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Nehemiah 7-8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Exiles Return

When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. I said to them, “Do not open the gates of Jerusalem until the sun is hot, and let the doors be shut and securely fastened while the guards are on duty. Station the citizens of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some at their homes.”

The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and no houses had been built yet. Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles, the officials, and the people to be registered by genealogy. I found the genealogical record of those who came back first, and I found the following written in it:

These are the people of the province who went up among the captive exiles deported by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Each of them returned to Jerusalem and Judah, to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

The number of the Israelite men included[a]

Parosh’s descendants2,172
Shephatiah’s descendants372
10 Arah’s descendants652
11 Pahath-moab’s descendants:
Jeshua’s and Joab’s descendants2,818
12 Elam’s descendants1,254
13 Zattu’s descendants845
14 Zaccai’s descendants760
15 Binnui’s descendants648
16 Bebai’s descendants628
17 Azgad’s descendants2,322
18 Adonikam’s descendants667
19 Bigvai’s descendants2,067
20 Adin’s descendants655
21 Ater’s descendants: of Hezekiah98
22 Hashum’s descendants328
23 Bezai’s descendants324
24 Hariph’s descendants112
25 Gibeon’s[b] descendants95
26 Bethlehem’s and Netophah’s men188
27 Anathoth’s men128
28 Beth-azmaveth’s men42
29 Kiriath-jearim’s, Chephirah’s, and Beeroth’s men743
30 Ramah’s and Geba’s men621
31 Michmas’s men122
32 Bethel’s and Ai’s men123
33 the other Nebo’s men52
34 the other Elam’s people1,254
35 Harim’s people320
36 Jericho’s people345
37 Lod’s, Hadid’s, and Ono’s people721
38 Senaah’s people3,930.

39 The priests included

Jedaiah’s descendants of the house of Jeshua973
40 Immer’s descendants1,052
41 Pashhur’s descendants1,247
42 Harim’s descendants1,017.

43 The Levites included

Jeshua’s descendants: of Kadmiel
Hodevah’s descendants74.

44 The singers included

Asaph’s descendants148.

45 The gatekeepers included

Shallum’s descendants, Ater’s descendants,
Talmon’s descendants, Akkub’s descendants,
Hatita’s descendants, Shobai’s descendants138.

46 The temple servants included

Ziha’s descendants, Hasupha’s descendants,

Tabbaoth’s descendants, 47 Keros’s descendants,

Sia’s descendants, Padon’s descendants,

48 Lebanah’s descendants, Hagabah’s descendants,

Shalmai’s descendants, 49 Hanan’s descendants,

Giddel’s descendants, Gahar’s descendants,

50 Reaiah’s descendants, Rezin’s descendants,

Nekoda’s descendants, 51 Gazzam’s descendants,

Uzza’s descendants, Paseah’s descendants,

52 Besai’s descendants, Meunim’s descendants,

Nephishesim’s[c] descendants, 53 Bakbuk’s descendants,

Hakupha’s descendants, Harhur’s descendants,

54 Bazlith’s descendants, Mehida’s descendants,

Harsha’s descendants, 55 Barkos’s descendants,

Sisera’s descendants, Temah’s descendants,

56 Neziah’s descendants, Hatipha’s descendants.

57 The descendants of Solomon’s servants included

Sotai’s descendants, Sophereth’s descendants,

Perida’s descendants, 58 Jaala’s descendants,

Darkon’s descendants, Giddel’s descendants,

59 Shephatiah’s descendants, Hattil’s descendants,

Pochereth-hazzebaim’s descendants, Amon’s descendants.

60 All the temple servants
and the descendants of Solomon’s servants392.

61 The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but were unable to prove that their ancestral families[d] and their lineage were Israelite:

62 Delaiah’s descendants,
Tobiah’s descendants,
and Nekoda’s descendants642

63 and from the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai—who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and who bore their name. 64 These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood. 65 The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole combined assembly numbered42,360
67 not including their 7,337 male and female servants,
as well as their 245 male and female singers.
68 They had 736 horses, 245 mules,[e]
69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the family heads contributed to the project. The governor gave 1,000 gold coins,[f] 50 bowls, and 530 priestly garments to the treasury. 71 Some of the family heads gave 20,000 gold coins and 2,200 silver minas to the treasury for the project. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold coins, 2,000 silver minas, and 67 priestly garments. 73 The priests, Levites, gatekeepers, temple singers, some of the people, temple servants, and all Israel settled in their towns.

Public Reading of the Law

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,

Public Reading of the Law

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people gathered together at the square in front of the Water Gate. They asked the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses that the Lord had given Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding. While he was facing the square in front of the Water Gate, he read out of it from daybreak until noon before the men, the women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively[g] to the book of the law. The scribe Ezra stood on a high wooden platform made for this purpose. Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah stood beside him on his right; to his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. Ezra opened the book in full view of all the people, since he was elevated above everyone. As he opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and with their hands uplifted all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they knelt low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah, who were Levites,[h] explained the law to the people as they stood in their places. They read out of the book of the law of God, translating and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was read. Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.”[i] 11 And the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, since today is holy. Don’t grieve.” 12 Then all the people began to eat and drink, send portions, and have a great celebration, because they had understood the words that were explained to them.

Festival of Shelters Observed

13 On the second day, the family heads of all the people, along with the priests and Levites, assembled before the scribe Ezra to study the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should dwell in shelters during the festival of the seventh month. 15 So they proclaimed and spread this news throughout their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hill country and bring back branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make shelters, just as it is written.” 16 The people went out, brought back branches, and made shelters for themselves on each of their rooftops and courtyards, the court of the house of God, the square by the Water Gate, and the square by the Ephraim Gate. 17 The whole community that had returned from exile made shelters and lived in them. The Israelites had not celebrated like this from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. And there was tremendous joy. 18 Ezra[j] read out of the book of the law of God every day, from the first day to the last. The Israelites celebrated the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day there was an assembly, according to the ordinance.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:7 Lit the men of the people of Israel
  2. 7:25 = Gibbar’s in Ezr 2:20
  3. 7:52 Alt Hb tradition reads Nephushesim’s
  4. 7:61 Lit the house of their fathers
  5. 7:68 Some Hb mss, LXX; Ezr 2:66; other Hb mss omit v. 68
  6. 7:70 Or drachmas, or darics; also in vv. 71,72
  7. 8:3 Lit The ears of all the people listened
  8. 8:7 Vg, 1 Esdras 9:48; MT reads Pelaiah and the Levites
  9. 8:10 Or stronghold
  10. 8:18 Some Hb mss, Syr read They
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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