Nehemiah 131On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people, and in it was found written that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God forever, 2because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, to curse them. However our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3And it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. 4Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied to Tobiah, 5had prepared for him a great chamber, where formerly they laid the meal offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the heave offerings for the priests. 6But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after certain days I asked leave of the king, 7and I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8And it grieved me greatly. Therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers. And there I brought again the vessels of the house of God, with the meal offerings and the frankincense. 10And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each one to his field. 11Then I contended with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries. 13And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah, and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah. For they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute to their brothers. 14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the observances of it. 15In those days I saw in Judah some men treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys therewith, as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. And I testified against them in the day in which they sold foods. 16There dwelt men of Tyre also in it who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the sabbath to the sons of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I contended with the ranking men of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 19And it came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened till after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates that there should be no burden brought in on the sabbath day. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why do ye lodge outside the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth they came no more on the sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember to me, O my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy loving kindness. 23In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab. 24And their sons spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. 25And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. 26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet there was no king like him among many nations, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless foreign women caused even him to sin. 27Shall we then hearken to you to do all this great evil, to trespass against our God in marrying foreign women? 28And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me. 29Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. 30Thus I cleansed them from all foreigners, and appointed charges for the priests and for the Levites, each one in his work, 31and for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first-fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
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