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22 You gave them nations and peoples, and You gave them every part. For their own they took the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You made their sons as many as the stars of heaven. And You brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to go into and take for their own. 24 So their sons went into the land and took it. You gave them power over the people of the land, the Canaanites. You gave these people into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they would. 25 They took strong cities and a rich land. They took houses full of every good thing. They took wells that had been dug, grape-vines, olive trees, and many fruit trees. So they ate and were filled and became fat. They were glad because You were so good to them.

26 “But they would not obey and they turned against You. They put Your Law behind their backs. They killed the men who tell what will happen who had spoken sharp words to them telling them to return to You. The people spoke very sinful words against You. 27 So You gave them into the hand of those who made it hard for them. But when they cried to You in the time of their trouble, You heard from heaven. And by Your great loving-kindness You sent men to save them from those who made it hard for them. 28 But as soon as they had rest, they sinned against You again. So You left them in the hand of those who hated them, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven. And many times You took them away from trouble because of Your loving-kindness. 29 You spoke sharp words to them to turn them back to Your Law. Yet they acted in pride and did not listen to Your Words, but sinned against Your Laws, by which if a man obeys them he will live. They were strong-willed and made their hearts hard against You, and would not listen. 30 But You did not give up taking care of them for many years. You spoke sharp words to them by Your Spirit through the men who tell what will happen. Yet they would not listen. So You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 But in Your great loving-kindness, You did not make an end of them or leave them for You are a kind and loving God.

32 “So now, our God, the great and powerful God, honored with fear, Who keeps His agreement and loving-kindness, do not let all this trouble look small in Your eyes which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our religious leaders, our men who tell what will happen, our fathers, and on all Your people since the days of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33 Yet You have been right and fair in all that has come upon us. For You have been faithful, but we have sinned. 34 Our kings, leaders, religious leaders, and fathers have not kept Your Law or listened to Your Laws and Your strong words which You have given them. 35 Even when they were in their own nation, with all the good things You gave them and with the great rich land You gave them, they did not serve You or turn from their sins. 36 See, we are servants today. We are servants in the land You gave to our fathers. You gave it to them so they could eat the fruit and have other good things. 37 The many good things the land gives are used by the kings whom You have put over us because of our sins. They also rule over our bodies and over our cattle as they please. So we are in much trouble.

The People Sign an Agreement

38 “Now because of all this we are making an agreement in writing. And our leaders, our Levites, and our religious leaders have put their mark on it.”

10 Those who put their mark on the agreement are Nehemiah the ruler, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah. These are the religious leaders. The Levites are Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel, 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, and Beninuu. 14 The leaders of the people are 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.

The Agreement That Was Signed

28 The rest of the people, the religious leaders, Levites, gate-keepers, singers, servants in the Lord’s house, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, sons, and daughters, all those who had much learning and understanding, 29 are joining with their brothers, their leaders. They all promise and swear to walk in God’s Law which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and obey all the Words and Laws of God our Lord. 30 We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the people of the land, or take their daughters for our sons. 31 If the people of the land bring grain or things to sell on the Day of Rest, we will not buy from them on the Day of Rest or a holy day. During the seventh year we will not grow food in the fields and will do away with anything that is owed.

32 We also promise to give one-third part of a piece of silver each year for the work of the house of our God. 33 This will be for the holy bread, the grain and burnt gifts that must be given, for gifts on the Days of Rest, the new moon, and the special times, for the holy gifts, and for the sin gifts to pay for the sins of Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.

34 We drew names among the religious leaders, the Levites and the people, by our family groups, for the wood to be brought to the house of our God at certain times each year. It is to be burned on the altar of the Lord our God as it is written in the Law. 35 We promise to bring the first-fruits of our ground and the first-fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the Lord each year. 36 We promise to bring to the house of our God the first-born of our sons, animals, cattle and flocks, as it is written in the Law, for the religious leaders who are working in the house of our God. 37 We will bring the first of our grain, our gifts, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the religious leaders in the rooms of the house of our God. And we will bring a tenth part of what we get from our ground to the Levites. For the Levites are the ones who receive a tenth part from all the farming towns. 38 The religious leader, the son of Aaron, will be with the Levites when they receive a tenth part. And the Levites will bring up a tenth part of all the tenth parts to the rooms of the store-house of the house of our God. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi will bring the gifts of grain, new wine and oil to the store-rooms where the tools of the holy place are kept. The religious leaders who serve, the gate-keepers, and the singers stay here. We will not forget to take care of the house of our God.