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Nehemiah 6:1–8:8

Further Opposition to the Rebuilding

6 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah,r Geshems the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates—Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villagesa on the plain of Ono.t

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballatu sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshemb v says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the templew, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”

11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against mex because Tobiah and Sanballaty had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.z

14 Remembera Tobiah and Sanballat,b my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetc Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophetsd have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Opposition to the Completed Wall

16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

7 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers,e the musiciansf and the Levitesg were appointed. I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani,h along with Hananiahi the commander of the citadel,j because he was a man of integrity and fearedk God more than most people do. I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.”

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

7:6–73pp—Ezr 2:1–70

Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it,l and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:

These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exilesm whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, in company with Zerubbabel,n Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of Israel:

the descendants of Parosh 2,172

of Shephatiah 372

10 of Arah 652

11 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab) 2,818

12 of Elam 1,254

13 of Zattu 845

14 of Zakkai 760

15 of Binnui 648

16 of Bebai 628

17 of Azgad 2,322

18 of Adonikam 667

19 of Bigvai 2,067

20 of Adino 655

21 of Ater (through Hezekiah) 98

22 of Hashum 328

23 of Bezai 324

24 of Hariph 112

25 of Gibeon 95

26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophahp 188

27 of Anathothq 128

28 of Beth Azmaveth 42

29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirahr and Beeroths 743

30 of Ramah and Geba 621

31 of Mikmash 122

32 of Bethel and Ait 123

33 of the other Nebo 52

34 of the other Elam 1,254

35 of Harim 320

36 of Jerichou 345

37 of Lod, Hadid and Onov 721

38 of Senaah 3,930

39 The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua) 973

40 of Immer 1,052

41 of Pashhur 1,247

42 of Harim 1,017

43 The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel through the line of Hodaviah) 74

44 The musicians:w

the descendants of Asaph 148

45 The gatekeepers:x

the descendants of

Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai 138

46 The temple servants:y

the descendants of

Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,

47 Keros, Sia, Padon,

48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,

49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,

50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,

51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,

52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,

53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

56 Neziah and Hatipha

57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of

Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,

58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,

59 Shephatiah, Hattil,

Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon

60 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomonz 392

61 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:

62 the descendants of

Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda 642

63 And from among the priests:

the descendants of

Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name).

64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.a

66 The whole company numbered 42,360, 67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. 68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules,a 69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 daricsb of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests. 71 Some of the heads of the familiesb gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 daricsc of gold and 2,200 minasd of silver. 72 The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minase of silver and 67 garments for priests.c

73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants,d along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns.e

Ezra Reads the Law

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,f

8 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate.g They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses,h which the Lord had commanded for Israel.

So on the first day of the seventh monthi Ezra the priest brought the Lawj before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gatek in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platforml built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.

Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standingm above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their handsn and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

The Leviteso—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructedp the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it cleara and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.

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Or in Kephirim

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Hebrew Gashmu, a variant of Geshem

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Some Hebrew manuscripts (see also Ezra 2:66); most Hebrew manuscripts do not have this verse.

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That is, about 19 pounds or about 8.4 kilograms

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That is, about 375 pounds or about 170 kilograms; also in verse 72

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That is, about 1 1/3 tons or about 1.2 metric tons

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That is, about 1 1/4 tons or about 1.1 metric tons

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Or God, translating it