|Nehemiah 13 |
1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and in it was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever;
2 Because they had refused the children of Israel with their bread and with their water, and hired Balaam against them, so that he would curse them; However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel .
4 Before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied to Tobiah.
5 He had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the meat offerings, frankincense, the vessels, the tithes of the corn, new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
6 But in all this time I had not been in Jerusalem because in the thirty second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went back to the king, and it was after many days that I obtained from the king permission to leave [and go back to Jerusalem].
7 I returned to Jerusalem, and saw the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me greatly; therefore I cast out all of Tobiah's household stuff out of the chamber.
9 Then I commanded them to cleanse the chambers; and I brought the vessels of the house of God again, with the cereal offering and the frankincense.
10 And I realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given because the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had all fled to his field.
11 So I contended with the rulers, and said, "Why is the house of God forsaken?" And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
12 Then all of Judah brought the tithe of the corn, the new wine, and the oil to the treasuries.
13 And I made keepers over the treasuries: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites; and next to them was the family of Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute to their brothers.
14 I prayed, "Remember 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 its offices."
15 In those days saw I on the sabbath in Judah some treading wine presses, and bringing in sheaves, and asses laden with wine, grapes, figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I testified against them in the day in which they sold food.
16 There were also men of Tyre dwelling in Judah who brought fish and all manner of goods, selling them on the sabbath to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing is this that you do by profaning the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers do the same, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath."
19 And 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 until after the sabbath; and I placed some of my servants at the gates, that there should be no burden brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of goods lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said to them, "Why do you lodge about the wall? If you do so again, I will arrest you." From that time forth they no longer came on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites to 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 your mercy.
23 In those days also saw I Jews who had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab.
24 Their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but spoke according to the language of each people of their wives.
25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons, or for yourselves."
26 Did not king Solomon of Israel sin by doing 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 foreign women causes even him to sin.
27 Shall we then ignore your doing all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?
28 And 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.
29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, everyone in his business;
31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.