1[1-5] These are the words of Nehemiah, the child of Hacaliah. Now in the month Chislev (Kislev, Nov/Dec), in the 20th year, as I was in Shushan the palace, Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and some men out of Judah; and I asked them about the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the prisoners, and about Jerusalem. They said to me, Those few who are left of the prisoners there in the country are in great trouble and are blamed for it; the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned up. When I heard these words, I sat down and cried, and mourned a few days; and I fasted and prayed to the God of heaven, and said, I beg you, Yahweh, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps the promised agreement and has loving kindness for those who love and keep God’s words.
[6-9] Listen and pay attention, so that you may hear the prayer of your worker, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the people of Israel, Your workers, while I confess the sins of the people of Israel, which we’ve sinned against you. Yes, I and my people have sinned; we’ve acted very badly against you, and haven’t kept the words, or the laws, or the rules which you told your worker Moses. Remember, I beg you, the word that you told your worker Moses, saying, If you sin, I’ll scatter you awide among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My words and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens, yet I’llgather them from there, and bring them to the place that I’ve chosen, to cause My Name to be there.
[10-11] Now these are Your workers and Your people, whom You’ve saved by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. Lord, I beg you, hear the prayer of Your worker, and the prayer of Your workers who enjoy worshipping Your Name; and please do well to Your worker today, and grant me mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup bearer to the ruler.
2[1-3] In the month Nisan (March/April), in the 20th year of Artaxerxes the ruler (son of Xerxes 465-424 BC) when wine was before him, that I picked up the wine, and gave it to the ruler. Now I had never been sad before in his presence. The ruler said to me, Why is your face so sad, seeing you’re not sick? This isn’t anything else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very very afraid. I said to the ruler, Let the ruler live forever; why shouldn’t my face be sad when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, is in ruins, and its gates are all burned up?
[4-8] Then the ruler said to me, So what do you want? So I prayed to the God of heaven and I said to the ruler, If it please the ruler, and if I have found favor in your sight, I ask that you’d send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves,so that I may rebuild it. Then the ruler said to me with the queen also sitting by him, How long will your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the ruler to send me; and I set him a time. Besides I said to the ruler, If it please the ruler, let letters be given to me for the governors across the river, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the ruler’s forest, that he may give me wood to make posts for the gates of the tower of the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I’ll live in. The ruler gave me everything I asked for, by the good hand of my God on me.
[9-11] Then I came to the governors across the river, and gave them the ruler’s letters. Now the ruler had sent with me leaders of the army and horse riders. When Sanballat, the Horonite, and Tobiah the Ammonite worker, heard it, it upset them greatly, because someone had come to help the people of Israel. So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
[12-15] I got up in the night, I and a few others with me; I told no one what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the animal that I rode on. I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the dragon’s well, and to the waste gate, and looked at the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates that were all burned up. Then I went on to the creek gate and to the ruler’s pool; but there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass. Then I went up in the night by the river, and looked at the wall; and I turned back, and went by the valley gate, and returned.
[16-18] The rulers didn’t know where I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the preachers, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work. Then I said to them, You see the evil case that we’re in, how Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates are burned with fire; come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so we won’t be ridiculed anymore. I told them of the hand of my God which was good to me, as also of the ruler’s words that he had said to me. They said, Let’s get up and build it. So they strengthened their hands for the good work.
[19-20] But when Sanballat, the Horonite, and Tobiah, the Ammonite worker, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they ridiculed us, and hated us, and said, What are you doing? Will you rebel against the ruler? Then I answered and said to them, The God of heaven will do well by us; so we workers will get up and build; but you have no part, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
3[1-5] Then Eliashib the lead preacher got up with his brothers the preachers, and they built the sheep gate; they dedicated it, and put up its doors; even to the tower of Hammeah, they dedicated it, to the tower of Hananel. Next to him built the people of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur, the child of Imri. The sons of Hassenaah built the fish gate; they put up its posts and doors, with its bolts and bars. Next to them built Meremoth, the child of Uriah, the child of Hakkoz. Next to them built Meshullam, the child of Berechiah, the child of Meshezabel. Next to them built Zadok, the child of Baana. Next to them, the Tekoites built; but their nobles didn’t lift a finger to help in the work of their leader.
[6-10] Joiada, the child of Paseah and Meshullam, the child of Besodeiah built the old gate; they put up its posts and doors, with its bolts and bars. Next to them, Melatiah, the Gibeonite and Jadon, the Meronothite, built, who were the people of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that were ruled by the governor across the river. Next to him, Uzziel, the child of Harhaiah, built, who were goldsmiths. Next to him, Hananiah, one of the perfumers, built; and they protected Jerusalem even to the wide wall. Next to them, Rephaiah, the child of Hur, built, who was the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem. Next to them, Jedaiah, the child of Harumaph, built next to his house. Next to him, Hattush, the child of Hashabneiah, built.
[11-15] Malchijah, the child of Harim, and Hasshub, the child of Pahathmoab, built another part, and the tower of the furnaces. Next to him, Shallum, the child of Hallohesh, built, who was the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. Hanun, and the people of Zanoah built the valley gate; they built it, and put up its doors, with its bolts and bars, and 1,500 feet of the wall to the waste gate. Malchijah, the child of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem built the waste gate; he built it, and put up its doors, with its bolts and bars. Shallun, the child of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah built the creek gate; he built it, and covered it, and put up its doors, with its bolts and bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the ruler’s garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David.
[16-20] After him, Nehemiah, the child of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, built to the place next to the graves of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the soldiers. After him, the Levites, Rehum, the child of Bani, built. Next to him, Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, built for his district. After him, their brothers, Bavvai, the child of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, built. Next to him, Ezer, the child of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, built another part, next to the rise to the armory at the turning of the wall. After him, Baruch, the child of Zabbai, worked very hard on another part, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib, the lead preacher.
[21-24] After him, Meremoth, the child of Uriah, the child of Hakkoz, built another part, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. After him, the preachers, the people of the field, built. After them, Benjamin and Hasshub built next to their house. After them, Azariah, the child of Maaseiah, the child of Ananiah, built beside his own house. After him, Binnui, the child of Henadad, built another part, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall and to the corner.
[25-27] Palal, the child of Uzai, built next to the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the ruler, which is by the court of the guard. After him, Pedaiah, the child of Parosh, built. (Now the Nethinim (church workers) lived in Ophel, to the place next to the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) After him, the Tekoites built another part, next to the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel.
[28-32] The preachers built above the horse gate, everyone next to his own house. After them, Zadok, the child of Immer, built next to his own house. After him, Shemaiah, the child of Shecaniah, built, who was the keeper of the east gate. After him, Hananiah, the child of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, built another part. After them, Meshullam, the child of Berechiah, built next to his room. After him, Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, built to the house of the Nethinim (church workers), and of the sales peoples, next to the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the rise of the corner. Between the rise of the corner and the sheep gate, the goldsmiths and the sales people built.
4[1-3] But when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great offense, and mocked the Jews. He said before his brothers and the army of Samaria, What are these weak Jews doing? Will they protect themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish this in a day? Will they replace the stones out of the heaps of rubble, seeing they’re burned? Now Tobiah, the Ammonite, was by him, and he said, Even what they’re building, if a fox climbed up it, it would break down their stonewall.
[4-6] Hear, our God; for we’re hated; and turn back their criticism on their own head, and give them over as prisoners in a foreign land; and don’t cover their guilt, and don’t forget their sin; for they’ve angered You in the face of the builders. So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people were determined to work.
[7-12] But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being repaired, and that the broken parts were being closed up, then they were very angry; and they planned together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion in it. But we made our prayer to our God, and set a guard against them day and night, because of them. The people of Judah said, Our workers are worn out, and there is so much rubble that we can’t build the wall. Our enemies said, They won’t know, or even see, until we come right into the middle of them, and kill them, and make the work stop. When the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us at least ten times, Whereever you turn, there they are to attack us.
[13-18] So I set the people in each of their families with their weapons in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places. I looked, and got up, and said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, Don’t be afraid of them; remember Yahweh God, Who is great and awesome, and fight for your families and your homes. When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their plans to nothing, we all returned to the wall to our work. From that time on, half of my workers did the work, and half of them held the weapons; and the rulers supported all the house of Judah. They all built the wall and those who carried the stones worked in such a way as to do the work with one hand, and hold their weapon with the other; and all the builders had their weapon at their side, and so built. He who sounded the warning horn was beside me.
[19-23] I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, The work is great and so large that we’re separated on the wall, far from one another; so whereever you hear the sound of the horn, come there to us; our God will fight for us. So we did the work; and half of them held the weapons from sunrise until sunset. At the same time I said to the people, Let every leader and their workers stay in Jerusalem, so that they may guard us in the night, and may work in the day. So neither I, nor my brothers, nor my workers, nor the people of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes, and everyone went to get water with their weapon.
5[1-5] Then the poor of the people cried out greatly against the other Jews. For there were those who said, We and our children are many; let us go get grain, that we may eat and live. There were also some who said, We’re having to sell our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain, because of the drought. There were also some who said, We’ve borrowed money to pay the taxes on our land. Yet now, we are the same flesh and blood as these others, and our children are as their children, but we must enslave our children to be their workers, and some of our daughters are enslaved by them already; neither is it in our power to help it; for these others have our land.
[6-11] I was very angry when I heard these words from their mouths. Then I thought about it, and fought with the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, You make a profit off your own family members. Then I held a great assembly against them. I said to them, We, as we are able, have saved the other Jews, that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your own family members, that they would be sold to us? Then they held their peace, and didn’t say a word. Also I said, The thing that you do isn’t good; shouldn’t you walk in respect to our God, because of the criticism of the nations our enemies? I likewise, my people, lend them money and grain. Please let us stop charging them fees. Please give them back today, their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses, and also one percent of the money, the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you have taken from them.
[12-14] Then they said, We’ll give it all back them, and will require nothing of them; so we’ll all do as you say. Then I called the preachers, and made them promise that they would do according to this agreement. Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God will shake out everyone from his house, and from his work, that doesn’t keep this promise; even like this, he’ll be shaken out, and emptied. All the assembly said, Amen, and praised Yahweh. So the people did what they had promised. From the time that I was made their governor in the land of Judah, from the 20th year even to the 32nd year of Artaxerxes (son of Xerxes 465-424 BC) the ruler, that is, 12 years, I and my people haven’t eaten the food of the governor. But the governors who were before me were chargeable to the people, and took of them bread and wine, besides 40 silver dollars; yes, even their workers had rule over the people; but I didn’t do so, because of the fear of God.
[16-19] Yes, I also continued in the work of the wall, and we didn’t buy any land; and all my workers were gathered there to the work. Besides this, there were at my table of the Jews and the rulers, 150 people, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us. Now what was prepared for one day was one cow and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once every ten days a store of all sorts of wine; yet for all this I didn’t demand the bread of the governor, because the taxes were hard on this people. Remember me, my God, for good, and what I’ve done for this people.
6[1-4] Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no hole left in it; (though even to that time I hadn’t put up the doors in the gates;) Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, meet us in one of the towns in the field of Ono. But they wanted to kill me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so I can’t come down; why should the work stop, while I leave it, and come down to you? They sent to me four times like this; and I answered them in the same way.
[5-9] Then Sanballat sent his worker to me in the same way the 5th time with an open letter in his hand, in which was written, It’s reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause you’re building the wall; and you would be their ruler, according to these words. You’ve also set preachers to preach about you at Jerusalem, saying, There is a ruler in Judah; and now I‘ll report it to the ruler according to these words. So come now, and let us meet together. Then I sent to him, saying, No such things have been done as you say, but you make them up out of your own heart. For they all would have made us afraid, saying, They’ll stop their work, that it not be done. But now, God, strengthen my hands.
[10-14] Then I went to the house of Shemaiah, the child of Delaiah, the child of Mehetabel, who was locked up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, wthin the Place of Worship, and let us shut the doors of the Place of Worship; for they’ll come to kill you; yes, they’ll come to kill you in the night. But I said, Should such a man as I run? and who is there that, being such as I, would go into the Place of Worship to save his life? I won’t go in. I saw that God hadn’t sent him; but he said this prophecy against me; and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. This is why he was hired, so that I would be scared, and do this, and sin, and that they would have something evil about me to report, so that they could criticism me. Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat for their evil works, and also the preacher Noadiah, and the rest of the preachers that would have put me in fear.
[15-19] So the wall was finished in the 25th day of the month Elul (August/September), in 52 days. When all our enemies heard it, all the nations that were around us feared, and were downcast in their own eyes; for they understood that this work was done of our God. In those days, the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them. For there were many in Judah who were loyal to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah, the child of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam, the child of Berechiah, as wife. Also they told of his good acts to me, and reported my words to him. So Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.
7[1-4] Now when the wall was built, and I had put up the doors, and the doorkeepers, singers, and Levites were set, I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah, the governor of the tower, charge over Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God more than many. I said to them, Don’t let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand on guard, let them shut the doors, and bar them; and appoint guards from the people of Jerusalem, everyone in the time of their watch, and everyone to be next to their own house. Now the city was big and wide; but there were few people in it, and the houses weren’t yet built.
[5-7] My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, the rulers, and the people, so that they would be recognized by their genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it; These are the people of the country, who went up from the prisoners of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon (Iraq, Iran), had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah to their city; who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the families of the people of Israel:
[8-38] The people of Parosh, 2,172. The people of Shephatiah, 372. The people of Arah, 652. The people of Pahathmoab, of the people of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818. The people of Elam, 1,254. The people of Zattu, 845. The people of Zaccai, 760. The people of Binnui, 648. The people of Bebai, 628. The people of Azgad, 2,322. The people of Adonikam, 667. The people of Bigvai, 2,067. The people of Adin, 655. The people of Ater, of Hezekiah, 98. The people of Hashum, 328. The people of Bezai,324. The people of Hariph, 112. The people of Gibeon, 95. The people of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188. The people of Anathoth, 128. The people of Beth Azmaveth, 42. The people of Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. The people of Ramah and Geba, 621. The people of Michmas, 122. The people of Bethel and Ai, 123. The people of the other Nebo, 52. The people of the other Elam, 1,254. The people of Harim, 320. The people of Jericho, 345. The people of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721. The people of Senaah, 3,930.
[39-45] The preachers; The people of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, 973. The people of Immer, 1,052. The people of Pashhur, 1,247. The people of Harim, 1,017. The Levites; the people of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the people of Hodevah, 74. The singers; the people of Asaph, 148. The doorkeepers; the people of Shallum, the people of Ater, the people of Talmon, the people of Akkub, the people of Hatita, the people of Shobai, 138.
[46-60] The Nethinim (church workers); the people of Ziha, the people of Hasupha, the people of Tabbaoth, the people of Keros, the people of Sia, the people of Padon, the people of Lebana, the people of Hagaba, the people of Salmai, the people of Hanan, the people of Giddel, the people of Gahar, the people of Reaiah, the people of Rezin, the people of Nekoda, the people of Gazzam, the people of Uzza, the people of Paseah. The people of Besai, the people of Meunim, the people of Nephushesim, the people of Bakbuk, the people of Hakupha, the people of Harhur, the people of Bazlith, the people of Mehida, the people of Harsha, the people of Barkos, the people of Sisera, the people of Temah, the people of Neziah, the people of Hatipha. The people of Solomon’s workers; the people of Sotai, the people of Sophereth, the people of Perida, the people of Jaala, the people of Darkon, the people of Giddel, the people of Shephatiah, the people of Hattil, the people of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the people of Amon. All the Nethinim (church workers), and the people of Solomon’s workers were 392.
[61-65] These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they couldn’t show who their ancestors were, nor if their descendants were of Israel; The people of Delaiah, the people of Tobiah, the people of Nekoda, 642. Of the preachers; the people of Hobaiah, the people of Hakkoz, the people of Barzillai who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name. These searched for their names among those who were recognized by genealogy, but they weren’t found; so were they thought to be of mixed descent and not allowed to be preachers. The governor told them that they shouldn’t eat of the most holy things, until there stood up a preacher with the Judgment Stones.
[66-73] The whole assembly together was 42,360, besides their workers, of whom there were 7,337; and they had 245 singing men and women. They had 736 horses; 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. Some from among the heads of ancestors’ houses gave money for the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 gold coins, 50 bowls, and 530 outfits of preachers’ clothes. Some of the heads of ancestors’ houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 gold coins, and 2,200 silver coins. What the rest of the people gave was 20,000 gold coins, and 2,000 silver coins, and 67 outfits of preachers’ clothes. So the preachers, the Levites, the doorkeepers, the singers, some of the people, the Nethinim (church workers), and all Israel, lived in their cities. When the 7th month had come, the people of Israel were all living in their cities.
8[1-4] All the people gathered together into the wide place that was in front of the water gate; and they told Ezra, the secretary, to bring the book of the Law of Moses, which Yahweh had given to Israel. Ezra, the preacher, brought the Word of God before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could understand, on the 1st day of the 7th month. He read it in the wide open space that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand; and all the people paid attention to the Word of God. Ezra, the secretary, stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for that purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right; and on his left, stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
[5-8] Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, being higher than all the people, and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and Ezra blessed Yahweh, the great God. All the people answered, Amen, Amen, and lifted up their hands; then they bowed their heads, and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the law; and the people stood in their place. They read in the book, in the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
[9-12] Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra, the preacher and secretary, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, Today is holy to Yahweh your God; don’t mourn or cry. For all the people cried when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the meat, and drink the wine, and send parts to those who have nothing ready; for today is holy to our Lord. Don’t be upset; for the joy of Yahweh is your strength. So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; don’t be upset. So all the people went their way to eat and drink, and to send some to the poor and to celebrate, because they had understood the words that were told to them.
[13-15] On the 2nd day were gathered together the heads of ancestors’ houses of all the people, the preachers, and the Levites, to Ezra, the secretary, to listen carefully to God’s Word. They found written in the law, how that Yahweh had told by Moses, that the people of Israel should live in booths in the celebration of the 7th month; and that they should publish and speak God’s Word in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go to the mountain, and get olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it’s written.
[16-18] So the people came, and brought them, and made themselves booths on the roofs of their houses, and in their courts, and in the courts of the House of God, and in the wide open space in front of the water gate, and in the wide open space in front of the gate of Ephraim. All the assembly of those who had come out of the prisoners made booths, and lived in the booths; for since the days of Joshua, the child of Nun, to that day, the people of Israel hadn’t done so. There was very great happiness. Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the celebration seven days; and on the 8th day was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.
9[1-3] Now in the 24th day of this month the people of Israel were gathered together going without food, and wearing mourning clothes, and put dirt on them. The people of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the faults of their ancestors. They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a quarter of the day; and another quarter they confessed sins, and worshiped Yahweh their God.
[4-6] Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood up on the stairs of the Levites, and called out with a loud voice to Yahweh their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless Yahweh your God forever and ever; and blessed be Your wonderful Name, which we uplift above all blessing and praise. You are Yahweh, yes, You alone; You’ve made heaven, the heaven of heavens with all its creations, the earth and all things that are on it, the seas and whatever is in them, and You keep them all; and everything in heaven worships You.
[7-10] You are Yahweh, the God Who chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, and found his heart faithful before You, and made an agreement with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his descendants, and have kept Your words; for You are good. You saw the trouble of our ancestors in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea, and showed signs and did great wonders to Pharaoh, and all his workers, and all the people of his land; for You knew that they acted proudly against them, and made You name great, as it is today.
[11-15] You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the middle of the sea on dry land; and You threw those who chased them into the depths, as a stone into the deep water. Besides this, in You led them by day in a column of smoke; and in a column of fire by night, to give them light in the way which they were to go. You also came down on Mount Sinai, and spoke to them from heaven, and gave them good rules and true laws, perfect laws and words, and made known to them that the Seventh Day is Your holy day, and gave them guides, and rules, and a law, by Moses Your worker, and gave them food from heaven for their hunger, and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and told them that they should go in to take the land which You had promised to give them.
[16-19] But they and our ancestors acted proudly and became stubborn, and didn’t listen to your words, and refused to obey You, nor thought about Your acts of wonder that You did for them, but became stubborn, and in their rebellion set a captain over them to lead them back to their hard lives in Egypt. But You’re a God who always forgives, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and great in loving kindness, and didn’t leave them. Yes, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt, and had treated You very disrespectfully; yet You in Your great mercies didn’t leave them out in the countryside; the column of smoke didn’t leave from over them by day, to lead them in the way; nor the column of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they were to go.
[20-24] You also gave Your good Spirit to teach them, and didn’t withhold Your gift of food from their mouths, and gave them water for their thirst. Yes, You kept them safe for 40 years in the countryside, and they lacked nothing; their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. Besides this, You gave them countries and peoples, which You gave them each their parts; so they took the land of Sihon, even the land of the ruler of Heshbon, and the land of Og, ruler of Bashan. You multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land, which You told their ancestors about, and that they should go in to take it. So the children went in and took the land, and You defeated the people of the land, the Canaanites, before them and gave them over to them along with their rulers, and the peoples of the land, that they could do with them as they wanted.
[25-27] They took protected cities, and a good land, and took houses full of all good things, wells dug out, vineyards, and olive groves, and many fruit trees; so they ate, and were filled, and became fat, and enjoyed themselves in Your great goodness. But then, they were disobedient, and rebelled against You, and ignored Your law, and killed Your preachers that spoke against them to turn them back to You, and they disrespected You horribly. So You handed them over to their enemies who troubled them; and in the time of their trouble when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; and in Your great mercies You gave them heroes who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
[28-31] But after they had rest, they did evil again in Your sight; so You left them in the control of their enemies, so that they had rule over them; yet when they returned, and cried out to You, You heard from heaven; and many times You gave them according to Your mercies, and spoke against them, that You might bring them back to Your law. Yet they acted proudly, and didn’t listen to Your words, but sinned against Your rules, (which if anyone does them, they will live safely by them), and turned their backs, and became stubborn, and wouldn’t listen. Yet You put up with them for many years, and spoke against them by Your Spirit through Your preachers; yet they wouldn’t listen; so You put them under the control of the peoples of the nations. But in Your great mercies You didn’t completely destroy them, nor leave them; for You are a gracious and merciful God.
[32-35] So now, our God, the great, the strong, and the awesome God, Who keeps the promised agreement and shows loving kindness, don’t let all the troubles seem little to You, that has come on us, on our rulers, leaders, preachers, religious leaders, ancestors, and on all Your people, since the time of the rulers of Assyria to today. But You’re fair in what’s come on us; for you’ve dealt truly, but we’ve done evil; neither have our rulers, leaders, preachers, nor ancestors, kept Your law, nor listened to Your words and Your evidence with which You spoke against them. For they’ve not served You in their countries, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and good land which You gave them, nor did they turn from their sinful works.
[36-38] See, we’re Your workers today, and as for the land that You gave to our ancestors to eat its fruit and its goodness, see, we’re workers in it. It produces very much for the rulers whom You’ve set over us because of our sins; also they have control over ourselves, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we’re in great trouble. Yet for all this, we make a true promised agreement, and write it down; and our leaders, Levites, and preachers, seal it up.
10[1-13] Now those who sealed it were Nehemiah, the governor, the child of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah, who were the preachers. The Levites were namely, Jeshua, the child of Azaniah, Binnui, of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.
[14-27] The leaders of the people were Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai, Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.
[28-31] The rest of the people, the preachers, the Levites, the doorkeepers, the singers, the Nethinim (church workers), and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to follow the Word of God, their wives, and their children, everyone who had knowledge and understanding, joined with the others, along with their nobles, and went into a promised agreement with a punishment, and a blessing, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses, the follower of God, and to keep and do all the words of Yahweh, our God, both the rules and laws; and that we wouldn’t give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; and if the peoples of the land bring any food or other stuff on the Seventh Day to sell, that we wouldn’t buy of them on the Seventh Day, or on a holy day; and that we wouldn’t plant our land in the 7th year, and forgive every debt.
[32-36] Also we made rules for us, to charge ourselves a yearly tax of a third of a dollar for the service of the house of our God; for the show bread, the continual meal offering, the continual burnt offering, the Seventh Days, the new moons, the set celebrations, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make up for the sins of Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. We throw judgment stones, the preachers, Levites, and people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our ancestors’ families, at set times, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it’s written in the law; and to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all kinds of fruit trees, year by year, to the Place of Worship of Yahweh; and also the firstborn of our sons, and of our livestock, as it’s written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the House of our God, to the preachers who minister in the House of our God; and that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and all the fruit trees, the new wine and the oil, to the preachers, to the rooms of the House of our God; and the tenth of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tenth in all plowed land of our cities.
[38-39] The preacher, the child of Aaron, will be with the Levites when the Levites take the tenth; and the Levites will bring up the tenth of the tithes to the House of our God, to the rooms, and put it into the treasury. For the people of Israel and the people of Levi will bring the wave offering of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, to the rooms where the pots of the sanctuary are kept, and the preachers who minister, the doorkeepers, and the singers; and we won’t stop coming to the House of our God.
11[1-2] The leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem; the rest of the people also threw judgment stones, to bring one of ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine in the other cities. The people blessed all those who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. Now these are the leaders of the country who lived in Jerusalem; but in the cities of Judah, everyone lived in their own land in their cities, that is, Israel, the preachers, the Levites, the Nethinim (church workers), and the people of Solomon’s workers.
[4-9] In Jerusalem lived some of the people of Judah and Benjamin. Of the people of Judah; Athaiah, the child of Uzziah, the child of Zechariah, the child of Amariah, the child of Shephatiah, the child of Mahalalel, of the people of Perez; and Maaseiah, the child of Baruch, the child of Colhozeh, the child of Hazaiah, the child of Adaiah, the child of Joiarib, the child of Zechariah, the child of the Shilonite. All the men of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were 468 soldiers. These are the men of Benjamin; Sallu, the child of Meshullam, the child of Joed, the child of Pedaiah, the child of Kolaiah, the child of Maaseiah, the child of Ithiel, the child of Jeshaiah. After him, Gabbai, Sallai, 928 in all. Joel the child of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the child of Hassenuah was 2nd over the city.
[10-14] Of the preachers; Jedaiah the child of Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah the child of Hilkiah, the child of Meshullam, the child of Zadok, the child of Meraioth, the child of Ahitub, the ruler of the House of God, and their brothers who did the work of the house, 822 in all; and Adaiah, the child of Jeroham, the child of Pelaliah, the child of Amzi, the child of Zechariah, the child of Pashhur, the child of Malchijah, and his brothers, leaders of ancestors’ houses, 242 in all; and Amashsai, the child of Azarel, the child of Ahzai, the child of Meshillemoth, the child of Immer, and their brothers, strong experienced soldiers, 128 in all; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the child of Haggedolim.
[15-] Of the Levites; Shemaiah, the child of Hasshub, the child of Azrikam, the child of Hashabiah, the child of Bunni; Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the leaders of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward service of the House of God; and Mattaniah, the child of Mica, the child of Zabdi, the child of Asaph, who was the leader to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the 2nd among his brothers; and Abda, the child of Shammua, the child of Galal, the child of Jeduthun. There were 284 Levites in the holy city in all. Besides this, the doorkeepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates were 172 in all. The rest of Israel, of the preachers and Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in their own land.
[21-24] But the Nethinim (church workers) lived in Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over them. The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi, the child of Bani, the child of Hashabiah, the child of Mattaniah, the child of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers over the service of the House of God. At the ruler’s word, the needs of the singers were met each day. Pethahiah the child of Meshezabel, of the people of Zerah the child of Judah was next to the ruler in everything that concerned the people.
[25-36] As for the towns with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its towns, and in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its towns, and in Jeshua, Moladah, Beth Pelet, Hazar Shual, Beersheba and its towns, Ziklag, Meconah and its towns, En Rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam, and their towns, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom. The people of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, at Bethel and its towns, at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftspeople. Of the Levites, certain parts in Judah were given to Benjamin.
12[1-11] Now these are the preachers and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel, the child of Shealtiel, and Jeshua; Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah. Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the leaders of the preachers and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. Besides the Levites; Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the thanksgiving prayer, he and his brothers. Also Bakbukiah and Unno, their brothers were next to them according to their offices. Jeshua had Joiakim, and Joiakim had Eliashib, and Eliashib had Joiada, and Joiada had Jonathan, and Jonathan had Jaddua.
[12-21] In the days of Joiakim were preachers, heads of ancestors’ houses; of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.
[22-26] As for the Levites, in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the heads of ancestors’ houses and also the preachers were recorded, in the reign of Darius the Persian. The sons of Levi, the heads of ancestors’ houses were written in the book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan, the child of Eliashib. The leaders of the Levites; Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua, the child of Kadmiel, with their brothers next to them, to give praise and thanks in their turns, according to the word of David, the follower of God. Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were doorkeepers keeping the watch at the storehouses of the gates. These were in the days of Joiakim, the child of Jeshua, the child of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah, the governor, and of Ezra, the preacher and secretary.
[27-30] At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they searched the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with happiness, both with giving thanks, and with singing, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps. The singers gathered together, both out of the field around Jerusalem, and from the towns of the Netophathites; also from Beth Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built them towns around Jerusalem. The preachers and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
[31-37] Then I brought up the leaders of Judah on the wall, and set two great companies who gave thanks and went in a line. One went to the right on the wall toward the waste gate; and after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the leaders of Judah, Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, and some of the preachers’ sons with horns; Zechariah, the child of Jonathan, the child of Shemaiah, the child of Mattaniah, the child of Micaiah, the child of Zaccur, the child of Asaph; and his brothers, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David, the follower of God; and Ezra, the secretary, was before them. By the creek gate, and straight before them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the rising of the wall, above the house of David, even to the water gate eastward.
[38-43] The other company of those who gave thanks went to meet them, and I after them, with the other half of the people, on the wall, above the tower of the furnaces, even to the wide wall, above the gate of Ephraim, by the old gate, by the fish gate, the tower of Hananel, the tower of Hammeah, all the way to the sheep gate; and they stood still in the gate of the guard. So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me; and the preachers, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with horns; and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang very loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. They offered great sacrifices that day, and were happy; for God had made them very happy; and the women and children were also happy; so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even very far away.
[44-47] On that day leaders were set over the rooms for the treasures, for the wave offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them, according to the fields of the cities, the part set by the law for the preachers and Levites; for Judah was happy for the preachers and Levites who worked. They kept charge of the things of their God, and of the purification, and so did the singers and doorkeepers, according to the word of David, and of Solomon his child. For in the days of David and Asaph of old, there was a leader of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. All Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave parts to the singers and the doorkeepers, for the needs of each day; and they set apart what was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart what was for the people of Aaron.
13[1-3] On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and in it was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite shouldn’t go into the assembly of God forever, because they didn’t meet the people of Israel with food and water, but hired Balaam speak evil against them; But our God turned the evil words into a blessing. When they had heard the law, they separated from Israel all those who had mixed with them.
[4-9] Now before this, Eliashib, the preacher, who was set over the rooms of the House of our God, being allied to Tobiah, had set aside for him a great room, where they had kept the meal offerings before, the frankincense, pots, tithes of the grain, new wine, and oil, which were given by word to the Levites, the singers, and the doorkeepers; and the wave offerings for the preachers. But in all this time I wasn’t at Jerusalem; for in the 32nd year of Artaxerxes (son of Xerxes 465-424 BC), ruler of Babylon (Iraq, Iran), I went to the ruler; and after a few days, I asked permission of the ruler, and came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that Eliashib had done, in making Tobiah a room in the courts of the House of God. It upset me very much; so I threw out all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the room. Then I told them to clean the rooms; and I brought back the pots of the House of God, along with the meal offerings and the frankincense.
[10-14] I understood that what was due to the Levites hadn’t been given to them; so that the Levites and the singers who did the work were run off, each to their own land. Then I fought with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God left empty? I gathered them together, and put them in their rightful place. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, the new wine, and the oil to the treasuries. I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah, the preacher, Zadok, the secretary, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan, the child of Zaccur, the child of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to give the supplies to the others. Remember me, my God, for this, and don’t wipe out my good acts that I’ve done for the House of my God, and for its celebrations.
[15-22] In those days, I saw in Judah some people working winepresses on the Seventh Day, and bringing in sheaves of grain, and loading donkeys with it; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of things, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Seventh Day; and I spoke against them in the day in which they sold food. There were people of Tyre also in it, who brought in fish, and all kinds of stuff, and sold on the Seventh Day to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I fought with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do to ruin the Seventh Day? Didn’t your ancestors do this, and didn’t our God bring all this evil on us, and on this city? Yet you bring more judgment on Israel by disrespecting the Seventh Day. When it began to darken at the gates of Jerusalem before the Seventh Day, I told them to shut the doors, and not to open them until after the Seventh Day; and some of my workers, I set over the gates, so that nothing could be brought in to be sold on the Seventh Day. So the sales people of all kind of wares stayed outside of Jerusalem once or twice. Then I spoke against them, and said to them, Why do you stay at the wall? I told the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to dedicate the Seventh Day. Remember me, my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your loving kindness.
[23-31] In those days, I also saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab; and their children spoke half in the language of Ashdod, and couldn’t speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. I fought with them, and punished them, and fought some of them, pulling out their hair, and made them promise by God, saying, You won’t give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. Didn’t Solomon, the ruler of Israel, sin by these things? Yet among many nations, there wasn’t a ruler like him, and he was loved by God, and God made him ruler over all Israel; But even him, these foreign women caused to sin. Will we then hear that you do all this great evil, to sin against our God in marrying these foreign women? One of the sons of Joiada, the child of Eliashib, the lead preacher, was son-in-law to Sanballat, the Horonite; so I chased him from me. Remember them, my God, because they’ve ruined the office of the preacher, and the promised agreement of the preachers and the Levites. So I separated them from all foreigners, and gave orders for the preachers and the Levites, each in their work; and for the wood offering, at the set times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, my God, for good.