Nehemiah 5:14-7:73 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Generosity of Nehemiah
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Ar-ta-xerx′es the king, twelve years, neither I nor my brethren ate the food allowance of the governor. 15 The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens upon the people, and took from them food and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16 I also held to the work on this wall, and acquired no land; and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover there were at my table a hundred and fifty men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations which were about us. 18 Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; fowls likewise were prepared for me, and every ten days skins of wine in abundance; yet with all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the servitude was heavy upon this people. 19 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.
Intrigues of Enemies Foiled
6 Now when it was reported to Sanbal′lat and Tobi′ah and to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 Sanbal′lat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 And they sent to me four times in this way and I answered them in the same manner. 5 In the same way Sanbal′lat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem[a] also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall; and you wish to become their king, according to this report. 7 And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So now come, and let us take counsel together.” 8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” 9 For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen thou my hands.
10 Now when I went into the house of Shemai′ah the son of Delai′ah, son of Mehet′abel, who was shut up, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple; for they are coming to kill you, at night they are coming to kill you.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?[b] I will not go in.” 12 And I understood, and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobi′ah and Sanbal′lat had hired him. 13 For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me an evil name, in order to taunt me. 14 Remember Tobi′ah and Sanbal′lat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess No-adi′ah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.
The Wall Completed
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations round about us were afraid[c] and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobi′ah, and Tobi′ah’s letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecani′ah the son of Arah: and his son Jehoha′nan had taken the daughter of Meshul′lam the son of Berechi′ah as his wife. 19 Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence, and reported my words to him. And Tobi′ah sent letters to make me afraid.
7 Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 I gave my brother Hana′ni and Hanani′ah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. 3 And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they are still standing guard[d] let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, each to his station and each opposite his own house.” 4 The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few and no houses had been built.
Lists of the Returned Exiles
5 Then God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:
6 These were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnez′zar the king of Babylon had carried into exile; they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. 7 They came with Zerub′babel, Jeshua, Nehemi′ah, Azari′ah, Raami′ah, Naham′ani, Mor′decai, Bilshan, Mis′pereth, Big′vai, Nehum, Ba′anah.
The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 the sons of Parosh, two thousand a hundred and seventy-two. 9 The sons of Shephati′ah, three hundred and seventy-two. 10 The sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two. 11 The sons of Pa′hath-mo′ab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Jo′ab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 12 The sons of Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 13 The sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five. 14 The sons of Zac′cai, seven hundred and sixty. 15 The sons of Bin′nui, six hundred and forty-eight. 16 The sons of Be′bai, six hundred and twenty-eight. 17 The sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two. 18 The sons of Adoni′kam, six hundred and sixty-seven. 19 The sons of Big′vai, two thousand and sixty-seven. 20 The sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezeki′ah, ninety-eight. 22 The sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight. 23 The sons of Be′zai, three hundred and twenty-four. 24 The sons of Hariph, a hundred and twelve. 25 The sons of Gibeon, ninety-five. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Neto′phah, a hundred and eighty-eight. 27 The men of An′athoth, a hundred and twenty-eight. 28 The men of Beth-az′maveth, forty-two. 29 The men of Kir′iath-je′arim, Chephi′rah, and Be-er′oth, seven hundred and forty-three. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 31 The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty-two. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred and twenty-three. 33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two. 34 The sons of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 35 The sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 36 The sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one. 38 The sons of Sena′ah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
39 The priests: the sons of Jedai′ah, namely the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 40 The sons of Immer, a thousand and fifty-two. 41 The sons of Pashhur, a thousand two hundred and forty-seven. 42 The sons of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kad′mi-el of the sons of Ho′devah, seventy-four. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, a hundred and forty-eight. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hati′ta, the sons of Sho′bai, a hundred and thirty-eight.
46 The temple servants:[e] the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasu′pha, the sons of Tabba′oth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Si′a, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Leba′na, the sons of Hag′aba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Re-ai′ah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Neko′da, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Pase′ah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Me-u′nim, the sons of Nephush′esim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Haku′pha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehi′da, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sis′era, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Nezi′ah, the sons of Hati′pha.
57 The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of So′tai, the sons of So′phereth, the sons of Peri′da, 58 the sons of Ja′ala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephati′ah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Po′chereth-hazzeba′im, the sons of Amon.
60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon’s servants were three hundred and ninety-two.
61 The following were those who came up from Tel-me′lah, Tel-har′sha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their fathers’ houses nor their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62 the sons of Delai′ah, the sons of Tobi′ah, the sons of Neko′da, six hundred and forty-two. 63 Also, of the priests: the sons of Hobai′ah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzil′lai (who had taken a wife of the daughters of Barzil′lai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean; 65 the governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food, until a priest with Urim and Thummim should arise.
66 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 besides their menservants and maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five singers, male and female. 68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five,[f] 69 their camels four hundred and thirty-five, and their asses six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
70 Now some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments. 71 And some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ garments.
73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns.
Ezra Summons the People to Obey the Law
And when the seventh month had come, the children of Israel were in their towns.
1 Corinthians 8 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Food Offered to Idols
8 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” “Knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if one loves God, one is known by him.
4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through being hitherto accustomed to idols, eat food as really offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
Psalm 33:1-11 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Greatness and Goodness of God
33 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
4 For the word of the Lord is upright;
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord,
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nought;
Proverbs 21:8-10 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
8 The way of the guilty is crooked,