1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the ears of the people. And in it was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever,
2 because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them so that he should curse them. But our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 And it happened when they had heard the Law, they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.
4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, who was set over the rooms of the house of our God, and who [was] related to Tobiah.
5 and he had prepared for himself a large room where they had in days of old laid the food offering, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded [to be given] to the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests.
6 But in all this [time] I was not at Jerusalem. For in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon, I came to the king. And after some days I was given permission to leave the king.
7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil which Eliashib did for Tobiah in preparing him a room in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me very much. And I threw all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the room.
9 Then I commanded, and they purified the rooms. And I brought there again the vessels of the house of God, with the food offering and the frankincense.
10 And I saw that the portions of the Levites had not been given [to them]; for the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each one to his field.
11 And I contended with the rulers and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together and set them in their place.
12 And all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil into 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 to their brothers.
14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds which I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices of it.
15 In those days I saw in Judah [some] treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading asses and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I testified [against them] in the day in which they sold food.
16 And men of Tyre lived in it, who brought fish and all kinds of goods, and sold on the Sabbath to the sons of Judah and in Jerusalem.
17 And I contended with the nobles of Judah and said to them, What evil thing [is] this that you do, and defile the Sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us and upon this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by defiling the Sabbath.
19 And it happened when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I set [some] of my servants at the gates, so that there should be no burden brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 And the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods stayed the night outside Jerusalem once or twice.
21 And I testified against them, and said to them, Why do you stay around the wall? If you do [so] again, I will lay hands on you. From that time on they did not come 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 Your mercy.
23 In those days I also saw Jews who lived with women [from] Ashdod, Ammon, [and] from Moab.
24 And their sons spoke half Ashdod's speech, and there was no caring to speak Jewish, but according to the language of each people.
25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck [certain] of them, and plucked off their hair. And I made them swear by the name of God, [saying], You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters to your sons, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. But women from other lands caused even him to sin.
27 Shall we then listen to you, to do all this great evil, to sin against our God in living with foreign women?
28 And [one] of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, [was] son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; and 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 So I cleansed them from all strangers, and appointed charges to the priests and the Levites, every one in his business,
31 and for the wood offering, at chosen times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good!