Nehemiah 7–9

1 Once the wall was rebuilt and I had erected the doors, the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites were appointed. 2 Over Jerusalem, I put in charge both my brother Hanani and Hananiah, the palace commander, because each was a faithful man and feared God more than many. 3 I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem should not be opened until the sun is hot. Until guards are posted, the doors should be closed and bolted. Likewise, appoint guards from Jerusalem’s inhabitants—each at his post, across from his own house.”

4 Now the city was large and spacious, yet the people in it were few since there had been no houses built.

5 So my God put an idea in my mind, and I gathered the nobles, the officials, and the people together to conduct a genealogy registration. When I found the book of the genealogical register, it contained the list of those who first came back. I found written in it:

6 These are the people of the province who returned from the captivity of the exiles whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away, but came back to Jerusalem and to Judah, everyone to his city. 7 Those who came with Zerubbabel were Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel was this:

8 The sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two;

9 the sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two;

10 the sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two;

11 the sons of Pahath-Moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen;

12 the sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;

13 the sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five;

14 the sons of Zakkai, seven hundred and sixty;

15 the sons of Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight;

16 the sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight;

17 the sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two;

18 the sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven;

19 the sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven;

20 the sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five;

21 the sons of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight;

22 the sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight;

23 the sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four;

24 the sons of Hariph, one hundred and twelve;

25 the sons of Gibeon, ninety-five.

26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight;

27 the men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight;

28 the men of Beth Azmaveth, forty-two;

29 the men of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three;

30 the men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one;

31 the men of Mikmash, one hundred and twenty-two;

32 the men of Bethel and Ai, one hundred and twenty-three;

33 the men of the other Nebo, fifty-two;

34 the sons of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;

35 the sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty;

36 the sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five;

37 the sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one;

38 the sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39 The priests:

the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three;

40 the sons of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two;

41 the sons of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven;

42 the sons of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.

43 The Levites:

the sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the sons of Hodaviah, seventy-four.

44 The singers:

the sons of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight.

45 The 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, one hundred and thirty-eight.

46 The temple servants:

the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth,

47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon,

48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai,

49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar,

50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda,

51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah,

52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephusim,

53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur,

54 the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha,

55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah,

56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon’s servants:

the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida,

58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel,

59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil,

the sons of Pokereth-Hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.

60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon’s servants were three hundred and ninety-two.

61 These were they who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not show their fathers’ houses nor their lineage—whether they were of Israel:

62 The sons of

Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two.

63 Of the priests:

the sons of

Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai, who married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name.

64 These sought for their fathers’ registration in the genealogical registry, but it was not found. Therefore, they were considered as unclean and removed from the priesthood. 65 The magistrate said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there was an appointed priest with Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole congregation together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 besides their male and female servants, which numbered seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five male and female singers. 68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six; their mules, two hundred and forty-five; 69 their camels, four hundred and thirty-five; the donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

70 Some of the chiefs of the fathers’ households gave to the work. The magistrate gave to the treasury one thousand gold drachmas, fifty basins, and five hundred and thirty priests’ garments. 71 Others of the chiefs of the fathers’ households gave to the treasury for the work twenty thousand gold drachmas and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 What the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand gold drachmas, two thousand silver minas, and sixty-seven priests’ garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel lived in their cities.

When the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.

Chapter 8

1 All the people gathered together as one man in the area in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.

2 On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Law before the congregation of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding. 3 In the area in front of the Water Gate, he read aloud from sunrise until midday to the men, women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

4 Ezra the scribe stood on a raised wood platform, which they had made for the purpose. Beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (because he was above all the people), and, as he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 When Ezra blessed the Lord as the great God, all the people responded “Amen, Amen!” By lifting up their hands as they bowed their heads, they worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

7 Then Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, explained the Law to the people while the people stood in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, with interpretation, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9 Then Nehemiah the magistrate, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were teaching the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Stop mourning and weeping.” (This was because all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law.)

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Hush! Because today is holy you should stop being so sorrowful.”

12 Then all the people went to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to enjoy a great celebration because they had understood the words declared to them.

13 On the second day, the chiefs of the fathers’ households of all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe in order to understand the words of the Law. 14 They found written in the Law where the Lord had commanded by Moses that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, “Go out to the hills and bring olive branches, along with wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches, and other leafy branches to make booths, as it was written.”

16 So the people went out and brought back branches and made themselves booths. Each household did so on its roof, in their yard, on the grounds of the house of God, in the area in front of the Water Gate, or in the area at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 All the congregation who had returned from captivity made booths and lived in them. Not since the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day had the children of Israel done so, and there was a tremendously great feast.

18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly as required.

Chapter 9

1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and sackcloth, and there was dirt on them. 2 The offspring of Israel separated themselves from all the foreigners and then stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 They stood in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day. And for another fourth, they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God. 4 Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani stood up on the stairs of the Levites and cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:

“Stand up and bless the Lord your God forever and ever! Let them bless Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the Lord. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve them all. And the host of heaven worships You.

7 “You are the Lord God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans. You gave him the name Abraham 8 and found his heart faithful before You. And You made a covenant with him to give him the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites—to give it to his seed. Indeed, You have fulfilled Your words because You are righteous.

9 “When You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry by the Red Sea, 10 You enacted signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his servants, and against all the people of his land because You knew how arrogantly they had acted against them. Thus, You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so they might pass through the midst of the sea on dry ground, and cast their pursuers into the deep like a stone into stormy waters. 12 By day You led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to light the way for them to go.

13 “You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them just requirements, true laws, good statutes and commandments. 14 You also revealed to them Your Holy Sabbath and, by the hand of Moses Your servant, set in place for them the precepts, statutes, and laws. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water out of the rock for them for their thirst. You told them to enter in order to possess the land which You had sworn to give them.

16 “But they and our fathers acted proudly and hardened their necks and did not obey Your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of Your wonders that You performed among them. But they hardened their necks and in their rebellion appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in kindness, and did not forsake them.

18 “Even when they had made themselves a molded calf and said, ‘This is your god that brought you out of Egypt,’ and committed terrible provocations, 19 yet You in Your great mercy did not forsake them in the wilderness: The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way they should go. 20 You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing—their clothing did not wear out nor did their feet swell.

22 “You gave them kingdoms and nations, and You divided them as boundaries. They possessed the land of Sihon, which was the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og, the king of Bashan. 23 Their descendants You increased like the stars of heaven, and You brought them into the land, which You had promised to their fathers that they would enter and possess it. 24 So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and You subdued for them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands—with their kings and the peoples of the land—to do with them as they would. 25 They captured unassailable cities and a fertile land. They possessed houses full of all goods, wells dug, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance, so they ate, were filled, and became fat, and they indulged themselves in Your great goodness.

26 “Nevertheless they became disobedient, and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs, and killed Your prophets who had warned them to turn back to You. But they committed terrible provocations. 27 Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who afflicted them. When they cried to You in the time of their affliction, You heard from heaven, and, according to Your abundant mercy, You gave them deliverers who delivered them out of the hand of their enemies. 28 “But after they had rest, they again did evil before You. Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You delivered them according to Your mercies.

29 “You warned them in order to restore them again to Your law, but they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments. They sinned against Your ordinances (which would enable a man to live, if he would do them), stubbornly turning away and becoming belligerent so that they would not hear. 30 For many years You endured them and warned them by Your Spirit in Your prophets, yet they would not listen. Therefore, You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, for the sake of Your abundant mercy, You did not completely destroy them or forsake them. Indeed, You are a gracious and merciful God.

32 “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and mercy, let not all the hardship, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day, that has come on us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and on all Your people seem insignificant to You. 33 You are righteous for everything that has come upon us! You have acted faithfully while we have done wickedly. 34 For our kings, princes, priests, and fathers have failed to keep Your law and did not obey Your commandments and Your warnings even when You confronted them. 35 For whether in their kingdom or in Your abundant goodness (that You gave them) or in the spacious and fertile land (that You set before them), they have neither served You nor turned away from their wicked deeds.

36 “Here we are, slaves today. The land that You gave to our fathers was for eating its fruit and its goodness. Behold, we have become slaves on account of it, 37 because its abundant produce belongs to the kings whom You have set over us due to our sins. They have control over our bodies and over our livestock, as they please. We are in great distress.”

38 So on the basis of all this, we are executing a written agreement that is being sealed by our princes, Levites, and priests.

Acts 3

1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 A man lame from birth was being carried, whom people placed daily at the gate of the temple called Beautiful to ask alms from those who entered the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. 4 Peter, gazing at him with John, said, “Look at us.” 5 So he paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.

6 Then Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 He took him by the right hand and raised him up. Immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened. 8 Jumping up, he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 They knew that it was he who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what happened to him.

11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the entrance that is called Solomon’s Porch, greatly amazed. 12 When Peter saw it, he answered the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Or why do you stare at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 And His name, by faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. And faith which comes through Him has given him perfect health in your presence.

17 “Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold through all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled. 19 Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send the One who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, 21 whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses indeed said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall hear whatever He may say to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly eliminated from the people.’

24 “Indeed, all the prophets since Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your iniquities.”