June 7th Nehemiah 9 The people confess their sins
1: Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2: And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3: And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. 4: Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 5: Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6: Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. 7: Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; 8: And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: 9: And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; 10: And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. 11: And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12: Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13: Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 14: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 15: And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16: But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 17: And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. 18: Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; 19: Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. 20: Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21: Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22: Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23: Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24: So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25: And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26: Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27: Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. 28: But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; 29: And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30: Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31: Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. 32: Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. 33: Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly: 34: Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. 35: For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. 36: Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: 37: And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
The peoples covenant
38: And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
1: Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, 2: Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3: Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4: Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5: Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6: Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7: Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8: Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests. 9: And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10: And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11: Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12: Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13: Hodijah, Bani, Beninu. 14: The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, 15: Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16: Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17: Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, 18: Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, 19: Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20: Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21: Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22: Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23: Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, 24: Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, 25: Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26: And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 27: Malluch, Harim, Baanah. 28: And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding; 29: They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes; 30: And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons: 31: And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt. 32: Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 33: For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34: And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law: 35: And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD: 36: Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: 37: And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38: And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39: For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Nehemiah 11 Tithe of people to live in the city
1: And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. 2: And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem. 3: Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants. 4: And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez; 5: And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni. 6: All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men. 7: And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah. 8: And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight. 9: And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city. 10: Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin. 11: Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God. 12: And their brethren that did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah, 13: And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 14: And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men. 15: Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16: And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God. 17: And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18: All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four. 19: Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two. 20: And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance. 21: But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims. 22: The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God. 23: For it was the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day. 24: And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people. 25: And for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjath-arba, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof, 26: And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Beth-phelet, 27: And at Hazar-shual, and at Beer-sheba, and in the villages thereof, 28: And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof, 29: And at En-rimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth, 30: Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beer-sheba unto the valley of Hinnom. 31: The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages, 32: And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33: Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34: Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35: Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. 36: And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
Nehemiah 12 The Priests & Levites
1: Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2: Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3: Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4: Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, 5: Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6: Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jediah, 7: Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua. 8: Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren. 9: Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches. 10: And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada, 11: And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua. 12: And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13: Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14: Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15: Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16: Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17: Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18: Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19: And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20: Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21: Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel. 22: The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian. 23: The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24: And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward. 25: Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates. 26: These were 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.
Nehemiah dedicates the wall
27: And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 28: And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi; 29: Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem. 30: And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall. 31: Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate: 32: And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah, 33: And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, 34: Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35: And certain of the priests' sons with trumpets; namely, 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, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them. 37: And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward. 38: And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall; 39: And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate. 40: So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me: 41: And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42: And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. 43: Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
44: And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited. 45: And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. 46: For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. 47: And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.
Nehemiah 13 Nehemiah makes changes
1: On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; 2: Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3: Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. 4: And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah: 5: And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests. 6: But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king: 7: And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8: And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9: Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. 10: And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. 11: Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12: Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. 13: And I made treasurers over the treasuries, 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 counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. 14: Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof. 15: In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. 16: There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17: Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18: Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 19: And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 20: So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21: Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. 22: And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. 23: In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 24: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. 25: And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. 26: Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. 27: Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? 28: And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. 29: Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. 30: Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; 31: And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
We read today of a great religious revival that effected the whole nation of Israel. The people made a solemn pledge to the Lord of their intension to follow the Lord faithfully. The people offer a tithe for the administration of the nation. The priests and Levites dedicate themselves to the LORD for the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. Then people reach the height of religious experience - they worship the Lord. Then Nehemiah makes changes that will affect everyone. But it all started with fasting and prayer. And sackcloth’s and earth on their heads. Then they confessed their spiritual pollution from heathen people. For three hours they heard the Law and for three hours they confessed their sins and worshipped the LORD. Then they stood before the LORD and blessed the LORD. They recounted their history which did not appear to them to be an academic exercise but rather a living present heritage. This is a very long a well detailed summary of Jewish history. And so the people made a solemn pledge of obedience to the LORD. They promised to keep the commandments and ordinances. Then they all gave willingly to the LORD in the form of a tithe of the people. One in ten went to inhabit the city. The persons were decided by lots. Then the scribe records the names of those chosen. Next a list is given of the priests and Levites. Lastly the wall of Jerusalem which is now completed is dedicated to the LORD. The Joy of the LORD so filled their hearts that it was heard a long way away. Next they discovered that the Law specified those who were not to be allowed to among the company of the LORD’s people so they separated themselves from the wicked. The walls were finished but the Temple was left unfinished, so Nehemiah urged the people to finish the job. He also noticed that the people did not keep the Sabbath day so he urged the leaders to put these matters right. He was also concerned that the people should not be like Solomon who married foreign wives.