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Nehemiah 10-11The Message (MSG)

10 1-8 The sealed document bore these signatures:

Nehemiah the governor, son of Hacaliah,

Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,

Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah.

These were the priests.

9-13 The Levites:

Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,

and their kinsmen: Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.

14-27 The heads of the people:

Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,

Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.

28-30 The rest of the people, priests, Levites, security guards, singers, Temple staff, and all who separated themselves from the foreign neighbors to keep The Revelation of God, together with their wives, sons, daughters—everyone old enough to understand—all joined their noble kinsmen in a binding oath to follow The Revelation of God given through Moses the servant of God, to keep and carry out all the commandments of God our Master, all his decisions and standards. Thus:

We will not marry our daughters to our foreign neighbors nor let our sons marry their daughters.

31 When the foreign neighbors bring goods or grain to sell on the Sabbath we won’t trade with them—not on the Sabbath or any other holy day.

Every seventh year we will leave the land fallow and cancel all debts.

32-33 We accept the responsibility for paying an annual tax of one-third of a shekel (about an eighth ounce) for providing The Temple of our God with

bread for the Table

regular Grain-Offerings

regular Whole-Burnt-Offerings

offerings for the Sabbaths, New Moons, and appointed feasts

Dedication-Offerings

Absolution-Offerings to atone for Israel

maintenance of The Temple of our God.

34 We—priests, Levites, and the people—have cast lots to see when each of our families will bring wood for burning on the Altar of our God, following the yearly schedule set down in The Revelation.

35-36 We take responsibility for delivering annually to The Temple of God the firstfruits of our crops and our orchards, our firstborn sons and cattle, and the firstborn from our herds and flocks for the priests who serve in The Temple of our God—just as it is set down in The Revelation.

37-39 We will bring the best of our grain, of our contributions, of the fruit of every tree, of wine, and of oil to the priests in the storerooms of The Temple of our God.

We will bring the tithes from our fields to the Levites, since the Levites are appointed to collect the tithes in the towns where we work. We’ll see to it that a priest descended from Aaron will supervise the Levites as they collect the tithes and make sure that they take a tenth of the tithes to the treasury in The Temple of our God. We’ll see to it that the People of Israel and Levites bring the grain, wine, and oil to the storage rooms where the vessels of the Sanctuary are kept and where the priests who serve, the security guards, and the choir meet.

We will not neglect The Temple of our God.

11 1-2 The leaders of the people were already living in Jerusalem, so the rest of the people drew lots to get one out of ten to move to Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine remained in their towns. The people applauded those who voluntarily offered to live in Jerusalem.

3-4 These are the leaders in the province who resided in Jerusalem (some Israelites, priests, Levites, Temple staff, and descendants of Solomon’s slaves lived in the towns of Judah on their own property in various towns; others from both Judah and Benjamin lived in Jerusalem):

4-6 From the family of Judah:

Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, from the family line of Perez; Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Col-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite. The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem numbered 468 valiant men.

7-9 From the family of Benjamin:

Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah, and his brothers Gabbai and Sallai: 928 men. Joel son of Zicri was their chief and Judah son of Hassenuah was second in command over the city.

10-14 From the priests:

Jedaiah son of Joiarib; Jakin; Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, supervisor of The Temple of God, along with their associates responsible for work in The Temple: 822 men. Also Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah, and his associates who were heads of families: 242 men; Amashsai son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, and his associates, all valiant men: 128 men. Their commander was Zabdiel son of Haggedolim.

15-18 From the Levites:

Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; Shabbethai and Jozabad, two of the leaders of the Levites who were in charge of the outside work of The Temple of God; Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the director who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his associates; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. The Levites in the holy city totaled 284.

19 From the security guards:

Akkub, Talmon, and their associates who kept watch over the gates: 172 men.

20 The rest of the Israelites, priests, and Levites were in all the towns of Judah, each on his own family property.

21 The Temple staff lived on the hill Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were responsible for them.

22-23 The chief officer over the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. Uzzi was one of Asaph’s descendants, singers who led worship in The Temple of God. The singers got their orders from the king, who drew up their daily schedule.

24 Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, a descendant of Zerah son of Judah, represented the people’s concerns at the royal court.

25-30 Some of the Judeans lived in the villages near their farms:

Kiriath Arba (Hebron) and suburbs
Dibon and suburbs
Jekabzeel and suburbs
Jeshua
Moladah
Beth Pelet
Hazar Shual
Beersheba and suburbs
Ziklag
Meconah and suburbs
En Rimmon
Zorah
Jarmuth
Zanoah
Adullam and their towns
Lachish and its fields
Azekah and suburbs.

They were living all the way from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.

31-36 The Benjaminites from Geba lived in:

Micmash
Aijah
Bethel and its suburbs
Anathoth
Nob and Ananiah
Hazor
Ramah and Gittaim
Hadid, Zeboim, and Neballat
Lod and Ono and the Valley of the Craftsmen. Also some of the Levitical groups of Judah were assigned to Benjamin.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 4:1-22The Message (MSG)

Nothing to Hide

1-4 While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand!

5-7 The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”

8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”

13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?

15-17 They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.”

18-20 They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”

21-22 The religious leaders renewed their threats, but then released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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