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Nehemiah Does Not Think of Himself

14 Also, in the twelve years after I was chosen to be their ruler in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, I and my brothers did not eat the food allowed to the ruler. 15 The rulers who were before me made the people work very hard. They took bread and wine from them, besides forty pieces of silver. Even their servants ruled over the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God. 16 I also worked on this wall myself, and we did not buy any land. And all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Also, there were 150 Jews and leaders at my table, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 One bull, six of the best sheep, and birds were made ready for me each day. All kinds of wine were brought in every ten days. Yet for all this I did not make them give me the food allowed to me as ruler, because the work was very hard for these people. 19 O my God, remember me for good for all I have done for these people.

Neighbors Do Not Want the Wall Built

It was told to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and to the rest of those who hated us that I had built the wall again. They were told that the wall had no more open places, but I had not yet set up the doors in the gates. So Sanballat and Geshem sent word to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to hurt or kill me. So I sent men with word 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?” They sent word to me four times in this way, and I gave them the same answer. Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same way for a fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is said among the nations, and Gashmu says that you and the Jews are planning to turn against the king. This is why you are building the wall again. It is said that you wish to be their king. You have also chosen men who tell what will happen to speak to the people in Jerusalem about you, saying, ‘A king is in Judah!’ Now this will be told to the king. So come now, let us meet to speak with each other.” Then I sent word to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done. You are making them up in your own mind.” For they all wanted to make us afraid, thinking, “Their hands will become weak and the work will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

10 When I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was at home said, “Let us meet together inside the house of God, and close the doors of the Lord’s house for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you at night.” 11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? And could a man such as I go into the house of God to save his life? I will not go in.” 12 Then I understood that God had not sent him. He had spoken these words against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had paid him to do it. 13 He had been paid to try to make me afraid and to do as he said and sin, so they would have sinful things to say about me and put me to shame. 14 O my God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat by these works of theirs. And remember Noadiah and the rest of the men who tell what will happen who were trying to make me afraid.

The Wall Is Finished

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all those who hated us heard about it, all the nations around us were afraid and troubled. For they saw that this work had been done with the help of our God. 17 In those days the rulers of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were joined by promise to him because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah. And his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam, son of Berechiah. 19 Also they spoke about Tobiah’s good works in front of me, and told my words to him. Then Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.

When the wall was built and I had set up the doors, and the gate-keepers and singers and Levites were chosen, I gave my brother Hanani, and Hanaiah the captain of the strong place, the work of watching over Jerusalem. For he was a faithful man and honored God with fear more than many. I said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while the soldiers are on duty watching the gates, let them shut and lock the doors. Choose soldiers from the people of Jerusalem, each one for the place he is to keep watch, and each in front of his own house.”

The Jews Return to Jerusalem

Now the city was wide and large, but the people in it were few and the houses were not built. Then my God put it into my heart to gather together the rulers, the leaders and the people to have their names written down by families. And I found the book of the family names of those who came up first. This is what I found written in it: These are the people who left the land of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own city. Their families had been taken away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. These people returned with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

The number of the men of Israel: 2,172 sons of Parosh, 372 sons of Shephatiah, 10 652 sons of Arah, 11 2,818 sons of Pahath-moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 12 1,254 sons of Elam, 13 845 sons of Zattu, 14 760 sons of Zaccai, 15 648 sons of Binnui, 16 628 sons of Bebai, 17 2,322 sons of Azgad, 18 667 sons of Adonikam, 19 2,067 sons of Bigvai, 20 655 sons of Adin, 21 98 sons of Ater, of Hezekiah, 22 328 sons of Hashum, 23 324 sons of Bezai, 24 112 sons of Hariph, 25 95 sons of Gibeon, 26 188 sons of Bethlehem and Netophah, 27 128 sons of Anathoth, 28 42 sons of Beth-azmaveth, 29 743 sons of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 30 621 sons of Ramah and Geba, 31 122 sons of Michmas, 32 123 sons of Bethel and Ai, 33 52 sons of the other Nebo, 34 1,254 sons of the other Elam, 35 320 sons of Harim, 36 345 sons of Jericho, 37 721 sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 38 and 3,930 sons of Senaah.

39 The religious leaders: 973 sons of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, 40 1,052 sons of Immer, 41 1,247 sons of Pashhur, 42 1,017 sons of Harim.

43 The Levites: 74 sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodevah. 44 The singers: 148 sons of Asaph. 45 The gate-keepers: 138 sons of Shallum, of Ater, of Talmon, of Akkub, of Hatita, and of Shobai.

46 The servants of the house of God: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, and the sons of Amon. 60 All the servants in the house of God and the sons of Solomon’s servants were 392.

61 Now these were the men who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer. But they were not able to prove their fathers’ houses or that they were children of Israel: 62 642 sons of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda. 63 And the sons of the religious leaders: the sons of Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai, who had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name. 64 These men looked for their names among the names of all the families, but could not find them. So they were thought of as being unclean, and were not allowed to work as religious leaders. 65 And the leader told them that they should not eat from the most holy things until a religious leader learned God’s will by the Urim and Thummin.

66 There were 42,360 people in all, 67 besides the 7,337 men and women servants, and 245 singing men and women. 68 They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some from among the heads of the family groups gave to the work. The ruler gave 1,000 gold pieces, fifty deep dishes, and 530 sets of clothing for the religious leaders. 71 And some of the leaders of family groups gave 20,000 gold pieces and 2,200 silver pieces. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold pieces, 2,000 silver pieces, and 67 sets of clothing for the religious leaders.

73 Now the religious leaders, the Levites, the gate-keepers, the singers, some of the people, the servants in the house of the Lord, and all Israel, lived in their cities.

When the seventh month had come, the sons of Israel were in their cities.