1On 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 for ever;2Because they met not 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.3Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.4And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:5And he had prepared for him a great chamber, 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.6But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:7And 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.8And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.9Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.10And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them : for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.11Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.12Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.13And 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 unto their brethren.14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.15In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; 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.16There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?18Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.19And 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 till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.21Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.22And 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 thy mercy.23In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:24And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews'language, but according to the language of each people.25And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying , Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.27Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?28And 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.29Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.30Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;31And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
English Standard Version
Nehemiah’s Final Reforms
1On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, (De 23:3; De 31:11; 2Ki 23:2; Ne 8:3; Ne 8:8; Ne 8:18; Ne 9:3)2for 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.3As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent. (Ex 12:38; Nu 11:4; Ne 9:2)4Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, (Ne 2:10; Ne 3:1; Ne 12:44; Ne 13:28)5prepared 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, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. (Nu 18:21; Nu 18:24)6While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king (Ezr 6:22; Ne 5:14)7and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. (Ne 13:5)8And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber.9Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense. (2Ch 29:15; 2Ch 29:18)10I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. (2Ch 31:4; Ne 12:28; Mal 3:8)11So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. (Ne 10:39; Ne 13:17; Ne 13:25)12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. (Ne 10:38; Ne 12:44)13And I 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, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. (2Ch 31:12; Ne 7:2; 1Co 4:2)14Remember 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. (Ne 5:19; Ne 13:22; Ne 13:31)15In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. (Ex 20:10; Ne 10:31; Ne 13:21)16Tyrians 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!17Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? (Ne 13:11; Mt 12:5)18Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” (Jer 17:19)19As soon as it began 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. (Le 23:32)20Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.21But 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. (Ne 13:15)22Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love. (Ne 12:30; Ne 13:14; Ne 13:31)23In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. (Ezr 9:1; Ezr 9:2; Ezr 10:10; Ne 4:7; Ne 13:1)24And 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.25And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And 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. (Ezr 10:5; Ne 10:29; Ne 13:17)26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. (2Sa 12:24; 1Ki 3:13; 1Ki 11:1; 2Ch 1:12)27Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?” (Ezr 10:2)28And one of the sons of Jehoiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me. (Ne 2:10; Ne 2:19; Ne 3:1; Ne 12:10; Ne 12:22; Ne 13:4; Ne 13:7)29Remember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. (Ne 6:14; Mal 2:4)30Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; (Ne 10:30)31and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. (Ezr 10:14; Ne 10:34; Ne 13:14; Ne 13:22)