Nehemiah’s Final Reforms
13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in
the audience of the people; and therein was found written,
that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the
congregation of God for ever;
13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread
and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he
should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a
13:3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that
they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the
oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied
13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where
aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense,
and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine,
and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites,
and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the
13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in
the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon
came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I
leave of the king:
13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil
that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in
the courts of the house of God.
13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the
household stuff to Tobiah out of the chamber.
13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and
thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God,
with the meat offering and the frankincense.
13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had
not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that
did the work, were fled every one to his field.
13:11 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.
13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the
new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.
13:13 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.
13:14 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 offices thereof.
13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine
presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading
asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of
burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath
day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they
13:16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought
fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto
the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
13:17 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?
13:18 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.
13:19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem
began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the
gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be
opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I
at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on
the sabbath day.
13:20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware
lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
13:21 Then I testified against 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
13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse
themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to
sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning
this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy
13:23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives
of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
13:24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod,
and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to
the language of each people.
13:25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote
certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them
swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto
their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for
13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?
yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was
beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel:
nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
13:27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great
evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange
13:28 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.
13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled
the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of
13:30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and
appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every
one in his business;
13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and
for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.