Nehemiah’s Final Reforms

13 On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God,(A) because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam(B) to call a curse down on them.(C) (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)(D) When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.(E)

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23 Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married(A) women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.(B) 24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language(C) of Judah. 25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath(D) in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.(E) 26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him.(F) He was loved by his God,(G) and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.(H) 27 Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying(I) foreign women?”

28 One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib(J) the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat(K) the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.

29 Remember(L) them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.(M)

30 So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign,(N) and assigned them duties, each to his own task. 31 I also made provision for contributions of wood(O) at designated times, and for the firstfruits.(P)

Remember(Q) me with favor, my God.

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