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Nehemiah 11:22–13:22

22 The chief officer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah,z the son of Mika. Uzzi was one of Asaph’s descendants, who were the musicians responsible for the service of the house of God. 23 The musiciansa were under the king’s orders, which regulated their daily activity.

24 Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, one of the descendants of Zerahb son of Judah, was the king’s agent in all affairs relating to the people.

25 As for the villages with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath Arbac and its surrounding settlements, in Dibond and its settlements, in Jekabzeel and its villages, 26 in Jeshua, in Moladah,e in Beth Pelet,f 27 in Hazar Shual,g in Beershebah and its settlements, 28 in Ziklag,i in Mekonah and its settlements, 29 in En Rimmon, in Zorah,j in Jarmuth,k 30 Zanoah,l Adullamm and their villages, in Lachishn and its fields, and in Azekaho and its settlements. So they were living all the way from Beershebap to the Valley of Hinnom.

31 The descendants of the Benjamites from Gebaq lived in Mikmash,r Aija, Bethels and its settlements, 32 in Anathoth,t Nobu and Ananiah, 33 in Hazor,v Ramahw and Gittaim,x 34 in Hadid, Zeboimy and Neballat, 35 in Lod and Ono,z and in Ge Harashim.

36 Some of the divisions of the Levites of Judah settled in Benjamin.

Priests and Levites

12 These were the priestsa and Levitesb who returned with Zerubbabelc son of Shealtield and with Joshua:e

Seraiah,f Jeremiah, Ezra,

2 Amariah, Malluk, Hattush,

3 Shekaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

4 Iddo,g Ginnethon,a Abijah,h

5 Mijamin,b Moadiah, Bilgah,

6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,i

7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah and Jedaiah.

These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Joshua.

The Levites were Jeshua,j Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and also Mattaniah,k who, together with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. Bakbukiah and Unni, their associates, stood opposite them in the services.

10 Joshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib,l Eliashib the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua.

12 In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families:

of Seraiah’s family, Meraiah;

of Jeremiah’s, Hananiah;

13 of Ezra’s, Meshullam;

of Amariah’s, Jehohanan;

14 of Malluk’s, Jonathan;

of Shekaniah’s,c Joseph;

15 of Harim’s, Adna;

of Meremoth’s,d Helkai;

16 of Iddo’s,m Zechariah;

of Ginnethon’s, Meshullam;

17 of Abijah’s,n Zikri;

of Miniamin’s and of Moadiah’s, Piltai;

18 of Bilgah’s, Shammua;

of Shemaiah’s, Jehonathan;

19 of Joiarib’s, Mattenai;

of Jedaiah’s, Uzzi;

20 of Sallu’s, Kallai;

of Amok’s, Eber;

21 of Hilkiah’s, Hashabiah;

of Jedaiah’s, Nethanel.

22 The family heads of the Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua, as well as those of the priests, were recorded in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 The family heads among the descendants of Levi up to the time of Johanan son of Eliashib were recorded in the book of the annals. 24 And the leaders of the Leviteso were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God.p

25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub were gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms at the gates. 26 They served in the days of Joiakim son of Joshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest, the teacher of the Law.

Dedication of the Wall of Jerusalem

27 At the dedicationq of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals,r harps and lyres.s 28 The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem—from the villages of the Netophathites,t 29 from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. 30 When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people,u the gates and the wall.

31 I had the leaders of Judah go up on top ofe the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top off the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate.v 32 Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, 33 along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin,w Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35 as well as some priests with trumpets,x and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zakkur, the son of Asaph, 36 and his associates—Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani—with musical instrumentsy prescribed by David the man of God.z Ezraa the teacher of the Law led the procession. 37 At the Fountain Gateb they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the site of David’s palace to the Water Gatec on the east.

38 The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top ofg the wall, together with half the people—past the Tower of the Ovensd to the Broad Wall,e 39 over the Gate of Ephraim,f the Jeshanahh Gate,g the Fish Gate,h the Tower of Hananeli and the Tower of the Hundred,j as far as the Sheep Gate.k At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.

40 The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials, 41 as well as the priests—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets—42 and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah. 43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

44 At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storeroomsl for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes.m From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.n 45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the musicians and gatekeepers, according to the commands of Davido and his son Solomon.p 46 For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph,q there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praiser and thanksgiving to God. 47 So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the musicians and the gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.s

Nehemiah’s Final Reforms

13 On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God,t because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaamu to call a curse down on them.v (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)w When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.x

Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storeroomsy of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,z and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithesa of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.

But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxesb king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashibc had done in providing Tobiahd a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.e I gave orders to purify the rooms,f and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.g

10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them,h and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.i 11 So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?”j Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.

12 All Judah brought the tithesk of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.l 13 I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites.m

14 Remembern me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.

15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath.o Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. 16 People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbathp to the people of Judah. 17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? 18 Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city?q Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating

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Many Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also verse 16); most Hebrew manuscripts Ginnethoi

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A variant of Miniamin

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Very many Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also verse 3); most Hebrew manuscripts Shebaniah’s

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Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also verse 3); Hebrew Meraioth’s

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