THE BOOK OF
Nehemiah 13 ©
At the reading of the law of God before the people, all mixture with strange nations is separated from Israel, v. 1, etc. While Nehemiah was gone back to the king, several gross trespasses were crept into the church of God, of which he purges the same at his return, purifying the chambers in the house of God, which Eliashib had polluted, 4. Restoring the priests and Levites to their office and maintenance, over which he appoints treasurers, 10, 30. Putting down all profanation of the Sabbath, 15. As also all marriages, made with pagan nations, 23.
ON1 that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was founda written, that the 2Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the 3congregation of God for ever;
Because they met not the children of Israel with 4bread and with water, butb hired Balaam against 5them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all 6the mixed multitude.
¶And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the 7chamber of the house of our God, was 8allied unto Tobiah:
And he had prepared for 9him a 10great 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, 11which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the 12offerings of the priests.
But in 13all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the 14two and thirtieth year of 15Artaxerxes king of 16Babylon came I unto the king, and 17after certain days 18obtained I leave of the king:
And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the 19courts of the house of God.
And it 20grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth 21all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Then I 22commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
¶And I perceived that the 23portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the 24work, were fled every one to his field.
Then 25contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I 26gathered them together, and set them 27in their place.
Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the 28treasuries.
And I made treasurers 29over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and 30next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted 31faithful, and 32their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
33Remember me, O my God, 34concerning this, and wipe not out my 35good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the 36offices thereof.
¶In those days saw I in Judah some 37treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and 38all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I 39testified 40against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
There dwelt 41men of Tyre also 42therein, which brought fish, and 43all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Then I contended with the 44nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profanec the sabbath day?
Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this 45evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye 46bring more 47wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be 48dark before the sabbath, I 49commanded 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.
So the merchants and sellers of 50all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
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 sabbath.
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the 51gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the 52greatness of thy 53mercy.
¶In those days also saw I Jews that had 54married wives of 55Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
And their children spake 56half in the speech of Ashdod, and 57could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of 58each people.
And I contended with them, and 59cursed them, and 60smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, 61Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.62
Didd not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yete 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 outlandishf women cause to sin.
63Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in 64marrying strange wives?
And 65one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to 66Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
67Remember them, O my God, because they have 68defiled the priesthood, and the 69covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
Thus cleansed I them from 70all strangers, and appointed the 71wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;
And for the wood 72offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. 73Remember me, O my God, for good.