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Nehemiah 12

Priests and Levites

1 This is a list of the priests and 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 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 the people led the songs that thanked God. And other people helped him. 9 Bakbukiah and Unni and other people stood across from them when they sang. And other people helped them. 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 This is a list of the priests' family leaders in the time of Joiakim: Meraiah was leader of the family of Seraiah. Hananiah was leader of the family of Jeremiah.

13 Meshullam was leader of the family of Ezra. Jehohanan was leader of the family of Amariah.

14 Jonathan was leader of the family of Malluch. Joseph was leader of the family of Shecaniah.

15 Adna was leader of the family of Harim. Helkai was leader of the family of Meremoth.

16 Zechariah was leader of the family of Iddo. Meshullam was leader of the family of Ginnethon.

17 Zicri was leader of the family of Abijah. Piltai was leader of the families of Miniamin and Moadiah.

18 Shammua was leader of the family of Bilgah. Jehonathan was leader of the family of Shemaiah.

19 Mattenai was leader of the family of Joiarib. Uzzi was leader of the family of Jedaiah.

20 Kallai was leader of the family of Sallu. Eber was leader of the family of Amok.

21 Hashabiah was leader of the family of Hilkiah. Nethanel was leader of the family of Jedaiah.

22 They recorded the names of the leaders of the Levites' families. That was in the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua. They lived when King Darius ruled Persia. I also recorded the names of the family leaders of the priests. 23 I wrote the names of the family leaders who were descendants of Levi, the Levites, in the special book. It was the book where we recorded names. These were their descendants to the time of Johanan son of Eliashib. 24 The leaders of the Levites were: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and the people who helped them. The people who helped them stood across from them to sing and praise and thank God. The Levites sang first. And then the people who helped them replied. They did this as David, God's man, had told the Jews. 25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub were gatekeepers. They watched for enemies from the store-rooms by the gates. 26 They were gatekeepers in the time of Joiakim son of Jeshua, son of Jozadak. This was also in the time of Nehemiah, who had authority over Judah. And it was in the time of Ezra, who was a priest and teacher of the law.

The people dedicate the wall to God

27 The Jews brought the Levites to Jerusalem from their homes. The Levites were happy that they could help to dedicate the wall to God. They made music with cymbals, harps and lyres. They sang songs to thank God.

12:27To dedicate something to God means that you are giving it to God. The Jews knew that God helped them to build the wall. People use cymbals, harps and lyres to make music.

28 The temple singers came together from places round Jerusalem. They came from the villages round Netophah 29 and from Beth Gilgal, Geba and Azmaveth. The singers had built these villages near to Jerusalem. 30 The priests and Levites purified themselves. Then they purified the people. Then they purified the gates and the city wall.

12:30Purify means to make something clean. The Jews had special ways to make themselves clean. Sometimes they killed an animal for a sacrifice. When they had made themselves clean, God would accept them.

31 I told the leaders of Judah that they should stand on top of the wall. I told two large groups of singers that they should sing songs. They would thank God. I told the first group that they should walk in the direction of the Dung Gate.

32 Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah followed this group. 33 Azariah, Ezra and Meshullam followed. 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah and Jeremiah followed them also. 35 Some priests with trumpets followed them also. And Zechariah son of Jonathan, Shemaiah's son followed them. Shemaiah was the son of Mattaniah, Micaiah's son. Micaiah was the son of Zaccur, Asaph's son. 36 Other people helped them: Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani. They all had things to make music. They did this as David, God's man, had told the Jews. Ezra the teacher of the law led this group of people. They walked towards the Dung Gate. 37 When they came to the Fountain Gate they all went up the steps of the City of David. While they went up the steps, they passed above the house of David. Then they went to the Water Gate on the east.

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

40 The two groups of singers went into God's house. I (Nehemiah) went with them. Half of the officers also went into the house of God. 41 The priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah went in also. They had trumpets. 42 Also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer went into the house of God. Jezrahiah told the groups of singers how to sing. 43 The Jews gave big sacrifices to God. Men, women and children were very happy. They sang and shouted. People heard them far away from Jerusalem.

44 The people chose men to look after the rooms where they kept the first fruits and tithes. They had to bring the tithes and the first fruits from the fields near the town. They read this in the law. These were for the Levites and priests. The work of the priests and Levites gave pleasure to the people of Judah.

45 The priests and Levites worked on God's behalf. The singers and gatekeepers also worked on God's behalf. They made themselves clean as David and his son Solomon had written. 46 In the time of David and Asaph, special Levites sang the songs to praise and thank God. 47 In the time of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all the Jews gave food for the singers and gatekeepers every day. They put on one side what was for the Levites. And the Levites put on one side what was for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.