9 On the twenty-fourth day of this same month the Israelites assembled; they were fasting and wearing sackcloth, their heads covered with dust. 2 Those truly of Israelite descent 1 separated from all the foreigners, 2 standing and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3 3 For one-fourth of the day they stood in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God, and for another fourth they were confessing their sins 4 and worshiping the LORD their God. 4 Then the Levites – Jeshua, Binnui, 5 Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani – stood on the steps and called out loudly 6 to the LORD their God. 5 The Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah – said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God!”
“May you be blessed, O LORD our God, from age to age. 7 May your glorious name 8 be blessed; may it be lifted up above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, 9 along with all their multitude of stars, 10 the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You impart life to them all, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
7 “You are the LORD God who chose Abram and brought him forth from Ur of the Chaldeans. You changed his name to Abraham. 8 When you perceived that his heart was faithful toward you, you established a 11 covenant with him to give his descendants 12 the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites. You have fulfilled your promise, 13 for you are righteous.
9 “You saw the affliction of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cry at the Red Sea. 14 10 You performed awesome signs 15 against Pharaoh, against his servants, and against all the people of his land, for you knew that the Egyptians 16 had acted presumptuously 17 against them. You made for yourself a name that is celebrated to this day. 11 You split the sea before them, and they crossed through 18 the sea on dry ground! But you threw their pursuers 19 into the depths, like a stone into surging 20 waters. 12 You guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and with a pillar of fire by night to illumine for them the path they were to travel.
13 “You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. You provided them with just judgments, true laws, and good statutes and commandments. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath; you issued commandments, statutes, and law to them through 21 Moses your servant. 15 You provided bread from heaven for them in their time of hunger, and you brought forth water from the rock for them in their time of thirst. You told them to enter in order to possess the land that you had sworn 22 to give them.
16 “But they – our ancestors 23 – behaved presumptuously; they rebelled 24 and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. 25 But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. 26 You did not abandon them, 18 even when they made a cast image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up from Egypt,’ or when they committed atrocious 27 blasphemies.
19 “Due to your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. The pillar of cloud did not stop guiding them in the path by day, 28 nor did the pillar of fire stop illuminating for them by night the path on which they should travel. 20 You imparted your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths; you provided water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them. Even in the desert they never lacked anything. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.
22 “You gave them kingdoms and peoples, and you allocated them to every corner of the land. 29 They inherited the land of King Sihon of Heshbon 30 and the land of King Og of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their descendants like the stars of the sky. You brought them to the land you had told their ancestors to enter in order to possess. 24 Their descendants 31 entered and possessed the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites who were the inhabitants of the land. You delivered them into their hand, together with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took possession of houses full of all sorts of good things – wells previously dug, vineyards, olive trees, and fruit trees in abundance. They ate until they were full 32 and grew fat. They enjoyed to the full your great goodness.
26 “Nonetheless they grew disobedient and rebelled against you; they disregarded your law. 33 They killed your prophets who had solemnly admonished them in order to cause them to return to you. They committed atrocious blasphemies. 27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who oppressed them. But in the time of their distress they called to you, and you heard from heaven. In your abundant compassion you provided them with deliverers to rescue them from 34 their adversaries.
28 “Then, when they were at rest again, they went back to doing evil before you. Then you abandoned them to 35 their enemies, and they gained dominion over them. When they again cried out to you, in your compassion you heard from heaven and rescued them time and again. 29 And you solemnly admonished them in order to return them to your law, but they behaved presumptuously and did not obey your commandments. They sinned against your ordinances – those by which an individual, if he obeys them, 36 will live. They boldly turned from you; 37 they rebelled 38 and did not obey. 30 You prolonged your kindness 39 with them for many years, and you solemnly admonished them by your Spirit through your prophets. Still they paid no attention, 40 so you delivered them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 41 31 However, due to your abundant mercy you did not do away with them altogether; you did not abandon them. For you are a merciful and compassionate God.
32 “So now, our God – the great, powerful, and awesome God, who keeps covenant fidelity 42 – do not regard as inconsequential 43 all the hardship that has befallen us – our kings, our leaders, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people – from the days of the kings of Assyria until this very day! 33 You are righteous with regard to all that has happened to us, for you have acted faithfully. 44 It is we who have been in the wrong! 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law. They have not paid attention to your commandments or your testimonies by which you have solemnly admonished them. 35 Even when they were in their kingdom and benefiting from your incredible 45 goodness that you had lavished 46 on them in the spacious and fertile land you had set 47 before them, they did not serve you, nor did they turn from their evil practices.
36 “So today we are slaves! In the very land you gave to our ancestors to eat its fruit and to enjoy 48 its good things – we are slaves! 37 Its abundant produce goes to the kings you have placed over us due to our sins. They rule over our bodies and our livestock as they see fit, 49 and we are in great distress!
38 50 “Because of all of this we are entering into a binding covenant 51 in written form; 52 our leaders, our Levites, and our priests have affixed their names 53 on the sealed document.”
10 On the sealed documents were the following names: 1
Nehemiah the governor, son of Hacaliah, along with Zedekiah,
2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,
4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
8 Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah. These were the priests.
9 The Levites were as follows:
Jeshua 2 son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel.
10 Their colleagues 3 were as follows:
Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,
12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
13 Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.
14 The leaders 4 of the people were as follows:
Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,
15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,
19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,
25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,
27 Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.
28 “Now the rest of the people – the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple attendants, and all those who have separated themselves from the neighboring peoples 5 because of the law of God, along with their wives, their sons, and their daughters, all of whom are able to understand – 29 hereby participate with their colleagues the town leaders 6 and enter into a curse and an oath 7 to adhere to 8 the law of God which was given through Moses the servant of God, and to obey 9 carefully all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, 10 along with his ordinances and his statutes.
30 “We will not give our daughters in marriage to the neighboring peoples, and we will not take their daughters in marriage for our sons. 31 We will not buy 11 on the Sabbath or on a holy day from the neighboring peoples who bring their wares and all kinds of grain to sell on the Sabbath day. We will let the fields lie fallow every seventh year, and we will cancel every loan. 12 32 We accept responsibility for fulfilling 13 the commands to give 14 one third of a shekel each year for the work of the temple 15 of our God, 33 for the loaves of presentation and for the regular grain offerings and regular burnt offerings, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the appointed meetings, for the holy offerings, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the temple of our God.
34 “We – the priests, the Levites, and the people – have cast lots concerning the wood offerings, to bring them to the temple of our God according to our families 16 at the designated times year by year to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as is written in the law. 35 We also accept responsibility for 17 bringing the first fruits of our land and the first fruits of every fruit tree year by year to the temple of the LORD. 36 We also accept responsibility, as is written in the law, for bringing the firstborn of our sons and our cattle and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks to the temple of our God, to the priests who are ministering in the temple of our God. 37 We will also bring the first of our coarse meal, of our contributions, of the fruit of every tree, of new wine, and of olive oil to the priests at the storerooms of the temple of our God, along with a tenth of the produce 18 of our land to the Levites, for the Levites are the ones who collect the tithes in all the cities where we work. 19 38 A priest of Aaron’s line 20 will be with the Levites when the Levites collect the tithes, and the Levites will bring up a tenth of the tithes to the temple of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 39 The Israelites and the Levites will bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil to the storerooms where the utensils of the sanctuary are kept, and where the priests who minister stay, along with the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the temple of our God.”
11 So the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem, 1 while the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten to settle in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine 2 remained in other cities. 2 The people gave their blessing on all the men who volunteered to settle in Jerusalem.
3 These are the provincial leaders 3 who settled in Jerusalem. (While other Israelites, the priests, the Levites, the temple attendants, and the sons of the servants of Solomon settled in the cities of Judah, each on his own property in their cities, 4 some of the descendants of Judah and some of the descendants of Benjamin settled in Jerusalem.)
Of the descendants of Judah:
Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, from the descendants of Perez; 5 and Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Col-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, from the descendants of Shelah. 4 6 The sum total of the descendants of Perez who were settling in Jerusalem was 468 exceptional men.
7 These are the descendants of Benjamin:
Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah, 8 and his followers, 5 Gabbai and Sallai – 928 in all. 9 Joel son of Zicri was the officer in charge of them, and Judah son of Hassenuah was second-in-command over the city.
10 From the priests:
Jedaiah son of Joiarib, Jakin, 11 Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, supervisor in the temple of God, 12 and their colleagues 6 who were carrying out work for the temple – 822; and Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah, 13 and his colleagues who were heads of families 7 – 242; and Amashsai son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14 and his colleagues 8 who were exceptional men – 128. The officer over them was Zabdiel the son of Haggedolim.
15 From the Levites:
Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16 Shabbethai and Jozabad, leaders 9 of the Levites, were in charge of the external work for the temple of God; 17 Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the praise 10 leader who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his colleagues; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18 The sum total of the Levites in the holy city was 284.
19 And the gatekeepers:
Akkub, Talmon and their colleagues who were guarding the gates – 172.
20 And the rest of the Israelites, with the priests and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, each on his own property.
21 The temple attendants were living on Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were over them. 11
22 The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. He was one of Asaph’s descendants who were the singers responsible for the service of the temple of God. 23 For they were under royal orders 12 which determined their activity day by day. 13
24 Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, one of the descendants of Zerah son of Judah, was an adviser to the king 14 in every matter pertaining to the people.
25 As for the settlements with their fields, some of the people of Judah settled in Kiriath Arba and its neighboring villages, 15 in Dibon and its villages, in Jekabzeel and its settlements, 26 in Jeshua, in Moladah, in Beth Pelet, 27 in Hazar Shual, in Beer Sheba and its villages, 28 in Ziklag, in Meconah and its villages, 29 in En Rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam and their settlements, in Lachish and its fields, and in Azekah and its villages. So they were encamped from Beer Sheba to the Valley of Hinnom.
31 Some of the descendants of 16 Benjamin settled in Geba, 17 Micmash, Aija, Bethel 18 and its villages, 32 in Anathoth, Nob, and Ananiah, 33 in Hazor, 19 Ramah, and Gittaim, 34 in Hadid, Zeboim, and Neballat, 35 in Lod, Ono, and 20 the Valley of the Craftsmen. 21 36 Some of the Judean divisions of the Levites settled in Benjamin.