1In that day they read in the book of Moses in the ears of the people; and it was found written in it, that the Ammonites and Moabites should not enter into the congregation of God forever;
2because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them: but our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3And it came to pass, when they heard the law, that they were separated, even every alien in Israel.
4And before this time Eliashib the priest dwelt in the treasury of the house of our God, connected with Tobiah;
5and he made himself a great treasury, and there they were formerly in the habit of bestowing the offerings, and the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithe of the corn, and the wine, and the oil, the ordered portion of the Levites, and singers, and porters; and the firstfruits of the priests.
6But in all this time I was not in Jerusalem; for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came to the king, and after a certain time I made my request of the king;
7and I came to Jerusalem, and I understood the mischief which Eliashib had done in the case of Tobiah, in making for him a treasury in the court of the house of God.
8And it appeared very evil to me: so I cast forth all the furniture of the house of Tobiah from the treasury.
9And I gave orders, and they purified the treasuries: and I restored thither the vessels of the house of God, and the offerings, and the frankincense.
10And I understood that the portion of the Levites had not been given: and they had fled every one to his field, the Levites and the singers doing the work.
11And I strove with the commanders, and said, Wherefore has the house of God been abandoned? and I assembled them, and set them in their place.
12And all Judah brought a tithe of the wheat and the wine and the oil into the treasuries,
13to the charge of Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah; for they were accounted faithful: it was their office to distribute to their brethren.
14Remember me, O God, in this, and let not my kindness be forgotten which I have wrought in regard to the house of the Lord God.
15In those days I saw in Judah men treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and carrying sheaves, and loading asses with both wine, and grapes, and figs, and every kind of burden, and bringing them into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day:
16and I testified in the day of their sale. Also there dwelt in it men bringing fish, and selling every kind of merchandise to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem on the Sabbath.
17And I strove with the free children of Judah, and said to them, What is this evil thing which ye do, and profane the Sabbath day?
18Did not your fathers thus, and our God brought upon them and upon us and upon this city all these evils? and do ye bring additional wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath?
19And it came to pass, when the gates were set up in Jerusalem, before the Sabbath, that I spoke, and they shut the gates; and I gave orders that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and I set some of my servants at the gates, that none should bring in burdens on the Sabbath day.
20So all the merchants lodged, and carried on traffic without Jerusalem once or twice.
21Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why do ye lodge in front of the wall? if ye do so again, I will stretch out my hand upon you. From that time they came not on the Sabbath.
22And I told the Levites who were purifying themselves, and came and kept the gates, that they should sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O God, for these things, and spare me according to the abundance of thy mercy.
23And in those days I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
24and their children spoke half in the language of Ashdod, and did not know how to speak in the Jewish language.
25And I strove with them and cursed them; and I smote some of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters to their sons, and ye shall not take of their daughters to your sons.
26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin thus? though there was no king like him among many nations, and he was beloved of God, and God made him king over all Israel; yet strange women turned him aside.
27So we will not hearken to you to do all this evil, to break covenant with our God—to marry strange wives.
28And Eliashib the high priest, one of the sons of Jehoiada, being son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, I chased him away from me.
29Remember them, O God, for their false connection with the priesthood, and the breaking the covenant of the priesthood, and for defiling the Levites.
30So I purged them from all foreign connection, and established courses for the priests and the Levites, every man according to his work.
31And the offering of the wood bearers was at certain set times, and in the times of the firstfruits. Remember me, O our God, for good.