Reading 134/341, Nehemiah 11.15-13.31

...Nehemiah

Of the Levites, Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni, and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God, and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the chief to begin 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. All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred eighty-four. Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred seventy-two. The residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance. But the Nethinim lived in Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim. The 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 the house of God. For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers, as every day required. Pethahiah 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. As for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and the towns of it, and in Dibon and the towns of it, and in Jekabzeel and the villages of it, and in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth Pelet, and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and the towns of it, and in Ziklag, and in Meconah and in the towns of it, and in En Rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and the fields of it, Azekah and the towns of it. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom. The children of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, and at Bethel and the towns of it, at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. Of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah were joined to Benjamin. Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah. Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. Moreover the Levites, Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the thanksgiving, he and his brothers. Also Bakbukiah and Unno, their brothers, were over against them according to their offices. Jeshua became the father of Joiakim, and Joiakim became the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib became the father of Joiada, and Joiada became the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan became the father of Jaddua. In the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers' houses, of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan, and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel. As for the Levites, in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, there were recorded the heads of fathers' houses; also the priests, in the reign of Darius the Persian. The sons of Levi, heads of fathers' houses, were written in the book of the chronicles, until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. The 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. Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the watch at the storehouses 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. 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, both with giving thanks, and with singing, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and with harps. The sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites; also from Beth Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built them villages round about Jerusalem. The priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall. Then 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, and after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah, and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, and certain 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, and 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. By 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, to the water gate eastward. The 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, to the broad wall, and 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, to the sheep gate, and they stood still in the gate of the guard. So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me, and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets, and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. They 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 afar off. On that day were men appointed over the chambers 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. They kept the charge of their God, and the charge of the purification, and so did the singers and the porters, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. For in the days of David and Asaph of old there was a chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. All Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, as every day required, and they set apart what was for the Levites, and the Levites set apart what was for the sons of Aaron. 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, because they did not 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. It came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied to Tobiah, had prepared for him a great chamber, where before they laid the grain 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. But in all this time 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, and I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. It grieved me sore, therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers, and there brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the frankincense. I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, were fled everyone to his field. Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Judah the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries. 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 business was to distribute to their brothers. Remember me, my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the observances of it. In those days saw I in Judah some men treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading donkeys therewith; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, and I testified against them in the day in which they sold food. There lived men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this evil on us, and on this city? yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath. It 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, and some of my servants set I over the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged outside of Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why lodge you about the wall? if you do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember to me, my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of your loving kindness. In those days also saw I the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab, and 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. I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel, nevertheless him did foreign women cause to sin. Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil, to trespass against our God in marrying foreign women? One 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. Remember them, my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. Thus cleansed I them from all immigrants, and appointed charges for the priests and for the Levites, everyone in his work, and for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, my God, for good.

No comments:

Post a Comment

In order to comment, you first must "Join this Site" using the blue button on the left side of the page.