Nehemiah 13Expanded Bible (EXB)
Foreign People Are Sent Away
13 On that day they read aloud the ·Book [scroll] of Moses ·to [L in the ears/hearing of] the people, and they found that it said no Ammonite or Moabite should ever ·be allowed in the meeting to worship [enter the assembly of God; Deut. 23:3–6; C Tobiah’s ancestry, v. 4, was Ammonite; 2:10]. 2 The Ammonites and Moabites had not ·welcomed [L met] the Israelites with ·food [L bread] and water. Instead, they had hired Balaam to put a curse on Israel [Num. 22–24]. (But our God turned the curse into a blessing.) 3 When the people heard this ·teaching [law; instruction; L Torah], they ·separated [excluded; removed] all foreigners [C including people of mixed ancestry] from Israel.
Nehemiah Returns to Jerusalem
4 Before that happened, Eliashib the priest, who was ·in charge of [appointed over] the ·Temple [L house] storerooms, was ·friendly with [or a relative of] Tobiah. 5 Eliashib let Tobiah use one of the large storerooms. Earlier it had been used for ·grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:3], incense, the ·utensils [vessels], and the ·tenth offerings [tithes] of grain, new wine, and olive oil ·that belonged to [commanded/prescribed for] the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers. It had also been used for ·gifts [contributions; offerings] for the priests.
6 I was not in Jerusalem ·when this happened [at that time]. I had gone back to Artaxerxes king of Babylon in the thirty-second year he was king [C 433 bc]. ·Finally [Later; After some time] I asked the king to let me leave. 7 When I returned to Jerusalem, I found out the evil Eliashib had done by letting Tobiah have a room in the ·Temple [L house] courtyard. 8 I was very ·upset [displeased; angry] at this, so I threw all of Tobiah’s ·goods [belongings; possessions] out of the room. 9 I ordered the rooms to be ·purified [cleansed; C ritually], and I brought back the ·utensils [vessels] for God’s ·Temple [L house], the ·grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:3], and the incense.
10 Then I found out the people were not giving the Levites their ·shares [portions]. So the Levites and singers who served had gone back to their ·own farms [fields]. 11 I ·argued with [reprimanded; confronted] the officers, saying, “Why ·haven’t you taken care of [have you neglected/abandoned/forsaken] the ·Temple [L house] of God?” Then I ·gathered [assembled] the Levites and singers and ·put them back at [restored them to] their ·places [posts; stations].
12 All the people of Judah then brought to the storerooms a ·tenth [tithe] of their ·crops [grain], new wine, and olive oil. 13 I ·put [appointed] these men ·in charge of [over] the storerooms: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the ·teacher [scribe], and Pedaiah a Levite. I made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their helper. Everyone knew they were ·honest [reliable; trustworthy]. ·They gave out the portions that went [Their job/responsibility was to distribute] to their ·relatives [colleagues; kinsmen; L brothers].
14 Remember me, my God, for this. Do not ·ignore [forget; wipe/blot out] my ·love [loyal/faithful deeds] for the ·Temple [L house] of my God and its services.
15 In those days I saw people in Judah ·working in the [L treading] winepresses on the Sabbath day. They were bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys. And they were bringing loads of wine, grapes, and figs and other things into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I ·warned [admonished; rebuked] them about selling food on that day. 16 People from the city of Tyre who were living in Jerusalem ·brought in [imported] fish and other ·things [merchandise] and sold them there on the Sabbath day to the people of Judah—in Jerusalem itself! 17 I ·argued with [reprimanded; confronted] the ·important men [nobles] of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing? You are ·ruining [desecrating; profaning] the Sabbath day [Ex. 20:8–11; 31:12–17; Deut. 5:8–10]. 18 ·This is [L Isn’t this…?] just what your ·ancestors [fathers] did. So our God ·did terrible things to us and [brought on us all this trouble/calamity and on] this city. Now you are ·making him even more angry at [bringing even more wrath on] Israel by ·ruining [desecrating; profaning] the Sabbath day.”
19 So I ordered that the ·doors [L gates of Jerusalem] be shut at ·sunset [L dark] before the Sabbath and not be opened until the Sabbath was over. I ·put [L stood] my servants at the gates so no load could come in on the Sabbath. 20 Once or twice traders and ·sellers [merchants] of all kinds of ·goods [merchandise] spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 So I ·warned [admonished; rebuked] them, “Why are you spending the night ·by [in front of] the wall? If you do it again, I will ·force you away [arrest/forcibly remove you; L send a hand on you].” After that, they did not come back on the Sabbath. 22 Then I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the city gates to make sure the Sabbath remained holy.
Remember me, my God, for this. Have ·mercy [compassion] on me because of your ·great [great and steadfast/unfailing] love.
23 In those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 Half their children were speaking the language of Ashdod or some other place, and they couldn’t speak the language of Judah. 25 I ·argued with [reprimanded; confronted] those people, put curses on them, ·hit [beat] some of them, and pulled out their hair. I ·forced them to make a promise [made them vow/swear/take an oath] to God, saying, “Do not ·let your daughters marry the sons of foreigners [give your daughters to their sons], and do not take ·the daughters of foreigners as wives [their daughters] for your sons or yourselves. 26 ·Foreign women [L Was it not things like this that…?] made King Solomon of Israel sin. There was never a king like him in any of the nations. God loved Solomon and made him king over all Israel, but foreign ·women [wives] made even him sin [1 Kin. 11:1–13]. 27 And now ·you are not obedient when [L must we hear how…?] you do this evil thing. You are unfaithful to our God when you ·marry [L give a dwelling to] foreign ·wives [women].”
28 Joiada was the son of Eliashib the high priest. One of Joiada’s sons married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, so I ·sent [drove; banished] him away from ·me [my sight].
29 Remember them, my God, because they ·made the priesthood unclean [defiled the priesthood] and the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] of the priests and Levites.
30 So I ·purified [purged; cleansed] them of everything that was foreign. I ·appointed [assigned] duties for the priests and Levites, giving each man his own ·job [tasks; work; duties]. 31 I also ·made sure wood was brought for the altar [provided for the wood offering] at ·regular [designated; proper] times and that the firstfruits [C of the harvest] were brought.
Remember me, my God; ·be kind to me [for good; with favor].
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