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14Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen have eaten the governor’s food allowance.15But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God.16I also applied myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy any land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work.17Moreover, there were at my table one hundred and fifty Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us.18Now that which was prepared for each day was one ox and six choice sheep, also birds were prepared for me; and once in ten days all sorts of wine were furnished in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the governor’s food allowance, because the servitude was heavy on this people.19Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
1Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates,2then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me.3So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”4They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.5Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same manner a fifth time with an open letter in his hand.6In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these reports.7“You have also appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you, ‘A king is in Judah!’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these reports. So come now, let us take counsel together.”8Then I sent a message to him saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done, but you are inventing them in your own mind.”9For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
10When I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined at home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.”11But I said, “Should a man like me flee? And could one such as I go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”12Then I perceived that surely God had not sent him, but he uttered his prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.13He was hired for this reason, that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could reproach me.14Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me.
15So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.16When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.17Also in those days many letters went from the nobles of Judah to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them.18For many in Judah were bound by oath to him because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.19Moreover, they were speaking about his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. Then Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.
1Now when the wall was rebuilt and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed,2then I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.3Then I said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot, and while they are standing guard, let them shut and bolt the doors. Also appoint guards from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, each at his post, and each in front of his own house.”4Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few and the houses were not built.
5Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogies. Then I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up first in which I found the following record:
6These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city,7who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.
The number of men of the people of Israel:8the sons of Parosh, 2,172;9the sons of Shephatiah, 372;10the sons of Arah, 652;11the sons of Pahath-moab of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818;12the sons of Elam, 1,254;13the sons of Zattu, 845;14the sons of Zaccai, 760;15the sons of Binnui, 648;16the sons of Bebai, 628;17the sons of Azgad, 2,322;18the sons of Adonikam, 667;19the sons of Bigvai, 2,067;20the sons of Adin, 655;21the sons of Ater, of Hezekiah, 98;22the sons of Hashum, 328;23the sons of Bezai, 324;24the sons of Hariph, 112;25the sons of Gibeon, 95;26the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188;27the men of Anathoth, 128;28the men of Beth-azmaveth, 42;29the men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah and Beeroth, 743;30the men of Ramah and Geba, 621;31the men of Michmas, 122;32the men of Bethel and Ai, 123;33the men of the other Nebo, 52;34the sons of the other Elam, 1,254;35the sons of Harim, 320;36the men of Jericho, 345;37the sons of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 721;38the sons of Senaah, 3,930.
39The priests: the sons of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, 973;40the sons of Immer, 1,052;41the sons of Pashhur, 1,247;42the sons of Harim, 1,017.
43The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodevah, 74.44The singers: the sons of Asaph, 148.45The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, 138.
46The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth,47the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon,48the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai,49the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar,50the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda,51the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah,52the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim,53the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur,54the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha,55the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah,56the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.
57The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida,58the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel,59the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.
60All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon’s servants were 392.
61These were they who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon and Immer; but they could not show their fathers’ houses or their descendants, whether they were of Israel:62the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 642.63Of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai, the Gileadite, and was named after them.64These searched among their ancestral registration, but it could not be located; therefore they were considered unclean and excluded from the priesthood.65The governor said to them that they should not eat from the most holy things until a priest arose with Urim and Thummim.
66The whole assembly together was 42,360,67besides their male and their female servants, of whom there were 7,337; and they had 245 male and female singers.68Their horses were 736; their mules, 245;69their camels, 435; their donkeys, 6,720.
70Some from among the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 gold drachmas, 50 basins, 530 priests’ garments.71Some of the heads of fathers’ households gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,200 silver minas.72That which the rest of the people gave was 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,000 silver minas and 67 priests’ garments.
73Now the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants and all Israel, lived in their cities.
And when the seventh month came, the sons of Israel were in their cities.
1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.5For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
7However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.8But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.10For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?11For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.12And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.13Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
8The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
9It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.