Tobit – Chapter 2

The Bible – Old Testament

Tobit

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467418

Chapter 2

1

1 Thus under King Esarhaddon I returned to my home, and my wife Anna and my son Tobiah were restored to me. Then on our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat.

2

2 The table was set for me, and when many different dishes were placed before me, I said to my son Tobiah: “My son, go out and try to find a poor man from among our kinsmen exiled here in Nineveh. If he is a sincere worshiper of God, bring him back with you, so that he can share this meal with me. Indeed, son, I shall wait for you to come back.”

3

Tobiah went out to look for some poor kinsman of ours. When he returned he exclaimed, “Father!” I said to him, “What is it, son?” He answered, “Father, one of our people has been murdered! His body lies in the market place where he was just strangled!”

4

I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched; and I carried the dead man from the street and put him in one of the rooms, so that I might bury him after sunset.

5

3 Returning to my own quarters, I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow.

6

I was reminded of the oracle pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel: “Your festivals shall be turned into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation.”

7

And I wept. Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.

8

The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another: “Will this man never learn! Once before he was hunted down for execution because of this very thing; yet now that he has escaped, here he is again burying the dead!”

9

That same night I bathed, and went to sleep next to the wall of my courtyard. Because of the heat I left my face uncovered.

10

4 I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me, till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts. I went to see some doctors for a cure, but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves, the worse the cataracts became, until I could see no more. For four years I was deprived of eyesight, and all my kinsmen were grieved at my condition. Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years, until he left for Elymais.

11

At that time my wife Anna worked for hire at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do.

12

5 When she sent back the goods to their owners, they would pay her. Late in winter she finished the cloth and sent it back to the owners. They paid her the full salary, and also gave her a young goat for the table.

13

On entering my house the goat began to bleat. I called to my wife and said: “Where did this goat come from? Perhaps it was stolen! Give it back to its owners; we have no right to eat stolen food!”

14

6 But she said to me, “It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages.” Yet I would not believe her, and told her to give it back to its owners. I became very angry with her over this. So she retorted: “Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your virtuous acts? See! Your true character is finally showing itself!”

1 [1] The feast of Weeks: also called by its Greek name Pentecost, was celebrated fifty days after the Passover. Cf  Lev 23:15-21;  Deut 16:9-12.

2 [2] Almsgiving and charity to the poor are important virtues taught by the book ( 4:7-11,  16,  17;  12:8, 9;  14:10,  11).

3 [5] I washed myself: because of ritual defilement from touching a corpse ( Numbers 19:11-13).

4 [10] Cataracts: literally, “white scales, or films.” Elymais: the Greek name of ancient Elam, a district northeast of the head of the Persian Gulf.

5 [12] Late in winter: literally, “seventh of Dystros,” the Macedonian month which corresponds to the Jewish month of Shebat (January-February). For the table: literally, “for the hearth”; the gift had probably been made in view of some springtime festival like the Jewish Purim.

6 [14] Anna’s sharp rebuke calls to mind the words of Job’s wife ( Job 2:9).

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Tobit – Chapter 1

The Bible – Old Testament

Tobit

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467418

Chapter 1

1

1 This book tells the story of Tobit, son of Tobiel, son of Hananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael of the family of Asiel, of the tribe of Naphtali,

2

who during the reign of Shalmaneser, 2 king of Assyria, was taken captive from Thisbe, which is south of Kedesh Naphtali in upper Galilee, above and to the west of Asser, north of Phogor.

3

I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life on the paths of truth and righteousness. I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people who had been deported with me to Nineveh, in Assyria.

4

When I lived as a young man in my own country, Israel, the entire tribe of my forefather Naphtali had broken away from the house of David and from Jerusalem. This city had been singled out of all Israel’s tribes, so that they all might offer sacrifice in the place where the temple, God’s dwelling, had been built and consecrated for all generations to come.

5

3 All my kinsmen, like the rest of the tribe of my forefather Naphtali, used to offer sacrifice on all the mountains of Galilee as well as to the young bull which Jeroboam, king of Israel, had made in Dan.

6

4 I, for my part, would often make the pilgrimage alone to Jerusalem for the festivals, as is prescribed for all Israel by perpetual decree. Bringing with me the first fruits of the field and the firstlings of the flock, together with a tenth of my income and the first shearings of the sheep, I would hasten to Jerusalem

7

and present them to the priests, Aaron’s sons, at the altar. To the Levites who were doing service in Jeusalem I would give the tithe of grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and other fruits. And except for sabbatical years, I used to give a second tithe in money, which each year I would go and disburse in Jerusalem.

8

The third tithe I gave to orphans and widows, and to converts who were living with the Israelites. Every third year I would bring them this offering, and we ate it in keeping with the decree of the Mosaic law and the commands of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel; for when my father died, he left me an orphan.

9

When I reached manhood, I married Anna, a woman of our own lineage. By her I had a son whom I named Tobiah.

10

Now, after I had been deported to Nineveh, all my brothers and relatives ate the food of heathens,

11

but I refrained from eating that kind of food.

12

Because of this wholehearted service of God,

13

the Most High granted me favor and status with Shalmaneser, so that I became purchasing agent for all his needs.

14

5 Every now and then until his death I would go to Media to buy goods for him. I also deposited several pouches containing a great sum of money with my kinsman Gabael, son of Gabri, who lived at Rages, in Media.

15

6 But when Shalmaneser died and his son Sennacherib succeeded him as king, the roads to Media became unsafe, so I could no longer go there.

16

During Shalmaneser’s reign I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people.

17

7 I would give my bread to the hungry and my clothing to the naked. If I saw one of my people who had died and been thrown outside the walls of Nineveh, I would bury him.

18

I also buried anyone whom Sennacherib slew when he returned as a fugitive from Judea during the days of judgment decreed against him by the heavenly King because of the blasphemies he had uttered. In his rage he killed many Israelites, but I used to take their bodies by stealth and bury them; so when Sennacherib looked for them, he could not find them.

19

But a certain citizen of Nineveh informed the king that it was I who buried the dead. When I found out that the king knew all about me and wanted to put me to death, I went into hiding; then in my fear I took to flight.

20

Afterward, all my property was confiscated; I was left with nothing. All that I had was taken to the king’s palace, except for my wife Anna and my son Tobiah.

21

8 But less than forty days later the king was assassinated by two of his sons, who then escaped into the mountains of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon, who succeeded him as king, placed Ahiqar, my brother Anael’s son, in charge of all the accounts of his kingdom, so that he took control over the entire administration.

22

Then Ahiqar interceded on my behalf, and I was able to return to Nineveh. For under Sennacherib, king of Assyria, Ahiqar had been chief cupbearer, keeper of the seal, administrator, and treasurer; and Esarhaddon reappointed him. He was a close relative-in fact, my nephew.

1 [1] Tobit: in the fragments of the book found at Qumran, is given as Tobi, an abbreviated form of Tobiyah ( Tobit 1:9;  Ezra 2:60) or of Tobiyabu ( 2 Chron 17:8), a name which means “Yahweh is good.” Tobiel, “God is good”; Hananiel, “God is merciful.” The book abounds in theophoric names.

2 [2] Shalmaneser (V) (727-722 B.C.): began the siege of Samaria; the inhabitants of the northern kingdom were taken into captivity by his successor, Sargon II (722-705). Thisbe and Phogor: towns of Galilee that have not been identified; Thisbe in Gilead was perhaps the birthplace of Elijah. Kedesh: cf  Joshua 20:7. Asser: Hazor ( Joshua 11:1).

3 [5] Jeroboam established sanctuaries in Dan and Bethel so that the people would no longer go to Jerusalem for the festivals. The gold statues of bulls which he placed in the sanctuaries were considered the throne of Yahweh; but the people soon came to worship the images themselves. Jeroboam also encouraged the high places or hilltop shrines ( 1 Kings 12:26-33).

4 [6] (6-8) Perpetual decree:  Deut 12:11,  13-14. Refusing to worship at Jeroboam’s shrines, the faithful Tobit continued to bring his offerings to Jerusalem; see  2 Chron 11:16. For the various tithes, cf  Numbers 18:20-32;  2 Chron 31:4-6;  Deut 14:22-29;  26:12-13.

5 [14] A great sum of money: literally, “ten silver talents,” about ten thousand dollars. Rages: modern Rai, about five miles southeast of Teheran. Media: the northwestern part of modern Iran.

6 [15] Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.): the son of Sargon (722-705 B.C.); neither was descended from Shalmaneser. Inconsistencies such as this point to the fact that the Book of Tobit is a religious novel (see Introduction; also notes on  Tobit 5:6;  14:15).

7 [17] (17-18) Tobit risked his own life to bury the dead. Deprivation of burial was viewed with horror by the Jews. Cf  Tobit 4:3-4;  6:15;  14:12-13.

8 [21] Esarhaddon: 681-669 B.C. Ahiqar: a hero of ancient folklore, known for his outstanding wisdom. The Story (or Wisdom) of Ahiqar was very popular in antiquity and is extant in many different forms: Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic (Arabian Nights), Greek (Aesop’s Fables), Slavonic, Ethiopic, and Romanian. The sacred author makes Tobit the uncle of the famous Ahiqar in order to enhance Tobit’s own prestige. See note on  Tobit 14:10.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Tobit – Introduction

The Bible – Old Testament

Tobit

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467418

Introduction

The Book of Tobit, named after its principal hero, combines specifically Jewish piety and morality with oriental folklore in a fascinating story that has enjoyed wide popularity in both Jewish and Christian circles. Prayers, psalms, and words of wisdom, as well as the skillfully constructed story itself, provide valuable insights into the faith and the religious milieu of its unknown author. The book was probably written early in the second century B.C.; it is not known where.

Tobit, a devout and wealthy Israelite living among the captives deported to Nineveh from the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C., suffers severe reverses and is finally blinded. Because of his misfortunes he begs the Lord to let him die. But recalling the large sum he had formerly deposited in far-off Media, he sends his son Tobiah there to bring back the money. In Media, at this same time, a young woman, Sarah, also prays for death, because she has lost seven husbands, each killed in turn on his wedding night by the demon Asmodeus. God hears the prayers of Tobit and Sarah, and sends the angel Raphael in disguise to aid them both.

Raphael makes the trip to Media with Tobiah. When Tobiah is attacked by a large fish as he bathes, Raphael orders him to seize it and to remove its gall, heart, and liver because they make “useful medicines.” Later, at Raphael’s urging, Tobiah marries Sarah, and uses the the fish’s heart and liver to drive Asmodeus from the bridal chamber. Returning to Nineveh with his wife and his father’s money, Tobiah rubs the fish’s gall into his father’s eyes and cures them. Finally, Raphael reveals his true identity and returns to heaven. Tobit then utters his beautiful hymn of praise. Before dying, Tobit tells his son to leave Nineveh because God will destroy that wicked city. After Tobiah buries his father and mother, he and his family depart for Media, where he later learns that the destruction of Nineveh has taken place.

The inspired author of the book used the literary form of religious novel (as in Jonah and Judith) for the purpose of instruction and edification. There may have been a historical nucleus around which the story was composed, but this possibility has nothing to do with the teaching of the book. The seemingly historical data-names of kings, cities, etc.-are used merely as vivid details to create interest and charm.

Although the Book of Tobit is usually listed with the historical books, it more correctly stands midway between them and the wisdom literature. It contains numerous maxims like those found in the wisdom books (cf  Tobit 4:3-19,  21;  12:6-10;  14:7, 9) as well as the customary sapiential themes: fidelity to the law, the intercessory function of angels, piety toward parents, the purity of marriage, reverence for the dead, and the value of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. The book makes Tobit a relative of Ahiqar, a hero of ancient Near Eastern folklore.

Written in Aramaic, the original of the book was lost for centuries. The Greek translation, existing in three different recensions, is our primary source. In 1955, fragments of the book in Aramaic and in Hebrew were recovered from Cave IV at Qumran. These texts are in substantial agreement with the Greek recension that has served as the basis for the present translation.

The divisions of the Book of Tobit are:

I. Tobit’s Ordeals ( Tobit 1:3- 3:6)

II. Sarah’s Plight ( Tobit 3:7-17)

III. Tobiah’s Journey and Marriage to Sarah ( Tobit 4:1- 9:6)

IV. Tobiah’s Return; Cure of Tobit’s Blindness ( Tobit 10:1- 11:18)

V. Raphael Reveals His Identity ( Tobit 12:1-22)

VI. Tobit’s Song of Praise ( Tobit 13:1-18)

VII. Epilogue ( Tobit 14:1-15)

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Nehemiah – Chapter 13

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 13

1

1 At that time, when there was reading from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people, it was found written there that “no Ammonite or Moabite may ever be admitted into the assembly of God;

2

for they would not succor the Israelites with food and water, but they hired Balaam to curse them, though our God turned the curse into a blessing.”

3

When they had heard the law, they separated from Israel every foreign element.

4

2 Before this, the priest Eliashib, who had been placed in charge of the chambers of the house of our God and who was an associate of Tobiah,

5

had set aside for the latter’s use a large chamber in which had previously been stored the cereal offerings, incense and utensils, the tithes in grain, wine, and oil allotted to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the offerings due the priests.

6

3 During all this time I had not been in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, I had gone back to the king. After due time, however, I asked leave of the king

7

and returned to Jerusalem, where I discovered the evil thing that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in setting aside for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

8

This displeased me very much, and I had all of Tobiah’s household goods thrown outside the chamber.

9

Then I gave orders to purify the chambers, and I had them replace there the utensils of the house of God, the cereal offerings, and the incense.

10

I learned, too, that the portions due the Levites were no longer being given, so that the Levites and the singers who should have been carrying out the services had deserted, each man to his own field.

11

I took the magistrates to task, demanding, “Why is the house of God abandoned?” Then I brought the Levites together and had them resume their stations.

12

All Judah once more brought in the tithes of grain, wine, and oil to the storerooms;

13

and in charge of the storerooms I appointed the priest Shelemiah, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites, together with Hanan, son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, as their assistant; for these men were held to be trustworthy. It was their duty to make the distribution to their brethren.

14

Remember this to my credit, O my God! Let not the devotion which I showed for the house of my God and its services be forgotten!

15

In those days I perceived that men in Judah were treading the winepresses on the sabbath; that they were bringing in sheaves of grain, loading them on their asses, together with wine, grapes, figs, and every other kind of burden, and bringing them to Jerusalem on the sabbath day. I warned them to sell none of these victuals.

16

In Jerusalem itself the Tyrians who were resident there were importing fish and every other kind of merchandise and selling it to the Judahites on the sabbath.

17

I took the nobles of Judah to task, demanding of them: “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day?

18

Did not your fathers act in this same way, with the result that our God has brought all this evil upon us and upon this city? Would you add to the wrath against Israel by once more profaning the sabbath?”

19

When the shadows were falling on the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I ordered the doors to be closed and forbade them to be reopened till after the sabbath. I posted some of my own men at the gates so that no burden might enter on the sabbath day.

20

The merchants and sellers of various kinds of merchandise spent the night once or twice outside Jerusalem,

21

but then I warned them, saying to them: “Why do you spend the night alongside the wall? If you keep this up, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on, they did not return on the sabbath.

22

Then I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to go and watch the gates, so that the sabbath day might be kept holy. This, too, remember in my favor, O my God, and have mercy on me in accordance with your great mercy!

23

Also in those days I saw Jews who had married Ashdodite, Ammonite, or Moabite wives.

24

4 Of their children, half spoke Ashdodite, and none of them knew how to speak Jewish; and so it was in regard to the languages of the various other peoples.

25

I took them to task and cursed them; I had some of them beaten and their hair pulled out; and I adjured them by God: “You shall not marry your daughters to their sons nor take any of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves!

26

Did not Solomon, the king of Israel, sin because of them? Though among the many nations there was no king like him, and though he was beloved of his God and God had made him king over all Israel, yet even he was made to sin by foreign women.

27

Must it also be heard of you that you have done this same very great evil, betraying our God by marrying foreign women?”

28

One of the sons of Joiada, son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite! I drove him from my presence.

29

Remember against them, O my God, how they defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites!

30

Thus I cleansed them of all foreign contamination. I established the various functions for the priests and Levites, so that each had his appointed task.

31

I also provided for the procurement of wood at stated times and for the first fruits. Remember this in my favor, O my God!

1 [1-3] These verses were composed by the Chronicler to serve as an introduction to the reforms that Nehemiah instituted during his second mission in Jerusalem ( Nehemiah 13:4-31). The part of the book of Moses read to the people is freely quoted here from  Deut 23:3-6.

2 [4-31] This is part of the “Memoirs of Nehemiah”; it is continued in  10:1-40.

3 [6] After due time: It is not known when Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem or how long his second period of activity there lasted, but it probably ended before Ezra came to Palestine; see note on  Ezra 7:1-8.

4 [24] Ashdodite: the language spoken at Ashdod, more likely an Aramaic rather than a Philistine dialect. Jewish: Hebrew as spoken in postexilic Judah.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 12

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 12

1

The following are the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,

2

Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

3

Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

4

Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah,

5

Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

6

Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,

7

Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the priestly heads and their brethren in the days of Jeshua.

8

The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, Mattaniah; the last-mentioned, together with his brethren, was in charge of the hymns,

9

while Bakbukiah and Unno and their brethren ministered opposite them by turns.

10

1 Jeshua became the father of Joiakim, Joiakim became the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib became the father of Joiada.

11

Joiada became the father of Johanan, and Johanan became the father of Jaddua.

12

In the days of Joiakim these were the priestly family heads: for Seraiah, Meraiah; for Jeremiah, Hananiah;

13

for Ezra, Meshullam; for Amariah, Jehohanan;

14

for Malluchi, Jonathan; for Shebaniah, Joseph;

15

for Harim, Adna; for Meremoth, Helkai;

16

for Iddo, Zechariah; for Ginnethon, Meshullam;

17

for Abijah, Zichri; for Miamin, . . . ; for Maadiah, Piltai;

18

for Bilgah, Shammua; for Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

19

and for Joiarib, Mattenai; for Jedaiah, Uzzi;

20

for Sallu, Kallai; for Amok, Eber;

21

for Hilkiah, Hashabiah; for Jedaiah, Nethanel.

22

In the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the family heads of the priests were written down in the Book of Chronicles, up until the reign of Darius the Persian.

23

The sons of Levi: the family heads were written down in the Book of Chronicles, up until the time of Johanan, the son of Eliashib.

24

The heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel. Their brethren who stood opposite them to sing praises and thanksgiving in fulfillment of the command of David, the man of God, one section opposite the other,

25

were Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah.Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers. They kept watch over the storerooms at the gates.

26

All these lived in the time of Joiakim, son of Jeshua, son of Jozadak (and in the time of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest-scribe).

27

2 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out wherever they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate a joyful dedication with thanksgiving hymns and the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres.

28

The levitical singers gathered together from the region about Jerusalem, from the villages of the Netophathites,

29

from Beth-gilgal, and from the plains of Geba and Azmaveth (for the singers had built themselves settlements about Jerusalem).

30

The priests and Levites first purified themselves, then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

31

I had the princes of Judah mount the wall, and I arranged two great choirs. The first of these proceeded to the right, along the top of the wall, in the direction of the Dung Gate,

32

followed by Hoshaiah and half the princes of Judah,

33

along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,

34

Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

35

priests with the trumpets, and also Zechariah, son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph,

36

and his brethren Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David, the man of God. (Ezra the scribe was at their head.)

37

At the Spring Gate they went straight up by the steps of the City of David and continued along the top of the wall above the house of David until they came to the Water Gate on the east.

38

The second choir proceeded to the left, followed by myself and the other half of the princes of the people, along the top of the wall past the Oven Tower as far as the Broad Wall,

39

then past the Ephraim Gate (the New City Gate), the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Hundred Tower, as far as the Sheep Gate (and they came to a halt at the Prison Gate).

40

The two choirs took up a position in the house of God; I, too, who had with me half the magistrates,

41

the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, Hananiah, with the trumpets,

42

and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers were heard under the leadership of Jezrahiah.

43

Great sacrifices were offered on that day, and there was rejoicing over the great feast of the LORD in which they shared. The women and the children joined in, and the rejoicing at Jerusalem could be heard from afar off.

44

3 At that time men were appointed over the chambers set aside for stores, offerings, first fruits, and tithes; in them they were to collect from the fields of the various cities the portions legally assigned to the priests and Levites. For Judah rejoiced in its appointed priests and Levites

45

who carried out the ministry of their God and the ministry of purification (as did the singers and the gatekeepers) in accordance with the prescriptions of David and of Solomon, his son.

46

For the heads of the families of the singers and the hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God came down from the days of David and Asaph in times of old.

47

Thus all Israel, in the days of Zerubbabel (and in the days of Nehemiah), gave the singers and the gatekeepers their portions, according to their daily needs. They made their consecrated offering to the Levites, and the Levites made theirs to the sons of Aaron.

1 [10-11] Jeshua, the high priest when Zerubbabel was governor, i.e., the last decades of the sixth century B.C. ( Haggai 1:1,  12,  14;  2:2, 4). He was the grandfather of Eliashib, the high priest at least in the early period of Nehemiah’s governorship, i.e., 445-433 B.C. ( Ezra 10:6;  Nehemiah 3:1,  20,  21;  13:4, 7). Eliashib, in turn, was the grandfather of Johanan, a grown man, if not yet a high priest, at the time of Ezra, i.e., c. 400 B.C. ( Ezra 10:6; and note). According to Josephus (Antiquites XI, v), whose testimony here is doubtful, Jaddua, son of Johanan, died as an old man about the time that Alexander the Great died, i.e., 323 B.C. If this list of the postexilic high priests, at least as far as Johanan, comes, as seems probable (cf  Nehemiah 12:23), from the Chronicler himself and not from a later scribe, it is of prime importance for dating the Chronicler’s work in the first decades of the fourth century B.C.

2 [27-43] The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem took place, no doubt, soon after the restoration of the wall and its gates had been completed. Therefore, this section is best read after  Nehemiah 6:15.

3 [44-47] This account of the provisions made for the temple services is apparently a composition of the Chronicler. At that time: a mere connective; no particular time is meant, but the account fits best after that of the restoration of the temple ( Ezra 6:13-18) in the days of Zerubbabel ( Nehemiah 12:47). The gloss mentioning Nehemiah is not in the ancient Greek version.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 11

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 11

1

1 The leaders of the people took up residence in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one man in ten to reside in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine would remain in the other cities.

2

The people applauded all those men who willingly agreed to take up residence in Jerusalem.

3

These are the heads of the province who took up residence in Jerusalem. (In the cities of Judah dwelt lay Israelites, priests, Levites, temple slaves, and the descendants of the slaves of Solomon, each man on the property he owned in his own city.)

4

In Jerusalem dwelt both Judahites and Benjaminites. Of the Judahites: Athaiah, son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mehallalel, of the sons of Perez;

5

Maaseiah, son of Baruch, son of Colhozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, a son of the Shelanites.

6

The total of the sons of Perez who dwelt in Jerusalem was four hundred and sixty-eight valiant men.

7

These were the Benjaminites: Sallu, son of Meshullam, son of Joed, son of Pedaiah, son of Kolaiah, son of Maaseiah, son of Ithiel, son of Jeshaiah,

8

and his brethren, warriors, nine hundred and twenty-eight in number.

9

Joel, son of Zichri, was their commander, and Judah, son of Hassenuah, was second in charge of the city.

10

Among the priests were: Jedaiah; Joiarib; Jachin;

11

Seraiah, son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God,

12

and their brethren who carried out the temple service, eight hundred and twenty-two; Adaiah, son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah,

13

and his brethren, family heads, two hundred and forty-two; and Amasai, son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer,

14

and his brethren, warriors, one hundred and twenty-eight. Their commander was Zabdiel, son of Haggadol.

15

Among the Levites were Shemaiah, son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, son of Bunni;

16

Shabbethai and Jozabad, levitical chiefs who were placed over the external affairs of the house of God;

17

Mattaniah, son of Micah, son of Zabdi, son of Asaph, director of the psalms, who led the thanksgiving at prayer; Bakbukiah, second in rank among his brethren; and Abda, son of Shammua, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun.

18

The total of the Levites in the holy city was two hundred and eighty-four.

19

The gatekeepers were Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren, who kept watch over the gates; one hundred and seventy-two in number.

20

The rest of Israel, including priests and Levites, were in all the other cities of Judah, each man in his inheritance.

21

The temple slaves lived on Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of the temple slaves.

22

The prefect of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi, son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micah; he was one of the sons of Asaph, the singers appointed to the service of the house of God – 

23

for they had been appointed by royal decree, and there was a fixed schedule for the singers assigning them their daily duties.

24

Pethahiah, son of Meshezabel, a descendant of Zerah, son of Judah, was royal deputy in all affairs that concerned the people.

25

As concerns their villages in the country: Judahites lived in Kiriath-arba and its dependencies, in Dibon and its dependencies, in Jekabzeel and its villages,

26

in Jeshua, Moladah, Beth-pelet,

27

in Hazarshual, in Beer-sheba and its dependencies,

28

in Ziklag, in Meconah and its dependencies,

29

in En-rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth,

30

Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its countryside, Azekah and its dependencies. They were settled from Beer-sheba to ge-hinnom.

31

Benjaminites were in Geba, Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its dependencies,

32

Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,

33

Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,

34

Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,

35

Lod, Ono, and the Valley of the Artisans.

36

Some sections of the Levites from Judah settled in Benjamin.

1 [1-19] This list of the family heads who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah is best read after  Nehemiah 7:72a. It is basically the same as that given in  1 Chron 9:2-17 but there are many differences between the two lists.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 10

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 10

1

1 In view of all this, we are entering into a firm pact, which we are putting into writing. On the sealed document appear the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.

2

On the sealed document: His Excellency Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah.

3

Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

4

Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,

5

Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

6

Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

7

Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

8

Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

9

Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these are the priests.

10

The Levites: Jeshua, son of Azaniah; Binnui, of the sons of Henadad; Kadmiel;

11

and their brethren Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

12

Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

13

Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

14

Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.

15

The leaders of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

16

Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

17

Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

18

Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

19

Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

20

Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

21

Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

22

Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

23

Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

24

Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

25

Halhohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

26

Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

27

Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,

28

Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

29

The rest of the people, priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple slaves, and all others who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands in favor of the law of God, with their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who are of the age of discretion,

30

join with their brethren who are their princes, and with the sanction of a curse take this oath to follow the law of God which was given through Moses, the servant of God, and to observe carefully all the commandments of the LORD, our LORD, his ordinances and his statutes.

31

Agreed, that we will not marry our daughters to the peoples of the land, and that we will not take their daughters for our sons.

32

When the peoples of the land bring in merchandise or any kind of grain for sale on the sabbath day, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on any other holyday. We will forgo the seventh year, as well as every kind of debt.

33

We impose these commandments on ourselves: to give a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God,

34

for the showbread, for the daily cereal offering, for the daily holocaust, for the sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, for the holy offerings, for sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for every service of the house of our God.

35

We, priests, Levites, and people, have determined by lot concerning the procurement of wood: it is to be brought to the house of our God by each of our family houses at stated times each year, to be burnt on the altar of the LORD, our God, as the law prescribes.

36

We have agreed to bring each year to the house of the LORD the first fruits of our fields and of our fruit trees, of whatever kind;

37

also, as is prescribed in the law, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who serve in the house of our God, the first-born of our children and our animals, including the first-born of our flocks and herds.

38

The first batch of our dough, and our offerings of the fruit of every tree, of wine and of oil, we will bring to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God. The tithe of our fields we will bring to the Levites; they, the Levites, shall take the tithe in all the cities of our service.

39

An Aaronite priest shall be with the Levites when they take the tithe, and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the treasury.

40

For to these chambers the Israelites and Levites bring the offerings of grain, wine, and oil; there also are housed the utensils of the sanctuary, and the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.

1 [1-39] This section belongs to the Nehemiah narrative rather than to that of Ezra. It is best read after  Nehemiah 13:31. In view of all this: considering the situation described in  Nehemiah 13:4-31.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 9

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 9

1

1 On the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites gathered together fasting and in sackcloth, their heads covered with dust.

2

Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all who were of foreign extraction, then stood forward and confessed their sins and the guilty deeds of their fathers.

3

When they had taken their places, they read from the book of the law of the LORD their God, for a fourth part of the day, and during another fourth part they made their confession and prostrated themselves before the LORD their God.

4

Standing on the platform of the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, who cried out to the LORD their God, with a loud voice.

5

The Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said, “Arise, bless the LORD, your God, from eternity to eternity!” The Israelites answered with the blessing, “Blessed is your glorious name, and exalted above all blessing and praise.”

6

2 Then Ezra said: “It is you, O LORD, you are the only one; you made the heavens, the highest heavens and all their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the heavenly hosts bow down before you.

7

“You, O LORD, are the God who chose Abram, who brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, and named him Abraham.

8

When you had found his heart faithful in your sight, you made the covenant with him to give to him and his posterity the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. These promises of yours you fulfilled, for you are just.

9

“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, you heard their cry by the Red Sea;

10

You worked signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his servants and the people of his land, Because you knew of their insolence toward them; thus you made for yourself a name even to this day.

11

The sea you divided before them, on dry ground they passed through the midst of the sea; Their pursuers you hurled into the depths, like a stone into the mighty waters.

12

With a column of cloud you led them by day, and by night with a column of fire, To light the way of their journey, the way in which they must travel.

13

On Mount Sinai you came down, you spoke with them from heaven; You gave them just ordinances, firm laws, good statutes, and commandments;

14

Your holy sabbath you made known to them, commandments, statutes, and law you prescribed for them, by the hand of Moses your servant.

15

Food from heaven you gave them in their hunger, water from a rock you sent them in their thirst. You bade them enter and occupy the land which you had sworn with upraised hand to give them.

16

“But they, our fathers, proved to be insolent; they held their necks stiff and would not obey your commandments.

17

They refused to obey and no longer remembered the miracles you had worked for them. They stiffened their necks and turned their heads to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God of pardons, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in mercy; you did not forsake them.

18

Though they made for themselves a molten calf, and proclaimed, ‘Here is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and were guilty of great effronteries,

19

yet in your great mercy you did not forsake them in the desert. The column of cloud did not cease to lead them by day on their journey, nor did the column of fire by night cease to light for them the way by which they were to travel.

20

“Your good spirit you bestowed on them, to give them understanding; your manna you did not withhold from their mouths, and you gave them water in their thirst.

21

Forty years in the desert you sustained them: they did not want; their garments did not become worn, and their feet did not become swollen.

22

You gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you divided up among them as border lands. They possessed the land of Sihon, king of Heshbon, and the land of Og, king of Bashan.

23

“You made their children as numerous as the stars of the heavens, and you brought them into the land which you had commanded their fathers to enter and possess.

24

The sons went in to take possession of the land, and you humbled before them the Canaanite inhabitants of the land and delivered them over into their power, their kings as well as the peoples of the land, to do with them as they would.

25

They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all good things, cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. They could eat and have their fill, fatten and feast themselves on your immense good gifts.

26

“But they were contemptuous and rebellious: they cast your law behind their backs, they slew your prophets who bore witness against them in order to bring them back to you, and they were guilty of great effronteries.

27

Therefore you delivered them into the power of their enemies, who oppressed them. But in the time of their oppression they would cry out to you, and you would hear them from heaven, and according to your great mercy give them saviors to deliver them from the power of their enemies.

28

“As soon as they had relief, they would go back to doing evil in your sight. Then again you abandoned them to the power of their enemies, who crushed them. Then they cried out to you, and you heard them from heaven and delivered them according to your mercy, many times over.

29

You bore witness against them, in order to bring them back to your law. But they were insolent and would not obey your commandments; they sinned against your ordinances, from which men draw life when they practice them. They turned stubborn backs, stiffened their necks, and would not obey.

30

You were patient with them for many years, bearing witness against them through your spirit, by means of your prophets; still they would not listen. Thus you delivered them over into the power of the peoples of the lands.

31

Yet in your great mercy you did not completely destroy them and you did not forsake them, for you are a kind and merciful God.

32

“Now, therefore, O our God, great, mighty, and awesome God, you who in your mercy preserve the covenant, take into account all the disasters that have befallen us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and your entire people, from the time of the kings of Assyria until this day!

33

In all that has come upon us you have been just, for you kept faith while we have done evil.

34

Yes, our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law; they paid no attention to your commandments and the obligations of which you reminded them.

35

While they were yet in their kingdom, in the midst of the many good things that you had given them and in the wide and fertile land that you had spread out before them, they did not serve you nor did they turn away from their evil deeds.

36

But, see, we today are slaves; and as for the land which you gave our fathers that they might eat its fruits and good things – see, we have become slaves upon it!

37

Its rich produce goes to the kings whom you set over us because of our sins, who rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress!”

1 [1-5] This is a continuation of the account concerning the problem of mixed marriages at the time of Ezra; it should be read immediately after  Ezra 10:44.

2 [6-37] The prayer of Ezra which began in  Ezra 9:6-7 is here continued; see note on  Ezra 9:7.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 8

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 8

1

Now when the seventh month came, the whole people gathered as one man in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the LORD prescribed for Israel.

2

On the first day of the seventh month, therefore, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand.

3

Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law.

4

Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion; at his right side stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, and on his left Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, Meshullam.

5

Ezra opened the scroll so that all the people might see it (for he was standing higher up than any of the people); and, as he opened it, all the people rose.

6

Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, “Amen, amen!” Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the LORD, their faces to the ground.

7

(The Levites Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah explained the law to the people, who remained in their places.)

8

Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.

9

Then (Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and) Ezra the priest-scribe (and the Levites who were instructing the people) said to all the people: “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep”-for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.

10

He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”

11

(And the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Hush, for today is holy, and you must not be saddened.”)

12

Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.

13

On the second day, the family heads of the whole people and also the priests and the Levites gathered around Ezra the scribe and examined the words of the law more closely.

14

They found it written in the law prescribed by the LORD through Moses that the Israelites must dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month;

15

and that they should have this proclamation made throughout their cities and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring in branches of olive trees, oleasters, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees, to make booths, as the law prescribes.”

16

The people went out and brought in branches with which they made booths for themselves, on the roof of their houses, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God, and in the open spaces of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephraim.

17

Thus the entire assembly of the returned exiles made booths and dwelt in them. Now the Israelites had done nothing of this sort from the days of Jeshua, son of Nun, until this occasion; therefore there was very great joy.

18

Ezra read from the book of the law of God day after day, from the first day to the last. They kept the feast for seven days, and the solemn assembly on the eighth day, as was required.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 7

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 7

1

When the wall had been rebuilt, I had the doors set up, and the gatekeepers (and the singers and the Levites) were put in charge of them.

2

Over Jerusalem I placed Hanani, my brother, and Hananiah, the commander of the citadel, who was a more trustworthy and God-fearing man than most.

3

I said to them: “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot, and while the sun is still shining they shall shut and bar the doors. Appoint as watchmen the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their watch posts, and others before their own houses.”

4

Now the city was quite wide and spacious, but its population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt.

5

When my God had put it into my mind to gather together the nobles, the magistrates, and the common people, and to examine their family records, I came upon the family list of those who had returned in the earliest period. There I found the following written:

6

1 These are the inhabitants of the province who returned from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had carried away, and who came back to Jerusalem and Judah, each man to his own city

7

(those who returned with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah). The census of the men of Israel:

8

sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two;

9

sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two;

10

sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two;

11

sons of Pahath-moab who were sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen;

12

sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;

13

sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five;

14

sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty;

15

sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight;

16

sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight;

17

sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two;

18

sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven;

19

sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven;

20

sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five;

21

sons of Ater who were sons of Hezekiah, ninety-eight;

22

sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight;

23

sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four;

24

sons of Hariph, one hundred and twelve;

25

sons of Gibeon, ninety-five;

26

men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight;

27

men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight;

28

men of Beth-azmaveth, forty-two;

29

men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three;

30

men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one;

31

men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two;

32

men of Bethel and Ai, one hundred and twenty-three;

33

men of Nebo, fifty-two;

34

sons of another Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;

35

sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty;

36

sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five;

37

sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one;

38

sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39

The priests: sons of Jedaiah who were of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three;

40

sons of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two;

41

sons of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven;

42

sons of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.

43

The Levites: sons of Jeshua, Kadmiel, Binnui, Hodeviah, seventy-four.

44

The singers: sons of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight.

45

The gatekeepers: sons of Shallum, sons of Ater, sons of Talmon, sons of Akkub, sons of Hatita, sons of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-eight.

46

The temple slaves: sons of Ziha, sons of Hasupha, sons of Tabbaoth,

47

sons of Keros, sons of Sia, sons of Padon,

48

sons of Lebana, sons of Hagaba, sons of Shalmai,

49

sons of Hanan, sons of Giddel, sons of Gahar,

50

sons of Reaiah, sons of Rezin, sons of Nekoda,

51

sons of Gazzam, sons of Uzza, sons of Paseah,

52

sons of Besai, sons of the Meunites, sons of the Nephusites,

53

sons of Bakbuk, sons of Hakupha, sons of Harhur,

54

sons of Bazlith, sons of Mehida, sons of Harsha,

55

sons of Barkos, sons of Sisera, sons of Temah,

56

sons of Neziah, sons of Hatipha.

57

Descendants of the slaves of Solomon: sons of Sotai, sons of Sophereth, sons of Perida,

58

sons of Jaala, sons of Darkon, sons of Giddel,

59

sons of Shephatiah, sons of Hattil, sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, sons of Amon.

60

The total of the temple slaves and the descendants of the slaves of Solomon was three hundred and ninety-two.

61

The following who returned from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer were unable to prove that their ancestral houses and their descent were Israelite:

62

sons of Delaiah, sons of Tobiah, sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two.

63

Also, of the priests: sons of Hobaiah, sons of Hakkoz, sons of Barzillai (he had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and became known by his name).

64

These men searched their family records, but their names could not be found written there; hence they were degraded from the priesthood,

65

2 and His Excellency ordered them not to partake of the most holy foods until there should be a priest bearing the Urim and Thummim.

66

The entire assembly taken together came to forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty,

67

not counting their male and female slaves, who were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven. They also had two hundred male and female singers. Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five,

68

their camels four hundred and thirty-five, their asses six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

69

Certain of the family heads contributed to the service. His Excellency put into the treasury one thousand drachmas of gold, fifty basins, thirty garments for priests, and five hundred minas of silver.

70

Some of the family heads contributed to the treasury for the temple service: twenty thousand drachmas of gold and two thousand two hundred minas of silver.

71

The contributions of the rest of the people amounted to twenty thousand drachmas of gold, two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven garments for priests.

72

3 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple slaves, and all Israel took up residence in their cities.

1 [6-72a] See note on  Ezra 2:1-67.

2 [65, 69] His Excellency: see note on  Ezra 2:63.

3 [ 7:72b- 8:18] To be read after  Ezra 8:36. The gloss mentioning Nehemiah in  Nehemiah 7:9 was inserted in this Ezra section after the dislocation of several parts of Ezra-Nehemiah had occurred. There is no clear evidence of a simultaneous presence of Nehemiah and Ezra in Jerusalem;  Nehemiah 12:26;  12:36 are also scribal glosses.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 6

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 6

1

When it had been reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and our other enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though up to that time I had not yet set up the doors in the gates),

2

Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us hold council together at Caphirim in the plain of Ono.” They were planning to do me harm.

3

However, I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am engaged in a great enterprise and am unable to come down; why should the work stop, while I leave it to come down to you?”

4

Four times they sent me this same proposal, and each time I gave the same reply.

5

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent me the same message by one of his servants, who bore an unsealed letter

6

containing this text: “Among the nations it has been reported – Geshem is witness to this – that you and the Jews are planning a rebellion; that for this reason you are rebuilding the wall; and that you are to be their king” – and so on.

7

“Also, that you have set up prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim you king of Judah. Now, since matters like these must reach the ear of the king, come, let us hold council together.”

8

I sent him this answer: “Nothing of what you report has taken place; rather, it is the invention of your own mind.”

9

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will slacken in the work, and it will never be completed.” But instead, I now redoubled my efforts.

10

I went to the house of Shemaiah, son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was unable to go about, and he said: “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple building; let us lock the doors of the temple. For men are coming to kill you; by night they are coming to kill you.”

11

My answer was: “A man like me take flight? Can a man like me enter the temple to save his life? I will not go!”

12

For on consideration it was plain to me that God had not sent him; rather, because Tobiah and Sanballat had bribed him, he voiced this prophecy concerning me

13

that I might act on it out of fear and commit this sin. Then they would have had a shameful story with which to discredit me.

14

Keep in mind Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of these things they did; keep in mind as well Noadiah the prophetess and the other prophets who were trying to frighten me.

15

1 The wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul; it had taken fifty-two days.

16

When all our enemies had heard of this, and all the nations round about had taken note of it, our enemies lost much face in the eyes of the nations, for they knew that it was with our God’s help that this work had been completed.

17

2 At that same time, however, many letters were going to Tobiah from the nobles of Judah, and Tobiah’s letters were reaching them,

18

for many in Judah were in league with him, since he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah, son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam, son of Berechiah.

19

Thus they would praise his good deeds in my presence and relate to him whatever I said; and Tobiah sent letters trying to frighten me.

1 [15] Elul: the sixth month (August-September). Fifty-two days: according to Josephus (Antiquities XI, v 8), the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah took two years and four months, which seems more probable.

2 [17-19] These verses should be read immediately after v 14.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah – Chapter 5

The Bible – Old Testament

Nehemiah

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Nehemiah

Chapter 5

1

Then there rose a great outcry of the common people and their wives against certain of their fellow Jews.

2

Some said: “We are forced to pawn our sons and daughters in order to get grain to eat that we may live.”

3

Others said: “We are forced to pawn our fields, our vineyards, and our houses, that we may have grain during the famine.”

4

Still others said: “To pay the king’s tax we have borrowed money on our fields and our vineyards.

5

And though these are our own kinsmen and our children are as good as theirs, we have had to reduce our sons and daughters to slavery, and violence has been done to some of our daughters! Yet we can do nothing about it, for our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”

6

I was extremely angry when I heard the reasons they had for complaint.

7

1 After some deliberation, I called the nobles and magistrates to account, saying to them, “You are exacting interest from your own kinsmen!” I then rebuked them severely,

8

saying to them: “As far as we were able, we bought back our fellow Jews who had been sold to Gentiles; you, however, are selling your own brothers, to have them bought back by us.” They remained silent, for they could find no answer.

9

I continued: “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God, and put an end to the derision of our Gentile enemies?

10

I myself, my kinsmen, and my attendants have lent the people money and grain without charge. Let us put an end to this usury!

11

I ask that you return to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, together with the interest on the money, the grain, the wine, and the oil that you have lent them.”

12

They answered: “We will return everything and exact nothing further from them. We will do just what you ask.” Then I called for the priests and had them administer an oath to these men that they would do as they had promised.

13

I also shook out the folds of my garment, saying, “Thus may God shake from his home and his fortune every man who fails to keep this promise, and may he thus be shaken out and emptied!” And the whole assembly answered, “Amen,” and praised the LORD. Then the people did as they had promised.

14

Moreover, from the time that King Artaxerxes appointed me governor in the land of Judah, from his twentieth to his thirty-second year – during these twelve years neither I nor my brethren lived from the governor’s allowance.

15

The earlier governors, my predecessors, had laid a heavy burden on the people, taking from them each day forty silver shekels for their food; then too, their men oppressed the people. But I, because I feared God, did not act thus.

16

Moreover, though I had acquired no land of my own, I did my part in this work on the wall, and all my men were gathered there for the work.

17

Though I set my table for a hundred and fifty persons, Jews and magistrates, as well as those who came to us from the nations round about,

18

and though the daily preparations were made at my expense – one beef, six choice muttons, poultry – besides all kinds of wine in abundance every ten days, despite this I did not claim the governor’s allowance, for the labor lay heavy upon this people.

19

Keep in mind, O my God, in my favor all that I did for this people.

1 [7] You are exacting interest from your own kinsmen!: contrary to the Mosaic law ( Deut 23:20).

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.