Reading 131/341, Nehemiah 3-5

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; to the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananel. Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. The fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build; they laid the beams of it, and set up the doors of it, the bolts of it, and the bars of it. Next to them repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz. Next to them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel. Next to them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. Next to them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles did not put their necks to the work of their lord. The old gate repaired Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams of it, and set up the doors of it, and the bolts of it, and the bars of it. Next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River. Next to him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths. Next to him repaired Hananiah one of the perfumers, and they fortified Jerusalem to the broad wall. Next to them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem. Next to them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, over against his house. Next to him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabneiah. Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. Next to him repaired Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors of it, the bolts of it, and the bars of it, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate. The dung gate repaired Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem; he built it, and set up the doors of it, the bolts of it, and the bars of it. The spring gate repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors of it, the bolts of it, and the bars of it, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king's garden, to the stairs that go down from the city of David. After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, to the place over against the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men. After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, for his district. After him repaired their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah. Next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another portion, over against the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall. After 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. After him repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. After him repaired the priests, the men of the Plain. After them repaired Benjamin and Hasshub over against their house. After them repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah beside his own house. After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner. Palal the son of Uzai repaired over against 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 repaired. (Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel. Above the horse gate repaired the priests, everyone over against his own house. After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his own house. After him repaired Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate. After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another portion. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. After him repaired Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner. Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants. But it happened that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 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 revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, what they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall. Hear, our God; for we are despised, and turn back their reproach on their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a 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 half the height of it, for the people had a mind to work. But 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 stopped, then they were very angry, and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein. But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. Our adversaries said, They shall not know, nor see, until we come into the midst of them, and kill them, and cause the work to cease. It happened that when the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us ten times from all places, You must return to us. Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set there the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Do not be you 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. It 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, everyone to his work. It happened from that time forth, 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. They all built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves; everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon, and the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and so built. He who sounded the trumpet was by me. 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 on the wall, one far from another, in whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, resort you there to us; our God will fight for us. So we worked in the work, and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared. Likewise at the same time said I to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labor in the day. So nor I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, everyone went with his weapon to the water. Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many, let us get grain, that we may eat and live. Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses, let us get grain, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute on our fields and our vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children, and behold, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already, nor is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards. I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, You exact usury, everyone of his brother. I held a great assembly against them. I said to them, We after our ability have redeemed our brothers the Jews, that were sold to the nations, and would you sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us? Then held they their peace, and found never a word. Also 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? I likewise, my brothers and my servants, do lend them money and grain. Please let us leave off this usury. Please restore to them, 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 exact of them. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, as you say. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise. Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that does not perform this promise; thus be he shaken out, and emptied. All the assembly said, Amen, and praised the Lord. The people did according to this promise. Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor. But the former governors who were before me were chargeable to the people, and took of them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, nor bought we any land, and all my servants were gathered there to the work. Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were round about us. Now what 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 did not demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people. Remember to me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.

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