Foreigners Excluded1 On that day a they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was found written in it that b no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2 because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but c hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, d our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 So when they heard the law e they excluded f all foreigners from Israel.
Tobiah Expelled and the Temple Cleansed4 Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest g who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being ▼
▼ Lit close torelated to i Tobiah, 5 had prepared a large ▼
▼ Or chamberroom for him, where formerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine and oil k prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the ▼
▼ Lit heave offeringscontributions for the priests. 6 But during all this time I was not in Jerusalem, for in m the thirty-second year of n Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had gone to the king. After some time, however, I asked leave from the king, 7 and I came to Jerusalem and ▼
▼ Or understoodlearned about the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah p by preparing a ▼
▼ Or chamber, and so in vv 8, 9room for him in the courts of the house of God. 8 It was very displeasing to me, so I r threw all of Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9 Then I gave an order and s they cleansed the rooms; and I returned there the utensils of the house of God with the grain offerings and the frankincense.
Tithes Restored10 I also ▼
▼ Or knewdiscovered that u the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had ▼
▼ Lit fledgone away, w each to his own field. 11 So I ▼
▼ Or contended with, y reprimanded the officials and said, z “Why is the house of God forsaken?” Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts. 12 All Judah then brought aa the tithe of the grain, wine and oil into the storehouses. 13 In charge of the storehouses I appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and in addition to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for ab they were considered reliable, and it was ▼
▼ Lit on them totheir task to distribute to their ▼
▼ Lit brotherskinsmen. 14 ae Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out my loyal deeds which I have performed for the house of my God and its services.
Sabbath Restored15 In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses af on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads ag and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So ah I admonished them on the day they sold food. 16 Also men of Tyre were living ▼
▼ Lit in itthere who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem. 17 Then aj I ▼
▼ Or contended withreprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, ▼
▼ Lit andby profaning the sabbath day? 18 am “Did not your fathers do the same, so that our God brought on us and on this city all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.” 19 an It came about that just as it grew dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut ▼
▼ Lit and commandedand that they should not open them until after the sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load would enter on the sabbath day. 20 Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 Then ap I ▼
▼ Lit witnessed againstwarned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will ▼
▼ Lit send a hand againstuse force against you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that as they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also at remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.
Mixed Marriages Forbidden23 In those days I also saw that the Jews had ▼
▼ Lit given dwelling to, av married women from aw Ashdod ax Ammon and Moab. 24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but ▼
▼ Lit according to the tongue of people and peoplethe language of his own people. 25 So az I contended with them and cursed them and ba struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and bb made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 bc “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? bd Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and be he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. 27 ▼
▼ Or Is it reported“Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil bg by acting unfaithfully against our God by ▼
▼ Lit giving dwelling tomarrying foreign women?” 28 Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of bi Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me. 29 bj Remember them, O my God ▼
▼ Lit for the defilings ofbecause they have defiled the priesthood and the bl covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. 30 bm Thus I purified them from everything foreign and appointed duties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task, 31 and I arranged bn for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits. bo Remember me, O my God, for good.
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