Nehemiah 13:1-31, NLT
Nehemiah’s Various Reforms
1On that same day, as the Book of Moses was being read to the people, the passage was found that said no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be permitted to enter the assembly of God.*13:1 See Deut 23:3-6.
4Before this had happened, Eliashib the priest, who had been appointed as supervisor of the storerooms of the Temple of our God and who was also a relative of Tobiah,
6I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign,*13:6 King Artaxerxes of Persia is here identified as the king of Babylon because Persia had conquered the Babylonian Empire. The thirty-second year of Artaxerxes was 433 b.c. though I later asked his permission to return.
10I also discovered that the Levites had not been given their prescribed portions of food, so they and the singers who were to conduct the worship services had all returned to work their fields.
13I assigned supervisors for the storerooms: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites. And I appointed Hanan son of Zaccur and grandson of Mattaniah as their assistant. These men had an excellent reputation, and it was their job to make honest distributions to their fellow Levites.
14Remember this good deed, O my God, and do not forget all that I have faithfully done for the Temple of my God and its services.
15In those days I saw men of Judah treading out their winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in grain, loading it on donkeys, and bringing their wine, grapes, figs, and all sorts of produce to Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath. So I rebuked them for selling their produce on that day.
17So I confronted the nobles of Judah. “Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way?” I asked.
19Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every Friday evening,*13:19 Hebrew on the day before the Sabbath. not to be opened until the Sabbath ended. I sent some of my own servants to guard the gates so that no merchandise could be brought in on the Sabbath day.
Remember this good deed also, O my God! Have compassion on me according to your great and unfailing love.
23About the same time I realized that some of the men of Judah had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
26“Wasn’t this exactly what led King Solomon of Israel into sin?” I demanded. “There was no king from any nation who could compare to him, and God loved him and made him king over all Israel. But even he was led into sin by his foreign wives.
28One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest had married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, so I banished him from my presence.
29Remember them, O my God, for they have defiled the priesthood and the solemn vows of the priests and Levites.
30So I purged out everything foreign and assigned tasks to the priests and Levites, making certain that each knew his work.
Remember this in my favor, O my God.