Now these are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah,
Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,
Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah.
These were the heads of the priests and their brethren in the days of Jeshua.
Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who led the thanksgiving psalms, he and his brethren.
Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, stood across from them in their duties.
Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim begot Eliashib, Eliashib begot Joiada,
Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.
Now in the days of Joiakim, the priests, the heads of the fathers' houses were: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;
of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
of Melichu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;
of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;
of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
of Abijah, Zichri; the son of Minjamin; of Moadiah, Piltai;
of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;
of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; and of Jedaiah, Nethanel.
During the reign of Darius the Persian, a record was also kept of the Levites and priests who had been heads of their fathers' houses in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua.
The sons of Levi, the heads of the fathers' houses until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib, were written in the book of the chronicles.
And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers across from them, to praise and give thanks, group alternating with group, according to the command of David the man of God.
Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers keeping the watch at the storerooms of the gates.
These lived in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.
And the sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, from the villages of the Netophathites,
from the house of Gilgal, and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem.
Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. One went to the right hand on the wall toward the Refuse Gate.
After them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah,
and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah,
and some of the priests' sons with trumpets--Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph,
and his brethren, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them.
By the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went up the stairs of the City of David, on the stairway of the wall, beyond the house of David, as far as the Water Gate eastward.
The other thanksgiving choir went the opposite way, and I was behind them with half of the people on the wall, going past the Tower of the Ovens as far as the Broad Wall,
and above the Gate of Ephraim, above the Old Gate, above the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate; and they stopped by the Gate of the Prison.
So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me;
and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;
also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.
Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.
And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered.
Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son.
For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things
for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them
for the children of Aaron.
On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God,
because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.
Now before this, Eliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of our God, was allied with Tobiah.
And he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests.
But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the king,
and I came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God.
And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.
Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
I also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field.
So I contended with the rulers, and said, "Why is the house of God forsaken?" And I gathered them together and set them in their place.
Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.
And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.
Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!
In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?
Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath."
So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.
Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
Then I warned them, and said to them, "Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!" From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.
Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!
In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.
So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves.
Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.
Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?"
And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.
Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also assigned duties to the priests and the Levites, each to his service,
and to bringing
the wood offering and the firstfruits at appointed times.
Remember me, O my God, for good!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright � 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established--
that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright � 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.