Webster Bible Translation
1On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever: 2Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Baalam against them, that he should curse them: but our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
The Temple Cleansed
4And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied to Tobiah: 5And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where formerly they laid the meat-offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests. 6But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came to the king, and after certain days I obtained leave of the king: 7And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8And it grieved me greatly: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither I brought again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat-offering and the frankincense.
10And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, had fled every one to his field. 11Then I contended with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? and I assembled them, and set them in their place. 12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries. 13And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were accounted faithful; and their office was to distribute to their brethren. 14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its offices.
The Sabbath Restored
15In those days I saw in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day in which they sold provisions. 16There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19And it came to pass, that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and I set some of my servants at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth they came no more on the sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites, that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
23In those days also I saw Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 24And their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews language, but according to the language of each people. 25And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons, or for yourselves. 26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. 27Shall we then hearken to you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying foreign wives? 28And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. 29Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
30Thus I cleansed them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; 31And for the wood-offering, at times appointed, and for the first-fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.