1 On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the ears of the people, and in it was
found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should come into the assembly of God
2 because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam
against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude
4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, being entrusted with the rooms of the house of our
God, being related to Tobiah,
5 had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings,
the frankincense, the utensils, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were
commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for
6 But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes
king of Babylon, I had come to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the
7 and I came to Jerusalem and perceived the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in
preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me exceedingly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out
of the room.
9 Then I commanded them to purify the rooms; and I brought back into them the utensils
of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
10 I also perceived that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of
the Levites and the singers who did the work had fled to his field.
11 So 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.
12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil into the
13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse 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 considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their
14 Remember 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 its services.
15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and
bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens,
which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I admonished them about the
day on which they were selling food.
16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise, and
sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, even in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this
that you do, profaning the Sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us and upon
this city? Yet you bring added wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath!
19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I
commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they not be opened till after the
Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens should be
brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise lodged outside Jerusalem once
21 Then I warned them, and said to them, Why do you spend the night around the wall? If
you do so again, I will lay hands on you! From that time on they came no more on the
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to consecrate the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy.
23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and
24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the Jewish language, but according to the tongue of nation to nation.
25 So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their
hair, and made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons,
nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was
no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel.
Nevertheless foreign women caused even him to sin.
27 Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, acting treacherously against our
God by marrying foreign women?
28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to
Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.
29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the
covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
30 Thus I cleansed them of everything foreign. I also appointed duties to the priests and
the Levites, each to his service,
31 and for the wood offering and the firstfruits at the appointed times. Remember me, O
my God, for good!