Nehemiah 10 The Voice (VOICE)
So moved by the instructions Ezra reads in the book of the law, the Jews cannot help but respond to them. After honoring God with a lavish feast—the Festival of Booths—acknowledging His role in liberating the Hebrews from Egypt and the Jews from Persia, everyone confesses God’s greatness and their own people’s shortcomings. Ezra has reminded them that God is fair; He gives them the law to warn them of and protect them from His judgments. And even when they break that law, He is unendingly merciful and faithful. God always remembers His people, rescues them, and begins fresh relationships with them. It is no wonder that everyone is so eager and joyous to sign a renewed covenant with Him.
10 The covenant was signed and sealed with the following names: Nehemiah (the governor and son of Hacaliah), Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 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 listed were Jeshua (Azaniah’s son), Binnui (one of Henadad’s sons), Kadmiel; 10 also their brothers: Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu. 14 The leaders of the people listed were 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 Everyone else—the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants, and all those who separated themselves from their foreign neighbors in order to obey God’s law, along with all their wives and sons and daughters who are old enough to understand— 29 everyone joins with their leaders and relatives and binds himself with an oath and a curse to carefully observe and obey the way God has placed before us through His servant Moses—with all its commands, rules, and decrees. These are the Eternal Lord’s laws and judgments:
30 Our daughters will not be married to the sons of any of our foreign neighbors. We will not allow our sons to marry their daughters.
31 If any of our foreign neighbors come to sell their goods, their grain, or their produce on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them then or on any holy day.
Every seven years, every Jew everywhere will allow the land to rest for one year. We will not work on it; we will not make it work. We will also cancel all outstanding debts, freeing any Israelite who has become enslaved to a creditor.
32 We are committing to tax ourselves as well. Every year each man will pay eight ounces of silver to care for God’s temple. 33 This tax will pay for bread for the table; for the daily grain and burnt offerings; for offerings made on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and all other yearly feasts; it will pay for the holy offerings and for the sin offerings to cover Israel’s sins. We are obligating ourselves to provide for everything that is necessary for the working of the temple of our God.
34 The priests, the Levites, and the people have drawn lots to decide which ancestral family will be responsible for bringing the wood that burns on the Eternal’s altar in God’s temple. Each family will be appointed times of the year, in every year, to fill this need as the law says it should be done.[a]
35 It is also our responsibility to support the temple workers through our offerings. We will bring to the temple the first part of every crop, grain from the earth and fruit from the tree alike, every year. 36 We will also bring all of our firstborns and give them to the priests working at the temple—our firstborn sons and cattle, our firstborn from our flocks and our herds—as the law of God says.[b] 37-38 We will bring to the priests the best of our coarse meal[c] (which is a sacred contribution), the fruit of our trees, and our new wine and oil—to be placed in the storerooms of our God’s temple instead of used in the sanctuary. One-tenth of our crops will go for the Levites. When the Levites come to our towns to collect our offerings, we will make sure there is also a priest from Aaron’s house with them who will bring the tithes to the house of the Eternal and its storehouse. 39 The Levites and the Israelites must bring the offerings of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the storerooms of the temple where the sacred containers are kept, where the working priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers gather.
We all agree—we will not neglect the temple of our God.
Nehemiah 10 New International Version (NIV)
10 [a]Those who sealed it were:
Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hakaliah.
Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,
4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluk,
5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
8 Maaziah, Bilgai and Shemaiah.
These were the priests.
9 The Levites:
Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,
10 and their associates: Shebaniah,
Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
11 Mika, Rehob, Hashabiah,
12 Zakkur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
13 Hodiah, Bani and Beninu.
14 The leaders of the people:
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 Malluk, Harim and Baanah.
28 “The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— 29 all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.
30 “We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.
31 “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.
32 “We assume the responsibility for carrying out the commands to give a third of a shekel[b] each year for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings[c] to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.
34 “We—the priests, the Levites and the people—have cast lots to determine when each of our families is to bring to the house of our God at set times each year a contribution of wood to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the Law.
35 “We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree.
36 “As it is also written in the Law, we will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there.
37 “Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. 38 A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 39 The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the musicians are also kept.
“We will not neglect the house of our God.”