The Bible in Its Traditions

Nehemiah 13:1–31

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On that day they read in the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and therein was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God for ever;

Now on that day, they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it, there was found written that the Ammonites and the Moabites must not enter the church of God, even for all time,

ON that day, when the book of the law of Moses was being read in the audience of the people, therein was found written that the Ammonites and the Moabites should never enter the congregation of the LORD for ever,

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because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, to curse them; howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.

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And it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the alien mixture.

Now it happened that, when they had heard the law, they separated every foreigner from Israel.

Now when they had heard the words of the law, they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied unto Tobiah,

And Eliashib, the priest, was over this task; he had been given charge of the treasury of the house of our God, and he was a close relative of Tobiah.

And before this, Eliasbib the priest had come and built there for himself a large court,

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had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meal-offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the 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.

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But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went unto the king, and after certain days asked I leave of the king;

But during all this, I was not in Jerusalem, because in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, the king of Babylon, I went to the king, and at the end of some days, I petitioned the king.

and 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.

And I went to Jerusalem, and I understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, such that he would make him a storeroom in the vestibules of the house of God.

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And it grieved me sore; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.

And it appeared very evil to me: so I cast forth all the furniture of the house of Tobias from the treasury.

And it seemed to me very evil. And I cast the vessels of the house of Tobiah outside of the storeroom.

Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers; and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meal- offerings and the frankincense.

And I gave orders, and they purified the treasuries: and I restored thither the vessels of the house of God, and the offerings, and the frankincense.

And I gave instructions, and they cleansed again the storeroom. And I brought back, into that place, the vessels of the house of God, the sacrifice, and the frankincense.

10  And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

10  And I understood that the portion of the Levites had not been given: and they had fled every one to his field, the Levites and the singers doing the work.

10  And I realized that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, and that each one had fled into his own region, from the Levites, and from the singing men, and from those who were ministering.

11  Then contended I with the rulers, and said: 'Why is the house of God forsaken?' And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

11  And I strove with the commanders, and said, Wherefore has the house of God been abandoned? and I assembled them, and set them in their place.

11  And I brought the case before the magistrates, and I said, “Why have we forsaken the house of God?” And I gathered them together, and I caused them to stand at their stations.

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12  Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

12  And all Juda brought a tithe of the wheat and the wine and the oil into the treasuries,

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13  And 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 office was to distribute unto their brethren.

13  to the charge of Selemia the priest, and Sadoc the scribe, and Phadaea of the Levites: and next to them was Anan the son of Zacchur, son of Matthanias; for they were accounted faithful: it was their office to distribute to their brethren.

13  And we appointed over the storehouses, Shelemiah, the priest, and Zadok, the scribe, and Pedaiah from the Levites, and next to them Hanan, the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah. For they had proven to be faithful. And so the portions of their brothers were entrusted to them.

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14  Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the wards thereof.

14  Remember me, O my God, because of this, and may you not wipe away my acts of compassion, which I have done for the house of my God and for his ceremonies.

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15  In those days saw I in Judah some treading winepresses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of corn, and lading asses therewith; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I forewarned them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

15  In those days I saw in Juda men treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and carrying sheaves, and loading asses with both wine, and grapes, and figs, and every kind of burden, and bringing them into Jerusalem on the sabbath-day

15  In those days, I saw, in Judah, some who were treading the presses on the Sabbath, and who were carrying sheaves, and placing on donkeys burdens of wine, and of grapes, and of figs, and all manner of burdens, and who were bringing these into Jerusalem on the day of the Sabbath. And I contended with them, so that they would sell on a day when it was permitted to sell.

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16  There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

16  and I testified in the day of their sale. Also their dwelt in it men bringing fish, and selling every kind of merchandise to the children of Juda and in Jerusalem on the sabbath.

16  And not to bring fish, neither to sell on the sabbath to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.

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17  Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them: 'What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

17  And I strove with the free children of Juda, and said to them, What is this evil thing which ye do, and profane the sabbath-day?

17  And I put the nobles of Judah under oath, and I said to them: “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day?

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18  Did 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.'

18  Your fathers did likewise, and God brought all this misfortune upon us and upon this city, yet you bring more wrath and anger upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

19  And 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 some of my servants set I over the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

19  Now when the gates of Jerusalem were opened before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath; and I set some of my servants at the gates, that there should be no burden brought in on the sabbath day.

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20  So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

20  So all the merchants lodged, and carried on traffic without Jerusalem once or twice.

20  And so the merchants and those who sold all kinds of items remained just outside of Jerusalem, once and again.

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21  Then I forewarned them, and said unto them: 'Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you.' From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

21  Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why do ye lodge in front of the wall? if ye do so again, I will stretch out my hand upon you. From that time they came not on the sabbath.

21  And I contended with them, and I said to them: “Why are you remaining just beyond the wall? If you do this again, I will send hands upon you.” And so, from that time, they no longer came on the Sabbath.

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22  And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember unto me, O my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Thy mercy.

22  and I told the Levites who were purifying themselves, and came and kept the gates, that they should sanctify the sabbath-day. Remember me, O God, for these things, and spare me according to the abundance of thy mercy.

22  I also spoke to the Levites, so that they would be cleansed, and would arrive to guard the gates and to sanctify the day of the Sabbath. Because of this also, O my God, remember me and spare me, in accord with the multitude of your mercies.

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23  In those days also saw I the Jews that had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab;

23  But also in those days, I saw some Jews taking wives from the Ashdodites, and the Ammonites, and the Moabites.

24  and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.

24  And their sons spoke partly in the speech of Ashdod, and they did not know how to speak the Jewish language, and they were speaking according to the language of one people or another.

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25  And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God: 'Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.

25  And I strove with them and cursed them; and I smote some of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters to their sons, and ye shall not take of their daughters to your sons.

25  And I put them under oath, and I cursed them. And I struck some of their men, and I shaved off their hair, and I made them swear to God that they would not give their daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for their sons, nor for themselves, saying

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26  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless even him did the foreign women cause to sin.

26  “Did not Solomon, king of Israel, sin in this kind of thing? And certainly, among many nations, there was no king similar to him, and he was beloved of his God, and God set him as king over all of Israel. And yet foreign women led even him into sin!

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27  Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to break faith with our God in marrying foreign women?'

27  And this thing was reported to you, and yet you committed this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying foreign wives.

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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 chased him from me.

28  and Elisub the high priest, one of the sons of Joada, being son-in-law of Sanaballat the Uranite, I chased him away from me.

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29  Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.

29  O Lord, my God, remember against those who defile the priesthood and the law of the priests and the Levites!

30  Thus cleansed I them from everything foreign, and appointed wards for the priests and for the Levites, every one in his work;

30  And so I cleansed them from all foreigners, and I established the orders of the priests and the Levites, each one in his ministry.

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31  and for the wood-offering, at times appointed, and for the first-fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

31  And the offering of the wood-bearers was at certain set times, and in the times of the first-fruits. Remember me, O our God, for good.

31  O my God, remember me also, for good, because of the offering of wood, at the appointed times, and because of the first-fruits. Amen.