Day 176 – Nehemiah 12, 13; Psalms 144:1–9; Proverbs 30:31–35; Acts 7:22–43

Nehemiah 12, 13

1 Now these are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shechaniah, 4 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the heads of the priests and their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

5 Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who led the thanksgiving psalms, he and his brothers. 6 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brothers, stood across from them in their duties.

7 Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim begot Eliashib, Eliashib begot Joiada, 8 Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.

9 Now in the days of Joiakim, the priests, the heads of the fathers’ houses, were: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 10 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 11 of Melichu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 12 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 13 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 14 of Abijah, Zichri, the son of Minjamin; of Moadiah, Piltai; 15 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 16 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 17 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 18 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; and of Jedaiah, Nethanel.

19 The Levites in the days of Eliasib, Joida, Jaddusa and Joanan, and Idua, were being recorded as heads of families, even those priests within the kingdom of Darius of Persia. 20 The sons of Levi, heads of the families until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib, were written in the Book of the Chronicles. 21 And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel. With their brothers across from them, they offered praise and gave thanks, each group alternating with the other, according to the command of David the man of God.

  22 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers keeping the watch at the storerooms of the gates. 23 These lived in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

Dedication of the Wall

24 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, they sought out the Levites in all their places in order to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and singing, and with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps. 25 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites, 26 from the house of Gilgal, and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth. For the singers had built villages for themselves all around Jerusalem. 27 The priests and Levites purified themselves, and then purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

28 So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. One went to the right hand on the wall toward the Refuse Gate. 29 After them went Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah, 30 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 31 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 32 and some of the priests’ sons with trumpets—Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 33 and his brothers, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. Ezra the scribe went before them. 34 By the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went up the stairs of the City of David, on the stairway of the wall, beyond the house of David as far as the Water Gate eastward.

35 The other thanksgiving choir went the opposite way, and I was behind them with half the people on the wall, going past the Tower of the Ovens as far as the Broad Wall, 36 and above the Gate of Ephraim, above the Old Gate, above the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate; and they stopped by the Gate of the Prison. 37 So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; 38 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 39 also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director. 40 Also that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

Temple Appointees

41 And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered. 42 Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification according to the command of David and Solomon his son. 43 For in the days of David and Asaph of old, there were chiefs of the singers and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 44 In the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all Israel gave portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.

The Last Reforms of Nehemiah

1 On that day they read in the Book of Moses, in the hearing of the people, and it was found to be written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, 2 for they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but instead hired Balaam to bring a curse against them. But our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 So it was, after hearing the Law, they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.

4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, living in the storeroom of the house of our God, was allied with Tobiah. 5 And he had prepared for him a large room where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, as well as the firstfruits for the priests. 6 But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, I had returned to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the king 7 and came to Jerusalem. Here I discovered the evil thing Eliashib had done for Tobiah. He had prepared a room for him in the courts of the house of God. 8 This grieved me bitterly; therefore I tossed out from the room all the household goods of Tobiah. 9 Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms, at which time I brought the articles of the house of God back into them, along with the grain offering and the frankincense.

Tithes Are Restored

10 I also realized that the portions for the Levites were held back from them. For each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. 11 So 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 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. 13 I appointed Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe as treasurers over the storehouse, along with Pedaiah of the Levites. Next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah. They were chosen for they were counted as faithful, and it was their duty to distribute to their brothers.

  14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for its services!

The Sabbath Is Restored

15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I contended with the free sons of Judah and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do by which you profane the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

19 So it was, when the gates of Jerusalem stood open before the Sabbath, that I commanded, and they shut the gates; and I charged that they must not be opened until after the Sabbath day. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 So I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath. 22 Then I told the Levites who were cleansing themselves, who came to guard 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!

Pagan Marriages Forbidden

23 In those days I also saw Jews who married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab. 24 And half their children spoke in the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin. 27 Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?”

28 And one of the sons of Jehoiada, son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.

29 Remember them, God, because of the rights of inheritance of the priesthood and of the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.

30 And I cleansed them of every pagan thing. I assigned the daily courses to the priests and the Levites, each to his own service, 31 and to bringing the wood offering and the firstfruits at the appointed times.

In goodness, remember me, O our God!

Psalms 144

1 A praise by David. I shall exalt You, my God and my King, And I shall bless Your name forever and unto ages of ages. 

2 Every day I shall bless You And praise Your name forever and unto ages of ages. 

3 Great is the Lord and exceedingly praiseworthy, And His greatness has no limit. 

4 Generation and generation shall praise Your works, And they shall declare Your power. 

5 They shall speak of the magnificence of the glory of Your holiness, And they shall describe Your wonders. 

6 They shall also speak of the power of Your awesome deeds And describe Your great majesty. 

7 They shall overflow with the memory of Your rich goodness, And shall greatly rejoice in Your righteousness. 

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy. 

9 The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are upon all His works.

Proverbs of Solomon 30

31 There are three things which walk easily, And a fourth that strides well: 

32 The cub of a lion, stronger than other animals And does not turn away, neither fears any animal; 

33 A cock, walking about boldly among the hens; A he-goat, leading a flock; And a king, speaking publicly to the people. 

34 If you abandon yourself to merriment And stretch forth your hand with contention, you will be dishonored. 

35 Churn milk, and it will become butter; And if you squeeze someone’s nose, blood will come out; And if you draw out words, condemnations and contentions will emerge.

Acts 7

22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.

23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.

25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.

26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’

27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 

28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ 

29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.

30 “And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.

31 When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him,

32 saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look. 

33 ‘Then the Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 

34 I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.” ’ 

35 “This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ 

38 “This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us,

39 whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,

40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 

41 And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

42 Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: ‘Did you offer Me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 

43 You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, And the star of your god Remphan, Images which you made to worship; And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

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