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani [and] Chenani proceeded to rise on the platform of the Levites and cry out with a loud voice to Jehovah their God. 5 And the Levites Jeshua and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah [and] Pethahiah went on to say: “Rise, bless Jehovah YOUR God from time indefinite to time indefinite. And let them bless your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

6 “You are Jehovah alone; you yourself have made the heavens, [even] the heaven of the heavens, and all their army, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you. 7 You are Jehovah the [true] God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and constituted his name Abraham. 8 And you found his heart faithful before you; so there was a contracting of the covenant with him to give [him] the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Jebusites and the Girgashites, to give [it] to his seed; and you proceeded to carry out your words, because you are righteous.

9 “So you saw the affliction of our forefathers in Egypt, and their outcry at the Red Sea you heard. 10 Then you gave signs and miracles against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted presumptuously against them; and you proceeded to make a name for yourself as at this day. 11 And the sea you split before them, so that they crossed over through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers you hurled into the depths like a stone in the strong waters. 12 And by a pillar of cloud you led them by day, and by a pillar of fire by night, to light up for them the way in which they should go. 13 And upon Mount Sinai you came down and spoke with them out of heaven and went on to give them upright judicial decisions and laws of truth, good regulations and commandments. 14 And your holy sabbath you made known to them, and commandments and regulations and a law you commanded them by means of Moses your servant. 15 And bread from heaven you gave them for their hunger, and waters out of the crag you brought forth to them for their thirst, and you went on to say to them to enter and possess the land that you had lifted your hand [in an oath] to give to them.

16 “And they themselves, even our forefathers, acted presumptuously and proceeded to harden their neck, and they did not listen to your commandments. 17 So they refused to listen, and they did not remember your wonderful acts that you performed with them, but they hardened their neck and appointed a head to return to their servitude in Egypt. But you are a God of acts of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, and you did not leave them. 18 Yes, when they had made for themselves a molten statue of a calf and began to say, ‘This is your God who led you up out of Egypt,’ and they went on to commit great acts of disrespect, 19 you, even you, in your abundant mercy did not leave them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud itself did not depart from over them by day to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night to light up for them the way in which they should go. 20 And your good spirit you gave to make them prudent, and your manna you did not hold back from their mouth, and water you gave them for their thirst. 21 And for forty years you provided them with food in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their very garments did not wear out, and their feet themselves did not become swollen.

22 “And you proceeded to give them kingdoms and peoples, and to apportion them piece by piece; so that they took possession of the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og the king of Bashan. 23 And their sons you made as many as the stars of the heavens. Then you brought them into the land that you had promised to their forefathers that [they] should enter to take possession. 24 So their sons came in and took the land in possession, and you proceeded to subdue before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and to give them into their hand, even their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them according to their liking. 25 And they went capturing fortified cities and a fat soil and taking in possession houses full of all good things, cisterns hewn out, vineyards and olive groves and trees for food in abundance, and they began to eat and to be satisfied and to grow fat and to luxuriate in your great goodness.

26 “However, they became disobedient and rebelled against you and kept casting your law behind their back, and your own prophets they killed, who bore witness against them to bring them back to you; and they went on committing acts of great disrespect. 27 For this you gave them into the hand of their adversaries, who kept causing them distress; but in the time of their distress they would cry out to you, and you yourself would hear from the very heavens; and in accord with your abundant mercy you would give them saviors who would save them out of the hand of their adversaries.

28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they would again do what is bad before you, and you would leave them to the hand of their enemies, who would tread them down. Then they would return and call to you for aid, and you yourself would hear from the very heavens and deliver them in accord with your abundant mercy, time and again. 29 Although you would bear witness against them to bring them back to your law, they themselves even acted presumptuously and did not listen to your commandments; and against your own judicial decisions they sinned, which, if a man will do, he must also live by means of them. And they kept giving a stubborn shoulder, and their neck they hardened, and they did not listen. 30 But you were indulgent with them for many years and kept bearing witness against them by your spirit by means of your prophets, and they did not give ear. Finally you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 And in your abundant mercy you did not make an extermination of them or leave them; for you are a God gracious and merciful.

32 “And now, O our God, the God great, mighty and fear-inspiring, keeping the covenant and loving-kindness, do not let all the hardship that has found us, our kings, our princes and our priests and our prophets and our forefathers and all your people from the days of the kings of Assyria down to this day, seem little before you. 33 And you are righteous as regards all that has come upon us, for faithfully is how you have acted, but we are the ones that have done wickedly. 34 As for our kings, our princes, our priests and our forefathers, they have not performed your law, nor paid attention to your commandments or to your testimonies with which you bore witness against them. 35 And they themselves—during their kingdom and amid your abundant good things that you gave to them and in the broad and fat land that you made available for them, they did not serve you and did not turn back from their bad practices. 36 Look! We are today slaves; and as for the land that you gave to our forefathers to eat its fruitage and its good things, look! we are slaves upon it, 37 and its produce is abounding for the kings that you have put over us because of our sins, and over our bodies they are ruling and over our domestic animals, according to their liking, and we are in great distress.

38 “So in view of all this we are contracting a trustworthy arrangement, both in writing and attested by the seal of our princes, our Levites [and] our priests.”

Now attesting it by seal there were:

Nehemiah the Tirshatha, the son of Hacaliah,

And Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai [and] Shemaiah, these being the priests.

9 Also the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel 10 and their brothers Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani [and] Beninu.

14 The heads of the people: Parosh, 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 and Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

28 As for the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim and everyone separating himself from the peoples of the lands to the law of the [true] God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, everyone having knowledge [and] understanding, 29 they were adhering to their brothers, their majestic ones, and coming into [liability to] a curse and into an oath, to walk in the law of the [true] God, which had been given by the hand of Moses the servant of the [true] God, and to keep and to perform all the commandments of Jehovah our Lord and his judicial decisions and his regulations; 30 and that we should not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, and their daughters we should not take for our sons.

31 As for the peoples of the land who were bringing in wares and every kind of cereal on the sabbath day to sell, we should take nothing from them on the sabbath or on a holy day, and we should forego the seventh year and the debt of every hand.

32 Also, we imposed upon ourselves commandments to give, each of us, a third of a shekel yearly for the service of the house of our God, 33 for the layer bread and the constant grain offering and the constant burnt offering of the sabbaths, the new moons, for the appointed feasts and for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel and all the work of the house of our God.

34 Also, the lots we cast concerning the supply of the wood that the priests, the Levites and the people should bring to the house of our God, by the house of our forefathers, at the appointed times, year by year, to burn upon the altar of Jehovah our God, according to what is written in the law; 35 and to bring the first ripe fruits of our ground and the first ripe fruits of all the fruitage of every sort of tree, year by year, to the house of Jehovah; 36 and the firstborn of our sons and of our domestic animals, according to what is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring [them] to the house of our God, to the priests that were ministering in the house of our God. 37 Also, the firstfruits of our coarse meal and our contributions and the fruitage of every sort of tree, new wine and oil we should bring to the priests to the dining halls of the house of our God, also the tenth from our soil to the Levites, as they, the Levites, are the ones receiving a tenth in all our agricultural cities.

38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, must prove to be with the Levites when the Levites receive a tenth; and the Levites themselves should offer up a tenth of the tenth to the house of our God to the dining halls of the supply house. 39 For it is to the dining halls that the sons of Israel and the sons of the Levites should bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil, and there is where the utensils of the sanctuary and the priests that were ministering, and the gatekeepers and the singers are; and we should not neglect the house of our God.

11 Now the princes of the people had their dwelling in Jerusalem; but as for the rest of the people, they cast lots to bring in one out of every ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and the nine other parts in the other cities. 2 Moreover, the people blessed all the men who volunteered to dwell in Jerusalem.

3 And these are the heads of the jurisdictional district who dwelt in Jerusalem; but in the cities of Judah there dwelt, each one in his own possession, in their cities, Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the Nethinim and the sons of the servants of Solomon.

4 Also, in Jerusalem there dwelt some of the sons of Judah and some of the sons of Benjamin. Of the sons of Judah there were Athaiah the son of Uzziah the son of Zechariah the son of Amariah the son of Shephatiah the son of Mahalalel of the sons of Perez; 5 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 the Shelanite. 6 All the sons of Perez who were dwelling in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight, capable men.

7 And these were 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 Jeshaiah; 8 and after him Gabbai [and] Sallai, nine hundred and twenty-eight; 9 and Joel the son of Zichri, an overseer over them, and Judah the son of Hassenuah over the city as second.

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah the son of Meshullam the son of Zadok the son of Meraioth the son of Ahitub, a leader of the house of the [true] God; 12 and their brothers the doers of the work of the house, eight hundred and twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham the son of Pelaliah the son of Amzi the son of Zechariah the son of Pashhur the son of Malchijah, 13 and his brothers, heads of paternal houses, two hundred and forty-two, and Amashsai the son of Azarel the son of Ahzai the son of Meshillemoth the son of Immer, 14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, a hundred and twenty-eight, and there was an overseer over them, Zabdiel the son of the great ones.

15 And of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub the son of Azrikam the son of Hashabiah the son of Bunni, 16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the heads of the Levites, over the outside business of the house of the [true] God; 17 and Mattaniah himself, the son of Micah the son of Zabdi the son of Asaph, the conductor of the praise [singing], did the lauding at prayer, and Bakbukiah was second of his brothers, and Abda the son of Shammua the son of Galal the son of Jeduthun. 18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four.

19 And the gatekeepers were Akkub, Talmon and their brothers who were keeping guard in the gates, a hundred and seventy-two.

20 And the rest of Israel, of the priests [and] of the Levites, were in all the other cities of Judah, each one in his own hereditary possession. 21 And the Nethinim were dwelling in Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.

22 And the overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani the son of Hashabiah the son of Mattaniah the son of Mica of the sons of Asaph, the singers, concerning the work of the house of the [true] God. 23 For there was a commandment of the king in behalf of them, and there was a fixed provision for the singers as each day required. 24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah was at the side of the king for every matter of the people.

25 And as regards the settlements in their fields, there were some of the sons of Judah that dwelt in Kiriath-arba and its dependent towns and in Dibon and its dependent towns and in Jekabzeel and its settlements, 26 and in Jeshua and in Moladah and in Beth-pelet 27 and in Hazar-shual and in Beer-sheba and its dependent towns 28 and in Ziklag and in Meconah and its dependent towns 29 and in En-rimmon and in Zorah and in Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam and their settlements, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its dependent towns. And they took up camping from Beer-sheba clear to the valley of Hinnom.

31 And the sons of Benjamin were from Geba, Michmash and Aija and Bethel and its dependent towns, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod and Ono, the valley of the craftsmen. 36 And of the Levites there were divisions of Judah for Benjamin.