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Return from Exile

(Category 11 of 16)

page 432

The Priests and Levites


1 Now these are the apriests and the Levites who came up with bZerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: cSeraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
2 Amariah, 1Malluch, Hattush,
3 1Shechaniah, 2Rehum, 3Meremoth,
4 Iddo, 1Ginnethoi, aAbijah,
5 1Mijamin, 2Maadiah, Bilgah,
6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
7 1Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the heads of the priests and their brethren in the days of aJeshua.
8 Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah awho led the thanksgiving psalms, he and his brethren.
9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, stood across from them in their duties.

CHAPTER 12 References

1 aEzra 2:1, 2;
7:7 bNeh. 7:7;
Matt. 1:12, 13
cNeh. 10:2–8
2 1Melichu, v.
3 1Shebaniah,
v. 14 2Harim,
v. 15
3Meraioth, v.
4 aLuke 1:5
1Ginnethon, v.
5 1Minjamin,
v. 17 2Moadiah,
v. 17
7 aEzra 3:2;
Hag. 1:1;
Zech. 3:1 1Sallai,
v. 20
8 aNeh. 11:17
12 aNeh. 7:70,
71; 8:13; 11:13
14 1Malluch, v.
2 2Shechaniah,
v. 3
15 1Rehum, v.
3 2Meremoth,
v. 3
17 1Mijamin, v.
5 2Maadiah, v.
20 1Sallu, v. 7
22 a1 Chr. 24:6
23 a1 Chr.
24 aNeh. 11:17
bEzra 3:11
c1 Chr. 23–26
1Lit. watch by
26 aNeh. 8:9
bEzra 7:6, 11
1 Chr. 6:14
27 aDeut. 20:5;
Neh. 7:1; Ps.
30:title b1 Chr.
25:6; 2 Chr.
5:13; 7:6
28 a1 Chr. 9:16
30 aEzra 6:20;
Neh. 13:22, 30

10 Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim begot Eliashib, Eliashib begot Joiada,
11 Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.
12 Now in the days of Joiakim, the priests, the aheads of the fathers’ houses were: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;
13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
14 of 1Melichu, Jonathan; of 2Shebaniah, Joseph;
15 of 1Harim, Adna; of 2Meraioth, Helkai;
16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
17 of Abijah, Zichri; the son of 1Minjamin; of 2Moadiah, Piltai;
18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;
20 of 1Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; and of Jedaiah, Nethanel.
22 During the reign of Darius the Persian, a record was also kept of the Levites and priests who had been aheads of their fathers’ houses in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua.
23 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 achronicles.
24 And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers across from them, to apraise and give thanks, bgroup1 alternating with group, caccording to the command of David the man of God.
25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers keeping the watch at the storerooms of the gates.
26 These lived in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of 1Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah athe governor, and of Ezra the priest, bthe scribe.

Nehemiah Dedicates the Wall

27 Now at athe 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, bboth with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.
28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, from the avillages of the Netophathites,
29 from the house of Gilgal, and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem.
30 Then the priests and Levites apu-

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rified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
31 So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. aOne went to the right hand on the wall btoward the Refuse Gate.
32 After them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah,
33 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah,
35 and some of the priests’ sons awith 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,
36 and his brethren, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with athe musical binstruments of David the man of God. Ezra the scribe went before them.
37 aBy the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went up bthe stairs of the cCity of David, on the stairway of the wall, beyond the house of David, as far as dthe Water Gate eastward.
38 aThe other thanksgiving choir went the opposite way, and I was behind them with half of the people on the wall, going past the bTower of the Ovens as far as cthe Broad Wall,
39 aand above the Gate of Ephraim, above bthe Old Gate, above cthe Fish Gate, dthe Tower of Hananel, the Tower of 1the Hundred, as far as ethe Sheep Gate; and they stopped by fthe Gate of the Prison.
40 So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me;
41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, 1Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;
42 also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers 1sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.
43 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 aafar off.

Temple Responsibilities

44 aAnd at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the btithes, 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 1ministered.
45 Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification,

31 aNeh. 12:38
bNeh. 2:13;
35 aNum. 10:2,
36 a1 Chr. 23:5
b2 Chr. 29:26,
37 aNeh. 2:14;
3:15 bNeh.
3:15 c2 Sam.
5:7–9 dNeh.
3:26; 8:1, 3, 16
38 aNeh. 12:31
bNeh. 3:11
cNeh. 3:8
39 a2 Kin.
14:13; Neh.
8:16 bNeh. 3:6
cNeh. 3:3
dNeh. 3:1
eNeh. 3:32
fJer. 32:2
1Heb. Hammeah
41 1Or Mijamin,
v. 5
42 1Lit. made
their voice to
be heard
43 aEzra 3:13
44 a2 Chr.
31:11, 12;
Neh. 13:5, 12,
13 bNeh.
10:37–39 1Lit.
45 a1 Chr.
25; 26
46 a1 Chr. 25:1;
2 Chr. 29:30
47 aNeh. 11:23
bNum. 18:21,
24 cNum.
18:26 1set

CHAPTER 13 References

1 a[Deut.
31:11, 12];
2 Kin. 23:2;
Neh. 8:3, 8;
9:3; Is. 34:16
bDeut. 23:3, 4
2 aNum. 22:5;
Josh. 24:9, 10
bNum. 23:1;
24:10; Deut.
3 aNeh. 9:2;
4 aNeh. 12:10
bNeh. 2:10;
4:3; 6:1
5 aNeh. 12:44
bNum. 18:21,
6 aNeh.
7 aNeh. 13:1, 5
9 a2 Chr. 29:5,
15, 16
10 aNeh. 10:37;
Mal. 3:8
bNum. 35:2
11 aNeh. 13:17,
25 bNeh. 10:39


aaccording to the command of David and Solomon his son.
46 For in the days of David aand Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47 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 aeach day. bThey also 1consecrated holy things for the Levites, cand the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.

Principles of Separation


1 On that day athey read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written bthat no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God,
2 because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but ahired Balaam against them to curse them. bHowever, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 So it was, when they had heard the Law, athat they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.

The Reforms of Nehemiah

4 Now before this, aEliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of our God, was allied with bTobiah.
5 And he had prepared for him a large room, awhere previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, bwhich were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests.
6 But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, afor 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,
7 and I came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in apreparing a room for him in the courts of the 1house of God.
8 And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.
9 Then I commanded them to acleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
10 I also realized that the portions for the Levites had anot been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to bhis field.
11 So aI contended with the rulers, and said, b“Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their place.

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12 aThen all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.
13 aAnd 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 bfaithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.
14 aRemember 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!
15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses aon the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, bwhich they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
16 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.
17 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?
18 a“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.”
19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it abegan 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. bThen I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of 1wares 2lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I warned them, and said to them, “Why do you spend the night 1around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that

12 aNeh. 10:38;
13 a2 Chr.
31:12 b1 Cor.
14 aNeh. 5:19;
13:22, 31
15 a[Ex. 20:10] bNeh. 10:31;
[Jer. 17:21] 18 aEzra 9:13;
[Jer. 17:21] 19 aLev. 23:32
bJer. 17:21, 22
20 1merchandise
the night
21 1Lit. before
22 a1 Chr.
15:12; Neh.
23 a[Ex. 34:16;
Deut. 7:3, 4];
Ezra 9:2; Neh.
10:30 bNeh.
25 aProv. 28:4
bEzra 10:5;
Neh. 10:29, 30
them cursed
26 a1 Kin. 11:1,
2 b2 Sam.
12:24, 25
c1 Kin. 11:4–8
27 a[Ezra
10:2]; Neh.
28 aNeh. 12:10,
12 bNeh. 4:1,
7; 6:1, 2
29 aNeh. 6:14
bMal. 2:4, 11,
30 aNeh. 10:30
bNeh. 12:1
31 aNeh. 10:34
bNeh. 13:14,

time on they came no more on the Sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that athey 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!
23 In those days I also saw Jews who ahad married women of bAshdod, Ammon, and Moab.
24 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.
25 So I acontended with them and 1cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them bswear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves.
26 a“Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, bwho was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. cNevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.
27 “Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, atransgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?”
28 And one of the sons aof Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of bSanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.
29 aRemember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and bthe covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
30 aThus I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also bassigned duties to the priests and the Levites, each to his service,
31 and to bringing athe wood offering and the firstfruits at appointed times. bRemember me, O my God, for good!

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The End of the Wicked and the Peace of the Godly

To the Chief Musician. A 1Contemplation of David awhen Doeg the Edomite went and btold Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”

1 WHY do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.
2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
3 You love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
4 You love all devouring words, You deceitful tongue.

PSALM 52 References

title a1 Sam.
22:9 bEzek.
22:9 1Heb.
7 1Lit. desire,
in evil sense
8 aJer. 11:16
9 1Or has a
good reputation

5 God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous also shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, saying,
7 “Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his 1wickedness.”

8 But I am alike a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
9 I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it 1is good.




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