Day 172 – Nehemiah 1-3; Psalms 140; Proverbs 30:11–15; Acts 5:1–16

Nehemiah 1-3

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.

It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province live there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”

Nehemiah’s Intercessory Prayer

4 So it was, when I heard these words, I sat down and wept, and I mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “No indeed, O Lord, the mighty, the great and the awesome God of heaven, who keeps the covenant and mercy for those who love Him and who keep His commandments. 6 Let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel, Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have departed from You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

8 “Remember, I pray, the word You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, even if your dispersion be to the farthest part of heaven, yet I will gather them from there and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’

10 “Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power and Your strong hand. 11 Rather, O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper today, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” (For I was cupbearer to the king.)

Nehemiah Is Sent to Judah

1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of the reign of King Artaxerxes, when the wine was before me, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. There was no one else present before him. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your countenance sad, and why are you not self-controlled? This is nothing but sickness of the heart.” So I was greatly afraid.

3 Then I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the home of the tombs of my fathers, lies waste, and its gates destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What is it that you request concerning this?” So I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, send me to Judah, to the city of the tombs of my fathers, that I may rebuild it.”

6 Then the king (his queen sitting beside him) said to me, “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” And my request found favor before the king, and he sent me, and I gave him a time. 7 Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let him give me letters for the governors beyond the River, that I may be given safe passage until I come to Judah, 8 and also a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted these to me as the good hand of God was upon me.

9 And I came to the governors beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10 And for Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant, it was distressing to them that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.

Nehemiah Surveys Damage to the Wall

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I rose up in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart for me to do for Israel, nor was there any animal with me except the one on which I rode. 13 And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the mouth of the spring of the fig tree and to the Dung Gate. And I was viewing the wall of Jerusalem which they had broken down and its gates which they had destroyed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and went to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal I was riding to pass. 15 So I went up to the wall by the brook at night and viewed the wall. Then I was at the Valley Gate, and I returned. 16 The sentries did not know why I had gone or what I was doing. And I did not tell the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others doing the work until my return.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the distress we are in, how Jerusalem is laid waste and its gates are destroyed with fire. Come and let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 And I told them of the hand of God which is good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So I said, “Let us rise up and let us build!” And their hands were strengthened for good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite servant, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed us to scorn and came to us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king regarding this?” 20 So I answered and said to them, “The God of heaven will Himself prosper us; and we His servants are innocent and we will build, but you have no part or right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

The Builders of the Wall

1 Then Eliashib the high priest and his brothers the priests rose up and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and hung its doors, and they sanctified it even as far as the Tower of the Hundred and to the Tower of Hananel. 2 Next to them, the men of Jericho rebuilt, and next to them the sons of Zaccur the son of Imri rebuilt.

  3 The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. 4 And next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, made repairs. Next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok son of Baana made repairs. 5 Next to them the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work.

6 Jehoiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors along with its bolts and bars. 7 And next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite and the men of Gibeon and Mizpah repaired the throne of the governor of the region beyond the River. 8 And next to them Hananiah the son of Rekem made repairs to the wall, and they fortified Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 And next to them Rephaiah, leader of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs in front of his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabniah made repairs. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hashub the son of Pahath-Moab repaired a second section as well as the Tower of the Ovens. 12 And next to him was Shallum the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and his daughters made repairs.

13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it, hung its doors with its bolts and bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Dung Gate. 14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, leader of the district of Beth Haccerem, repaired the Dung Gate along with his sons. He built it and hung its doors with its bolts and bars, 15 and they repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah by the King’s Garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, leader of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs as far as the place in front of the tomb of David, to the manmade pool, and as far as the House of the Mighty. 17 After him the Levites, under Rehum the son of Bani, made repairs. Next to him Hashabiah, leader of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. 18 After him their brothers, under Bavai the son of Henadad, leader of half the district of Keilah, made repairs. 19 And next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the leader of Mizpah, repaired another section in front of the Ascent to the Armory at the buttress. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired the other section, from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, repaired another section, from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 And after him the priests, the men of Achechar, made repairs. 23 After him Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs by their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs by his house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress, even as far as the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the buttress and on the tower that projects from the king’s upper house by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 26 And the Nethinim who dwelt in Ophel made repairs as far as the place of the Water Gate toward the east, and on to the projecting tower. 27 After them the Tekoites repaired a second section, next to the great projecting tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.

28 Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer made repairs in front of his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs in front of his dwelling. 31 After him Malchijah the son of Saraphi made repairs as far as the house of the Nethinim and of the merchants, in front of the Miphkad Gate, and as far as the upper chamber at the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber to the corner and the Sheep Gate, the bronze workers and the merchants made repairs.

The Workers Are Ridiculed

33 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat heard we were rebuilding the wall, he was distressed, and he was furious and was mocking the Jews. 34 And before his brothers and the army of Samaria he asked, “These Jews are rebuilding their city?” 35 And Tobiah the Ammonite, who was with him, said to them, “Surely they will not sacrifice or eat in this place of theirs, will they? For even if a fox goes up on it, will it not break down their stone wall?”

  36 Hear, O our God, for we have become a scorn. Return this reproach of theirs upon their own head, and make them a scorn in a land of captivity. 37 Do not cover their lawlessness.

Psalms 140

1 A psalm by David. O Lord, I have cried to You; hear me; Give heed to the voice of my supplication when I cry to You. 

2 Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 

3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, A door of enclosure about my lips. 

4 Incline not my heart to evil words, To make excuses in sins With men who work lawlessness; And I will not join with their choice ones. 

5 The righteous man shall correct me With mercy, and he shall reprove me; But let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head, For my prayer shall be intense in the presence of their pleasures. 

6 Their judges are swallowed up by the rock; They shall hear my words, for they are pleasant. 

7 As a clod of ground is dashed to pieces on the earth, So our bones were scattered beside the grave. 

8 For my eyes, O Lord, O Lord, are toward You; In You I hope; take not my soul away. 

9 Keep me from the snares they set for me, And from the stumbling blocks of those who work lawlessness. 

10 Sinners shall fall into their own net; I am alone, until I escape.

Proverbs of Solomon 30

11 An evil offspring curses his father And does not bless his mother. 

12 An evil offspring judges himself righteous, But is not washed from his uncleanness. 

13 An evil offspring has haughty eyes And exalts himself with his eyelids; 

14 An evil offspring has teeth like swords And molars like knives, so as to destroy 

15 And to devour the poor from the earth, And their needy from among men.

Acts 5

Ananias and Sapphira

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.

2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.

6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. 

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”

9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

Evangelism in the Spirit

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.

13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.

14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,

15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.

16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

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