Nehemiah 7

1 When we had built the wall I put the doors in their place. We chose men to watch at the gates (these men are called gatekeepers), singers and Levites. 2 I gave my brother Hanani authority over Jerusalem. I also gave authority over the strongest building to Hananiah. He was a good man. He gave God more respect than many men. 3 I said to them, ‘Do not open the city gates until the sun is high in the sky. Lock the gates while the gatekeepers are still there. Choose people who live in Jerusalem to watch for enemies. Some people must stand by the gates; other people must stand by their houses.’

People who came back from the exile

4 Jerusalem city was large, but not many people lived in it. We had not yet built the houses completely.

5 God put an idea in my mind. All the people who returned to Jerusalem must write down their family names. I found the family records of the first people to return to Jerusalem.

6 These families returned to Jerusalem and Judah after King Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews away in the exile. 7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah. This is a list of the men of Israel:

8 from the descendants of Parosh, 2,172;

9 of Shephatiah, 372;

10 of Arah, 652;

11 of Pahath-Moab (by Jeshua and Joab), 2,818;

12 of Elam, 1,254;

13 of Zattu, 845;

14 of Zaccai, 760;

15 of Binnui, 648;

16 of Bebai, 628;

17 of Azgad, 2,322;

18 of Adonikam, 667;

19 of Bigvai, 2,067;

20 of Adin, 655;

21 of Ater (by Hezekiah), 98;

22 of Hashum, 328;

23 of Bezai, 324;

24 of Hariph, 112;

25 of Gibeon, 95;

26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188;

27 of Anathoth, 128;

28 of Beth Azmaveth, 42;

29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth, 743;

30 of Ramah and Geba, 621;

31 of Michmash, 122;

32 of Bethel and Ai, 123;

33 of the different Nebo, 52;

34 of the different Elam, 1,254;

35 of Harim, 320;

36 of Jericho, 345;

37 of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 721;

38 of Senaah, 3,930;

39 the priests who were descendants of Jedaiah (by Jeshua), 973;

40 of Immer, 1,052;

41 of Pashhur, 1,247;

42 of Harim, 1,017.

43 the Levites who were descendants of Jeshua (by Kadmiel, by Hodaviah), 74.

44 the singers who were descendants of Asaph, 148.

45 the gatekeepers of the descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai, 138.

46 the temple servants who were descendants of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,

47 Keros, Sia, Padon,

48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,

49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,

50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,

51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,

52 Besai, Meunim, Nephussim,

53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

56 Neziah and Hatipha.

57 the descendants of the servants of Solomon who were descendants of Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,

58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,

59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon.

60 The temple servants and descendants of the servants of Solomon were 392 men.

61 There were some people who came from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer. But they did not have family records. They could not be sure that they were Jewish:

62 the descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda, 642.

63 Among the priests there were the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai. (Barzillai was a man who married a daughter of Barzillai. He came from Gilead and he took that name.) 64 These people could not find family records. Because of this, they could not be priests. They were not clean. 65 The officer in Judah said that they could not eat the priests' special food. They had to wait for a priest to use the Urim and Thummim.

7:65It was very important that the Jews had family records. These showed that they were true Jews. The Urim and Thummim are special things. God used them to show the priests what he wanted. Priests had to be descendants of Aaron.

66 The number of all the people was 42 360. 67 There were also 7,337 men servants and women servants and 245 men and women singers. 68 There were 736 horses and 245 mules, 69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

7:69Horses, mules, camels and donkeys are animals that carry things and people.

70 Some of the family leaders gave money to help build the wall. The man with authority in that place gave 8.5 kilos of gold, 50 bowls and 530 sets of special clothes for the priests. 71 Some family leaders gave 170 kilos of gold and 1.3 metric tons of silver. 72 The rest of the people gave 170 kilos of gold and 1.3 metric tons of silver. They also gave 67 sets of special clothes for the priests.

7:72Gold and silver are valuable metals. A metric ton is a weight.

73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers and the temple servants now lived in their towns. Other people and the rest of the Jewish people also lived in their own towns. All the people were living in their own towns when the seventh month came.