Welcome to the 2023 King Street Church Bible Reading Plan. This year we will be following a chronological plan.
In your personal journal, consider answering these questions as part of your devotional time:
In this passage…
- What do I learn about God?
- What do I learn about man?
- Is there an example to follow?
- What does God want me to believe?
Nehemiah 11-13; Psalm 126
11Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns.
2The people commended all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.
3These are the provincial leaders who settled in Jerusalem (now some Israelites, priests, Levites, temple servants and descendants of Solomon’s servants lived in the towns of Judah, each on his own property in the various towns,
4while other people from both Judah and Benjamin lived in Jerusalem): From the descendants of Judah: Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, a descendant of Perez;
5and Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Col-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, a descendant of Shelah.
6The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 able men.
7From the descendants of Benjamin: Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah,
8and his followers, Gabbai and Sallai-928 men.
9Joel son of Zicri was their chief officer, and Judah son of Hassenuah was over the Second District of the city.
10From the priests: Jedaiah; the son of Joiarib; Jakin;
11Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, supervisor in the house of God,
12and their associates, who carried on work for the temple-822 men; Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah,
13and his associates, who were heads of families-242 men; Amashsai son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
14and his associates, who were able men-128. Their chief officer was Zabdiel son of Haggedolim.
15From the Levites: Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
16Shabbethai and Jozabad, two of the heads of the Levites, who had charge of the outside work of the house of God;
17Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the director who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his associates; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
18The Levites in the holy city totaled 284.
19The gatekeepers: Akkub, Talmon and their associates, who kept watch at the gates-172 men.
20The rest of the Israelites, with the priests and Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, each on his ancestral property.
21The temple servants lived on the hill of Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of them.
22The chief officer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. Uzzi was one of Asaph’s descendants, who were the singers responsible for the service of the house of God.
23The singers were under the king’s orders, which regulated their daily activity.
24Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, one of the descendants of Zerah son of Judah, was the king’s agent in all affairs relating to the people.
25As for the villages with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its surrounding settlements, in Dibon and its settlements, in Jekabzeel and its villages,
26in Jeshua, in Moladah, in Beth Pelet,
27in Hazar Shual, in Beersheba and its settlements,
28in Ziklag, in Meconah and its settlements,
29in En Rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth,
30Zanoah, Adullam and their villages, in Lachish and its fields, and in Azekah and its settlements. So they were living all the way from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.
31The descendants of the Benjamites from Geba lived in Micmash, Aija, Bethel and its settlements,
32in Anathoth, Nob and Ananiah,
33in Hazor, Ramah and Gittaim,
34in Hadid, Zeboim and Neballat,
35in Lod and Ono, and in the Valley of the Craftsmen.
36Some of the divisions of the Levites of Judah settled in Benjamin.
12These were the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
3Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
4Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah,
5Mijamin, Moadiah, Bilgah,
6Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah and Jedaiah. These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Jeshua.
8The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and also Mattaniah, who, together with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.
9Bakbukiah and Unni, their associates, stood opposite them in the services.
10Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, Eliashib the father of Joiada,
11Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua.
12In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families: of Seraiah’s family, Meraiah; of Jeremiah’s, Hananiah;
13of Ezra’s, Meshullam; of Amariah’s, Jehohanan;
14of Malluch’s, Jonathan; of Shecaniah’s, Joseph;
15of Harim’s, Adna; of Meremoth’s, Helkai;
16of Iddo’s, Zechariah; of Ginnethon’s, Meshullam;
17of Abijah’s, Zicri; of Miniamin’s and of Moadiah’s, Piltai;
18of Bilgah’s, Shammua; of Shemaiah’s, Jehonathan;
19of Joiarib’s, Mattenai; of Jedaiah’s, Uzzi;
20of Sallu’s, Kallai; of Amok’s, Eber;
21of Hilkiah’s, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah’s, Nethanel.
22The family heads of the Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua, as well as those of the priests, were recorded in the reign of Darius the Persian.
23The family heads among the descendants of Levi up to the time of Johanan son of Eliashib were recorded in the book of the annals.
24And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God.
25Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub were gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms at the gates.
26They served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.
27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.
28The singers also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem-from the villages of the Netophathites,
29from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem.
30When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
31I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate.
32Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them,
33along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,
34Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah,
35as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph,
36and his associates-Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani-with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. Ezra the scribe led the procession.
37At the Fountain Gate they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the house of David to the Water Gate on the east.
38The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people-past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,
39over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
40The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials,
41as well as the priests-Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets-
42and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah.
43And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
44At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.
45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon.
46For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the singers and gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.
13On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God,
2because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)
3When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.
4Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,
5and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
6But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission
7and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God.
8I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.
9I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.
10I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.
11So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.
12All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms.
13I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because these men were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their brothers.
14Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.
15In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.
16Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.
17I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing-desecrating the Sabbath day?
18Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
19When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
21But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath.
22Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
23Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.
24Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah.
25I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.
26Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.
27Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”
28One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.
29Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
30So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task.
31I also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me with favor, O my God.
1When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.
2Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
3The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4Restore our fortunes, O Lord , like streams in the Negev.
5Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
6He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.