We've all heard the children's rhyme that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." But as adults, we all know that words can and do hurt! It may be an off-hand comment from a co-worker or a pointed barb from a loved one, but words can do lasting damage. At the same time, words also have the power to give life. We can impact others and lift them up through what we say and how we relate to them. In our new series, "Words," we will discover some Godly truths about our words and how what we say and how we say it can improve all of the relationships in our lives.
Join us THIS Sunday, August 13th. We are going to celebrate the progress of the last 3 months of our Cannonball Campaign and make a collective Big Splash in our giving too. After the Sanctuary Service, we will be serving special treats and coffee. After the North Auditorium Service, we will have a water slide for the kids and Kona Ice for all. So for all the Kids, or the kid at heart, bring your swimsuits and towels.
Our next BBQ and Baptism is on Sunday, August 27th at 11:45 am. If you are interested in getting baptized please click here. We will send you additional information and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to help serve for the BBQ/Baptisms click here.
It is going to be an amazing day!
If you'd like to join us in reading through Scripture this year.
Here are the texts we're reading this week:
2 Timothy 1-4
Scripture Texts: Luke 17:1 Yeshua said to his talmidim, “It is impossible that snares will not be set. But woe to the person who sets them! 2 It would be to his advantage that he have a millstone hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea, rather than that he ensnare one of these little ones. 3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 Also, if seven times in one day he sins against you, and seven times he comes to you and says, ‘I repent,’ you are to forgive him.” 5 The emissaries said to the Lord, “Increase our trust.” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had trust as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this fig tree, ‘Be uprooted and replanted in the sea!’ and it would obey you. 7 If one of you has a slave tending the sheep or plowing, when he comes back from the field, will you say to him, ‘Come along now, sit down and eat’? 8 No, you’ll say, ‘Get my supper ready, dress for work, and serve me until I have finished eating and drinking; after that, you may eat and drink.’ 9 Does he thank the slave because he did what he was told to do? No! 10 It’s the same with you — when you have done everything you were told to do, you should be saying, ‘We’re just ordinary slaves, we have only done our duty.’”
11 On his way to Yerushalayim, Yeshua passed along the border country between Shomron and the Galil. 12 As he entered one of the villages, ten men afflicted with tzara‘at met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out, “Yeshua! Rabbi! Have pity on us!” 14 On seeing them, he said, “Go and let the cohanim examine you!” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, as soon as he noticed that he had been healed, returned shouting praises to God, 16 and fell on his face at Yeshua’s feet to thank him. Now he was from Shomron. 17 Yeshua said, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found coming back to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And to the man from Shomron he said, “Get up, you may go; your trust has saved you.”
20 The P’rushim asked Yeshua when the Kingdom of God would come. “The Kingdom of God,” he answered, “does not come with visible signs; 21 nor will people be able to say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘Over there!’ Because, you see, the Kingdom of God is among you.” 22 Then he said to his talmidim, “The time is coming when you will long to see even one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will say to you, ‘Look! Right here!’ or, ‘See! Over there!’ Don’t run off, don’t follow them, 24 because the Son of Man in his day will be like lightning that flashes and lights up the sky from one horizon to the other. 25 But first he must endure horrible suffering and be rejected by this generation.
26 “Also, at the time of the Son of Man, it will be just as it was at the time of Noach. 27 People ate and drank, and men and women married, right up until the day Noach entered the ark; then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, as it was in the time of Lot — people ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and built; 29 but the day Lot left S’dom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 That is how it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, if someone is on the roof with his belongings in his house, he must not go down to take them away. Similarly, if someone is in the field, he must not turn back — 32 remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever aims at preserving his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will stay alive. 34 I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed — one will be taken and the other left behind. 35 There will be two women grinding grain together — one will be taken and the other left behind.” 36 [Luke 17:36 Some manuscripts have verse 36: Two men will be in a field — one will be taken and the other left behind.”]
37 They asked him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Wherever there’s a dead body, that’s where the vultures gather.”
18:1 Then Yeshua told his talmidim a parable, in order to impress on them that they must always keep praying and not lose heart. 2 “In a certain town, there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected other people. 3 There was also in that town a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me a judgment against the man who is trying to ruin me.’ 4 For a long time he refused; but after awhile, he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God, and I don’t respect other people; 5 but because this widow is such a nudnik, I will see to it that she gets justice — otherwise, she’ll keep coming and pestering me till she wears me out!’”
6 Then the Lord commented, “Notice what this corrupt judge says. 7 Now won’t God grant justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Is he delaying long over them? 8 I tell you that he will judge in their favor, and quickly! But when the Son of Man comes, will he find this trust on the earth at all?”
9 Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. 11 The Parush stood and prayed to himself, ‘O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! 12 I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income, . . . ’ 13 But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
15 People brought him babies to touch; but when the talmidim saw the people doing this, they rebuked them. 16 However, Yeshua called the children to him and said, “Let the children come to me, and stop hindering them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Yes! I tell you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it at all!”
18 One of the leaders asked him, “Good rabbi, what should I do to obtain eternal life?” 19 Yeshua said to him, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good but God! 20 You know the mitzvot — ‘Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t give false testimony, honor your father and mother, . . .’”[Luke 18:20 Exodus 20:12–13(16); Deuteronomy 5:16–17(20)] 21 He replied, “I have kept all these since I was a boy.” 22 On hearing this Yeshua said to him, “There is one thing you still lack. Sell whatever you have, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me!” 23 But when the man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich.
24 Yeshua looked at him and said, “How hard it is for people with wealth to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It’s easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?” 27 He said, “What is impossible humanly is possible with God.”
28 Kefa said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 Yeshua answered them, “Yes! I tell you that everyone who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 will receive many times as much in the ‘olam hazeh, and in the ‘olam haba eternal life.”
31 Then, taking the Twelve, Yeshua said to them, “We are now going up to Yerushalayim, where everything written through the prophets about the Son of Man will come true. 32 For he will be handed over to the Goyim and be ridiculed, insulted and spat upon. 33 Then, after they have beaten him, they will kill him. But on the third day he will rise.” 34 However, they understood none of this; its meaning had been hidden from them, and they had no idea what he was talking about.
35 As Yeshua approached Yericho, a blind man was sitting by the road, begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going past, he asked what it was all about; 37 and they told him, “Yeshua from Natzeret is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Yeshua! Son of David! Have pity on me!” 39 Those in front scolded him in order to get him to shut up, but he shouted all the louder, “Son of David! Have pity on me!” 40 Yeshua stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he had come, Yeshua asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Lord, let me be able to see.” 42 Yeshua said to him, “See again! your trust has healed you!” 43 Instantly he received his sight and began following him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they too praised God.
2 Timothy 1:1 From: Sha’ul, an emissary of the Messiah Yeshua by God’s will, which holds forth a promise of life through being united with Messiah Yeshua
2 To: Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and shalom from God the Father and the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.
3 I give thanks to God, whom, like my forbears, I worship with a clean conscience, as I regularly remember you in my prayers night and day. 4 I am reminded of your tears, and I long to see you, so that I might be filled with joy. 5 I recall your sincere trust, the same trust that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice had first; and I am convinced that you too now have this trust.
6 For this reason, I am reminding you to fan the flame of God’s gift, which you received through s’mikhah from me. 7 For God gave us a Spirit who produces not timidity, but power, love and self-discipline. 8 So don’t be ashamed of bearing testimony to our Lord or to me, his prisoner. On the contrary, accept your share in suffering disgrace for the sake of the Good News. God will give you the strength for it, 9 since he delivered us and called us to a life of holiness as his people. It was not because of our deeds, but because of his own purpose and the grace which he gave to us who are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He did this before the beginning of time, 10 but made it public only now through the appearing of our Deliverer, the Messiah Yeshua, who abolished death and, through the Good News, revealed life and immortality.
11 It was for this Good News that I was appointed a proclaimer, emissary and teacher of the Goyim; 12 and this is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know him in whom I have put my trust, and I am persuaded that he can keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound teachings you have heard from me, with trust and the love which is yours in the Messiah Yeshua. 14 Keep safe the great treasure that has been entrusted to you, with the help of the Ruach HaKodesh, who lives in us.
15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia turned away from me, including Phygelus and Ermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he was often a comfort to me and was not ashamed of my being in prison. 17 On the contrary, when he came to Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant it to him to find mercy from Adonai on that Day. And you know very well how much he helped me in Ephesus.
2:1 So then, you, my son, be empowered by the grace that comes from the Messiah Yeshua. 2 And the things you heard from me, which were supported by many witnesses, these things commit to faithful people, such as will be competent to teach others also. 3 Accept your share in suffering disgrace as a good soldier of the Messiah Yeshua. 4 No soldier on duty gets involved with civilian affairs, since he has to please his commanding officer. 5 Also an athlete can’t win a contest unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The farmer who has done the hard work should be the first to receive a share of the harvest. 7 Think about what I am saying, for the Lord will enable you to understand everything.
8 Remember Yeshua the Messiah, who was raised from the dead, who was a descendant of David. This is the Good News I proclaim, 9 and for which I am suffering to the point of being bound in chains — but the Word of God is not bound in chains! 10 Why do I persevere through it all? For the sake of those who have been chosen, so that they too may obtain the deliverance that comes through the Messiah Yeshua, with eternal glory. 11 Here is a statement you can trust:
If we have died with him,
we will also live with him.
12 If we persevere,
we will also rule with him
If we disown him,
he will also disown us.
13 If we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
14 Keep reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before the Lord not to engage in word-battles. They accomplish nothing useful and are a catastrophe for the hearers! 15 Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 16 But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, 17 and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among these; 18 they have missed the mark, as far as the truth is concerned, by saying that our resurrection has already taken place; and they are overturning some people’s faith. 19 Nevertheless, God’s firm foundation stands, stamped with these words:
“The Lord knows his own,”[2 Timothy 2:19 Numbers 16:5; Nahum 1:7]
“Let everyone who claims he belongs to the Lord
stand apart from wrongdoing.”[2 Timothy 2:19 Numbers 16:26]
20 In a large house there are dishes and pots not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. That is, some are meant for honorable use and some for dishonorable. 21 If a person keeps himself free of defilement by the latter, he will be a vessel set aside for honorable use by the master of the house and ready for every kind of good work. 22 So, flee the passions of youth; and, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love and peace. 23 But stay away from stupid and ignorant controversies — you know that they lead to fights, 24 and a slave of the Lord shouldn’t fight. On the contrary, he should be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and not resentful when mistreated. 25 Also he should be gentle as he corrects his opponents. For God may perhaps grant them the opportunity to turn from their sins, acquire full knowledge of the truth, 26 come to their senses and escape the trap of the Adversary, after having been captured alive by him to do his will.
3:1 Moreover, understand this: in the acharit-hayamim will come trying times. 2 People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, 4 traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, 5 as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power.
Stay away from these people! 6 For some of them worm their way into homes and get control of weak-willed women who are heaped with sins and swayed by various impulses, 7 who are always learning but never able to come to full knowledge of the truth. 8 In the same way as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moshe, so also these people oppose the truth. They are people with corrupted minds, whose trust cannot pass the test. 9 However, they won’t get very far; because everyone will see how stupid they are, just as happened with those two.
10 But you, you have closely followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, trust, steadfastness, love and perseverance — 11 as well as the persecutions and sufferings that came my way in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 And indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves.
14 But you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, recalling the people from whom you learned it; 15 and recalling too how from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which can give you the wisdom that leads to deliverance through trusting in Yeshua the Messiah. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.
4:1 I solemnly charge you before God and the Messiah Yeshua, who will judge the living and the dead when he appears and establishes his Kingdom: 2 proclaim the Word! Be on hand with it whether the time seems right or not. Convict, censure and exhort with unfailing patience and with teaching.
3 For the time is coming when people will not have patience for sound teaching, but will cater to their passions and gather around themselves teachers who say whatever their ears itch to hear. 4 Yes, they will stop listening to the truth, but will turn aside to follow myths.
5 But you, remain steady in every situation, endure suffering, do the work that a proclaimer of the Good News should, and do everything your service to God requires.
6 For as for me, I am already being poured out on the altar; yes, the time for my departure has arrived. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,” will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear.
9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, because he has fallen in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone off to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia; Titus has gone to Dalmatia — 11 only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, because he is a very useful helper in my work. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the coat which I left with Carpus in Troas, also the scrolls and especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will render to him according to his works;[2 Timothy 4:14 2 Samuel 3:39; Psalms 28:4; 62:13(12); Proverbs 24:12] 15 and you should guard against him, because he bitterly opposed everything we said.
16 The first time I had to present my defense, no one stood by me; everyone deserted me — may it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me power to proclaim the full message for all the Goyim to hear, and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.[2 Timothy 4:17 Psalm 22:22(21); Daniel 6:21(20), 23(22)] 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus has remained in Corinth, and Trophimus I left ill at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Shlomo:
A wise son is a joy to his father,
but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
2 No good comes from ill-gotten wealth,
but righteousness rescues from death.
3 Adonai does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4 Idle hands bring poverty;
diligent hands bring wealth.
5 A sensible person gathers in summer,
but he who sleeps during harvest is an embarrassment.
6 Blessings are for the head of the righteous,
but the speech of the wicked is a cover for violence.
7 The memory of the righteous will be for a blessing,
but the reputation of the wicked will rot.
8 Wise-hearted people take orders,
but a babbling fool will have trouble.
9 He who walks purely walks securely,
but he who walks in crooked ways will be found out.
10 He who winks his eye [instead of rebuking] causes pain,
yet a babbling fool will have trouble.
11 The speech of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the speech of the wicked is a cover for violence.
12 Hate stirs up disputes,
but love covers all kinds of transgressions.
13 On the lips of the intelligent is found wisdom,
but a stick is in store for the back of a fool.
14 Wise people hide their knowledge,
but when a fool speaks, ruin is imminent.
15 The wealth of the rich is his fortified city;
the ruin of the poor is their poverty.
16 The activity of the righteous is for life;
the income of the wicked is for sin.
17 He who observes discipline is on the way to life;
but he who ignores correction is making a mistake.
18 He who covers up hate has lips that lie,
and anyone who slanders is a fool.
19 When words are many, sin is not lacking;
so he who controls his speech is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is like pure silver,
but the mind of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of Adonai is what makes people rich,
and he doesn’t mix sorrow with it.
23 To a fool, vileness is like a game,
as is wisdom to a person of discernment.
24 What a fool dreads will overtake him,
but the righteous will be given his desire.
25 When the storm has passed, the wicked are gone;
but the righteous are firmly established forever.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes
is a lazy person to his employer.
27 The fear of Adonai adds length to life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 What the righteous hope for will end in joy;
what the wicked expect will come to nothing.
29 The way of Adonai is a stronghold to the upright
but ruin to those who do evil.
30 The righteous will never be moved,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is wanted,
but the mouth of the wicked [knows] deceit.
11:1 False scales are an abomination to Adonai,
but accurate weights please him.
2 First comes pride, then disgrace;
but with the humble is wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the duplicity of the treacherous destroys them.
4 On the day of wrath, wealth doesn’t help;
but righteousness rescues from death.
5 The righteousness of the innocent levels their way,
but wickedness of the wicked makes them fall.
6 The righteousness of the upright rescues them,
but the treacherous are trapped by their own intrigues.
7 When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes;
what he hopes for from evil comes to nothing.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble,
and the wicked comes to take his place.
9 With his mouth the hypocrite can ruin his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
and when the wicked perish, there is joy.
11 By the blessing of the upright, a city is raised up;
but the words of the wicked tear it down.
12 He who belittles another lacks good sense,
whereas a person of discernment stays silent.
13 A gossip goes around revealing secrets,
but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
14 Without clever tactics an army is defeated,
and victory comes from much planning.
15 He who guarantees a loan for a stranger will suffer,
but refusing to underwrite is safe.
16 A gracious woman obtains honor;
aggressive men obtain wealth.
17 A man who is kind does himself good,
but the cruel does harm to himself.
18 The profits of the wicked are illusory;
but those who sow righteousness gain a true reward.
19 Genuine righteousness leads to life,
but the pursuer of evil goes to his own death.
20 The crooked-hearted are an abomination to Adonai,
but those sincere in their ways are his delight.
21 Depend on it: the evil will not go unpunished;
but the offspring of the righteous will escape.
22 Like a gold ring in the snout of a pig
is a beautiful woman who lacks good sense.
23 The righteous desire only good,
but what the wicked hope for brings wrath.
24 Some give freely and still get richer,
while others are stingy but grow still poorer.
25 The person who blesses others will prosper;
he who satisfies others will be satisfied himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain;
but if he sells it, blessings will be on his head.
27 He who strives for good obtains favor,
but he who searches for evil — it comes to him!
28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like sprouting leaves.
29 Those who trouble their families inherit the wind,
and the fool becomes slave to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who is wise wins souls.
31 If the righteous are paid what they deserve here on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
12:1 He who loves knowledge loves discipline,
but he who hates correction is a boor.
2 A good man obtains Adonai’s favor,
but the schemer his condemnation.
3 No one is made secure by wickedness,
but the roots of the righteous will never be moved.
4 A capable wife is a crown for her husband,
but a shameful one is like rot in his bones.
5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the schemes of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.
7 Once the wicked are down, it’s the end of them;
but the house of the upright endures.
8 A person wins praise in keeping with his common sense,
but a person with a warped mind is treated with contempt.
9 Better to be despised and have a servant
than to boast of one’s status but have nothing to eat.
10 A righteous man takes care of his animal,
but the wicked? Even his compassion is cruel.
11 He who farms his land will have plenty of food,
but he who follows futilities has no sense.
12 The wicked covet the loot of evil men,
but the root of the righteous gives forth of itself.
13 The wicked is trapped by his own sinful speech,
but the righteous finds a way out of trouble.
14 One can be filled with good as the result of one’s words,
and one gets the reward one’s deeds deserve.
15 Fools suppose their way is straight,
but the wise pay attention to advice.
16 A fool’s anger is known at once,
but a cautious person slighted conceals his feelings.
17 He who tells the truth furthers justice,
but a false witness furthers deceit.
18 Idle talk can pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise can heal.
19 Truthful words will stand forever,
lying speech but a moment.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but for those advising peace there is joy.
21 No harm can come to the righteous,
but the wicked are overwhelmed with disaster.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to Adonai,
but those who deal faithfully are his delight.
23 A cautious person conceals knowledge,
but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.
24 The diligent will rule,
while the lazy will be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down,
but a kind word cheers him up.
26 The righteous guides his friend’s way rightly,
but the way of the wicked will lead them astray.
27 A lazy man doesn’t roast what he hunted;
but when a man is diligent, his wealth is precious.
28 In the road of righteousness is life;
no death is in its pathway.
13:1 A son who heeds his father’s discipline is wise,
but a scoffer doesn’t listen to rebuke.
2 A [good] man enjoys good as a result of what he says,
but the essence of the treacherous is violence.
3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life,
but one who talks too much comes to ruin.
4 The lazy person wants but doesn’t have;
the diligent get their desires filled.
5 A righteous person hates lying,
but the wicked is vile and disgraceful.
6 Righteousness protects him whose way is honest,
but wickedness brings down the sinner.
7 There are those with nothing who pretend they are rich,
also those with great wealth who pretend they are poor.
8 The rich man may have to ransom his life,
but a poor man gets no threats.
9 The light of the righteous [shines] joyfully,
but the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.
10 Insolence produces only strife,
but wisdom is found with those who take advice.
11 Wealth gotten by worthless means dwindles away,
but he who amasses it by hard work will increase it.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 He who despises a word will suffer for it,
but he who respects a command will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of a wise man is a fountain of life,
enabling one to avoid deadly traps.
15 Good common sense produces grace,
but the way of the treacherous is rough.
16 Every cautious person acts with knowledge,
but a fool parades his folly.
17 A wicked messenger falls into evil,
but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18 Poverty and shame are for him who won’t be taught,
but he who heeds reproof will be honored.
19 Desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but turning away from evil is abhorrent to fools.
20 He who walks with the wise will become wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer.
21 Evil pursues sinners,
but prosperity will reward the righteous.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren,
but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.
23 The fields of the poor may yield much food,
but some are swept away because of injustice.
24 He who fails to use a stick hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
25 The righteous person eats his fill,
but the belly of the wicked is empty.
14:1 Every wise woman builds up her home,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 A person with upright conduct fears Adonai,
but a person who is devious scorns him.
3 From the mouth of a fool sprouts pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean;
but much is produced by the strength of an ox.
5 An honest witness will not lie,
but a false witness lies with every breath.
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge comes easily to someone with discernment.
7 Keep clear of a fool,
for you won’t hear a sensible word from him.
8 The wisdom of the cautious makes him know where he is going,
but the folly of fools misleads them.
9 Guilt offerings make a mockery of fools;
but among the upright there is good will.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger can share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There can be a way which seems right to a person,
but at its end are the ways of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart can be sad,
and joy may end in sorrow.
14 A backslider is filled up with his own ways,
but a good person gets satisfaction from himself.
15 One who doesn’t think believes every word,
but the cautious understands his steps.
16 A wise person fears and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and overconfident.
17 He who is quick-tempered does stupid things,
and one who does vile things is hated.
18 Thoughtless people inherit folly,
but the cautious are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow down before the good,
and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor are disliked even by their peers,
but the rich have many friends.
21 He who despises his fellow sins,
but he who shows compassion to the humble is happy.
22 Won’t those who plot evil go astray?
But grace and truth are for those who plan good.
23 In all work there is profit,
but mere talk produces only poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches,
but the folly of fools is just that — folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but a liar misdirects [judgment].
26 In the fear of Adonai is powerful security;
for his children there will be a place of refuge.
27 The fear of Adonai is a fountain of life
enabling one to avoid deadly traps.
28 A king’s glory lies in having many subjects;
if the prince’s people are few, it is his ruin.
29 Being slow to anger goes with great understanding,
being quick-tempered makes folly still worse.
30 A tranquil mind gives health to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
31 The oppressor of the poor insults his maker,
but he who is kind to the needy honors him.
32 The wicked are brought down by their wrongdoing,
but the righteous can be confident even at death.
33 Wisdom is at rest in a person with discernment,
but in fools it has to call attention to itself.
34 Righteousness makes a nation great,
but sin degrades any people.
35 A king shows favor to a servant with good sense,
but his wrath strikes one who shames [him].
Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nechemyah the son of Hakhalyah:
It was in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital, 2 that Hanani, one of my kinsmen, came out of Y’hudah with some men; and I asked them about the remnant of Judeans who had escaped the exile, and about Yerushalayim. 3 They answered me, “The remnant of the exile left there in the province are in great distress and are held in contempt, the wall of Yerushalayim is in ruins, and its gates have been completely burned up.”
4 On hearing this answer, I sat down and wept; I mourned for several days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said, “Please, Adonai! God of heaven! You great and fearsome God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his mitzvot! 6 Let your ear now be attentive and your eyes be open, so that you will listen to the prayer of your servant, which I am praying before you these days, day and night, for the people of Isra’el your servants — even as I confess the sins of the people of Isra’el that we have committed against you. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have deeply offended you. We haven’t observed the mitzvot, laws or rulings you ordered your servant Moshe. 8 Remember, please, the word you gave through your servant Moshe, ‘If you break faith, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to me, observe my mitzvot and obey them, then, even if your scattered ones are in the most distant part of heaven, nevertheless, I will collect them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen for bearing my name.’ 10 Now these are your servants, your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and strong hand. 11 Adonai, please, let your ear now be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take joy in fearing your name: please let your servant succeed today and win this man’s compassion” — for I was the king’s personal attendant.
2:1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artach’shashta the king, it happened that I took the wine and brought it to the king. Prior to then I had never appeared sad in his presence. 2 The king asked, “Why do you look so sad? You’re not sick, so this must be some deep inner grief.” At this, I became very fearful, 3 as I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why shouldn’t I look sad, when the city, the place where my ancestors’ tombs are, lies in ruins; and its gates are completely burned up?” 4 The king asked me, “What is it that you want?” I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 then said to the king, “If it pleases the king, if your servant has won your favor, send me to Y’hudah, to the city of my ancestors’ tombs, so that I can rebuild it.” 6 With the queen sitting next to him, the king asked me, “How long is your trip going to take? When will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a time.
7 I then said to the king, “If it pleases the king, have letters given to me for the governors of the territory beyond the [Euphrates] River, so that they will let me pass through until I reach Y’hudah; 8 and also a letter for Asaf the supervisor of the royal forests, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress belonging to the house, for the city wall and for the house I will be occupying.” The king gave me these, according to the good hand of my God on me.
9 I went to the governors of the territory beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. The king had sent with me an escort of army captains and cavalry. 10 When Sanvalat the Horoni and Toviyah the servant, the ‘Amoni, heard about this, they were very displeased that someone had come to promote the welfare of the people of Isra’el.
11 So I reached Yerushalayim. After I had been there for three days, 12 I got up during the night, I and a few men with me. I hadn’t told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Yerushalayim; and I didn’t take any animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 I went out by night through the Valley Gate, to the Dragon’s Well and the Dung Gate, and inspected the places where the walls of Yerushalayim were broken down and where its gates had been burned down. 14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. 15 So I went up the valley in the dark and went on inspecting the wall; then I turned back, entered through the Valley Gate and returned, 16 without the officials’ knowing where I had gone or what I had done. Till then, I hadn’t said anything about this to the Judeans, cohanim, nobles, officials or anyone who would be responsible for the work.
17 Afterwards, I said to them, “You see what a sad state we are in, how Yerushalayim lies in ruins, with it gates burned up. Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Yerushalayim, so that we won’t continue in disgrace.” 18 I also told them of the gracious hand of my God that had been on me, also what the king had said to me. They said, “Let’s start building at once,” and energetically set out to do this good work.
19 When Sanvalat the Horoni, Toviyah the servant, the ‘Amoni, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they began mocking us and jeering, “What is this you are doing? Are you going to rebel against the king?” 20 But I answered them: “The God of heaven will enable us to succeed. Therefore we his servants will set about rebuilding. But you have no share, right or history to commemorate in Yerushalayim.”
3:1 Then Elyashiv the cohen hagadol set out with his fellow cohanim, and they rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set up its doors; they consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred and on to the Tower of Hanan’el. 2 Next to him the men from Yericho built. Next to him Zakur the son of Imri built.
3 The sons of Hasna’ah rebuilt the Fish Gate; they installed its timber framework and set up its doors, along with its bolts and bars. 4 Next to them M’remot the son of Uriyah, the son of Hakotz, made repairs. Next to them Meshulam the son of Berekhyah, the son of Mesheizav’el, made repairs. Next to them Tzadok the son of Ba‘ana made repairs. 5 Next to them the men from T’koa made repairs; but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.
6 Yoyada the son of Paseach and Meshulam the son of B’sodyah made repairs to the Old City Gate; they installed its timber framework and set up its doors, along with its bolts and bars. 7 Next to them M’latyah the Giv‘oni, Yadon the Meronoti and the men from Giv‘on and Mitzpah made repairs; they worked for the people associated with the governor of the territory beyond the [Euphrates] River. 8 Next to them ‘Uzi’el the son of Harhayah, goldsmiths, made repairs.
Next to him Hananyah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs; they renovated Yerushalayim as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Refayah the son of Hur, leader of half the district of Yerushalayim, made repairs. 10 Next to him Y’dayah the son of Harumaf made repairs opposite his own house. Next to him Hatush the son of Hashavn’yah made repairs. 11 Malkiyah the son of Harim and Hashuv the son of Pachat-Mo’av made repairs on another section and on the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shalum the son of HaLochesh, leader of half the district of Yerushalayim, he and his daughters, made repairs.
13 Hanun and the people living in Zanoach repaired the Valley Gate; they rebuilt it and set up its doors, along with its bolts and bars; and they rebuilt 1,500 feet of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate.
14 Malkiyah the son of Rechav, leader of the district of Beit-Hakerem, repaired the Dung Gate; he rebuilt it and set up its doors, along with its bolts and bars.
15 Shalun the son of Kol-Hozeh, leader of the district of Mitzpah, repaired the Fountain Gate; he rebuilt it, covered it and set up its doors, along with its bolts and bars; he also rebuilt the wall of the Pool of Shelach, by the royal garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David. 16 After him Nechemyah the son of Azbuk, leader of half the district of Beit-Tzur, made repairs from the place opposite the tombs of David as far as the artificial pool and the soldiers’ barracks. 17 After him the L’vi’im made repairs: Rechum the son of Bani; next to him Hashavyah, leader of half the district of Ke‘ilah, made repairs for his district. 18 After him their colleagues, Bavai the son of Henadad, leader of half the district of Ke‘ilah, made repairs. 19 Next to him ‘Ezer the son of Yeshua, leader of Mitzpah, made repairs on another section, opposite the ascent to the armory at the Angle. 20 After him Barukh the son of Zakkai worked diligently making repairs on another section, from the Angle to the door of the house of Elyashiv the cohen hagadol. 21 After him M’remot the son of Uriyah made repairs on another section, from the door of the house of Elyashiv to the end of the house of Elyashiv. 22 After him the cohanim from the plain made repairs. 23 After them Binyamin and Hashuv made repairs opposite their house. After them ‘Azaryah the son of Ma‘aseiyah, the son of ‘Ananyah, made repairs next to his house. 24 After him Binui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of ‘Azaryah to the Angle and to the Corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the Angle and the tower that projects out from the upper part of the royal palace near the Courtyard of the Guard.
After him P’dayah the son of Par‘osh made repairs 26 (since the temple servants were living in the ‘Ofel) as far as opposite the Water Gate to the east and the tower that projects out. 27 After him the men from T’koa repaired another section, opposite the great tower that projects out and on to the wall of the ‘Ofel.
28 Above the Horse Gate the cohanim made repairs, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Tzadok the son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. After him Sh’ma‘yah the son of Sh’khanyah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs. 30 After him Hananyah the son of Shelemyah and Hanun the sixth son of Tzalaf made repairs on another section. After him Meshulam the son of Berekhyah made repairs opposite his own room.
31 After him Malkiyah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Mustering Gate and on to the upper room at the corner. 32 Finally, between the upper room at the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs.
33 (4:1) But when Sanvalat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he was furious. Greatly enraged, he ridiculed the Judeans; 34 (4:2) before his kinsmen and the army of Shomron he said, “What are these pathetic Judeans doing? Are they going to rebuild anything they want? Are they going to sacrifice? Are they going to finish today? Are they going to recover useful stones from the piles of rubble, burned rubble at that?” 35 (4:3) Toviyah the ‘Amoni was with him, and he said, “Whatever they’re building, why, if even a fox went up it, he’d knock their stone wall down!”
36 (4:4) Our God, listen! We are being treated with contempt. Turn back their jeers on their own heads; give them over to be plundered in a land of exile. 37 (4:5) Don’t cover their guilt, don’t let their sin be wiped out from before you; because they have insulted the builders to their face.
38 (4:6) So we kept building the wall, which was soon joined together and completed to half its height all the way around; because the people worked with a will.
4:1 (7) But when Sanvalat, Toviyah, the Arabs, the ‘Amonim and the Ashdodim heard that the repairs on the walls of Yerushalayim were going forward, and the breaks were being filled in, they became very angry. 2 (8) All of them together plotted to come and fight against Yerushalayim and thus throw us into confusion. 3 (9) However, we prayed to our God and, because of them, organized a watch against them day and night. 4 (10) Y’hudah was saying, “The strength of the people who carry loads away is starting to fail, and there is so much rubble that we can’t build the wall.” 5 (11) Our enemies were saying, “They won’t know or see anything, until we have already infiltrated them and begun killing them and stopping the work.” 6 (12) And even the Judeans living near them came and must have said to us ten times, “From every place you must come back to us.”
7 (13) So in the lower parts of the space behind the wall, I stationed men according to their families, with their swords, spears and bows. 8 (14) After inspecting them, I stood up and addressed the nobles, leaders and the rest of the people: “Don’t be afraid of them! Remember Adonai, who is great and fearful; and fight for your brothers, sons, daughters, wives and homes.” 9 (15) When our enemies heard that the plot was known to us, and God had foiled their plans, we all returned to the wall, everyone to his work. 10 (16) From then on, half of my men would do the work; and half of them held the spears, shields, bows and armor; while the leaders stood guard behind the entire house of Y’hudah, 11 (17) as they continued building the wall. Those who carried loads held their loads with one hand and carried a weapon in the other. 12 (18) As for the construction-workers, each one had his sword sheathed at his side; that is how they built. The man to sound the alarm on the shofar stayed with me. 13 (19) I said to the nobles, the leaders and the rest of the people, “This is a great work, and it is spread out; we are separated on the wall, one far from another. 14 (20) But wherever you are, when you hear the sound of the shofar, come to that place, to us. Our God will fight for us!”
15 (21) So we kept doing the work. Half of them held spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. 16 (22) Also at that time I told the people, “Let everyone with a servant stay the night within Yerushalayim, so that at night they can be a guard for us, even as they work during the day.” 17 (23) I, my kinsmen, my servants and my bodyguards never took off our clothes, and everyone who went to get water took his weapon.
5:1 Then there arose a great outcry from the common people and their wives against their brothers the [wealthier] Judeans. 2 Some of them said, “Counting our sons and daughters, there are a lot of us! Allow us to get grain for them, so that we can eat and stay alive.” 3 There were also some who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards and homes in order to buy grain, because of the famine.” 4 Yet others said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s taxes against our fields and vineyards. 5 Now our flesh is no different from the flesh of our kinsmen, and our children are the same as their children; yet we are bringing our sons and daughters into bondage as slaves. Some of our daughters have gone into slavery already, and it’s beyond our power to do anything about it, because other men have our fields and vineyards.”
6 When I heard their outcry and the reasons for it, I became very angry. 7 I thought the matter over and then took issue with the nobles and rulers. I charged them, “You are lending against pledges, everyone to his brother”; and I summoned a great assembly to deal with them. 8 I said to them, “We, to the limit of our ability, have redeemed our brothers the Judeans who sold themselves to the pagans. Now you are selling your own brothers, and we will have to buy them back!” They stayed silent; they couldn’t think of anything to say. 9 I also said, “What you are doing is not good! You should be living in fear of our God, so that our pagan enemies won’t have grounds for deriding us. 10 Moreover, my brothers and my servants, I too have loaned them money and grain. Please, let’s stop making it so burdensome to go into debt. 11 Please! Today! Give them back their fields, vineyards, olive groves and homes; also the hundred pieces of silver and the grain, wine and olive oil you demand from them as interest.”
12 They answered, “We will give it back. We will require nothing from them. Yes, we will do it, just as you say.” Then I called the cohanim and took an oath from them that they would do as they had promised. 13 Shaking out the fold in my garment, I said, “May God thus shake every man from his house and from his work who fails to live up to this promise — may he be shaken out like this and made empty.” The whole assembly said, “Amen!” and praised Adonai; and the people did as they had promised.
14 Besides that, from the time I was appointed their governor in the land of Y’hudah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of Artach’shashta the king — that is, for twelve years — neither I nor my colleagues drew on the governor’s living allowance. 15 The earlier governors, before me, had burdened the people, taxing them more than one-and-a-half pounds of silver shekels for food and wine; and even their servants lorded it over the people. But I didn’t, because I feared God. 16 Moreover, I put all my energy into working on this wall. We didn’t buy any land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work.
17 There were 150 leaders and other Judeans who ate at my table, besides those who came to us from the surrounding nations. 18 Every day one ox, six choice sheep, and fowl were prepared for me, and every ten days a supply of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of all this, I never claimed the governor’s allowance, because the people were already bearing the heavy burden of their labor. 19 My God, remember favorably everything I have done for this people!
6:1 When it was reported to Sanvalat, Toviyah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and that not a single gap was left in it — although up to that time I hadn’t yet set up the doors in the gateways — 2 Sanvalat and Geshem sent me a message which said, “Come, let’s meet together in one of the villages of the Ono Valley.” But they were planning to do me harm; 3 so I sent them messengers with this message: “I’m too busy with important work to come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?” 4 They kept sending this sort of message to me — four times — and I answered them the same way.
5 The fifth time, with the same purpose, Sanvalat sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand, 6 in which was written: “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says it too, that you and the Judeans are planning a revolt, that this is why you are rebuilding the wall, and that you intend to be their king,” and similar words; 7 “moreover, that you have also appointed prophets to proclaim about you in Yerushalayim, ‘There is a king in Y’hudah!’ A report along these lines is now going to be made to the king. Come now, therefore, and let’s discuss this.” 8 I sent him this answer; “Nothing like what you are saying is being done. You’re making it all up in your head.” 9 They were all just trying to scare us, thinking, “This will sap their strength and keep them from working.” But now, [God,] increase my strength!
10 One day, when I went to the house of Sh’ma‘yah the son of D’layah, the son of M’heitav’el, where he was confined, he said, “Let’s meet together in the house of God, inside the temple, and let’s shut the doors of the temple. For they are going to come and try to assassinate you; yes, they will come at night to kill you.” 11 I replied, “Should a man like me run away? Can a man like me go into the temple to save his life? I refuse to go in.” 12 Then I realized that God had not sent him, that he was making this prophecy against me, and that Toviyah and Sanvalat had bribed him to say it. 13 He had been hired to frighten me into following his suggestion and thus sin, so that they would have material for their unfavorable report about me and could taunt me with it. 14 My God, remember Toviyah and Sanvalat according to their deeds, also the prophet No‘adyah and the other prophets trying to intimidate me.
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard about it and the surrounding nations became afraid, our enemies’ self-esteem fell severely; because they realized that this work had been accomplished by our God.
17 During this same period of time, the nobles of Y’hudah sent many letters to Toviyah, and Toviyah kept sending them replies. 18 For there were many in Y’hudah who had sworn allegiance to him, because he was the son-in-law of Sh’khanyah the son of Arach, and his son Y’hochanan had taken as his wife the daughter of Meshulam the son of Berekhyah. 19 They would even praise his good deeds in my presence, and they passed on my words to him. And Toviyah kept sending letters to intimidate me.
7:1 After the wall had been rebuilt, and I had set up its doors, and the gatekeepers, singers and L’vi’im had been appointed, 2 I put my kinsman Hanani in charge of Yerushalayim, along with Hananyah the commander of the citadel. For he was a faithful man, and he feared God more than most. 3 I said to them, “The gates of Yerushalayim are not to be opened until the sun is hot; and while the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors; and you, put up the bars. Appoint watchmen from among those living in Yerushalayim; assign each one his time to guard, and have each one serving near his own house.”
4 The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not been rebuilt. 5 My God put it in my heart to assemble the nobles, the leaders and the people, so that they could be registered according to their genealogies. I located the record of the genealogies of those who had come up at the beginning and found written in it:
6 “Here is a list of the people of the province who had been exiled, carried off to Bavel by N’vukhadnetzar king of Bavel, but who later returned from exile and went up to Yerushalayim and Y’hudah, each to his own city; 7 they went with Z’rubavel, Yeshua, Nechemyah, ‘Azaryah, Ra‘amyah, Nachmani, Mordekhai, Bilshan, Misperet, Bigvai, N’chum and Ba‘anah.
“The number of men from the people of Isra’el:
8 descendants of Par‘osh 2,172
9 descendants of Sh’fatyah 372
10 descendants of Arach 652
11 descendants of Pachat-Mo’av,
from the descendants of Yeshua and Yo’av 2,818
12 descendants of ‘Eilam 1,254
13 descendants of Zatu 845
14 descendants of Zakkai 760
15 descendants of Binui 648
16 descendants of B’vai 628
17 descendants of ‘Azgad 2,322
18 descendants of Adonikam 667
19 descendants of Bigvai 2,067
20 descendants of ‘Adin 655
21 descendants of Ater, of Y’chizkiyah 98
22 descendants of Hashum 328
23 descendants of Betzai 324
24 descendants of Harif 112
25 descendants of Giv‘on 95
26 people of Beit-Lechem and N’tofah 188
27 people of ‘Anatot 128
28 people of Beit-‘Azmavet 42
29 people of Kiryat-Ye‘arim, K’firah and Be’erot 743
30 people of Ramah and Geva 621
31 people of Mikhmas 122
32 people of Beit-El and ‘Ai 123
33 people from the other N’vo 52
34 people from the other ‘Eilam 1,254
35 descendants of Harim 320
36 descendants of Yericho 345
37 descendants of Lod, Hadid and Ono 721
38 descendants of S’na’ah 3,930
39 “The cohanim:
descendants of Y’da‘yah, of the house of Yeshua 973
40 descendants of Immer 1,052
41 descendants of Pash’chur 1,247
42 descendants of Harim 1,017
43 “The L’vi’im:
descendants of Yeshua, of Kadmi’el,
of the descendants of Hodvah 74
44 “The singers:
descendants of Asaf 148
45 “The gatekeepers:
descendants of Shalum,
descendants of Ater,
descendants of Talmon,
descendants of ‘Akuv,
descendants of Hatita, and
descendants of Shovai 138
46 “The temple servants:
descendants of Tzicha,
descendants of Hasufa,
descendants of Taba‘ot,
47 descendants of Keros,
descendants of Si‘a,
descendants of Padon,
48 descendants of L’vanah,
descendants of Hagava,
descendants of Salmai,
49 descendants of Hanan,
descendants of Giddel,
descendants of Gachar,
50 descendants of Re’ayah,
descendants of Retzin,
descendants of N’koda,
51 descendants of Gazam,
descendants of ‘Uza,
descendants of Paseach,
52 descendants of Besai,
descendants of Me‘unim,
descendants of N’fish’sim,
53 descendants of Bakbuk,
descendants of Hakufa,
descendants of Harhur,
54 descendants of Batzlit,
descendants of M’chida,
descendants of Harsha,
55 descendants of Barkos,
descendants of Sisra,
descendants of Temach,
56 descendants of N’tziach, and
descendants of Hatifa.
57 “The descendants of Shlomo’s servants:
descendants of Sotai,
descendants of Soferet,
descendants of P’rida,
58 descendants of Ya‘lah,
descendants of Darkon,
descendants of Giddel,
59 descendants of Sh’fatyah,
descendants of Hatil,
descendants of Pokheret-Hatzvayim, and
descendants of Amon.
60 “All the temple servants and the
descendants of Shlomo’s servants numbered 392
61 “The following went up from Tel-Melach, Tel-Harsha, K’ruv, Adon and Immer; but they could not state which fathers’ clan they and their children belonged to, [so it was not clear] whether they were from Isra’el:
62 descendants of D’layah,
descendants of Toviyah, and
descendants of N’koda 642
63 and of the cohanim:
descendants of Havayah,
descendants of Hakotz, and
descendants of Barzillai, who took a wife from the
daughters of Barzillai the Gil‘adi and was named after them.
64 “These tried to locate their geneaolgical records, but they weren’t found. Therefore they were considered defiled and were not allowed to serve as cohanim. 65 The Tirshata told them not to eat any of the especially holy food until a cohen appeared who could consult the urim and tumim.
66 “The entire assembly numbered 42,360, 67 not including their male and female slaves, of whom there were 7,337. They also had 245 male and female singers. 68 Their horses numbered 736; their mules, 245; * 69 their camels, 435; and their donkeys, 6,720.
70 “Some from among the heads of fathers’ clans made contributions for the work. The Tirshata contributed to the treasury a thousand gold darkmonim [twenty-one pounds], fifty basins and 530 tunics for the cohanim. 71 Some of the heads of fathers’ clans gave into the treasury for the work 20,000 gold darkmonim [420 pounds] and 2,200 silver manim [one-and-a-third tons]. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold darkmonim, 2,000 silver manim [about one-and-a-quarter tons] and sixty-seven tunics for the cohanim.
73 “So the cohanim, the L’vi’im, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants and all Isra’el lived in their towns.”
(8:1) When the seventh month arrived, after the people of Isra’el had resettled in their towns,
8:1 all the people gathered with one accord in the open space in front of the Water Gate and asked ‘Ezra the Torah-teacher to bring the scroll of the Torah of Moshe, which Adonai had commanded Isra’el. 2 ‘Ezra the cohen brought the Torah before the assembly, which consisted of men, women and all children old enough to understand. It was the first day of the seventh month. 3 Facing the open space in front of the Water Gate, he read from it to the men, the women and the children who could understand from early morning until noon; and all the people listened attentively to the scroll of the Torah. 4 ‘Ezra the Torah-teacher stood on a wood platform which they had made for the purpose; beside him on his right stood Mattityah, Shema, ‘Anayah, Uriyah, Hilkiyah and Ma‘aseiyah; while on his left were P’dayah, Misha’el, Malkiyah, Hashum, Hashbadanah, Z’kharyah and Meshulam. 5 ‘Ezra opened the scroll where all the people could see him, because he was higher than all the people; when he opened it, all the people rose to their feet. 6 ‘Ezra blessed Adonai, the great God; and all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted up their hands, bowed their heads and fell prostrate before Adonai with their faces to the ground. 7 The L’vi’im Yeshua, Bani, Sherevyah, Yamin, ‘Akuv, Shabtai, Hodiyah, Ma‘aseiyah, K’lita, ‘Azaryah, Yozavad, Hanan and P’layah explained the Torah to the people, while the people remained in their places. 8 They read clearly from the scroll, in the Torah of God, translated it, and enabled them to understand the sense of what was being read.
9 Nechemyah the Tirshata, ‘Ezra the cohen and Torah-teacher and the L’vi’im who taught the people said to all the people, “Today is consecrated to Adonai your God; don’t be mournful, don’t weep.” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the Torah. 10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who can’t provide for themselves; for today is consecrated to our Lord. Don’t be sad, because the joy of Adonai is your strength.” 11 In this way the L’vi’im quieted the people, as they said, “Be quiet, for today is holy; don’t be sad.” 12 Then the people went off to eat, drink, send portions and celebrate; because they had understood the words that had been proclaimed to them.
13 On the second day, the heads of fathers’ clans of all the people assembled with the cohanim and L’vi’im before ‘Ezra the Torah-teacher to study the words of the Torah. 14 They found written in the Torah that Adonai had ordered through Moshe that the people of Isra’el were to live in sukkot during the feast of the seventh month; 15 and that they were to announce and pass the word in all their cities and in Yerushalayim, “Go out to the mountains, and collect branches of olives, wild olives, myrtles, palms, and other leafy trees to make sukkot, as prescribed.” 16 So the people went out, brought them and made sukkot for themselves, each one on the roof of his house, also in their courtyards, in the courtyards of the house of God, in the open space by the Water Gate and in the open space by the Efrayim Gate. 17 The entire community of those who had returned from the exile made sukkot and lived in the sukkot, for the people of Isra’el had not done this since the days of Yeshua the son of Nun. So there was very great joy. 18 Also they read every day, from the first day until the last day, in the scroll of the Torah of God. They kept the feast for seven days; then on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.
9:1 On the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Isra’el, wearing sackcloth and with dirt on them, assembled for a fast. 2 Those descended from Isra’el separated themselves from all foreigners; then they stood up and confessed their own sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3 Standing where they were, they read in the scroll of the Torah of Adonai their God for one-quarter of the day. For another quarter they confessed and prostrated themselves before Adonai their God. 4 On the platform of the L’vi’im stood Yeshua, Bani, Kadmi’el, Sh’vanyah, Buni, Sherevyah, Bani and K’nani; they cried out loudly to Adonai their God. 5 Then the L’vi’im Yeshua, Kadmi’el, Bani, Hashavn’yah, Sherevyah, Hodiyah, Sh’vanyah and P’tachyah said, “Stand up, and bless Adonai your God from everlasting to everlasting; let them say:
“‘Blessed be your glorious name,
exalted above all blessing and praise!
6 “‘You are Adonai, you alone.
You made heaven,
the heaven of heavens, with all their array,
the earth and all the things that are in it,
the seas and all that is in them;
and you preserve them all.
The army of heaven worships you.
7 “‘You are Adonai, the God who chose Avram,
brought him out of Ur-Kasdim
and gave him the name of Avraham.
8 Finding that he was faithful to you,
you made a covenant with him
to give the land of the Kena‘ani,
the Hitti, Emori and P’rizi,
the Y’vusi and the Girgashi,
to give it to his descendants;
and you have done what you promised,
because you are just.
9 “‘You saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt
and heard their cry by the Sea of Suf.
10 You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
against all his servants and the people of the land;
for you knew how arrogantly they treated them;
and you won yourself a name which is yours to this day.
11 You divided the sea ahead of them,
so that they could pass through the sea on dry land;
then you hurled their pursuers into the depths,
like a stone into turbulent waters.
12 “‘In a column of cloud you led them by day,
and by night in a column of fire,
so that they would have light ahead of them
on the way that they were to go.
13 “‘You descended on Mount Sinai
and spoke with them from heaven.
You gave them right rulings and true teachings,
good laws and mitzvot.
14 You revealed to them your holy Shabbat
and gave them mitzvot, laws and the Torah
through Moshe your servant.
15 “‘For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven;
for their thirst you brought forth for them water from the rock.
You ordered them to enter and possess the land
you had sworn with your hand to give them.
16 “‘But they and our ancestors were arrogant;
they stiffened their necks and ignored your mitzvot;
17 they refused to listen and paid no attention
to the wonders you had done among them.
No, they stiffened their necks, and in their rebellion
appointed a leader to return them to their slavery.
But because you are a God of forgiveness,
merciful, full of compassion,
slow to grow angry and full of grace,
you did not abandon them.
18 Even when they cast themselves a metal calf,
saying of it, “This is your god
that brought you up from Egypt,”
and committing other gross provocations;
19 still, you, in your great compassion,
did not abandon them in the desert.
The column of cloud did not leave them by day;
it kept leading them along the way.
By night the column of fire
kept showing them light and the path to take.
20 You also gave your good Spirit to teach them,
did not withhold man from their mouths
and provided them water to quench their thirst.
21 Yes, forty years you sustained them in the desert;
they lacked nothing —
their clothes did not wear out;
their feet did not swell up.
22 “‘You gave them kingdoms and peoples;
you even gave them extra land,
so that they took possession of the land of Sichon,
also the land of the king of Heshbon
and the land of ‘Og king of Bashan.
23 You made their children as numerous
as the countless stars in the sky.
“‘Then you brought them into the land
about which you had said to their fathers
that they should go in and take possession of it.
24 So the children went in and possessed the land,
as you subdued ahead of them
the Kena‘ani living in the land,
and handed them over to them,
along with their kings and the peoples of the land,
for them to do with as they wished.
25 They took fortified cities and fertile land,
possessed houses full of all kinds of good things,
dug-out cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
fruit trees in plenty;
so they ate their fill and grew robust,
luxuriating in your great goodness.
26 “‘Yet they disobeyed and rebelled against you,
throwing your Torah behind their backs.
They killed your prophets for warning them
that they should return to you
and committed other gross provocations.
27 So you handed them over to the power
of their adversaries, who oppressed them.
Yet in the time of their trouble,
when they cried out to you,
you heard from heaven, and in keeping
with your great compassion,
you gave them saviors to save them
from the power of their adversaries.
28 But as soon as they had gotten some relief,
they went back to do evil before you.
So you left them in the power of their enemies,
who came down hard on them.
Yet when they returned and cried out to you,
you heard from heaven many times
and saved them, according to your compassion.
29 You warned them, in order to bring them back
to your Torah; yet they were arrogant.
They paid no attention to your mitzvot,
but sinned against your rulings,
which, if a person does them,
he will have life through them.
However, they stubbornly turned their shoulders,
stiffened their necks and refused to hear.
30 Many years you extended them mercy
and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets;
yet they would not listen.
Therefore you handed them over
to the peoples of the lands.
31 Even so, in your great compassion,
you didn’t completely destroy them;
nor did you abandon them,
for you are a compassionate and merciful God.
32 “‘Now therefore, our God,
great, mighty, fearsome God,
who keeps both covenant and grace:
let not all this suffering seem little to you
that has come on us, our kings, our leaders,
our cohanim, our prophets, our ancestors,
and on all your people,
from the times of the kings of Ashur
until this very day.
33 There is no question that you are just
in all that has come upon us;
for you have treated us fairly.
It is we who have acted wickedly.
34 Our kings, our leaders, our cohanim and ancestors
did not keep your Torah,
pay attention to your mitzvot
or heed the warnings you gave them.
35 Even when they ruled their own kingdom,
even when you prospered them greatly,
in the great, rich land you gave them,
they did not serve you;
nor did they turn from their wicked deeds.
36 “‘So here we are today, slaves.
Yes, in the land you gave our ancestors,
so that they could eat what it produces
and enjoy its good —
here we are in it, slaves!
37 Its rich yield now goes to the kings
you have set over us because of our sins;
they have power over our bodies,
they can do what they please to our livestock,
and we are in great distress!
10:1 (9:38) “‘In view of all this, we are making a binding covenant, putting it in writing and having it sealed by our leaders, our L’vi’im and our cohanim.’”
2 (1) On the sealed document were the names of: Nechemyah the Tirshata the son of Hakhalyah, Tzedekyah, 3 (2) S’rayah, ‘Azaryah, Yirmeyah, 4 (3) Pash’chur, Amaryah, Malkiyah, 5 (4) Hatush, Sh’vanyah, Malukh, 6 (5) Harim, M’remot, ‘Ovadyah, 7 (6) Dani’el, Ginton, Barukh, 8 (7) Meshulam, Aviyah, Miyamin, 9 (8) Ma‘azyah, Bilgai and Sh’ma‘yah. These were the cohanim.
10 (9) The L’vi’im were: Yeshua the son of Azanyah, Binui a descendant of Henadad, Kadmi’el, 11 (10) and their kinsmen Sh’vanyah, Hodiyah, K’lita, P’layah, Hanan, 12 (11) Mikha, Rechov, Hashavyah, 13 (12) Zakur, Sherevyah, Sh’vanyah, 14 (13) Hodiyah, Bani and B’ninu.
15 (14) The leaders of the people: Par‘osh, Pachat-Mo’av, ‘Eilam, Zatu, Bani, 16 (15) Buni, ‘Azgad, B’vai, 17 (16) Adoniyah, Bigvai, ‘Adin, 18 (17) Ater, Hizkiyah, ‘Azur, 19 (18) Hodiyah, Hashum, Betzai, 20 (19) Harif, ‘Anatot, Neivai, 21 (20) Magpi‘ash, Meshulam, Hezir, 22 (21) Mesheizav’el, Tzadok, Yadua, 23 (22) P’latyah, Hanan, ‘Anayah, 24 (23) Hoshea, Hananyah, Hashuv, 25 (24) HaLochesh, Pilcha, Shovek, 26 (25) Rechum, Hashavnah, Ma‘aseiyah, 27 (26) Achiyah, Hanan, ‘Anan, 28 (27) Malukh, Harim and Ba‘anah.
29 (28) The rest of the people, the cohanim, the L’vi’im, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and all who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Torah of God, along with their wives, sons and daughters, everyone capable of knowing and understanding, 30 (29) joined their kinsmen and their leaders in swearing an oath, accompanied by a curse [in case of noncompliance], as follows:
“We will live by God’s Torah, given by Moshe the servant of God, and will perform and obey all the mitzvot, rulings and laws of Adonai our Lord.
31 (30) “We will not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land or take their daughters as wives for our sons.
32 (31) “If the peoples of the lands bring merchandise or food to sell on Shabbat, we will not buy from them on Shabbat or on a holy day.
“We will forego [planting and harvesting our fields] during the seventh year and collecting debts then.
33 (32) “We will impose on ourselves a yearly tax of one-third of a shekel [one-seventh of an ounce of silver] for the service of the house of our God, 34 (33) for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering, for [the offerings] on Shabbat, on Rosh-Hodesh, at the designated times and at other holy times, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Isra’el, and for all the work connected with the house of our God.
35 (34) “We, the cohanim, the L’vi’im and the people, will cast lots in connection with the wood offering, so that it will be brought to the house of our God according to our fathers’ clans, at specified times, year by year, and then be burned on the altar of Adonai our God, as prescribed in the Torah.
36 (35) “Every year we will bring the firstfruits of our land and the firstfruits of all fruit from every kind of tree to the house of Adonai. 37 (36) “We will also bring the firstborn of our sons and of our livestock, as prescribed in the Torah, and the firstborn of our herds and flocks, to the house of our God, to the cohanim ministering in the house of our God.
38 (37) “We will bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every kind of tree, wine and olive oil to the cohanim in the storerooms of the house of our God, along with the tenths from our land for the L’vi’im; since they, the L’vi’im, take the tenths in all the cities where we farm. 39 (38) The cohen the descendant of Aharon is to be with the L’vi’im when the L’vi’im take tenths. The L’vi’im will bring the tenth of the tenth to the house of our God, to the storerooms for supplies. 40 (39) For the people of Isra’el and the descendants of Levi are to bring the contribution of grain, wine and olive oil to the rooms where the equipment for the sanctuary, the ministering cohanim, the gatekeepers and the singers are. We will not abandon the house of our God.”
11:1 The leaders of the people took up residence in Yerushalayim; while the rest of the people cast lots to bring one-tenth of them to live in Yerushalayim the holy city, with the other nine-tenths in the other cities. 2 The people blessed all those who volunteered to live in Yerushalayim.
3 In the cities of Y’hudah, everyone lived on his own property — the people of Isra’el, the cohanim, the L’vi’im, the temple servants and the descendants of Shlomo’s servants. But the leaders of the province lived in Yerushalayim. 4 Some of those living in Yerushalayim were from people of Y’hudah, and others were from people of Binyamin. Those from the people of Y’hudah were: ‘Atayah the son of ‘Uziyah, the son of Z’kharyah, the son of Amaryah, the son of Sh’fatyah, the son of Mahalal’el, from the descendants of Peretz; 5 and Ma‘aseiyah the son of Barukh, the son of Kol-Hozeh, the son of Hazayah, the son of ‘Adayah, the son of Yoyariv, the son of Z’kharyah, who belonged to the family of Shelah. 6 The total number of descendants of Peretz living in Yerushalayim was 468 courageous men.
7 These are the people of Binyamin: Salu the son of Meshulam, the son of Yo‘ed, the son of P’dayah, the son of Kolayah, the son of Ma‘aseiyah, the son of Iti’el, the son of Yesha‘yah. 8 After him: Gabai, Salai; 928 in all. 9 Yo’el the son of Zikhri was their overseer, and Y’hudah the son of Hasnu’ah was second in charge of the city.
10 From the cohanim: Y’da‘yah the son of Yoyariv, Yakhin, 11 S’rayah the son of Hilkiyah, the son of Meshulam, the son of Tzadok, the son of M’rayot, the son of Achituv, the supervisor of the house of God, 12 and their kinsmen who did the work for the house; in all 822; and ‘Adayah the son of Yerocham, the son of P’lalyah, the son of Amtzi, the son of Z’kharyah, the son of Pash’chur, the son of Malkiyah; 13 with his kinsmen, heads of fathers’ clans, 242; and ‘Amash’sai the son of ‘Azar’el, the son of Achzai, the son of Meshillemot, the son of Immer; 14 with his kinsmen, courageous men, 128; their overseer was Zavdi’el the son of HaG’dolim.
15 From the L’vi’im: Sh’ma‘yah the son of Hashuv, the son of ‘Azrikam, the son of Hashavyah, the son of Buni, 16 and Shabtai and Yozavad, from the leaders of the L’vi’im, who were in charge of external affairs for the house of God; 17 and Matanyah the son of Mikha, the son of Zavdi, the son of Asaf, the leader who began the thanksgiving prayer; and Bakbukyah, the second among his kinsmen; and ‘Avda the son of Shamua, the son of Galal, the son of Y’dutun. 18 All the L’vi’im in the holy city numbered 284.
19 The gatekeepers: ‘Akuv, Talmon and their kinsmen, who kept watch at the gates, numbered 172.
20 The rest of Isra’el, [the rest of] the cohanim and [the rest of] the L’vi’im were in all the cities of Y’hudah, each on his own property.
21 The temple servants lived in the ‘Ofel; Tzicha and Gishpa were in charge of the temple servants.
22 The overseer of the L’vi’im in Yerushalayim was ‘Uzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashavyah, the son of Matanyah, the son of Mikha, from the descendants of Asaf the singers; [he was] in charge of the work of the house of God. 23 For they were subject to the king’s orders; and there was a fixed schedule for the singers, assigning them their daily duties. 24 P’tachyah the son of Mesheizav’el, from the descendants of Zerach the son of Y’hudah, was the king’s deputy in all affairs concerning the people.
25 As for the villages and their surrounding fields: some of the people of Y’hudah lived in Kiryat-Arba and its villages, in Divon and its villages, in Y’kabze’el and its villages, 26 in Yeshua, in Moladah, in Beit-Pelet, 27 in Hatzar-Shu‘al and its villages, in Be’er-Sheva and its villages, 28 in Ziklag, in M’khonah and its villages, 29 in ‘Ein-Rimmon, in Tzor‘ah, in Yarmut, 30 Zanoach, Adulam and their villages, in Lakhish and its surrounding fields, and in ‘Azekah and its villages. Thus they occupied the territory from Be’er-Sheva as far as the Hinnom Valley.
31 The people of Binyamin lived from Geva onward, in Mikhmas and ‘Ayah, in Beit-El and its villages, 32 and in ‘Anatot, Nov, ‘Ananyah, 33 Hatzor, Ramah, Gittayim, 34 Hadid, Tzvo‘im, N’valat, 35 Lud, Ono and Gei-Harashim.
36 Of the L’vi’im, some divisions from Y’hudah settled in Binyamin.
12:1 These are the cohanim and L’vi’im who went up with Z’rubavel the son of Sh’alti’el, and Yeshua: S’rayah, Yirmeyah, ‘Ezra, 2 Amaryah, Malukh, Hatush, 3 Sh’khanyah, Rechum, M’remot, 4 ‘Iddo, Gintoi, Achiyah, 5 Miyamin, Ma‘adiyah, Bilgah, 6 Sh’ma‘yah, Yoyariv, Y’da‘yah, 7 Salu, ‘Amok, Hilkiyah and Y’da‘yah. These were the leaders of the cohanim and their kinsmen during the time of Yeshua.
8 The L’vi’im: Yeshua, Binui, Kadmi’el, Sherevyah, Y’hudah and Mattanyah, who was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving, he and his kinsmen, 9 with Bakbukyah and ‘Uni, their kinsmen, singing antiphonally with them in the service.
10 Yeshua was the father of Yoyakim, Yoyakim was the father of Elyashiv, Elyashiv was the father of Yoyada, 11 Yoyada was the father of Yonatan, and Yonatan was the father of Yadua.
12 In the days of Yoyakim these were the cohanim who were heads of fathers’ clans: of S’rayah, M’rayah; of Yirmeyah, Hananyah; 13 of ‘Ezra, Meshulam; of Amaryah, Y’hochanan; 14 of M’likhu, Yonatan; of Sh’vanyah, Yosef; 15 of Harim, ‘Adna; of M’rayot, Helkai; 16 of ‘Iddo, Z’kharyah; of Ginton, Meshulam; 17 of Achiyah, Zikhri; of Minyamin, of Mo‘adyah, Piltai; 18 of Bilgai, Shamua; of Sh’ma‘yah, Y’honatan; 19 of Yoyariv, Matnai; of Y’da‘yah, ‘Uzi; 20 of Salai, Kallai; of ‘Amok, ‘Ever; 21 of Hilkiyah, Hashavyah; and of Y’da‘yah, N’tan’el.
22 As for the L’vi’im, the heads of fathers’ clans in the days of Elyashiv, Yoyada, Yochanan and Yadua were recorded; also the cohanim, up to the reign of Daryavesh the Persian. 23 The descendants of Levi who were heads of fathers’ clans were recorded in the annals until the days of Yochanan the [grand]son of Elyashiv. 24 The chiefs of the L’vi’im were Hashavyah, Sherevyah and Yeshua the son of Kadmi’el, with their kinsmen in an antiphonal choir, to praise and give thanks, in accordance with the order of David the man of God, choir opposite choir.
25 Mattanyah, Bakbukyah, ‘Ovadyah, Meshulam, Talmon and ‘Akuv were the gatekeepers who guarded the supplies kept at the gates. 26 This was in the days of Yoyakim the son of Yeshua, the son of Yotzadak, and in the days of Nechemyah the governor and of ‘Ezra the cohen and Torah-teacher.
27 At the dedication of the wall of Yerushalayim, they sought out the L’vi’im from wherever they had settled to bring them to Yerushalayim and celebrate the dedication with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs accompanied by cymbals, lutes and lyres. 28 The trained singers assembled together from the area around Yerushalayim, the villages of the N’tofati, 29 Beit-Gilgal and the region of Geva and ‘Azmavet; for the singers had built villages for themselves all around Yerushalayim.
30 The cohanim and L’vi’im first purified themselves; then they purified the people, the gates and the wall; 31 and after that I brought the leaders of Y’hudah up onto the wall and appointed two large choirs to give thanks and to walk in procession. One went to the right on the wall toward the Dung Gate. 32 After them went Hosha‘yah and half of the leaders of Y’hudah, 33 together with ‘Azaryah, ‘Ezra, Meshulam, 34 Y’hudah, Binyamin, Sh’ma‘yah and Yirmeyah. 35 With them were some of the sons of the cohanim carrying trumpets, namely, Z’kharyah the son of Yonatan the son of Sh’ma‘yah, the son of Mattanyah, the son of Mikhayah, the son of Zakur, the son of Asaf, 36 and his kinsmen, Sh’ma‘yah, ‘Azar’el, Milalai, Gilalai, Ma‘ai, N’tan’el, Y’hudah and Hanani, who had the musical instruments of David the man of God. ‘Ezra the Torah-teacher led them. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went straight ahead up the steps to the City of David, where the wall goes up, passed above the house of David, and went on to the Water Gate on the east.
38 The other thanksgiving choir, consisting of half the people, walked on the wall to meet them, with myself following. They went above the Tower of the Furnaces to the Broad Wall, 39 above the Efrayim Gate, by the gate to the Old City, to the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hanan’el and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate, and halted at the Prison Gate.
40 Thus stood the two choirs of those giving thanks in the house of God, with myself and half of the leaders with me. 41 The cohanim there included Elyakim, Ma‘aseiyah, Minyamin, Mikhayah, Elyo‘einai, Z’kharyah and Hananyah carrying trumpets; 42 also Ma‘aseiyah, Sh’ma‘yah, El‘azar, ‘Uzi, Y’hochanan, Malkiyah, ‘Eilam and ‘Ezer. The singers sang loudly, directed by Yizrachyah. 43 With joy they offered great sacrifices that day, for God had made them celebrate with great joy. The women and children too rejoiced, so that the celebrating in Yerushalayim could be heard far off.
44 At that time, men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for supplies, contributions, firstfruits and tenths, and to gather into them, from the fields belonging to the cities, the portions prescribed by the Torah for the cohanim and L’vi’im. For Y’hudah rejoiced over the cohanim and L’vi’im who took their position 45 carrying out the duties of their God and the duties of purification, as also did the singers and gatekeepers, in accordance with the order of David and of Shlomo his son. 46 For back in the days of David and Asaf, there had been leaders for those singing the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 So in the days of Z’rubavel and in the days of Nechemyah, all Isra’el gave portions to the singers and gatekeepers as required daily. They set aside a portion for the L’vi’im, who, in turn set aside a portion for the descendants of Aharon.
13:1 It was also at that time, when they were reading in the scroll of Moshe, that it was found written that no ‘Amoni or Mo’avi may ever enter the assembly of God, 2 because they did not supply the people of Isra’el with food and water, but hired Bil‘am against them to put a curse on them — although our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 On hearing the Torah, they separated from Isra’el everyone of mixed ancestry.
4 Also, prior to this, Elyashiv the cohen, who had been put in charge of the storage rooms in the house of our God, and who was related by marriage to Toviyah, 5 had prepared for him a large room where formerly they had stored the grain offerings, frankincense, equipment and the tenths of grain, wine and olive oil ordered to be given to the L’vi’im, singers and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the cohanim.
6 During all this time I wasn’t present in Yerushalayim; because in the thirty-second year of Artach’shashta king of Bavel, I went to see the king; then, after some time had passed, I asked permission from the king 7 and returned to Yerushalayim, where I found out about the terrible thing Elyashiv had done for Toviyah by preparing a room for him in the courtyards of the house of our God. 8 I was so furious that I threw all Toviyah’s household goods out of the room. 9 Then, at my order, they cleansed the rooms; and I brought back the equipment of the house of God, the grain offerings and frankincense.
10 I also learned that the portions for the L’vi’im had not been given to them, so that the L’vi’im and singers who were supposed to be doing the work had deserted, each one to his own farm. 11 I disputed with the leaders, demanding, “Why is the house of God abandoned?” I gathered the L’vi’im together and restored them to their stations; 12 and then all Y’hudah brought the tenth of grain, wine and olive oil to the storerooms. 13 To supervise the storerooms I appointed Shelemyah the cohen, Tzadok the Torah-teacher and, from the L’vi’im, P’dayah; assisting them was Hanan the son of Zakur, the son of Mattanyah; for these were considered reliable. Their duty was to make the distribution to their kinsmen. 14 My God, remember me for this; don’t wipe out my good deeds which I have done for the house of my God and for his service!
15 During this time I saw in Y’hudah some people who were treading winepresses on Shabbat, also bringing in heaps of grain and loading donkeys with it, likewise wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads; and they were bringing them into Yerushalayim on the day of Shabbat. On the day when they were planning to sell the food, I warned them not to. 16 There were also living there people from Tzor who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on Shabbat to the people in Y’hudah and even in Yerushalayim. 17 I disputed with the nobles of Y’hudah, demanding of them, “What is this terrible thing you are doing, profaning the day of Shabbat? 18 Didn’t your ancestors do this, and didn’t our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you are bringing still more fury against Isra’el by profaning Shabbat!” 19 So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat. 20 The merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Yerushalayim once or twice, 21 until I warned them, “Why are you spending the night by the wall? Do it again, and I’ll use force against you!” From then on they stopped coming on Shabbat. 22 Then I ordered the L’vi’im to purify themselves and come and guard the gates, in order to keep the day of Shabbat holy. My God, remember this too for me, and have mercy on me in keeping with the greatness of your grace!
23 Also during this time I saw the Judeans who had married women from Ashdod, ‘Amon and Mo’av; 24 and their children, who spoke half in the language of Ashdod and couldn’t speak in the language the Judeans spoke but only in the language of each people. 25 I disputed with them and cursed them, and I beat some of them up and pulled out their hair. Then I made them swear by God, “You will not give your daughters as wives for their sons or take their daughters as wives for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Wasn’t it by doing these things that Shlomo king of Isra’el sinned? There was no king like him among many nations, and his God loved him, and God made him king over all Isra’el; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. 27 Are we to give in to you and let you continue in this very great evil, breaking faith with our God by marrying foreign women?”
28 One of the sons of Yoyada the son of Elyashiv, the cohen hagadol, had become son-in-law to Sanvalat the Horoni; so I drove him out of my presence. 29 My God, remember them; because they have defiled the office of cohen and the covenant of the cohanim and L’vi’im.
30 Thus I cleansed them of everything foreign, and I had the cohanim and L’vi’im resume their duties, each one in his appointed task. 31 I also made provision for the delivery of wood at stated times, and for the firstfruits. My God, remember me favorably.-------
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