The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it happened in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and men of Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, The remnant left of the captivity there in the province is in great affliction and shame. And the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire. And it happened when I heard these words, I sat down and wept. And I mourned for days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven.
From millions to just a remnant.
And I said, I pray You, O LORD God of Heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments; let Your ear now be open, and Your eyes open, so that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the sons of Israel Your servants, and confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very wickedly against You, and have not kept the commandments nor the statutes nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. I pray You, remember the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you turn to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though you were cast out to the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather you from there and will bring you to the place that I have chosen to set My name there. And these are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. O LORD, I pray You, let now Your ear be open to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name. And I pray You, bless Your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. (For I was the king’s cupbearer.)
I really don’t know why the Jews stray so quickly, and so far, so often. Worn out trope.
And it happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, wine was before him. And I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence before. And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid. And I said to the king, Let the king live forever. Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire? And the king said to me, For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of Heaven, and I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I pray that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, so that I may build it. And the king said to me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time. And I said to the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors Beyond the River, so that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the kings forest, so that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which belong to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house into which I shall enter. And the king granted me what I asked, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Groveling prayer for forgiveness.
And I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. And the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. And Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard. And it grieved them very much that there had come a man to seek the good of the sons of Israel. And I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me. And I did not tell to a man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem. And there was no animal with me, except the animal that I rode upon. And I went out by night by the Valley Gate, even before the Jackal Fountain, and to the Dung Gate, and looked at the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and its gates which were burned with fire. And I went on to the Fountain Gate, and to the King’s Pool. But there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass. And I went up in the night by the brook and looked at the wall, and turned back, and entered by the Valley Gate, and returned. And the rulers did not know where I had gone, nor what I was doing. Nor had I told the Jews as yet, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. And I said to them, You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem is wasted, and the gates of it are burned with fire. Come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no more be a reproach. And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me, and also the king’s words that he had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up to build. So they made their hands strong for good. But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us. And they said, What is this that you do? Will you rebel against the king? And I answered them and said to them, The God of Heaven, He will bless us, and we, His servants, will arise and build. But you have no portion or right or memorial in Jerusalem.
Yeah, yeah, we suck, let’s rise up. God is really quiet here…just a subtle message in some guy’s heart.
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They sanctified it and set up its doors, even to the Tower of Meah they sanctified it, to the Tower of Hananeel. And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built. But the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate, who laid its beams and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz repaired. And next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them the Tekoites repaired. But their nobles did not put their necks to the work of their Lord. And the Old Gate was repaired by Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and set up its doors and its locks and its bars. And next to them Melatiah of Gibeon repaired, and Jadon of Meron, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, to the throne of the governor Beyond the River. Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths, repaired. And next to him Hananiah, the son of one of the perfumers, repaired. And they fortified Jerusalem to the Broad Wall. And next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem repaired. Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired, even across from his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabniah repaired. Malchijah the son of Harim and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the Tower of the Furnaces. And next to him Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters repaired. Hanun, and the people of Zanoah, repaired the Valley Gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars, and a thousand cubits on the wall to the Dung Gate. But the Dung Gate was repaired by Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem. He built it and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars. And the Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallum the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah. He built it and covered it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah by the King’s Garden, and to the stairs that go down from the City of David. After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, repaired across from the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men. After him the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani, repaired. Next to him Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, repaired in his part. After him their brothers, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, repaired. And next to him, Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another piece across from the ascent to the armory at the corner. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the corner to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz repaired another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. And after him the priests, the men of the plain, repaired. After him Benjamin and Hashub repaired across from their house. After him Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah repaired by his house. After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another piece, from the house of Azariah to the corner even to the tower. Palal the son of Uzai repaired across from the corner, and the tower which lies out from the king’s high house, by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired. And the temple-slaves who lived in Ophel repaired across from the Water Gate toward the east, and the tower that sticks out. After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, opposite the great tower that sticks out, even to the wall of Ophel. The priests repaired from above the Horse Gate, every one across from his house. After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired across from his house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another piece. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah repaired across from his room. After him Malchiah the goldsmith’s son repaired to the place of the temple-slaves, and of the merchants, across from the Miphkad Gate, and to the going up of the corner. And between the going up of the corner to the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.
Holy shit, the Biblical version of This Old House, in this case, This Old Jerusalem. Fix gates, locks, towers, furnaces, ugh.
But it happened when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was angry and greatly displeased, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they bring to life the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? And Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox goes up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Oh our God, hear, for we are despised. And turn their curse upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity. And do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You. For they have provoked You to anger before the builders. So we built the wall, and all the wall was joined together to the half of it. For the people had a mind to work.
Love the smack talk, even a fox can knock down their walls.
And it happened, when Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem had gone up, and that the breaks were being filled, they were very angry. And all of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and do harm to it. But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. And Judah said, The strength of the carriers of burdens is weakening, and there is much rubbish, so that we are not able to build the wall. And our foes have said, They shall not know, or see, until we come in the middle of them, and kill them, and cause the work to cease. And it happened when the Jews who lived near them came in, they said to us ten times, From all places where you shall turn to us, they will be against us. And I stationed in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people according to their families with their sword, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and rose up, and said to the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, Do not be afraid of them. Remember the LORD, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. And it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their counsel to nothing, all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.
Keep on rebuilding. Meh. I really don’t believe true enemies would just stand there and watch and laugh. Just fucking kill them.
And it was from that time forth that half of my servants worked in the work, and the other half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the scale-armor. And the rulers were behind all the house of Judah the ones who built on the wall, and the ones who carried burdens; with those who were lifting, one a worker in the work, and one held a weapon. For of the builders, each one had his sword tied by his side, and built. And he who sounded the trumpet was beside me. And I said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, far from one another. In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, gather there to us. Our God will fight for us. And we labored in the work. And half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared. Also at the same time I said to the people, Let everyone with his servant stay inside Jerusalem, so that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labor in the day. And none, I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes except that everyone had his vessel of water.
Hmmm, if they really believed they would not need to use HALF OF THEIR PEOPLE to protect the poor bastard workers with spears, bows, shields, and scale armor.
And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews. For certain ones said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many. Let us get grain for them, so that we may eat and live. Some also said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses. Let us buy grain because of the famine. And some said, We have borrowed money on our lands and vineyards for the king’s tax. Yet now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our sons like their sons. And, lo, we bring our sons and our daughters into bondage, to be slaves, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage. And there is no power for our hand, for other men have our lands and vineyards.
At least I can understand their troubles here. Lots of legitimate hunger and suffering.
And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. And my heart within myself ruled, and I rebuked the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, You exact interest, each one from his brother. And I held a great gathering against them. And I said to them, According to our ability we have redeemed our brothers, the Jews who were sold to the nations. And will you even sell your brothers? Or shall they be sold to us? And they were silent and did not find an answer. And I said, What you do is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? And also I, my brothers and my servants, might take from them silver and grain. Please let us leave this lending at interest. Please even today give back to them their lands, their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the wine, and the oil, that you take from them. And they said, We will restore, and will ask nothing from them. So we will do as you say. Then I called the priests and took an oath from them that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap and said, So let God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, who does not keep this promise, even may he be shaken out this way and emptied. And all the congregation said, amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
I really think the New Testament plagarized the old. Don’t charge interest. Good speech and keep this in mind in a few months when I get to the Gospels.
And from the time that I was chosen to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor. But the former governors that had been before me were too heavy upon the people, and had taken bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people. But I did not do this, because of the fear of God. And I also kept on in the work of this wall. Nor did we buy any land. And all my servants gathered there to the work. And at my table were a hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from among the nations around us. And that which was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep; and birds were prepared; and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine. Yet for all this I did not seek the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
Heavy taxes. However, the cost of all these sacrificed seems about the same.
And it happened, when Sanballat, and Tobiah and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall, and that there was no break left in it (though at that time I had not set the doors on the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and come down to you? And they sent to me four times in this way. And I answered them in the same way. Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same way the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, in which was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews are thinking of rebelling, for this reason you build the wall, so that you may be their king, according to these words. And you have also set up prophets to preach about you at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah. And now it shall be reported to the king according to these words. And now come and let us talk it over together. And I sent to him saying, These things which you are saying are not happening, but you pretend them out of your own heart. For they all were alarmers of us, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work so that it may not be done. And now, O God, make my hands strong.
This is actually pretty interesting, not sure where this is going to go. Still don’t know why the enemies don’t attack, since the walls are rebuilt, but there are no gates.
And I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up. And he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple. For they will come to kill you. Yea, in the night they will come to kill you. And I said, Should such a man as I flee? And who, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. And, behold, I understood that God had not sent him, but that he said this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. Therefore he was hired that I should be afraid, and do so, and I should sin, and be for them an evil name, with which they might reproach me. My God, think upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid.
False prophets to scare him or kill him, not sure where this is going.
And the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened when all our enemies heard, and all the nations around us saw, they were very much lowered in their own eyes. For they saw that this work was done by our God. And in those days the nobles of Judah were increasing their letters going to Tobiah; and Tobiah’s came to them. For many in Judah were sworn to him because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. Also they reported his good deeds before me, and told my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.
Walls rebuilt by “God” when it is plainly evident the people rebuilt this wall with sweat and toil. Some things never change. The enemies are so polite, sending letters instead of, oh, just killing the guy?
And it happened when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were chosen, I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem. For he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. And I said to them, Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they stand by, let them shut and bar the doors. And set guards from the people of Jerusalem, each one in his watch, and each one to be across from his house. And the city was large and great, but the people in it were few, and the houses not built.
Wall around a mostly empty city with few houses.
And my God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, so that they might be counted by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who came up at the first. And I found written in it: These are the sons of the province who went up out of the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And they came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one to his city, and came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: The sons of Parosh, two thousand and seventy-two. The sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. The sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two. The sons of Pahath-moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand, eight hundred and eighteen. The sons of Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. The sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five. The sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. The sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight. The sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight. The sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two. The sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven. The sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven. The sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five. The sons of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. The sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight. The sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four. The sons of Hariph, a hundred and twelve. The sons of Gibeon, ninety-five. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, a hundred and eighty-eight. The men of Anathoth, a hundred and twenty-eight. The men of Beth-azmaveth, forty-two. The men of Kirjath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty-two. The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred and twenty-three. The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two. The sons of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. The sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one. The sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. The sons of Immer, a thousand and fifty-two. The sons of Pashur, a thousand two hundred and forty-seven. The sons of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the sons of Hodevah, seventy-four. The singers: the sons of Asaph, a hundred and forty-eight. The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, a hundred and thirty-eight. The temple slaves: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hashupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephishesim, the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Tamah, the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha. The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim, the sons of Amon. All the temple-slaves, and the sons of Solomon’s servants, three hundred and ninety-two. And these were they who went up from Tel-melah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer. But they could not show their father’s house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel: The sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two. And of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Koz, the sons of Barzillai, who took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name. These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found. Therefore they were put out, as defiled from the priesthood. And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. All the congregation together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, besides their manservants and their maidservants; these were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven. And they had two hundred and forty-five singing men and singing women. Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six; their mules, two hundred and forty-five; camels, four hundred and thirty-five; and six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses. And some of the chiefs of the fathers gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, and five hundred and thirty priest’s garments. And some of the chiefs of the fathers gave to the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold and two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ garments. And the priests, and the Levites, and the gatekeepers, and the singers, and some of the people, and the temple slaves, and all Israel, lived in their cities. And when the seventh month came, the sons of Israel were in their cities.
Ugh, as soon as it gets interesting, the Bible goes back to endless numbers. Why are these in the Bible? I think it must be chest thumping, or something.
And all the people gathered themselves as one man into the street before the water gate. And they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the Law before the congregation, both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read in it before the street in front of the Water Gate from the morning until noon, in front of the men and the women, and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people listened to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people. And when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, amen, amen, lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. And Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law. And the people were in their place. And they read in the Book of the Law of God, clearly. And they gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
Read the commandments of God. I wonder which version? The rules are really uninspiring, mostly food and bigotry and slavery. Thogh, to be honest, this really sounds like a modern Christian service with lots of Amens.
And Nehemiah, the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, Go eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our LORD. And do not be sorry, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. And the Levites quieted all the people, saying, Be quiet, for the day is holy. And do not be grieved. And all the people went to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words which were declared to them.
And on the second day the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the sons of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month, and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth to the mountain and bring olive branches and pine branches and myrtle branches and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. And the people went out and brought in, and made themselves booths, each one upon his roof, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the Water Gate, and in the street of the Gate of Ephraim. And all the congregation of those who had come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths. For since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day, the sons of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read in the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth was an assembly, according to the law.
What are these booths? Same stuff as the last few passages.
And in the twenty-fourth day of this month, the sons of Israel were gathered with fasting and with sackcloth, and with earth upon them. And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the Book of the Law of the LORD their God a fourth part of the day. And another fourth part they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.
Hmm, confessed sins, and the Jews segragated themselves. Back to the path of the LORD.
And stood upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God. And the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever. And blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. You, even You, are LORD alone. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things on it, the seas, and all in them, and You preserve them all. And the host of the heavens worships You. You are the LORD, 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 a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed. And You have performed Your words, for You are righteous. And You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea, and gave out signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and upon all his servants and upon all the people of his land. For You knew that they were acting proudly against them. So You got Yourself a name, as today. And You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land. And their pursuers You threw into the deep, like a stone into the mighty waters. And You led them in the day by a cloudy pillar, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way in which they should go. And You came down on mount Sinai, and spoke with them from Heaven, and gave them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments. And You made known to them Your holy sabbath, and commanded them commandments, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant. And You gave them bread from the heavens for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst. And You promised them that they should go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. But they and our fathers acted proudly and hardened their necks, and did not listen to Your commandments. And they refused to obey, neither were they mindful of Your wonders which You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and did not forsake them. Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt, and had worked great blasphemies, yet You in Your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light and the way in which they should go. You also gave Your good Spirit to teach them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. And forty years You sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing; their clothes did not become old, and their feet did not swell. And You gave them kingdoms and nations, and divided them into corners. And they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. And You multiplied their sons like the stars of the heavens, and brought them into the land concerning which You had promised to their fathers that they should go in to possess it. And the sons went in and possessed the land, and You humbled the people of the land before them, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the people of the land, so that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells already dug, vineyards and olive-yards, and fruit trees in abundance. And they ate and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in Your great goodness. But they were disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs. And they killed Your prophets who testified against them to turn them to You, and they worked great blasphemies. And You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who troubled them. And in the time of their trouble, they cried to You, and You heard from Heaven. And according to Your manifold mercies, You gave them deliverers, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest, they did evil again before You, and You left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the rule over them. But they returned and cried to You, and You heard from Heaven. And many times You delivered them according to Your mercies, and testified against them that You might bring them again to Your law. But they acted proudly and did not listen to Your commandments, but sinned against Your judgments (which if a man do, he shall live in them), and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. And many years You had patience with them, and testified against them by Your Spirit, by Your prophets, but they would not give ear. And You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands. But for Your great mercies, You did not completely destroy them nor forsake them. For You are a gracious and merciful God. And now, our God, the great, the mighty, and the fearful God, who keeps covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble that has come upon us, on our kings, on our rulers, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day, seem little before You. But You are just in all that is brought upon us, for You have done right, but we have done wickedly. And our kings, our rulers, our priests, and our fathers, have not kept Your law, nor listened to Your commandments and Your words with which You testified against them. For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness which You gave them, and in the large and rich land which You gave before them, and they did not turn from their wicked works. Behold, we are servants today. And the land that You gave to our fathers to eat its fruit, and its good, behold, we are servants in it. And it yields much increase to the kings whom You have set over us because of our sins. And they rule over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. And because of all this we are cutting a sure covenant, and write it, and our princes, Levites, and priests are sealing it.
Wow, recap of THE ENTIRE BIBLE so far. Honestly, you don’t need to read anything to this point, just read Nehemiah 9 and you get the whole story. Also, the Bible is pretty clear there are other gods out there. Hosts of Heaven worship HIM, which means the people who wrote this Bible acknowledged other gods.
And those who sealed were, Nehemiah, the governor, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah. These were the priests. And the Levites were both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel, and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Bani, Beninu. The chief of the people were Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, and Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, Malluch, Harim, Baanah. And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple-slaves, and all those who had separated from the people of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters (everyone who had knowledge, and who had understanding), were holding fast to their brothers, their honored ones. And they entered into a curse and into an oath, to walk in God’s law which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to be careful to do all the commandments of Jehovah our Lord, and His judgments and His statutes. And we swore that we would not give our daughters to the people of the land nor take their daughters for our sons. And if the people of the land should bring goods or any food on the Sabbath day to sell it, that we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath or on the holy day, and that we would leave the seventh year, and the interest of every debt.
Sabbath day off. Not sure what the 7th year thing means. Leave and leave the money? Oh, I remember, every 7 years all debts are forgiven.
Also we put commands upon ourselves, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God, for the showbread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. And we cast the lots among the priests, and the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring into the house of our God, according to the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the Law and to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the LORD; and to bring the first-born of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God; and that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all kinds of trees, of wine and of oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, and they, the Levites, might have the tithes in all the cities we farmed. And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms, into the treasure house. For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the offering of the grain, of the new wine, and the oil, to the rooms where the vessels of the sanctuary are, and the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. And we will not forsake the house of our God.
Offering schedule and amounts.
And the rulers of the people lived at Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots, to bring one of every ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine parts in other cities. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to live at Jerusalem. And these are the rulers of the province who lived in Jerusalem. But in the cities of Judah everyone lived in his possession in their cities: Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the temple-slaves, and the sons of Solomon’s servants. And at Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah, and of the sons of Benjamin. From the sons of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the sons of Perez, and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni. All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight mighty men. And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu, the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah; and after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred and twenty-eight. And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer. And Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city. From the priests were Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God. And their brothers who did the work of the house were eight hundred and twenty-two. And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah, and his brothers, chief of the fathers, two hundred and forty-two. And Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, and their brothers, mighty men of power, were a hundred and twenty-eight. And their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men. And from the Levites were Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni. And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, were over the outward business of the house of God. And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the leader to begin the thanksgiving in prayer. And Bakbukiah was second among his brothers, and then Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four. And the gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers who kept the gates, were a hundred and seventy-two.
Why does the Bible always backslide into these boring ass lists? Makes it terrible to read for modern people.
And the rest of Israel, of the priests and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, each one in his inheritance. But the temple-slaves lived in Ophel; and Ziha and Gispa were over the temple-slaves. And the overseer of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God. For it was the king’s commandment concerning them that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day. And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people. And for the villages, with their fields, some of the sons of Judah lived at Kirjath-arba, and in its villages, and at Dibon, and in its villages, and at Jekabzeel, and its villages, and at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Beth-phelet, and at Hazar-shual, and at Beer-sheba, and in its villages, and at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in its villages, and at En-rimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, at Lachish, and the fields of it, at Azekah, and in its villages. And they lived from Beer-sheba to the valley of Hinnom. And the sons of Benjamin from Geba lived at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and their villages, at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, Lod, and Ono, the Valley of Craftsmen. And divisions of the Levites were in Judah and for Benjamin.
Ugh, more of the same ‘typical’ Bible passages.
And these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. And the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah. Mattaniah was over the thanksgiving, he and his brothers. And Bakbukiah and Unni, their brothers, were next to them in the watches. And Jeshua fathered Joiakim, and Joiakim fathered Eliashib, and Eliashib fathered Joiada, and Joiada fathered Jonathan, and Jonathan fathered Jaddua. And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: from the house of Seraiah was Meraiah; from Jeremiah, Hananiah; from Ezra, Meshullam; from Amariah, Jehohanan; from Melicu, Jonathan; from Shebaniah, Joseph; from Harim, Adna; from Meraioth, Helkai; from Iddo, Zechariah; from Ginnethon, Meshullam; from Abijah, Zichri; from Miniamin of Moadiah, Piltai; from Bilgah, Shammua; from Shemaiah, Jehonathan; and from Joiarib, Mattenai; from Jedaiah, Uzzi; from Sallai, Kallai; from Amok, Eber; from Hilkiah, Hashabiah; from Jedaiah, Nethaneel. The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers and the priests, until the reign of Darius the Persian. The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the Book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. And the chief of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah; and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers next to them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the command of David the man of God, watch by watch. Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub, were guarding the gates, the guard at the thresholds of the gates. These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
Fuck, why was this included?
And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, they sought the Levites out of all their places to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, and with thanksgiving, and with singing, with cymbals, harps and with lyres. And the sons of the singers gathered themselves, both out of the plain country around Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathi; and from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth (for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem.) And the priests and the Levites purified themselves. And they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall. Then I brought up the rulers of Judah on the wall, and chose two great choirs of praise. One went to the right upon the wall toward the Dung Gate. And after them went Hoshaiah, and half the rulers of Judah, and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, and many of the priests’ sons with trumpets; Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, and his brothers, Shemaiah, and Azareel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and with Ezra the scribe before them. And at the Fountain Gate, across from them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even to the Water Gate eastward. And the other choirs of praise went across from them, and I after them, and half of the people on the wall, from beyond the Tower of the Furnaces even to the Broad Wall, and from above the Gate of Ephraim, and above the Old Gate, and above the Fish Gate, and the Tower of Hananeel, and the Tower of Meah, even to the Sheep Gate. And they stood still in the Prison Gate. And stood the two praise choirs to give thanks in the house of God, and I, and half of the rulers with me. And the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, were with trumpets, and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. And that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced. For God had made them rejoice with great joy. And the wives and the sons rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
Singing and whatnot…
And at that time some were chosen over the rooms for the treasuries, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather to them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the Law for the priests and Levites. For Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited. And both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God, and the charge of the cleansing, according to the command of David and of Solomon his son. For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. And all Israel gave the portions of the singers and the gatekeepers, every day its portion, in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah. And they set the holy things apart for the Levites, and the Levites set them apart for the sons of Aaron.
Yeah, yeah, Levites special, blah blah.
On that day they read in the book of Moses in the ears of the people. And in it was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever, because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them so that he should curse them. But our God turned the curse into a blessing. And it happened when they had heard the Law, they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel. And before this, Eliashib the priest, who was set over the rooms of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah. and he had prepared for himself a large room where they had in days of old laid the food offering, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem. For in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon, I came to the king. And after some days I was given permission to leave the king. And I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil which Eliashib did for Tobiah in preparing him a room in the courts of the house of God. And it grieved me very much. And I threw all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the room. Then I commanded, and they purified the rooms. And I brought there again the vessels of the house of God, with the food offering and the frankincense.
Boring first person writing.
And I saw that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them; for the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each one to his field. And 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. And all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil into the treasuries. And 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 to their brothers. Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds which I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices of it.
Fuck, every, single, time, the Jews are left alone, they break the rules.
In those days I saw in Judah some treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading asses and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I testified against them in the day in which they sold food. And men of Tyre lived in it, who brought fish and all kinds of goods, and sold on the Sabbath to the sons of Judah and in Jerusalem. And I contended with the nobles of Judah and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, and defile the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us and upon this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by defiling the Sabbath. And it happened when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I set some of my servants at the gates, so that there should be no burden brought in on the Sabbath day. And the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods stayed the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. And I testified against them, and said to them, Why do you stay around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. And 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 Your mercy.
Why is working on the Sabbath such a horrible sin? Why? I never got that. Don’t worry about killing, just be sure to not work on FUCKING SATURDAY!
In those days I also saw Jews who lived with women from Ashdod, Ammon, and from Moab. And their sons spoke half Ashdod’s speech, and there was no caring to speak Jewish, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair. And I made them swear by the name of God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters to your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. But women from other lands caused even him to sin. Shall we then listen to you, to do all this great evil, to sin against our God in living with foreign women? And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; and I chased him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. So I cleansed them from all strangers, and appointed charges to the priests and the Levites, every one in his business, and for the wood offering, at chosen times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good!
No mixing the races. I just love the ‘morals’ in the Bible. They are just solid. You can so tell the laws in the United States is not, in any way, based on the Bible and its teaching, unless you are talking about the abolished laws like, oh, slavery and illegal mixed race marriages.