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CHAPTER 1 Nov.15
Difficulties in Jerusalem
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2that Hanani one of my brothers came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3They said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.
4It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days. I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven 5and said, I beg you, Yahweh the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, Who keeps covenant and grace with those who love Him and keep His commandments: 6Let Your ear now be attentive, and Your eyes open, that You may listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants; while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned. 7We have dealt very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8Remember, I beg You, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses saying, ‘If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples; 9but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause My name to dwell there’. 10Now these are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11Lord, I beg You, let Your ear be attentive now to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants, who delight to fear Your name; and please prosper Your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup-bearer to the king.
CHAPTER 2 Nov.15
The King Allows Nehemiah to Go to Jerusalem
It happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad before in his presence. 2The king said to me, Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid. 3I said to the king, Let the king live forever! Why shouldn’t my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates have been consumed with fire? 4Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5I said to the king, If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may build it. 6The king said to me (the queen was also sitting by him), 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. 7Moreover I said to the king, If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; 8and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. The king granted my requests because of the good hand of my God upon me.
Nehemiah Inspects the Walls of Jerusalem
9Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen. 10When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, because a man had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. 11So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 12I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me, except the animal that I rode on. 13I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal’s well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and its gates which were consumed with fire. 14Then I went on to the spring gate and to the king’s pool; but there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass. 15Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned. 16The rulers didn’t know where I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work.
Nehemiah Encourages Rebuilding
17Then I said to them, You see the evil situation that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste and its gates are burned with fire. Come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we won’t be disgraced. 18I told them of the hand of my God which was for good upon me, as also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. They said, Let us arise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they ridiculed us and despised us and said, What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king? 20Then I answered them and said to them, The God of heaven will prosper us. Therefore we, His servants, will arise and build; but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
CHAPTER 3 Nov.16
Those Who Rebuilt the Wall
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 Hammeah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananel. 2Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. 3The sons of Hassenaah built the fish gate; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 4Next to them, Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz made repairs. Next to them, Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel made repairs. Next to them, Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. 5Next to them, the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles didn’t put their necks to the work of their Lord. 6Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the old gate. They laid its beams, and set up its doors, and its bolts, and its bars. 7Next to them, Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor beyond the River. 8Next to him, Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him, Hananiah one of the perfumers made repairs, and they fortified Jerusalem even to the broad wall. 9Next to them, Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10Next to them, Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him, Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. 12Next to him, Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters, made repairs. 13Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the valley gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate. 14Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem, repaired the dung gate. He built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
Those Who Rebuilt the Southern Part
15Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the spring gate. He built it and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king’s garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16After him, Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs to the place opposite the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men. 17After him the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani, made repairs. Next to him, Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. 18After him, their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs. 19Next to him, Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another portion, across from the ascent to the armoury at the turning of the wall. 20After him, Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21After him, Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22After him, the priests, the men of the Plain, made repairs. 23After them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs across from their house. After them, Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah made repairs beside his own house. 24After him, Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner. 25Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 26(Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) 27After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel. 28Above the horse gate, the priests made repairs, each one across from his own house. 29After them, Zadok the son of Immer made repairs across from his own house. After him, Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate, made repairs. 30After him, Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another portion. After him, Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs across from his place. 31After him, Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, made repairs over against the Muster gate, and to the ascent of the corner. 32Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.
CHAPTER 4 Nov.17
Opposition to the Work
But it happened that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2He 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 finish in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, since they are burned? 3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, What they are building? If a fox climbed up it, he would break down their stone wall. 4Hear, our God; for we are despised. Turn back their reproach on their own head, give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity. 5Don’t cover their iniquity, and don’t let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have insulted the builders. 6So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people had a mind to work. 7But it happened that when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be filled, then they were very angry. 8They conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein. 9But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is fading, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11Our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, until we come into their midst, and kill them, and cause the work to cease. 12It happened that when the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us ten times from all places, Wherever you turn, they will attack us. 13Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Don’t be afraid of them! Remember the Lord, Who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Opposition Is Overcome
15It happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, each one to his work. 16It happened from that time onwards, that half of my servants worked in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17They all built the wall while those who bore burdens loaded themselves; each one with one of his hands toiled in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 18and the builders, each one wore his sword at his side, and so built. He who sounded the trumpet was by me. 19I said to the nobles, to the rulers and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another. 20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally there to us. Our God will fight for us. 21So we worked at rebuilding. Half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared. 22Likewise at the same time said I to the people, Let each one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labour in the day. 23So I, my brothers, my servants, and the men of the guard who followed me, did not take off our clothes except to wash.
CHAPTER 5 Nov.18
The Poor Are Suffering
Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews. 2For there were some that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many. Let us get grain, that we may eat and live. 3Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses. Let us get grain, because of the famine. 4There were also some who said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute using our fields and our vineyards as collateral. 5Yet our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children. Indeed, we have to bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants. Some of our daughters have already been brought into bondage. Neither is it in our power to get out of it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.
Nehemiah Has a Just Solution
6I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7Then I considered the matter, then contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, You exact usury, each one from his brother. I held a great assembly against them. 8I said to them, We, as much as we could, have redeemed our brothers the Jews that were sold to the nations. Would you really sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us? Then they held their peace, and found never a word to answer. 9Also I said, The thing that you do is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? 10For this reason, I my brothers and my servants lend them money and grain. Please let us stop this usury. 11Please restore to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you are charging them. 12Then they said, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as you say. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise. 13Also I shook out my lap and said, So may God shake out every man from His house and from His work that doesn’t perform this promise; even thus may he be shaken out, and emptied. All the assembly said, Amen, and praised Yahweh. The people did according to this promise.
14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty second year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers did not eat the bread of the governor. 15But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn’t do so, because of the fear of God. 16Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land; and all my servants were gathered there to the work. 17Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred and fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us. 18Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine. Yet for all this I didn’t demand the bread due to the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people. 19Remember me, my God, for good, for all that I have done for this people.
CHAPTER 6 Nov.18
Plots against Nehemiah
It was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates). 2Then Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying, Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono. But they intended to harm me. 3I sent messengers to them saying, I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it, and come down to you? 4They sent to me four times in this manner; and I kept giving them the same answer. 5Then, again Sanballat sent his servant to me the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, 6in which was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel. Because of that, you are building the wall. You would be their king, according to this report. 7You have also appointed prophets to speak up for you at Jerusalem saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8Then I sent to him, saying, ‘There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart’. 9For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, may my hands be strengthened. 10I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home; and he said, Let us meet together in God’s house, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they will come to kill you. Yes, in the night will they come to kill you.
Nehemiah Is Not Afraid
11I said, Should such a man as I flee? Who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. 12I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13He was hired so that I would be afraid, follow his advice, and sin. Thus they would have material for an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
The Wall is Finished
15So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16It happened that when all our enemies heard of it, then all the nations that were about us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done of our God. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
CHAPTER 7 Nov.19
Protection for Jerusalem
Now it happened, once the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2that I put my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the castle, in charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3I said to them, Don’t let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. While they stand guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them; and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, with everyone near his house.
A List of Those Who Had Returned
4Now the city was wide and large; but the people were few therein, and the houses were not built. 5My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written therein: 6These are the children 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 who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, each one to his city. 7They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. 9The children of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. 10The children of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two. 11The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 12The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 13The children of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five. 14The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. 15The children of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight. 16The children of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight. 17The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two. 18The children of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven. 19The children of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven. 20The children of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five. 21The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 22The children of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight. 23The children of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four. 24The children of Hariph, one hundred and twelve. 25The children of Gibeon, ninety-five. 26The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight. 27The men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight. 28The men of Beth Azmaveth, forty-two. 29The men of Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 30The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 31The men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two. 32The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred and twenty-three. 33The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two. 34The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 35The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 36The children of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 37The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one. 38The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. 39The priests: The children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 40The children of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two. 41The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven. 42The children of Harim, one thousand and seventeen. 43The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the children of Hodevah, seventy-four. 44The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight. 45The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-eight. 46The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 47the children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, 48the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai, 49the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, 50the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, 51the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah. 52The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephushesim, 53the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 54the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 55the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, 56the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. 57The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, 58the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, 59the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Amon. 60All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred and ninety-two. 61These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not prove their fathers’ houses nor their genealogies, whether they were of Israel: 62The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two. 63Of the priests: the children of Hobaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name. 64These searched for their genealogical records, but couldn’t find them. Therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood. 65The governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. 66The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67besides their male and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven: and they had two hundred and forty-five singing men and singing women. 68Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six; their mules, two hundred and forty-five; 69their camels, four hundred and thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70Some from among the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins and five hundred and thirty priests’ garments. 71Some of the heads of fathers’ households gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. 72That which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ garments. 73So the priests, the Levites and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, lived in their cities. When the seventh month had come, the children of Israel were in their cities.
CHAPTER 8 Nov.20
Ezra Reads God's Law to the People
All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Yahweh had commanded to Israel. 2Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate from early morning until noon, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand. The ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. 5Ezra 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. 6Ezra blessed Yahweh, the great God. All the people answered, Amen, Amen, with the lifting up of their hands. They bowed their heads, and worshipped Yahweh with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah and the Levites caused the people to understand the law; and the people stayed in their place.8They read in the book, in the law of God, with interpretation; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading. 9Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest, the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to Yahweh your God. Don’t mourn, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved; for the joy of Yahweh is your strength. 11So the Levites stilled all the people saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved. 12All the people went their way to eat and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
The Feast of Booths
13On the second day were gathered together the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law. 14They found written in the law, how that Yahweh had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; 15and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem saying, Go out to the mountain, and get olive branches, and branches of wild olive, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16So the people went out, and brought them, and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of God’s house, and in the broad place of the water gate, and in the broad place of the gate of Ephraim. 17All the assembly of those who had come again out of the captivity made booths, and lived in the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great gladness. 18Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.
CHAPTER 9 Nov.21
The People Confess Their Sins
Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth on them. 2The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Yahweh their God. 4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani of the Levites stood up on the stairs, and cried with a loud voice to Yahweh their God.
An Account of God's Care of Israel
5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah said, Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting! Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise! 6You are Yahweh, even You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army, the earth and all things that are on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The army of heaven worships You. 7You are Yahweh, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, 8and 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 have performed Your words; for You are righteous.9You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea. 10You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, and against all his servants, and against all the people of his land; for You knew that they dealt arrogantly against them, and made a name for Yourself, as it is this day. 11You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and You cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12Moreover, You led them by day in a pillar of cloud; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way in which they should go. 13You came down also on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. 14You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses Your servant. 15You gave them bread from the sky for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and commanded them that they should go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. 16But they and our fathers dealt proudly and hardened their neck, didn’t listen to Your commandments 17and refused to obey, neither were they mindful of Your wonders that You did among them, but hardened their neck, 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, abundant in grace, and didn’t forsake them. 18Yes, they had made them a molten calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt’ and had committed awful blasphemies; 19yet You in Your many mercies didn’t forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go. 20You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn’t withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. 21Yes, forty years You sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. 22Moreover You gave them kingdoms and peoples which You allotted according to their portions. So they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23You also multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which You had said to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24So the children went in and possessed the land, and You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they pleased. 25They took fortified cities, and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, became fat, and delighted themselves in Your great grace.
Disobedience and Deliverance
26Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to You, and they committed awful blasphemies. 27Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them. In the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; and according to Your many mercies You gave them saviours who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28But after they had rest, they did evil again before You; therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them. Yet, when they returned and cried to You, You heard from heaven; and many times You delivered them according to Your mercies, 29and testified against them, that You might bring them again to Your law. Yet they dealt proudly, and didn’t listen to Your commandments, but sinned against Your ordinances, which, if a man does, he shall live in them, turned their backs, stiffened their neck, and would not hear. 30Yet many years You put up with them, and testified against them by Your spirit through Your prophets. Yet would they not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
Confession of Sins
31Nevertheless in Your many mercies You did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for You are a gracious and merciful God. 32Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and grace, don’t let all the travail seem little before You, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, priests, prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33However You are just in all that has come on us; for You have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly. 34Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers kept Your law, nor listened to Your commandments and Your testimonies that You pronounced against them. 35For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and rich land which You gave before them, neither did they turn from their wicked works. 36Indeed, we are servants this day, and as for the land that You gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, we are servants in it. 37It yields much increase to the kings whom You have set over us because of our sins. They also have power over our bodies, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. 38Yet for all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal it.
CHAPTER 10 Nov.22
The People Make a Covenant
Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, 2Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests. 9The Levites: namely, Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai, 20Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27Malluch, Harim and Baanah. 28The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, each one who had knowledge, and understanding— 29they joined with their brothers, their nobles, and 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 observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes; 30and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 31and if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
Various Offerings for the House of God
32Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 33for the show bread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34We cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers’ houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law; 35and to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of all fruit of all kinds of trees, year by year, to the house of Yahweh; 36also the first born of our sons, and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the first born 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; 37and that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all kinds of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38The 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. 39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, to the rooms, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers. We will not forsake the house of our God.
CHAPTER 11 Nov.23
People Who Lived in Jerusalem
The princes of the people lived in Jerusalem. The rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one-tenth to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine- tenths in the other cities. 2The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem. 3Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem. However, in the cities of Judah each person lived in his possession in their cities: Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants. 4In Jerusalem lived some of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez; 5and 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 the Shilonite. 6All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight valiant men. 7These 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 Jeshaiah. 8After him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred and twenty-eight. 9Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city. 10Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of God’s house, 12and their brothers who did the work of the house, 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 Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, 13and his brothers, chiefs of fathers’ households, two hundred and forty-two; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14and their brothers, mighty men of valour, one hundred and twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim. 15Of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outside business of God’s house; 17and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the praise leader who began the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four. 19Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred and seventy-two. 20The rest of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, each one in his inheritance. 21But the Nethinim lived in Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim. 22The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the business of God’s house. 23For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers, as every day required. 24Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.
Other Places Where People Settled
25As for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its towns, and in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its villages, 26and in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth Pelet, 27and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and its towns, 28and in Ziklag, and in Meconah and in its towns, 29and in En Rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth, 30Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom. 31The children of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, and at Bethel and its towns, 32at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. 36Of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah settled in Benjamin’s territory.
CHAPTER 12 Nov.24
List of Priests and Levites
Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah. 7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. 8Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was the praise leader, he and his brothers. 9Also Bakbukiah and Unno, their brothers, were over against them according to their offices. 10Jeshua became the father of Joiakim, and Joiakim became the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib became the father of Joiada, 11and Joiada became the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan became the father of Jaddua. 12In the days of Joiakim there were priests, heads of fathers’ households: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel. 22As for the Levites, in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, there were recorded the heads of fathers’ households; also the priests, in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23The sons of Levi, heads of fathers’ households, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24The chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers over against them, to praise and give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch next to watch. 25Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the watch at the storehouses of the gates. 26These 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.
The Wall of Jerusalem Is Dedicated
27At 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, both with giving thanks, and with singing, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and with harps. 28The sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain around Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29also from Beth Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth. The singers had built themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30The priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall. 31Then I brought up the princes of Judah on the wall, and appointed two great companies who gave thanks and went in procession. One went on the right hand on the wall toward the dung gate; 32and after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah, 33and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, 34Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35and some of the priests’ sons with trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph; 36and his brothers, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God; and Ezra the scribe was before them. 37By the spring gate, and straight before them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, even to the water gate eastward. 38The other company of those who gave thanks went to meet them, and I after them, with the half of the people, on the wall, above the tower of the furnaces, even to the broad wall, 39and above the gate of Ephraim, and by the old gate, and by the fish gate, and the tower of Hananel, and the tower of Hammeah, even to the sheep gate; and they stood still in the gate of the guard. 40So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in God’s house, and I, and the half of the rulers with me; 41and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. 43They offered great sacrifices that day, and rejoiced; for God had made them rejoice with great joy; and the women also and the children rejoiced; so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off. 44On that day were men appointed over the rooms for the treasures, for the wave offerings, for the first fruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them, according to the fields of the cities, the portions appointed by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited. 45They performed the duty of their God, and the duty of the purification, and so did the singers and the porters, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. 46For in the days of David and Asaph of old there was a chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47All Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, as every day required: and they set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron.
CHAPTER 13 Nov.25
The Mixed Multitude Separated from Israel
On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God forever, 2because they didn’t meet the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, to curse them; however our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3It came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
Nehemiah Makes Other Changes
4Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the rooms of the house of our God, being allied to Tobiah, 5had prepared for him a great room, where before they laid the meal offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the wave offerings for the priests. 6But in all this, I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king: and after certain days asked I leave of the king. 7When I returned to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing him a room in the courts of God’s house, 8it grieved me severely: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the room. 9Then I commanded, and they cleansed the rooms; and there brought I again the vessels of God’s house, with the meal offerings and the frankincense. 10I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled everyone to his field. 11Then I contended with the rulers and said, Why is God’s house forsaken? I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12Then brought all Judah the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries. 13I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah. Next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute to their brothers. 14Remember me, my God, concerning this, and don’t wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its observances.
Abuses of the Sabbath
15In those days I saw in Judah some men treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys; as 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. 16There also lived men of Tyre therein, who brought in fish and all kinds of wares, and sold on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day? 18Didn’t your fathers do thus, and didn’t our God bring all this evil on us, and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.
The Sabbath Sanctified
19It came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. I set some of my servants over the gates, so that no burden should be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside of Jerusalem once or twice. 21Then 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 didn’t come on the Sabbath. 22I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, my God, for this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your loving grace.
Foreign Influences Removed
23In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 24and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. 25I contended with them and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. 26Didn’t Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him that was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless foreign women caused even him to sin. 27Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil, in breaking covenant with our God in marrying foreign wives? 28One of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. 29Remember them, my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. 30Thus I cleansed them from all foreigners, and appointed duties for the priests and for the Levites, each one in his work; 31and for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, my God, for good.
CHAPTER 1 Jun. 20
The Family Background of Ruth
In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A man of Bethlehem Judah went with his wife and two sons to live in the country of Moab. 2The name of the man was Elimelech; his wife’s, Naomi; his two sons’, Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and stayed there. 3Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4The sons took wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. 5Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband. 6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, to return from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited His people in giving them bread. 7She left the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law went with her. They began the journey to the land of Judah. 8Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to your mother’s house, Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10They said to her, No, but we will return with you to your people. 11Naomi said, Go back, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12Go back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, ‘I have hope’, if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons; 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me.
Ruth Returns with Naomi to Judah
14They lifted up their voices, and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law farewell, but Ruth stayed with her. 15She said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law. 16Ruth said, Don’t entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God; 17where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried. Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me. 18When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she stopped speaking to her. 19So those two travelled to Bethlehem. When they had come to Bethlehem, it happened that all the city was agitated about them, and they asked, Is this Naomi? 20She said to them, Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? 22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest.
CHAPTER 2 Jun. 20
Ruth Meets Boaz
Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find grace. She said to her, Go, my daughter. 3She went, and came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers: and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, Yahweh be with you! They answered him, Yahweh bless you! 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was set over the reapers, Whose young woman is this? 6The servant who was set over the reapers answered, It is the Moabite woman who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves’. So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, although she stayed a little in the house. 8Then Boaz said to Ruth, Listen, my daughter: Don’t go to glean in another field, and don’t go away from here, but stay here close to my maidens. 9Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them. Haven’t I commanded the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink from that which the young men have drawn. 10Then she fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found grace in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner? 11Boaz answered her, I have come to know all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn’t know before. 12May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. 13Then she said, Let me find grace in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken to the heart of your handmaid, although I am not as one of your handmaids. 14At meal time Boaz said to her, Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your morsel in the wine. She sat beside the reapers, and they reached her parched grain, and she ate, and was satisfied, and left some of it. 15When she had risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and don’t reproach her. 16Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it; let her glean, and don’t rebuke her. 17So she gleaned in the field until evening; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18She carried it, and went into the city where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned and she brought out and gave to her that which she had left after she herself had enough to eat. 19Her mother-in-law said to her, Where have you gleaned today? Where have you worked? Blessed be he who took notice of you! She showed her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz. 20Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of Yahweh, Who has not left off His grace to the living and to the dead. Naomi said to her, The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen. 21Ruth the Moabitess said, Yes, he said to me, ‘You shall stay close to my young men, until they have ended all my harvest’. 22Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field. 23So she stayed close to the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.
CHAPTER 3 Jun. 21
Naomi's Bold Plan for Ruth and Boaz
Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2Now isn’t Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor. 3Therefore wash yourself, anoint yourself, get dressed up, and go down to the threshing floor, but don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall note the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lay down; then he will tell you what you shall do. 5She said to her, All that you say I will do. 6She went down to the threshing floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law told her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. She came softly, uncovered his feet, and laid herself down. 8It happened at midnight, that the man was startled and turned himself; and noticed a woman lay at his feet. 9He said, Who are you? She answered, I am Ruth your handmaid. Therefore spread your skirt over your handmaid; for you are a near kinsman. 10He said, Blessed are you by Yahweh, my daughter. You have shown more grace in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as you didn’t go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11Now, my daughter, don’t be afraid; I will do to you all that you say; for all my people in this city know that you are a worthy woman. 12Now it is true that I am a near kinsman; however there is a kinsman nearer than I. 13Stay this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform for you the part of a kinsman, so be it; let him do the kinsman’s part. But if he will not do the part of a kinsman for you, then will I do the part of a kinsman for you, as Yahweh lives. Lie down until the morning.
Ruth Returns to Naomi
14She lay at his feet until the morning. She rose up in the dark; for he said, Let it not be known that a woman came to the threshing floor. 15He said, Bring the mantle that is on you, and hold it. She held it; and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her; and he went into the city. 16When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, How did it go, my daughter? She told her all that the man had done to her. 17She said, He gave me these six measures of barley; for he said, ‘Don’t go empty to your mother-in-law’. 18Then she said, Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will end; for the man will not rest, until he has finished the thing this day.
CHAPTER 4 Jun. 21
Boaz Redeems Naomi's Land and Ruth
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there. When the near kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by he said to him, Come over here, friend, and sit down! He turned aside, and sat down. 2He took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit down here. They sat down. 3He said to the near kinsman: Naomi, who has come back out of the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s. 4I thought to disclose it to you saying, ‘Buy it in the presence of those who sit here, and of the elders of my people’. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then let me know. You have first right to redeem it; and I am next in line. He said, I will redeem it. 5Then Boaz said, On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance. 6The near kinsman said, I can’t redeem it for myself, otherwise I will spoil my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption for yourself; for I can’t redeem it. 7Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man took off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour; and this was the way of affirmation in Israel. 8So the near kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself. He took off his shoe. 9Boaz said to the elders and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses this day. 11All the people who were in the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, who built the house of Israel; and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and bring you fame in Bethlehem. 12Let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give you of this young woman.
Boaz Marries Ruth
13So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14The women said to Naomi, Blessed be Yahweh, who has not left you this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel. 15He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him. 16Naomi took the child and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse to it. 17The neighbouring women gave him a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi! And they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19and Hezron became the father of Ram, and Ram became the father of Amminadab, 20and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon became the father of Salmon, 21and Salmon became the father of Boaz, and Boaz became the father of Obed, 22and Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of David.