Nehemiah 12

Priests and Levites

1 This is a list of the priests and the Levites who returned with Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and with Jeshua:

  • Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
  • 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah,
  • 5 Mijamin, Moadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
  • 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah and Jedaiah.
  • These men were the leaders of the priests and the people who helped them in the time of Jeshua.

    8 The Levites were:

  • Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah and Mattaniah.
  • Mattaniah and his relatives had authority for the songs which they sang to thank God in the temple. 9 Bakbukiah and Unni and their relatives joined them when they sang.

    10 Jeshua was the father of Joiakim. Joiakim was the father of Eliashib. Eliashib was the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada was the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.

    12 In the time of Joiakim, these were the priests who were leaders of their clans:

  • Meraiah was the leader of Seraiah's clan.
  • Hananiah was the leader of Jeremiah's clan.
  • 13 Meshullam was the leader of Ezra's clan.
  • Jehohanan was the leader of Amariah's clan.
  • 14 Jonathan was the leader of Malluch's clan.
  • Joseph was the leader of Shecaniah's clan.
  • 15 Adna was the leader of Harim's clan.
  • Helkai was the leader of Meremoth's clan.
  • 16 Zechariah was the leader of Iddo's clan.
  • Meshullam was the leader of Ginnethon's clan.
  • 17 Zicri was the leader of Abijah's clan.
  • Piltai was the leader of the clans of Miniamin and Moadiah.
  • 18 Shammua was the leader of Bilgah's clan.
  • Jehonathan was the leader of Shemaiah's clan.
  • 19 Mattenai was the leader of Joiarib's clan.
  • Uzzi was the leader of Jedaiah's clan.
  • 20 Kallai was the leader of Sallu's clan.
  • Eber was the leader of Amok's clan.
  • 21 Hashabiah was the leader of Hilkiah's clan.
  • Nethanel was the leader of Jedaiah's clan.
  • 22 During the time when Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua were the leaders of the priests, they recorded the names of the Levites and the priests who were leaders of their clans. At the time when King Darius ruled Persia, they stopped doing this. 23 They wrote the names of Levi's descendants who were leaders of their clans in the history book of Israel. They did that until the time of Eliashib's son, Johanan.

    24 The leaders of the Levites were:

  • Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Kadmiel's son, Jeshua, and their relatives.
  • The two groups stood opposite each other to sing and praise and thank God. They did this in the way that God's servant, King David, had commanded.

    25 The guards for the temple gates were:

  • Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub.
  • They watched the temple rooms near the gates, where they stored special things. 26 They served as guards in the time of Joiakim, son of Jeshua and grandson of Jozadak. This was in the time when Nehemiah had authority over Judah, and Ezra the priest was teaching people God's Law.

    The people dedicate Jerusalem's wall to God

    27 This is what happened when we dedicated the wall of Jerusalem to God. The people told the Levites to come to Jerusalem from the places where they lived. They wanted the Levites to help them to praise God with joy. The Levites would sing songs to thank God. They would make music with cymbals, harps and lyres.

    12:27To dedicate something means that you are giving it to God, so that he will bless it.

    28 The temple singers came together from places near Jerusalem. They came from villages round Netophah, 29 and from Beth Gilgal, Geba and Azmaveth. The singers had built these villages so that they could live near to Jerusalem. 30 The priests and the Levites made themselves clean to serve God. Then they made the people clean, as well as the city's gates and its wall.

    12:30The Jews had special ways to make themselves clean. Sometimes they killed an animal for a sacrifice. When they had made themselves clean, they could serve God properly.

    31 I took the leaders of Judah to go and stand on top of the wall. I chose two large groups of singers to thank God with songs. I told the first group to walk along the wall to the south, in the direction of the Dung Gate.

    32 Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah followed this group of singers. 33 Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah and Jeremiah also followed them. 35 Some priests with trumpets went with them. They included Jonathan's son, Zechariah. He was a descendant of Asaph, through Shemaiah, Mattaniah, Micaiah and Zaccur, Asaph's son. 36 These other people helped Zechariah: Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani. They all had musical instruments, as King David had told them. Ezra, the teacher of God's Law, led this group of people. 37 When they arrived at the Fountain Gate they all went up the steps of the City of David. While they went up the steps, they passed King David's palace. Then they continued along the wall to the Water Gate, on the east side of the city.

    38 The second group of singers went in the opposite direction. I followed them along the top of the wall, with half of the people. We went past the Tower of the Ovens and we continued to the Broad Wall. 39 Then we went over the Gate of Ephraim and over the Jeshanah Gate. We went along to the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred and the Sheep Gate. We stopped at the Gate of the Guards.

    40 Then the two groups of singers went to stand in the yard of God's temple. I went with them, together with half of the officers. 41 The priests who had trumpets were there: Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah. 42 Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer followed them. Jezrahiah led the groups of singers, so that they sang loudly.

    43 On that day, the people offered many sacrifices to God. They were full of joy because God had caused them to be very happy. Men, women and children were all shouting with joy. Far away from the city, people could hear the noise!

    44 On the same day, we chose men to take care of the rooms where they stored the people's gifts. Those gifts to God were the first fruits from the harvest and the tithes. They had to bring these gifts from the fields near each city. They read this in the law. They were gifts for the Levites and the priests, as God's Law commanded. The people of Judah were happy to help the priests and Levites who served God.

    45 The priests and the Levites did the work that God had given them to make the people clean. The temple singers and guards also served God in the way that King David and his son Solomon had commanded. 46 Long ago, at the time when King David and Asaph were alive, there had been people to lead the singers. They sang songs to praise God and to thank him. 47 In the time of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all the Israelites shared their food with the singers and the guards. Every day they kept separate the part that was for the Levites. The Levites also kept separate the part that was for the priests.