Nehemiah Chapter 6 to 7 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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6 Then Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and our other enemies heard that I had built the wall. We fixed all the holes in the wall. But we had not yet put the doors in the gates. 2So Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come Nehemiah, let’s meet together. We can meet in the town of Kephirim on the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to hurt me. 3So I sent messengers to them with this answer: “I am doing important work, so I can’t come down. I don’t want the work to stop just so I can come down and meet with you.” 4Sanballat and Geshem sent the same message to me four times. And I sent back the same answer to them each time. 5Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his helper to me with the same message. And he had a letter in his hand that was not sealed. 6This is what that letter said: “There is a rumor going around. People are talking about it everywhere. And, by the way, Geshem says it is true. People are saying that you and the Jews are planning to turn against the king. That is why you are building the wall of Jerusalem. People are also saying that you will be the new king of the Jews. 7And the rumor is that you have chosen prophets to announce this about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ “Now I warn you, Nehemiah, King Artaxerxes will hear about this. So come, let’s meet and talk about this together.” 8So I sent this answer back to Sanballat: “Nothing you are saying is happening. You are just making all that up in your own head.” 9Our enemies were only trying to make us afraid. They are thinking to themselves, “The Jews will be afraid and too weak to keep on working. Then the wall won’t be finished.” But I prayed, “God, make me strong.” 10One day I went to the house of a man named Shemaiah son of Delaiah. Delaiah was the son of Mehetabel. Shemaiah had to stay in his house. Shemaiah said, “Nehemiah, let’s meet in God’s temple.* Let’s go inside the Holy Place* and lock the doors. Men are coming to kill you. Tonight they are coming to kill you.” 11But I said to Shemaiah, “Should a man like me run away? You know that an {ordinary} man like me can’t go into the Holy Place without being put to death! I won’t go!” 12I knew that God had not sent Shemaiah. I knew that he had preached against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had paid him to do that. 13They hired Shemaiah to scare me and make me sin {by going into that part of the temple}. They were planning those bad things against me so they could embarrass me. 14God, please remember Tobiah and Sanballat. Remember the bad things they have done. Also remember the woman prophet Noadiah and the other prophets that have been trying to scare me.

The Wall Is Finished

15So the wall of Jerusalem was finished on the 25th day of the month of Elul.* It had taken 52 days to finish building the wall. 16Then all our enemies heard that we had completed the wall. And all the nations around us saw that it was finished. So they lost their courage. Why? Because they understood that this work had been done with the help of our God. 17Also, in those days after the wall had been completed, the rich people of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah. And Tobiah was answering their letters. 18They sent those letters because many people in Judah had promised to be loyal to him. The reason for this is because Tobiah was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah. And Tobiah’s son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam. Meshullam is the son of Berekiah. 19And in the past, those people had made a special promise to Tobiah. So those people kept telling me how good Tobiah was. And they kept telling Tobiah about the things I was doing. Tobiah kept sending me letters to make me afraid.

temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship.  Holy Place Literally, “palace.” Only priests were allowed to go into this part of the temple. Elul This was August-September, 443 B.C.

7 So, we finished building the wall. Then we put the doors in the gates. Then we chose the men that would guard the gates. And we chose the men to sing in the temple* and help the priests. 2Next, I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem. I chose another man named Hananiah to be the commander of the fort. I picked Hanani because he was a very honest man and he feared God more than most men do. 3Then I said to Hanani and Hananiah, “Each day you must wait until the sun has been up for several hours before you open the gates of Jerusalem. And you must shut and lock the gates before the sun goes down. Also choose people that live in Jerusalem as guards. Put some of those people at special places to guard the city. And put the other people near their own houses.”

The List of Captives That Returned

4Now the city was large and there was plenty of room. But there were few people in it and the houses had not yet been built again. 5So my God put it in my heart to have all the people meet together. I called together all the important people, the officials, and the common people. I did this so I could make a list of all the families. I found the family lists* of the people that had been the first to return from captivity. This is what I found written there: 6These are the people of the province that came back from captivity. In the past, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took these people as prisoners to Babylon. These people came back to Jerusalem and Judah. Each person went to his own town. 7These people returned with Zerubbabel*: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. This is the list of names and numbers of men from Israel that came back: 8The descendants* of Parosh 2,172 9the descendants of Shephatiah 372 10the descendants of Arah 652 11the descendants of Pahath Moab of the family line of Jeshua and Joab 2,818 12the descendants of Elam 1,254 13the descendants of Zattu 845 14the descendants of Zaccai 760 15the descendants of Binnui 648 16the descendants of Bebai 628 17the descendants of Azgad 2,322 18the descendants of Adonikam 667 19the descendants of Bigvai 2,067 20the descendants of Adin 655 21the descendants of Ater through the family of Hezekiah 98 22the descendants of Hashum 328 23the descendants of Bezai 324 24the descendants of Hariph 112 25the descendants of Gibeon 95 26from the towns of Bethlehem and Netophah 188 27from the town of Anathoth 128 28from the town of Beth Azmaveth 42 29from the towns of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth 743 30from the towns of Ramah and Geba 621 31from the town of Micmash 122 32from the towns of Bethel and Ai 123 33from the other town of Nebo 52 34from the other town of Elam 1,254 35from the town of Harim 320 36from the town of Jericho 345 37from the towns of Lod, Hadid, and Ono 721 38from the town of Senaah 3,930 39These are the priests: The descendants* of Jedaiah through the family of Jeshua 973 40the descendants of Immer 1,052 41the descendants of Pashhur 1,247 42the descendants of Harim 1,017 43These are the people from the family group of Levi: The descendants* of Jeshua through Kadmiel through the family of Hodeiah* 74 44These are the singers: The descendants* of Asaph 148 45These are the gatekeepers: The descendants* of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai 138 46These are the special temple servants: The descendants* of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, 47Keros, Sia, Padon, 48Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai, 49Hanan, Giddel, Gaher, 50Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, 51Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, 52Besai, Meunim, Nephussim, 53Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, 54Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, 55Barkos, Sisera, Temah, 56Neziah and Hatipha. 57These are the descendants* of the servants of Solomon: Sotai, Sophereth, Perida, 58Jaala, Darkon, Giddel, 59Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth Hazzebaim, and Amon. 60The temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants 392  61Some people came to Jerusalem from these towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer. But these people could not prove that their families really came from the people of Israel: 62The descendants* of Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda 642 63From the family of priests there were the descendants* of: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai (If a man married a daughter of Barzillai from Gilead, that man was counted as a descendant of Barzillai.) 64These people searched for their family histories, but they could not find them. They could not prove that their ancestors* were priests, so they could serve as priests. Their names were not included in the list of priests. 65The governor ordered these people not eat any of the most holy food. They could not eat any of this food until the {high} priest could use the Urim and Thummim* to ask God what to do. 66–67All together, there were 42,360 people in the group that came back. This is not counting their 7,337 men and women servants. They also had 245 men and women singers with them. 68–69They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 70Some of the family leaders gave money to support the work. The governor gave 19 pounds* of gold to the treasury. He also gave 50 bowls and 530 pieces of clothing for the priests. 71The family leaders gave 375 pounds* of gold to the treasury to support the work. And they also gave 1 1/3 tons* of silver. 72And all together the other people gave 375 pounds* of gold, 1 1/3 tons* of silver, and 67 pieces of clothing for the priests. 73So, the priests, the people from the family group of Levi, the gatekeepers, the singers, and the temple servants settled down in their own towns. And all the other people of Israel settled down in their own towns. And by the seventh month* of the year all the people of Israel had settled down in their own towns.

temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship.  family lists See Ezra 2.  Zerubbabel He is also called Sheshbazzar. descendants A person’s children and all of their future families. Hodeiah Or, “Hodaviah.” descendants A person’s children and all of their future families. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Urim and Thummim Special stones kept in the Judgment Pouch and used by the high priest to ask for an answer from God. 19 pounds Literally, “1,000 drachmas.” 375 pounds Literally, “20,000 drachmas.” 1 1/3 tons Literally, “2,200 minas.” 375 pounds Literally, “20,000 drachmas.” 1 1/3 tons Literally, “2,000 minas.” seventh month That is, September-October.

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