11 The leaders of the people lived in the holy city of Jerusalem. The rest of the population drew lots, and one out of every ten of them came to live in Jerusalem also. The other nine-tenths stayed in their towns.
Living in Jerusalem at this time is not ideal for raising a family. Jerusalem in every way is the target of opposition, both from foreign nations and domestic enemies.
2 So when others decided, on their own, to settle in Jerusalem willingly, the people were grateful, blessing and thanking them.
3 These are the leaders of the provinces who came to live in Jerusalem. (Most of the people of Israel—common folk, priests, Levites, servants in the temple, and those who were descendants of Solomon’s servants—continued to live in their own homes in towns around Judah, 4 though some of the people from Judah and Benjamin decided to settle in Jerusalem.)
From Judah’s tribe: Athaiah, Uzziah’s son—who is the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel—the family line of Perez; 5 Maaseiah, Baruch’s son—who is the son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of a Shilonite. 6 There were 468 descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem, all of them courageous soldiers.
7 From Benjamin’s tribe: Sallu, Meshullam’s son—who is the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah; 8 Gabbai and Sallai followed him. There were 928 men from the tribe of Benjamin. 9 They were led by Joel, Zichri’s son. Judah, Hassenuah’s son, was second in command over the city.
10 From the priests: Jedaiah, Joiarib’s son; Jachin; 11 Seraiah, Hilkiah’s son—the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub (who was supervisor of God’s temple). 12 There were 822 of their relatives who ran the temple. Also Adaiah, Jeroham’s son—the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, 13 and his relatives who were also the heads of families. They numbered 242 men. Amashsai, Azarel’s son—the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14 and their relatives. There were 128 courageous warriors, led by Zabdiel, Haggedolim’s son.
15 From the Levites: Shemaiah, Hasshub’s son—the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16 Shabbethai and Jozabad, the Levite leaders who were responsible for the work being done on the outside of God’s temple; 17 Mattaniah, Mica’s son—the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph. Mattaniah was the worship leader who would lead us in thanksgiving prayers. His assistant was Bakbukiah; also Abda, Shammua’s son—the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18 There were 284 Levites in the holy city of Jerusalem.
19 From the gatekeepers: Akkub, Talmon, and the rest of their relatives who watched over the gates were 172 men. 20 All of the rest of the Israelites, priests, and Levites lived on their family’s land in Judah. 21 The temple servants lived on the hill of Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were their leaders.
22 The leader of the Levites living in Jerusalem was Uzzi, Bani’s son—the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. Uzzi was a descendant of Asaph, who led the singers in worship in the temple. 23 The singers answered directly to Judah’s king before the conquest, and he gave them their responsibilities day to day. 24 Now, Pethahaiah, Meshezabel’s son—a descendant of Zerah, Judah’s son—advised the king in Persia about the concerns the people had in Jerusalem.
25 The returning Israelites lived in Jerusalem’s surrounding cities, near their farms. Some of the descendants of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba and its villages, Dibon and its villages, Jekabzeel and its villages. 26 They also lived in Jeshua, Moladah, Beth-pelet, 27 Hazar-shual, Beersheba and its villages, 28 Ziklag, Meconah and its villages, 29 En-rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam and its towns, Lachish and its farms, Azekah and its villages. Their settlement stretched from Beersheba all the way to the valley of Hinnom, covering the area God had given to Judah and his descendants.
31 The Benjaminites lived in Geba, Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its villages, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, Ono, and in the valley of the craftsmen. 36 Some of the Levites from Judah were sent to live in Benjamin’s settlements.
12 These are the priests and the Levites who returned with Zerubbabel (Shealtiel’s son) and Jeshua the high priest. The priests were Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the leaders of the priests and their relatives during the time of Jeshua. 8 In addition the Levites who returned were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, and Judah; Mattaniah and his brothers were in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9 Their brothers Bakbukiah and Unni stood across from them in worship and led half of the responsive singing. 10 Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim was the father of Eliashib, Eliashib was the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada was the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.
12 During the time of Joiakim’s high priesthood, these were the leaders of the priestly families: from Seraiah’s family—Meraiah; from Jeremiah’s family—Hananiah; 13 from Ezra’s family—Meshullam; from Amariah’s family—Jehohanan; 14 from Malluchi’s family—Jonathan; from Shebaniah’s family—Joseph; 15 from Harim’s family—Adna; from Meraioth’s family—Helkai; 16 from Iddo’s family—Zechariah; from Ginnethon’s family—Meshullam; 17 from Abijah’s family—Zichri; from Miniamin and Moadiah’s families—Piltai; 18 from Bilgah’s family—Shammua; from Shemaiah’s family—Jehonathan; 19 from Joiarib’s family—Mattenai; from Jedaiah’s family—Uzzi; 20 from Sallai’s family—Kallai; from Amok’s family—Eber; 21 from Hilkiah’s family—Hashabiah; from Jedaiah’s family—Nethanel.
22 During the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the Levites were listed by the heads of their families when Darius of Persia reigned; the practice was the same for the priests. 23-24 In the book of the chronicles, the Levites who were listed as the heads of families, until the time of Johanan (Eliashib’s son), were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua (Kadmiel’s son). Their brothers stood across from them in worship and led the other half of the responsive singing following the instructions of David, the man of God. 25 The gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms inside the gate were Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub. 26 These men fulfilled their responsibilities during the time of Joiakim (Jeshua’s son and Jozadak’s grandson), and in the time of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest and scribe.
14 So then, my beloved friends, run from idolatry in any form. 15 As wise as I know you are, understand clearly what I am saying and determine the right course of action. 16 When we give thanks and share the cup of blessing, are we not sharing in the blood of the Anointed One? When we give thanks and break bread, are we not sharing in His body? 17 Because there is one bread, we, though many, are also one body since we all share one bread. 18 Look no further than Israel and the temple practices, and you’ll see what I mean. Isn’t it true that those who eat sacrificial foods are communing at the altar, sharing its benefits? 19 So what does all this mean? I’m not suggesting that idol food itself has any special qualities or that an idol itself possesses any special powers, 20 but I am saying that the outsiders’ sacrifices are actually offered to demons, not to God. So if you feast upon this food, you are feasting with demons—I don’t want you involved with demons! 21 You can’t hold the holy cup of the Lord in one hand and the cup of demons in the other. You can’t share in the Lord’s table while picking off the altar of demons. 22 Are we trying to provoke the Lord Jesus? Do we think it’s a good idea to stir up His jealousy? Do we have ridiculous delusions about matching or even surpassing His power?
23 There’s a slogan often quoted on matters like this: “All things are permitted.” Yes, but not all things are beneficial. “All things are permitted,” they say. Yes, but not all things build up and strengthen others in the body. 24 We should stop looking out for our own interests and instead focus on the people living and breathing around us. 25 Feel free to eat any meat sold in the market without your conscience raising questions about scruples 26 because “the earth and all that’s upon it belong to the Lord.”[a]
Paul’s instruction on this matter is clear: believers should give up their rights and freedoms for the sake of others. This is the essence of sacrifice. This is what Jesus did. This is what Paul does. Otherwise, community becomes impossible. But no state or church authority should force compliance; it must arise from a heart of love and a disposition that puts the needs of others first.
27 So if some unbelievers invite you to dinner and you want to go, feel free to eat whatever they offer you without raising questions about conscience. 28-29 But if someone says, “This is meat from the temple altar, a sacrifice to god so-and-so,” then do not eat it. Not so much because of your own conscience [because the earth and everything on it belongs to the Lord],[b] but out of consideration for the conscience of the other fellow who told you about it. So you ask, “Why should I give up my freedom to accommodate the scruples of another?” 30 or, “If I am eating with gratitude to God, why am I insulted for eating food that I have properly given thanks for?” These are good questions.
31 Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God! 32 Do not offend Jews or Greeks or any part of the church of God for that matter. 33 Consider my example: I strive to please all people in all my actions and words—but don’t think I am in this for myself—their rescued souls are the only profit.
11 Gather around, children, listen to what I’m saying;
I will teach you how to revere the Eternal.
12 If you love life
and want to live a good, long time,
13 Take care with the things you say.
Don’t lie or spread gossip or talk about improper things.
14 Walk away from the evil things of the world,
and always seek peace and pursue it.
15 For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
16 But He will punish evildoers,
and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
17 When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries
and rescues them from all of their troubles.
18 When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close
and revives him in his pain.
19 Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous—
they may often seem overwhelmed—
but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them.
20 He will protect all of their bones;
not even one bone will be broken.
21 Evil moves in and ultimately murders the wicked;
the enemies of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Eternal will liberate His servants;
those who seek refuge in Him will never be condemned.
14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a present offered privately calms fierce rage.
15 When justice is done, those who are in the right celebrate,
but those who make trouble are terrified.
16 People who wander from the way of wise living
will lie down in the company of corpses.