The Second Book of Esdras the Prophet

or the book of Nehemiah

From the Hebrew: Esdras means "help"and Nehemiah means " Jehovah comforts "

The 1st Chapter

These are the acts of Nehemiah the son of *Hachalia. It fortuned in the month *Casleu, in the twentieth year, that I was in the castle at Susan: and Hanani, one of my brethren, came with certain men of Judah, and I asked them how the Jews did that were delivered and escaped from the captivity, and how it went at Jerusalem. And they said unto me: The remnant of the captivity that are in the land in great misfortune and rebuke. The walls of Jerusalem are broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. *Hachalia = otherwise Helchiah *Casleu =The month Casleu ( as the Jews call it ) is to us November with part of December added thereto. MN

When I heard these words, I sat me down and wept, and mourned two days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven and said: O' Lord God of heaven, thou great and terrible God, thou that keepest covenant and mercy for them that love thee and observe thy commandments: Let thine ears hearken, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray now before thee day and night for the children of Israel thy servants, and knowledge the sins of the children of Israel, which we have committed against thee.

And I and my fathers house have sinned also. We have been corrupt unto thee, in that we have not kept the commandments, statutes, and laws, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Yet call to remembrance the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, and saidest: If ye transgress, then I will scatter you abroad among the nations. But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments and do them: though yee were cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven yet will I gather you from thence, and will bring you from thence, even unto the place, that I have chosen for my name to dwell there. They are thy servants, and thy people whom thou hast delivered through thy great power and mighty hand. O' Lord, let thine ears hearken to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, whos desire is to fear thy name, and let thy servant prosper this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the kings butler.

The 2nd Chapter

In the month Nisan in the twentieth year of the reign of king Artaxerses, when the wine stood before him, I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king and I was heavy in his presence. Then said the king unto me: Why lookest thou so sadly? Thou art not sick, that is not the matter, but thou art heavy hearted. Nevertheless I was sore afraid and said unto the king: God save the kings life forever, should I not look sadly? The city of my fathers burial lieth waste and the gates thereof are consumed with fire. Then said the king unto me: what is then thy request? Then made I my prayer to the God of heaven, and said unto the king: If it please the king, and if thy servant be favored in thy sight. I be seek thee send me in to Judah unto the city of my fathers burial, that I may build it.

And the king said unto me, and so did the queen that sat by him: how long shall thy journey continue, and when wilt thou come again? And it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time, and said unto the king: if it please the king, let him give me letters to the captains beyond the water, that they may convey me over, till I come into Judah: And letters unto Asaph the Lord of the kings wood, that he may give me wood for beams to the gates of the palace, which are hard on the house and hard on the walls of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king gave me according to the good hand of God upon me: And when I came to the captains beyond the water, I gave them the kings letters. And the king sent captains and horsemen with me.

But when Sanabalat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant of the Ammonites heard that, it grieved them sore, that there was come a man which sought the wealth of the children of Israel. And when I came to Jerusalem, and had been there three days, I gat me up in the night season, and a few men with me: for I told no man what God had given me in my heart to do at Jerusalem: and there was not one beast with me, save it that I rode upon. And I rode up by night unto valley port before the Dragon well, and to the Dongeport, and considered the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down, and the ports thereof consumed with the fire. And I went over unto the wellport, and to the kings *condite, and there was no room for my beast, that it could go under me. Then went I on in the night by the brook side, and considered the wall, and turned back and came home again to the valley port. *condite=conduit for water RN

And the rulers knew not whither I went or what I did: for hither to had I not told the Jews and the priests, the counselors and the rulers, and the other that did labor in the work. And I said I unto them: Ye see the misery that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and how the gates thereof are burned with fire, come let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, that we be no more a rebuke. And I told them of the good hand of my God which was upon me: and the kings words that he had spoken unto me. And they said: then let us get up, and build: and their hands were strengthened to good.

But when Sanabalat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant the Ammonites, and Gesem the Arabian heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said: what is this that ye do? Will ye fall away again from the king? Then answered I them, and said: the God of heaven he it is that causeth us to prosper: and we be his servants. Let us get up and build. As for you, ye have no portion, nor right, nor remembrance in Jerusalem.

The 3rd Chapter

And Eliasib the high priest gat him up with his brethren the priests, and builded the Sheepgate. They repaired it, and set up the doors of it: even unto the tower of Meah repaired they it, namely unto the tower of Hananeel. Next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And beside him builded Sachur the son of Amri. But the fish port did the children of Asanah build, they covered it and set on the doors, locks and bars of it. Next unto him builded Marimoth the son of Uriah the son of Nakoz. Next unto him builded Mosolam the son of Barachiah the son of Mesesabeel. Next unto him builded Zadoc the son of Baana. Next unto him builded they of Thekua. But their great men put not their necks to the service of their Lord.

The old gate builded Jehoiadah the son of Paseah, and Mosolam the son of Besodiah, they covered it, and set on the doors, locks and bars of it. Next unto them builded Malatiah the Gabaon, and Jadon the Merano, men of Gibeon and of Mazphah for the seat of the captain on this side the water. Next unto him builded Usiel the son of Harhaiah the goldsmith. Next unto him builded Hananiah the *Apotecaris son and they repaired Jerusalem unto the broad wall. Next unto him builded Raphaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half quarter of Jerusalem. Next unto him builded Jedaiah the son of Haremaph over against his house. Next unto him builded Hatus the son of Hasaboniah. But Melchia the son of Harim, and Hasub the son of Pahath Moab builded the other piece, and the tower beside the furnace. Next unto him builded Selum the son of Halohes the ruler of the half quarter of Jerusalem, and his daughters. *Apotecaris = (preparer of medicine) some read Naracaim (unknown) MN

The valley gate builded Hanun, and the citizens of Zanoah. They builded it, and set on the doors, locks and bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall, unto the Dongeport. But the Dongport builded Melchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the fourth part of the vineyards: he builded it, and set on the doors, locks and bars thereof. But the Wellgate builded Selum the son of Cholhosah, the ruler of the fourth part of Masphah, He builded it, covered it, and set on the doors, locks, and bars thereof, and the wall unto the pool of Siloah by the kings garden, unto the steps that go down from the city of David. After him builded Nehemiah the son of Asbok, the ruler of the half quarter of Bethzur, until the other side over against the sepulchers of David, and to the pool Asuia and unto the house of the mighty.

After him builded the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him builded Hashabiah the ruler of the half quarter at Keilah in his quarter. After him builded their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half quarter of Keilah. After him builded Ezer the son of Jesua, the ruler of Masphah the other piece hard over against the harness corner. After him builded Baruch the son of Zabai the other piece worshipfully and costly, from the corner unto the door of the house of Eliasib the high priest. After him builded Marimuth the son of Uriah the son of Hacos the other piece, from the door of the house of Eliasib even as long as the house of Eliasib extended. And after him builded the priests, the men of the country. After him builded Benjamin and Hasub over against their house. After them Asariah the son of Maasiah the son of Ananiah next to his house. After him builded Benui the son of Henadad the other piece from the house of Asariah unto the turning, and unto the corner.

After him builded Phalel the son of Usai over against the corner and the high tower, which lieth out over from the kings house, beside the court of the prison. After him Phadaiah the son of Pharos ( as for the Nethinims they dwelt in Ophel, unto the Watergate, toward the east where the tower that lieth out ). After him builded they of Thekua the other piece over against the great tower, that lieth outward, and unto the wall of Ophel.

But from the Horsegate forth builded the priests, every one over against his house. After them builded Zadok the son of Emer over against his house. After him builded Semeiah the son of Sechaniah the keeper of the east gate. After him builded Hananiah the son of Selemiah, and Hanun the son of Zalaph the sixth, that other peace. After him builded Mosolam the son of Barachiah over against his chest. After him builded Melchiah the goldsmiths son, until the house of the Nethinims, and of the merchants over against counsel gate, and to the parlor in the corner unto the Sheepgate builded the goldsmiths and the merchants.

The 4th Chapter

But when Sanabalat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth and took great indignation and mocked the Jews and said before his brethren and the host of Samaria: What do the impotent Jews? shall they be thus suffered (tolerated?) shall they offer? shall they perform it in one day? shall they make the stones whole again that are brought to dust, and are burnt? And Tobiah the Ammonite beside him said: Let them build on, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stoney wall. Hear O' thou our God, how we are despised, turn their shame upon their own head, that thou mayest give them over to despising in the land of their captivity. Cover not their wickedness, and put not out their sin from thy presence: for they have provoked the builders. Yet builded we the wall, and joined it whole together, unto the half height. And the people were well minded to labor.

But when Sanabalat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and Ammonites, and Asdodits heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that they had begun to stop up the gaps they were very wroth, and conspired all together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to make a hinderance therin. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set watchmen upon the wall day and night over against them. And Judah said: the strength of the bearers is too feeble, and there is too much dust, we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries thought: they shall not know neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and hinder the work. But when the Jews that dwelt beside them, came out of all the places where they dwelt about us, and told us as good as ten times, then set I the people after their kindreds with their swords, spears, and bows beneath in the low places behind the wall, and looked, and gat me up, and said unto the chief men and rulers, and to the other people: Be not ye afraid of them think yee upon the great Lord which ought to be feared and fight for your brethren, sons, daughters, wives, and your houses. Nevertheless when our enemies heard that we had gotten word of it, God brought their counsel to nought, and we turned again to the wall, every one unto his labor. And from that time forth it came to pass, that the half part of the young men did the labor, and the other half part held spears, shields, bows, and breastplates: and the rulers stood behind all the house of Judah, which builded on the wall, and bare burdens, from those that *laded them. With one hand did they the work, and with the other held they their weapon. And everyone that builded, had his sword girded by his side, and so builded they. And the trumpeters stood beside me. *laded = To load with or as if with cargo (baggage). To place (something) as a load for or as if for shipment (sent to one place or the other). To burden or oppress; weigh down. To take up or remove (water) with a ladle or dipper.

And I said unto the principal men, and rulers, and to the other people: the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall one far from another. Look in what place now ye hear the noise of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us. Our God shall fight for us, and we will be laboring in the work. And the half of them held the spears from the morning spring, till the stars came forth. And at the same time said I unto the people: every one abide with his servant at Jerusalem, that in the night season we may give attendance to the watch, and to labor on the day time. As for me and my brethren, and my servants, and the men of the watch behind me, we put never off our clothes, so much as to wash ourselves.

The 5th Chapter

And there arose a great complaint of the people, and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. And there were some that said: our sons and daughters are too many, let us take corn for them to eat, that we may live. Some said: Let us set our lands, vineyards, and houses, to pledge, and take up corn in the darth. But some said: let us borrow money of the kings tribute for our lands and vineyards. Now are our brethrens bodies as our own bodies and their children as our children: else should we subdue our sons and daughters into bondage, and some of our daughters are subdued already, *and no strength is there in our hands, and other men shall have our lands and vineyards. * After the Hebrew some read: and we have not wherewith to redeem them. MN

But when I heard their complaint and such words, it displeased me sore, and I advised so in my mind, that I rebuked the counselors, the rulers, and said unto them: Will ye require *usury one of another? And I brought a great congregation against them and said unto them: We ( after our ability ) have bought our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the Heathen. And will ye sell your brethren, whom we have bought unto us? Then held they their peace, and could find nothing to answer.

*usury = The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest (or being involved in it) RN

Also I said: It is not good that ye do. Ought ye not to walk in the fear of God because of the rebuke of the Heathen our enemies? I and my brethren, and my servants have lent them money and corn: but as for usury, let us leave it. Therefore this same day see that ye restore them their lands again, their vineyards, oil gardens, and houses, and the hundred part of the money of the corn, wine, and oil, that ye have won of them. Then said they: We will restore them again and will require nothing of them and will do as thou hast spoken. And I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do so. And I shook my lap, and said: God shake out every man after the same manner from his house and from his labor, that maintaineth not this word: even thus be he shaken out, and void. And all the congregation said: Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did so.

And from that time forth it was committed unto me to be a captain in the land of Juda, namely from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of king Arthaxerses ( that is twelve years ) I and my brethren lived not of such sustenance as was given to a captain: For the old captains that were before me, had been chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, and forty sicles of silver: yee and their servants had *oppressed the people. But so did not I, and that because of the fear of God. I labored also in the work upon the wall, and bought no land. And all my servants came thither together unto the work. Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, which came unto me, from among the Heathen, that are about us. And there was prepared me daily an ox, and six chosen sheep, and birds, and ever once in ten days a great sum of wine. Yet required not I the living of a captain for the bondage was grievous unto the people. Think upon me my God unto the best, according to all that I have done for this people. *kjv = bare rule over the people ( by their own lips ) RN

The 6th Chapter

And when Sanabalat, Tobiah, and Gesem the Arabian, and the other of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there were no more gaps therein (howbeit at the same time had I not hanged the doors upon the gates) Sanabalat and Gesem sent unto me, saying: come and let us meet together* in the villages upon the plain of the city Ono. Nevertheless they thought to do me evil. Notwithstanding I sent messengers unto them, saying: I have a great business to do, I cannot come down. The work should stand still, if I were negligent, and came down to you. Howbeit they sent unto me as good as four times after the same manner. And I gave the same answer. Then sent Sanabalat his servant unto me the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand, wherein was written: it is told the Heathen, and Gesem hath saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, and wilt be their King in these matters, and thou hast ordained the Prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, and to say: He is King of Judah. * After the Greek some read Lepharim MN See also that Ono = power and wealth and from "foreign" origin; god given. This word Lepharim is not found in current Hebrew or Greek sources, however a close similitude "lehabin" means "fire" RN

Now this shall come to the kings ears: come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. Nevertheless I sent unto him saying: there is no such thing done as thou sayest: thou hast feigned it out of thine own heart. For they were all minded to make us afraid and thought: They shall withdraw their hands from the work, that they shall not labor. Howbeit I strengthen my hand the more. And I came unto the house of Semaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, and he had shut himself within, and said: let us come together in to the house of God, even unto the middest of the temple, and shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee, yee even in the night will they come to put you to death. But I said: should such man as I flee? *Who is that, being as I am, that will go in to the temple, to save his life? I will not go in. See, Christ speaks of the temple being within, that Nehemiah will not enter into this temple "made with mans hands" to save his life. such as it is today. Our heart has forever been the focus of God. RN

For I perceived, that God had not sent him: Yet spake he prophecy upon me, nevertheless Tobiah and Sanabalat had hired him for money. That through fear I should do so, and sin: that they might have an evil report of me. My God think thou upon Tobiah and Sanabalat according to these their works, and of the Prophet Noadiah and the other Prophets, that would have put me in fear.

And the wall was finished on the five and twentieth day of the month *Elul, in two and fifty days. And when all our enemies heard thereof, all the Heathen that were about us, were afraid and their courage failed them: for they perceived, that this work came of God. And at the same time were there many of the chief of Juda, whos letters went unto Tobiah, and from Tobiah them, ( for there were many in Judah that were sworn unto him: for he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Johanan had the daughter of Mosolam the son of Barachiah and they spake good of him before me, and told him my words ) and Tobiah sent letters, to put me in fear. *Elul is compared to our July with part of August joined thereto, it was their first month in order. MN

The 7th Chapter

Now when we had builded the wall I hanged on the doors, and the porters, singers and Levites were appointed. And I commanded my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace at Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God more than did many other, and I said unto them: let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until *the son be known. and while they are yet standing in the watch, the doors shall be shut and barred. And there were certain citizens of Jerusalem appointed to be watchmen every one in his watch, and about his house. As for the city, it was large of room, and great, but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded. *the son be known = this is our Lord Christ. the exact original text "is the sonne be whote" where sonne is "son" and whote is to "know" from wote Deut 33 RN

And my God gave me in my heart, that I gathered together the principal men and the people to number them. And I found *a register of the number of them, which came up afore out of the captivity: and found written therein: * These are the sons of the land that went up from the captivity of the carrying away,( whom Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon had brought away ) and came again to Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city, which came with Zorobabel, Jesua, Nehemiah, Asariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mardochee, Belsan, Mesparath, Begvai, Nahum, Baanah. * some read the book of Genealogy * 1 Esdras 2 MN

This is the number of the men of the people of Israel. The children of Pharos, two thousand, an hundred, and two and seventy: the children of Saphatiah, three hundred and two and seventy: The children of Arah, six hundred and two and fifty. The children of Pahath Moab among the children of Jesua Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred and four and fifty. The children of Zethua, eight hundred and five and forty. The children of Sacai, seven hundred and threescore: The children of Bani, six hundred and eight and forty. The children of Bebai, six hundred and eight and twenty. The children of Asgad, two thousand, three hundred and two and twenty. The children of Adonikam, six hundred and seven and threescore. The children of Bigoai, two thousand, and seven and threescore. The children of Adin, six hundred, and five and fifty. The children of Ater of Hezekiah, eight and ninety. The children of Hasum, three hundred eight and twenty. The children of Bezai, three hundred and four and twenty. The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve. The children of Gabaon, five and ninety. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred and eight and fourscore. The men of Anathoth, an hundred and eight and twenty. The men of Beth Asmoth, two and forty. The men of Kariath Jarim, Cephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and three and forty of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. The men of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred and one and twenty. The men of Machmas, an hundred and two and twenty. The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred and three and twenty. The men of the other Nebo, an hundred and two and fifty: The children of the other Elam, a thousand, two hundred and four and fifty. The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The children of Jericho: three hundred and five and forty. The children of Lodhadid and Ono, seven hundred and one and twenty. The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

The priests. The children of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and three and seventy: The children of Emer, a thousand, and two and fifty. The children of Phashur, a thousand, two hundred and seven and forty: The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

The Levites. the children of Jeshua of Cadmiel, among the children of Hoduah, four and seventy. The singers. the children of Asaph, an hundred and eight and forty. The porters: The children of Selum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akub, the children of Hatita, the children of Sobai, all together an hundred and eight and thirty.

The Nethinims, the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabaoth, The children of Ceros, the children of Sia, the children of Phadon, The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai, the children of Hanan, The children of Gidel, the children of Gaher, the children of Reaia, The children of Razin, the children of Necoda, the children of Gasem, The children of Usa, the children of Phaseah, the children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephusasim, The children of Bacbuc, the children of Hacupha, the children of Harhur, The children of Bezlith, the children of Mahida, the children of Harsa, The children of Bercos, the children of Sissera, the children of Thamah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

The children of Solomons servants, the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Pherida, The children of Jaala, the children of Darcon, the children of Gidel, The children of Saphatiah, the children of Natil, the children of Pochereth of Zabaim, the children of Amon. All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomons servants, were all together three hundred and two and ninety.

And these went up also, Thel Melah, Tel Harsa, Cherub, Adon, and Emer: but they could not show their fathers house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel. The children of Dalaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Necoda, six hundred and two and forty. And of the children of the priests. The children of Hobaiah, the children of Hacos, the children of Bersilai, which took one of the daughters of Bersilai the Galaadite to wife, and was named after their name. These sought the register of their generation and when they found it not, they were put from the priesthood. And the Hathirsatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy, till there came up a Priest with light and perfectness.

The whole congregation as one man, was two and forty thousand, three hundred and threescore, Beside their servants and maidens, of whom there were seven thousand, three hundred and seven and thirty. And they had two hundred and seven and forty singing men and women, seven hundred and six and thirty horses, two hundred and five and forty Mules, four hundred and five and thirty Camels, and six thousand, seven hundred and twenty Asses.

And certain of the ancient fathers gave unto the work. Nathirsatha gave to the treasure a thousand drames, fifty basens, five hundred and thirty priests garments. And some of the chief fathers gave unto the treasure of the work, twenty thousand and two hundred pound of silver. And the other people gave twenty thousand drams, and two thousand pound of silver, and seven and three score priests garments. And the priests and Levites, the Porters, the singers, and the other of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities.

The 8th Chapter

Now when the seventh month drew nye, and the children of Israel were in their cities, all the people gathered themselves together as one man upon the street before the Watergate, and said unto Esdras the scribe, that he should fetch the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord commanded to Israel. And Esdras the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and of all that could understand it, upon the first day of the seventh month. And read therin in the street that is before the Watergate, from the morning until the noon day before the men and the women, and such as could understand it: and the ears of all the people were inclined unto the book of the law. And Esdras the scribe stood upon an high pulpit of wood, which they had made for the preaching, and beside him stood Mathathiah, Sema, Ananiah, Uriah, Helkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand: and on his left hand stood Phadaiah, Misael, Melchiah, Hasum, Hasebadanah, Zachary, and Mosolam.

And Esdras opened the book before all the people, for he stood above all the people. And when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Esdras praised the Lord the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with their hands up, and bowed themselves, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. And Jesua, and Baani, and Serabiah, Jami, Acuba, Sebathai, Hodaiah, Maasiah, Celita, Azariah, Jozabed, Hanan, Phalaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to give heed unto the law, and the people stood in their place. And they read in the book in the law of God distinctly and plainly, so that men understood the thing that was read. And Nehemiah ( which is Harthirsatha ) and Esdras the priest and scribe, and the Levites that caused the people to take heed, said unto all the people: this day is holy unto the Lord your God: be not ye sorry therefore, and weep not. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.

Therefore said he unto them: Go your way, and eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send part unto them also that have not prepared themselves: for this day is holy unto our Lord: be not ye sorry therefore: for the joy of the Lord is your strength. And the Levites stilled all the people, and said: hold your peace, for the day is holy, vex not yourselves. And all the people went their way to eat and to drink, and to send part unto other, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

And on the next day were gathered together the chief of the fathers among all the people and the priests and Levites, unto Esdras the scribe, that he should teach them the words of the law. And they found written in the law how that the Lord had commanded by Moses that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month. And so they caused it be declared and proclaimed in all their cities, and at Jerusalem, saying: go up unto the mount and fetch Olive branches, and Pine branches, Myrtle branches, Palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

And the people went up, and set them, and made them booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street by the Watergate, and in the street by port Ephraim. And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity, made booths, and dwelt therin. For since the time of Jesua the son of Nun unto this day, had not the children of Israel done so, and there was very great gladness. And every day from the first day unto the last, read he in the book of the law of God. And seven days held they the feast, and on the eighth day the gathering together, according unto the manner.

The 9th Chapter

In the four and twenty of this month came the children of Israel together with fasting, and sackclothes, and earth upon them, and separated the seed of Israel from all the strange children and stood and knowledged their sins, and the wickedness of their fathers, and stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God four times on the day, and they knowledged, and worshipped the Lord their God four times on the day. And the Levites stood on high, namely Jesua, and Bani, Cadmiel, Sabaniah, Buni, Sarebiah, Bani, and Chanani, and cried loud unto the Lord their God. And the Levites, Jeshua, and Cadmiel, Bani, Hasabniah, Serebiah, Hodjah, Sebaniah, and Pathahiah, said: Stand up praise the Lord your God forever: and let thanks be given unto the name of thy glory, which exceedeth all thanksgiving and praise. Lord, thou alone hast made heaven, and the heaven of all heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is therein, the sea and all that is therein: thou givest life unto all, and the host of heaven bow themselves unto thee. Thou art the Lord the God, that hast chosen Abram, and broughtest him out of Ur in Chaldea, and called him Abraham and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give unto his seed the land of the Cananites, Hethites, Amorites, Pheresites, Jebusites, and Gergasites, and hast made good thy words: for thou art righteous and hast considered the misery of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their complaint by the reed sea, and showed tokens and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they presumptuous and cruel against them. and so madest thou thee a name as it is this day. And the reed sea didst thou divide insunder before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea dry shoed: and their persecutors threw thou into the deep as a stone, in that mighty waters, and leddest them on 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.

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest unto them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, true laws good commandments and statutes, and declared unto them thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, ordinances, and laws, by Moses thy servant: and gavest them bread from heaven when they were hungry, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock when they were thirsty: and promised them, that they should go in, and take possession of the land, over which thou hadst lift up thine hand for to give them.

But our fathers were proud, and hard necked, so they followed not the commandments, and refused to hear, and were not mindful of the wonders that thou didst for them: but became obstinate and heady in so much that they turned back to their bondage in their disobedience. But thou my God forgavest, and was gracious, merciful, patient, and of great goodness, and forsook them not. And though they made a molten calf, ( and said: This is thy God, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt ) and did great blasphemies, yet forsookest them not in the wilderness, according to thy great mercy. And the cloudy pillar departed not from them on the day time to lead them the way, neither the pillar of fire in the night season, to show them light in the way that they went.

And thou gavest them thy good spirit to enform them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water when they were thirsty. Forty years long madest thou provision for them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing: their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. And thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and partest them according to their portions, so that they possessed the land of Sehon king of Hesebon, and the land of Og king of Basan. And their children multiplied thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land whereof thou hadst spoken unto their fathers, that they should go in to it, and have it in possession.

And the children went in, and possessed the land, and thou subdued before them the inhabitantors of the land, even the Cananites, and gavest them into their hand, and their kings and the people of the land, that they might do with them what they would. And they won their strong cities, and a fat land, and took possession of houses that were full of all manner goods, wells digged out, vineyards, olivegardens, and many fruitful trees: and they ate and were filled, and became fat, and lived in wealth through thy great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets, which exhorted them so earnestly, that they should convert unto thee, and did great blasphemes. Therefore gavest thou them over in to the hand of their enemies that vexed them.

And in the time of their trouble they cried unto thee, and thou heardest them from heaven and through thy great mercy thou gavest them saviours, which helped them out of the hand of their enemies. But when they came to rest, they turned back again to do evil before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them. So they converted, and cried unto thee, and thou heardest them from heaven; and many times hast thou delivered them according to thy great mercy, and testified unto them, that they should turn again unto thy law.

Notwithstanding they were proud, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned in thy laws, ( which a man should do and live in them ) and turned the shoulder away, and were stiffnecked, and would not hear. And many years didst thou forbear them, and testified unto them through thy spirit, even by the office of thy prophets, and yet would they not hear. Therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the nations in the lands. But for thy great mercies sake thou hast not utterly consumed them, neither forsaken them: for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

Now our God, thou great God, mighty and terrible, thou that keepest covenant and mercy, regard not a little all the travail that hath happened unto us, and our kings, princes, priests, prophets, fathers and all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assur unto this day. Thou art righteous in all that thou hast brought upon us: for thou hast done right. As for us, we have been ungodly, and our kings, princes, priests, and fathers have not done after thy law, nor regarded thy commandments, and thy earnest exhortations wherewith thou hast exhorted them, and have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goods that thou gavest them, and in the large and plenteous land which thou gavest them, and have not converted from their wicked works. Behold, therefore are we in bondage this day: yee even in the land that thou gavest unto our fathers, to enjoy the fruits and goods thereof, behold, there are we bondsmen. And great is the increase of it unto the kings, whom thou hast set over us because of our sins, and they have dominion over our bodies, and cattle, and we are in great trouble. And in all of this we make a sure covenant, and write it, and let our princes, Levites, and priests seal it.

The 10th Chapter

These sealers were: Nehemiah, ( that is ) Hathirsatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zedekiah, Saraiah, Asariah, Jeremy, Phashur, Amariah, Malchiah, Hatus, Sebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Merimoth, Obadiah, Daniel Jenthon, Baruch, Mosolam, Abiah, Miamin, Maasiah, Belgai and Semeiah: these were the priests. The Levites were: Jesua the son of Azariah, Benui among the children of Henadad and Cadmiel. And their brethren: Sechaniah, Hodiah, Celita, Phalaiah, Hanan, Micha, Rehob, Hasabiah, Sachur, Serebiah, Sabaniah, Hodiah, Bani and Baninu. The heads of the people were: Phares, Pahath Moab, Elam, Zathua, Bani, Boni, Asgad, Bebai, Adoniah, Begoai, Adin, Ater, Hezekiah, Asur, Hodiah, Hasum, Bezai, Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, Magphias, Mosolam, Hesir, Mesesabel, Zadoc, Jaddua, Phalatia, Hanan, Anaiah, Hosea, Hananiah, Hasub, Halohes, Phaleha, Sobek, Rehum, Hasabnah, Maasiah, Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

And the other people, the priests, the Levites, Porters, singers, Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people in the lands unto the law of God, with their wives sons, and daughters, as many as could understand it, and their lords that had rule of them, received it for their brethren.

And they came to sware, and to bind themselves with an oath to walk in Gods law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, that they would observe and do according unto all the commandments of the Lord our God: and that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, neither to take their daughters for our sons. And if the people of the land brought ware on the sabbath, and all manner of vitals to sell, that we would not take it of them on the sabbath and on the holy days. And that we would let the seventh year be free concerning all manner of charge.

And we decreed a statute upon ourselves, to give yearly the third part of a sickle to the ministration in the house of our God, namely to the showbread, to the daily meatoffering, to the daily burntoffering of the sabbaths, of the new moons and feast days, and to the things that were sanctified, and to the sinofferings, to reconcile Israel with all, and to all the business in the house of our God.

And we cast the lot among the priests, Levites and the people, for offering of the wood to be brought unto the house of our God from year to year, after the houses of our fathers that it might be burnt at times appointed, upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law: and yearly to bring the firstlings of our fruits of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the Lord: and the firstlings of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law: and the firstlings of our oxen and of our sheep, that we should bring all this to the house of our God: and we should bring the firstlings of our dough, and our heaveofferings, and the fruits of all manner of trees, of wine also and of oil, unto the priests to the chests the house of our God. And the tithes of our land unto the Levites, that the might have the tithes in all the cities of our ministration.

And the priest the son of Aaron shall with the Levites have also of the tithes of the Levites, so that the Levites shall bring up the tithes of their tithes unto the house of our God to the chest in the treasure house. For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring up the heaveofferings of the corn, wine, and the oil unto the chests. And there shall be the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and singers, that we forsake not the house of our God.

The 11th Chapter

And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem. But the other people cast lots therefore, so that among ten one part went to Jerusalem into the holy city to dwell, and nine parts in the cities. And the people thanked all the men that were willingly to dwell at Jerusalem.

These are the heads of the land that dwelt in Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. And every one dwelt in his possession, and in their cities of Israel, the priests, Levites, the Nethinims, and the children of Solomons servants. 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 Usiah, the son of Zachary, the son of Amariah, the son of Saphatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Phares. And Maasiah the son of Baruch, the son of Cal Hose, the son of Hasaia, the son of Adaia, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zachary, the son of Siloni. All the children of Phares that dwelt at Jerusalem, were four hundred and eight and threescore valiant men.

These are the children of Ben Jamin: Sallu the son of Mesullam, the son of Joeb, the son of Phadaiah, the son of Colaiah, the son of Masiah, the son of Jthiel, the son of Jsaiah. And after him Abai, Selar, nine hundred and eight and twenty. And Joel the son of Zechri had the over sight of them: and Judah the son of Senuah over the second part of the city.

Of the priests there dwelt: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin. Saraiah the son of Helkiah the son of Mosolam, the son of Zadoc, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitob, was prince in the house of God: and his brethren that performed the work in the house: of whom there were *822 ( eight hundred twenty two) . And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Plalaliel, the son of Amazi, the son of Zachary, the son of Phashur, the son of Melchiah, and his brethren, chief among the fathers: of whom there were two hundred and two and forty. And Amashai the son of Asarael, the son of Ahasai, the son of Mosolamoth, the son of Emer: and his brethren were valiant men, of whom there were an hundred and eight and twenty. And their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of *Hagdolim. *822 for some reason a numeral is used here instead of a written number *Hagdolim for some reason the KJV leaves out this name and only uses:"one of the great men". RN

Of the Levites: Semeiah the son of Hasub, the son of Aserikam, the son of Hasabiah, the son of Boni: and Sabathai and Josabad, of the chief of the Levites, in the outward business of the house of God. And Mathaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, which was the principal to begin the thanksgiving unto prayer. And *bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Sammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jduthun. All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and four and fourscore. And the porters, Acub, Talmon, and their brethren that keep the ports, were an hundred and two and seventy. As for the residue of Israel, the priests, and Levites, they were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance. *bakbukiah this is a small case "b" RN

And the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gaspha belonged to the Nethinims. The overseer of the Levites at Jerusalem, was Usi the son of Baani, the son of Hasabiah, the son of Mathaniah, the son of Micha.

Of the children of Asaph, there were singers about the business in the house of God: For it was the kings commandment concerning them, that the singers should deal faithfully every day as according was. Note in Apocalypse the "choir"

And Pathaiah the son of Mesesabel, of the children of Zarah the son of Judah, next the king in all matters concerning the people and their villages, throughout all their regions. And the children of Judah that were without in the towns of their land, dwelt some at Kariath Arbe, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof: and at Cabzeel, and in the villages thereof: And at Jesua, Moladah, Bethphaiet, Hazersual, Bersabe, and in their villages: And at Sikelag, and Moconah, and in their villages: And at Enremon, Zarah, Jerimuth, Zonoah, Odollam, and in their villages: At Lachis, and in the fields thereof: At Asekah, and in the villages thereof: And dwelt from Bersabe unto the valley of Hennom.

The children of Benjamin of Gaba, dwelt at Machmas, and Aia, Bethel, and in their villages. And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gethaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Nabalat, Lod, and Ono and in the carpenters valley. And certain of the Levites that had portions in Judah, dwelt in Ben Jamin.

The 12th Chapter

These are the priests and Levites that went up with Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and with Jesua: Seraiah, Jeremy, Esdras, Amariah, Meluch, Hatus, Sechaniah, Rehum, Merimoth, Ado, Genthoi, Abiah, Miamin, Maadiah, Belgah, Semaiah, and Joiarib, Jadaiah, Salu, Amok, Helkiah, Jadaiah. These were the heads among the priests and their brethren in the time of Jesua. The Levites were these: Jesua, Bennui, Cadmiel, Sarabiah, Judah, and Mathaniah, over the office of thanksgiving, they and their brethren: Also Bacbukiah and Uni, and their brethren, were about them in the watches.

Jesua begat Joakim, Joakim begat Eliasib, and Eliasib begat Joiada. Joiada begat Jonathan, Jonathan begat Jadua. And in the time of Joakim were these the chief fathers among the priests: under Saraiah, Maraiah; under Jeremy, Hananiah, under Esdras, Mosolam, under Amariah, Jehoanan, under Milico, Jonathan, under Sebaniah, Joseph, under Harim, Edna, under Maraioth, Helcai, under Adia, Zachary, under Genthon, Mosolam, under Abia, Zechri, under Miniamin and Moadia Peltai, under Belgah, Samua, under Semeiah, Jehonathan, under Joiarib, Mathnai, under Jadaiah, Usi, under Selai, Kelai, under Amok, Eber, under Helchiah, Hasabiah, under Jadaiah, Nathanael.

And in the time of Eliasib. Joiada, Johanan and Jadua, were the chief fathers among the Levites, and the priests written under the reign of Darius the Persian. The children of Levi the principal fathers were written in the Chronicles, until the time of Jonathan the son of Eliasib. And these were the chief among the Levites, Hasabiah, Serebiah and Jesua the son of Cadmiel, and their brethren over against them, to give praise and thanks, according as David the man of God had ordained it, one watch over against another. Mathania, Balbukiah, Obadiah, Mosolam, Talmon, and Abub were porters in the watch at the thresholds of the gates. These were in the time of Joiakim the son of Jesua the son of Josedec, and in the time of Nehemiah the captain and of the priest Esdras the scribe.

And in the dedication of the wall at Jerusalem, were the Levites sought out of all their places, that they might be brought to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication and gladness, with thanksgivings, with singing, with cymbals, Psalteries, and harps. And the children of the singers gathered themselves together from the plain country about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Nethophathi and from the house of Galgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Asmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages about Jerusalem. And the priests and Levites purified themselves, and cleansed the people, the gates and the wall.

And I caused the princes of Juda upon the wall, and appointed two great choirs of thanksgiving, which went on the right hand of the wall toward the Dunggate, and after them went Hosaiah, and half of the princes of Juda, and Asaria, Esdras, Mosolam, Judah, Ben Jamin, and Semeiah, and Jeremy: and certain of the priests children with trumpets, namely Zachary the son of Jonathan, the son of Semeiah, the son of Mathaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zecur, the son of Asaph, and his brethren, Semeiah, and Asarael, Melalai, Galalai, Maai, Nathanael, and Juda, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God.

And Esdras the scribe before them, toward the Wellgate, and they went up over against them upon the steps of the city of David at the going up of the wall to the house of David, unto the Watergate Eastward.

The other choir of thanksgiving went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, toward the Furnacegate upward, until the broad wall, and to the port of Ephraim, and to the Oldgate, and to the Fishgate, and to the tower of Hananeel, and to the tower of Meah, until the Sheepgate. And in the prison gate they stood still, and so stood the two choirs of thanksgiving of the house of God, and I and the half of the rulers with me, and the priests, namely Eliakim, Maasiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zachary, and Hananiah, with trumpets, and Maasiah, Semeiah, Eleasar, Ursi, Jehoanan, Melchiah, Elam, and Ser. And the singers sang loud, and Jestahiah was the overseer.

And the same day were great sacrifices offered, and they rejoiced: for God had given them great gladness, so that both the wives and children were joyful, and the mirth of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

At the same time were there men appointed over the treasure chests ( wherein were the Heaveofferings, the firstlings and the tithes ) that they should gather them out of the fields about the cities, to distribute them unto the priests and Levites according to the law: for Judah was glad of the priests, and Levites, that they stood and waited upon the office of their God, and the office of purification. And the singers and porters stood after the commandment of David and of Solomon his son: for in the time of David and Asaph, were the chief singers founded, and the songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. In the time of Zorobabel, and Nehemiah, did all Israel, give portions unto the singers and porters, every day his portion, and they gave things hallowed unto the Levites, and the Levites gave things that were sanctified, unto the children of Aaron.

The 13th Chapter

And what time as the book of Moses was read in the ears of the people there was found written therin, that the Ammonites and the Moabites should never come into the congregation of God, because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, and hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: nevertheless our God turned the curse into a blessing. Now when they heard the Law, they separated from Israel everyone that had mixed himself therin. And before this had the Priest Eliasib delivered the chest of the house of our God unto his kinsman Tobiah: for he had made him a great chest, and there had they afore time layed the meatofferings, frankincense, vessel, and the tithes of corn, wine and oil ( according to the commandment given to the Levites, singers and porters ) and the heaveofferings of the priests.

But in all this was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Arthaxerses king of Babilon, came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I license of the king to come to Jerusalem. And i gat knowledge of the evil that Eliasib did unto Tobiah, in that he made him a chest in the court of the house of God, and it grieved me sore, and I cast forth all the vessels of the house of Tobiah out of the chest, and commanded them to cleanse the chest. And thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, the meatoffering and the incense.

And I perceived, that the portions of the Levites were not given them, for the which cause the Levites and singers were fled, everyone to his land for to work. Then reproved I the rulers, and said: Why forsake we the house of God? But I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Judah the tithes of corn and wine and oil unto the treasury. And I made treasurers over the treasure, even Selemiah the priest, and Zadoc the scribe, and of the Levites, Phedaiah, and under their hand Hanan the son of Zacur, the son of Mathaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. Think upon me, O' my God here in, and wipe not out my mercy, that I have showed on the house of my God, and on the officers thereof.

At the same time saw I some treading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in clusters, and asses ladened with wine, grapes, figs, and bringing all manner of burdens unto Jerusalem, upon the Sabbath day. And I rebuked them earnestly the same day that they sold the vitals. 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 Jerusalem. Then reproved I the rulers in Judah, and said unto them: What evil thing is this that ye do, and break the Sabbath day? Did not our fathers even thus, and our God brought all this plague upon us and upon this city? And ye make the wrath more yet upon Israel, in that ye break the Sabbath.

And it fortuned, that when the porters of Jerusalem made shadow before the Sabbath, I commanded to shut the gates, 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. Then remained the *chapmen and the merchants once or twice over night without Jerusalem with all manner of wares. Then reproved I them sore, and said unto them: Why tarry ye all night about the wall? If ye do it once again, I will lay hands upon you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I said unto the Levites which were clean, to hallow the Sabbath day. Think upon me ( O' my God ) concerning this also, and spare me according to thy great of thy mercy. *chapmen =from the root "cheap man" peddler, dealer.

And at the same time saw I Jews, that had married wives of Asdod, Ammon, and of Moab: and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews language, but by the tongue mighty a man perceive every people. And I reproved them, and cursed them, and smote certain men of them, and plucked them up, and took an oath of them by God: Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, neither shall ye take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Salomon the king of Israel sin therin? and yet among many Heathen was there no king like him, and he was dear unto his God, and God made him king over all Israel, and yet nevertheless outlandish women caused him to sin? And shall we then obey unto you, to do all this great evil, and to transgress against our God, and marry strange wives?

And one of the children of Jehoiada, the son of Eliasib the high priest, had made a contract with Sanabalat the Horonite: but I chased him from me. O' my God, think thou upon them that are quite of the priesthood, and have defiled the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. Thus cleansed I them from all such as were outlandish, and appointed the courses of the priests and Levites, every one to his office, and to offer the wood at times appointed, and the firstfruits. Think thou upon me, ( O' my God ) for the best.

The end of the second book of Esdras,

otherwise called the book of Nehemiah