Nehemiah 12

The Priests and the Levites Who Returned to Jerusalem

These are the priests and Levites who returned
Heb “who went up.”
with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethon,
Most Hebrew MSS read “Ginnethoi”; the present translation follows a number of Hebrew MSS and the Vulgate (cf. Neh 12:16 and NIV, NCV, NLT).
Mijamin, Moadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the leaders
Heb “heads” (so also in v. 12).
of the priests and their colleagues
Heb “brothers” (also in vv. 8, 9, 24, 36).
in the days of Jeshua.

And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who together with his colleagues
Heb “he and his brothers.”
was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.
Bakbukiah and Unni,
The translation reads וְעֻנִּי (veunni) with the Qere rather than וְעֻנּוֹ (veuno) of the MT Kethib.
their colleagues, stood opposite them in the services.

10  Jeshua was the father of
Heb “begat.”
Joiakim, Joiakim was the father of Eliashib, Eliashib was the father of Joiada,
11 Joiada was the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.

12  In the days of Joiakim, these were the priests who were leaders of the families: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 of Malluch,
The present translation reads with the LXX לְמַלּוּךְ (lemallukh) rather than לִמְלוּכִי (limlukhi) of the Kethib (by dittography) or לִמְלִיכוּ (limlikhu) of the Qere.
Jonathan; of Shecaniah,
Most Hebrew MSS read “Shebaniah” (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, CEV); the present translation follows the reading of some Hebrew MSS, some LXX MSS, and the Syriac (cf. Neh 12:3 and NIV, NCV, NLT).
15 of Harim, Adna; of Meremoth,
The present translation reads with the Lucianic Greek recension and the Syriac Peshitta לִמְרֵמוֹת (limremot, cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT “Meremoth”) rather than the MT reading לִמְרָיוֹת (limrayot, cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV, CEV “Meraioth”). Cf. v. 3.
16 of Iddo,
The present translation (along with most English versions) reads with the Qere and the Syriac Peshitta לְעִדּוֹא (leiddo’, “Iddo”) rather than the MT reading לַעֲדָיָא (laadaya’) which probably arose through graphic confusion. Cf. v. 4.
Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
17 of Abijah, Zicri; of Miniamin and
Or “of Miniamin, …; of Moadiah, Piltai,” where the name of the leader of the family of Miniamin has dropped out of the text due to a problem in transmission.
of Moadiah, Piltai;
18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 of Sallu,
The present translation reads סַלּוּ (sallu, cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT “Sallu”) rather than the MT reading סַלַּי (sallai, cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV, CEV “Sallai” ). Cf. v. 7.
Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.

22  As for the Levites,
Some scholars delete these words, regarding them as a later scribal addition to the text.
in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua the heads of families were recorded, as were the priests during the reign of Darius the Persian.
23 The descendants of Levi were recorded in the Book of the Chronicles
Or “the Book of the Annals” (so NRSV); NLT “The Book of History.”
as heads of families up to the days of Johanan son of Eliashib.
24 And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their colleagues, who stood opposite them to offer praise and thanks, one contingent corresponding to the other, as specified by
Heb “in [accord with] the commandment of.”
David the man of God.

25  Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers who were guarding the storerooms at the gates. 26 These all served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priestly scribe.
Heb “the priest, the scribe.”

The Wall of Jerusalem is Dedicated

27  At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, they sought out the Levites from all the places they lived
Heb “from all their places.” The words “they lived” are implied.
to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication joyfully with songs of thanksgiving and songs accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres.
28 The singers
Heb “the sons of the singers.”
were also assembled from the district around Jerusalem and from the settlements of the Netophathites
29 and from Beth Gilgal and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built settlements for themselves around Jerusalem. 30 When the priests and Levites had purified themselves, they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

31  I brought the leaders of Judah up on top of the wall, and I appointed two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed
The translation reads וְהָאַחַת הֹלֶכֶת (vehaakhat holekhet, “and one was proceeding”) rather than the MT reading וְתַהֲלֻכֹת (vetahalukhot, “and processions”).
on the top of the wall southward toward the Dung Gate.
32 Going after them were Hoshaiah, half the leaders of Judah, 33 Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35 some of the priests
Heb “some of the sons of the priests.”
with trumpets, Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph,
36 and his colleagues – Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani – with musical instruments of
Or “prescribed by” (NIV, NLT); TEV “of the kind played by.” The precise relationship of these musical instruments to David is not clear.
David the man of God. (Ezra the scribe led them.)
Heb “was before them.”
37 They went over the Fountain Gate and continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall. They passed the house of David and continued on to the Water Gate toward the east.

38  The second choir was proceeding
The translation reads הוֹלֶכֶת (holekhet, “was proceeding”) rather than the MT הַהוֹלֶכֶת (haholekhet, “the one proceeding”). The MT probably reflects dittography – accidental writing of ה (hey) twice instead of once.
in the opposite direction. I followed them, along with half the people, on top of the wall, past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,
39 over the Ephraim Gate, the Jeshanah Gate,
Or “the Old Gate” (so KJV, NASB, NCV, NRSV).
the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate. They stopped
Heb “they stood.”
at the Gate of the Guard.

40  Then the two choirs that gave thanks took their stations
Heb “stood.”
in the temple of God. I did also, along with half the officials with me,
41 and the priests – Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with their trumpets – 42 and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. The choirs sang loudly
Heb “caused to hear.”
under the direction of Jezrahiah.
43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away.

44  On that day men were appointed over the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits, and tithes, to gather into them from
The translation reads מִשְּׂדֶי (missede, “from the fields”) rather than the MT reading לִשְׂדֵי (lisdey, “to the fields”).
the fields of the cities the portions prescribed by the law for the priests and the Levites, for the people of Judah
Heb “for Judah.” The words “the people of” have been supplied in the translation for clarity, since “Judah” is a proper name as well as a place name.
took delight in the priests and Levites who were ministering.
Heb “standing.”
45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, along with the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commandment of David and
With many medieval Hebrew MSS and the ancient versions the translation reads the conjunction (“and”). It is absent in the Leningrad MS that forms the textual basis for BHS.
his son Solomon.
46 For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors
Heb “heads.” The translation reads with the Qere the plural רֹאשֵׁי (roshey, “heads”) rather than the Kethib singular רֹאשׁ (rosh, “head”) of the MT.
for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanks to God.
47 So in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah, all Israel was contributing the portions for the singers and gatekeepers, according to the daily need.
Heb “a thing of a day in its day.”
They also set aside
Heb “were sanctifying.”
the portion for the Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.

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