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Les * Juifs construisent Jérusalem
mur de la ville à nouveau

Une Bible en anglais facile
Version et commentaire (vocabulaire de 2800 mots) sur le livre de Néhémie

www.easyenglish.bible

Robert Bryce et Robert Betts

Ce commentaire a été grâce à la vérification avancée.

Les mots encadrés sont tirés de la Bible.

Une liste de mots à la fin explique les mots accompagnés d’une étoile *.

Explication

Il y a plusieurs dates dans cette * introduction. Ces dates sont les
nombre d’années avant la naissance de Jésus-Christ. Chaque date a le
lettres «BC», qui signifient «avant le Christ», après. Cette * introduction également
se réfère à des endroits de la Bible où vous pouvez lire ces choses.

L’histoire des * juifs avant leur * exil

Ce sont les événements qui se sont produits en * Israël avant le temps de
Néhémie. Ce récit nous aidera à mieux comprendre le livre de Néhémie.
Nous pouvons lire ces événements dans Néhémie 9: 5-37.

Les gens en * Israël n’obéissent pas à Dieu

Dieu a choisi la nation appelée * Israël pour être son peuple spécial
(Lévitique 20:26). Il voulait que les gens l’aiment et l’adorent. Et il
voulait qu’ils lui obéissent. Dans la ville appelée Jérusalem, qui était leur capitale,
ils ont construit un grand temple. Le peuple * adorait Dieu et donnait * des sacrifices à
lui dans ce * temple. * Israël est devenu une nation puissante.

Mais le peuple d’Israël n’a pas obéi à Dieu (Néhémie 9: 16-18,
26). Ils * adoraient les dieux des autres nations. Alors Dieu a causé le peuple
en * Israël pour souffrir de troubles et de difficultés.

Les * Israélites ont continué à * pécher contre Dieu (Néhémie 9:28).
Dieu a envoyé de nombreux * prophètes pour les avertir à ce sujet. Mais les * Israélites n’ont pas
écoutez ces hommes. Au lieu de cela, les * Israélites ont continué à faire de mauvaises choses
(Néhémie 9: 29-30). Alors Dieu leur a permis de souffrir de terribles difficultés. Dieu
aimait les Israélites parce qu’ils étaient son peuple. Il leur a seulement permis de
souffrir ainsi pour qu’ils se souviennent de lui. Il voulait qu’ils lui obéissent. ensuite
il pouvait à nouveau faire de bonnes choses pour eux.

La nation s’est divisée en deux parties. La partie nord s’appelait
* Israël et les gens ont appelé les habitants * Israélites. Le nom du sud
une partie était * Juda et les gens appelés les habitants * Juifs. Jérusalem était dans le
la partie sud. Le livre de Néhémie concerne le peuple de * Juda. cependant,
parfois Néhémie les appelle le peuple d’Israël. Dieu a donné le nom à Jacob
* Israël quand il a promis de faire des descendants de Jacob * le peuple spécial de Dieu. Par
au temps de Néhémie, seuls les habitants de * Juda sont restés, mais ils étaient encore
Le peuple spécial de Dieu.

L’Assyrie vainc * Israël

En 722 avant JC, Dieu permit à une nation puissante, les * Assyriens, de
vaincre * Israël (2 Rois 17: 1-23). Les * Assyriens ont forcé de nombreux * Israélites à
vivent dans d’autres pays (2 Rois 17: 6; 2 Rois 18: 10-11). Et ils ont apporté
d’autres personnes à vivre en Israël (2 Rois 17:24). Ces autres personnes * adoraient
faux dieux. Ils ont également essayé de * adorer le vrai Dieu, mais ils n’ont pas * adoré
lui de la bonne manière (2 Rois 17: 25-41). Les gens les appelaient Samaritains
parce que leur chef-lieu s’appelait Samarie (2 Rois 17:24). La Samarie était seulement
environ deux jours de marche de Jérusalem. Les Samaritains sont devenus les ennemis de Néhémie.
L’un de leurs chefs était Sanballat, qui était le principal ennemi de Néhémie.

Le début de * l’exil du peuple de * Juda

Beaucoup de rois de * Juda n’obéirent pas à Dieu. Mais certains d’entre eux
aimaient Dieu et ils encourageaient les gens à lui obéir. Mais les * Juifs généralement
a refusé d’obéir à Dieu (Néhémie 9: 28-30), comme l’avaient fait les Israélites. Donc après
pendant de nombreuses années, Dieu a dû les punir aussi.

En 701 av.J.-C., Sennachérib, roi d’Assyrie, a vaincu certaines villes de
* Juda (2 Rois 18:13). Mais il n’a pas vaincu Jérusalem (2 Rois 19: 32-36).
Dieu a sauvé la ville à cette occasion.

Plusieurs années plus tard, les * Assyriens sont devenus faibles et les * Babyloniens
a pris le contrôle de leur pays, l’Assyrie. Les * Babyloniens étaient les * Juifs »
ennemis, comme l’avaient été les Assyriens. Le roi des * Babyloniens était
Nebucadnetsar. L’armée babylonienne a vaincu Juda. Les soldats ont pris la plupart des
les * Juifs en Babylonie et les ont forcés à y vivre. C’est ce qu’on appelle «le
* Exil * babylonien ». Cela a duré environ 70 ans.

Dieu a utilisé un roi étranger, Nebucadnetsar, pour punir les * Juifs.
Nabuchodonosor les a enlevés du pays que Dieu leur avait donné. À ce
temps, Nebucadnetsar n’a pas honoré le vrai Dieu. Au lieu,
Nabuchodonosor servait de faux dieux. Mais Dieu a toujours utilisé Nabuchodonosor pour
punir les * Juifs. Dans Jérémie 25: 9, Dieu a dit que Nebucadnetsar était son serviteur.
Mais Nabuchodonosor ne le savait pas. Dans Jérémie 25:12, Dieu a également dit qu’il
punirait les * Babyloniens 70 ans plus tard. Dieu les punirait parce que
ils étaient aussi méchants (voir Daniel chapitre 5). Dieu a le contrôle. Il peut même utiliser
des gens qui ne le connaissent pas.

Les * Babyloniens ont vaincu * Juda en trois phases:

1. En 605 avant JC, ils
a pris la famille du roi Jehoiakim et le peuple qui a servi le roi (2 Chroniques
36: 5-7; Daniel 1: 1-7). Ils les ont forcés à aller en Babylonie et à y vivre.
Daniel était l’une de ces personnes et il est devenu un fonctionnaire très important
Babylonie (Daniel 1: 17-21; 5: 29-6,3; 6:28). Il a écrit le livre de Daniel.

2. Ensuite, 8 ans
plus tard, les Babyloniens emmenèrent Jojakin, le prochain roi de Juda, en Babylonie.
Et ils désignèrent son oncle, Sédécias, pour être roi de Juda. Ils ont également pris
tous les chefs, soldats et habiles ouvriers. Les * Babyloniens ont également volé le
des choses belles et précieuses dans le * temple et ils les ont emmenées à Babylone (2
Rois 24: 10-17).

3. Plus tard, en 586 avant JC,
les Babyloniens sont venus. Ils ont détruit le * temple et la ville de Jérusalem.
Ils ont emmené le roi Sédécias et la plupart des habitants de Juda pour
Babylonie. Ils ne permettaient qu’aux plus pauvres de vivre en * Juda (2 Rois
25: 1-12).

Dieu avait averti son peuple avant que ces choses ne se produisent. Il le ferait
permettre à ces événements de se produire si le peuple refusait de lui obéir (Lévitique
26: 27 à 39; Deutéronome 28:15 et 28: 64-68; 2 Chroniques 36: 15-16; Ésaïe 39: 6-7
et Michée 4:10). Dieu a donné beaucoup de temps à son peuple pour lui demander de leur pardonner. Il
leur a donné l’occasion de lui obéir. Mais les gens ne l’ont pas écouté.
Ils ont fait de plus en plus de mauvaises choses et ils ont honoré de faux dieux.

Les livres d’Esdras et de Néhémie

Les livres d’Esdras et de Néhémie sont deux parties de la même histoire.
Ils nous parlent de l’époque où les * Juifs sont revenus de Babylonie dans les leurs
pays appelé * Juda. La Babylonie était à environ 4 mois de marche à l’est de * Juda. le
* Les Babyloniens avaient vaincu le peuple de * Juda. Les * Babyloniens avaient forcé
la plupart des * Juifs pour aller en Babylonie et y vivre. Après de nombreuses années, le
* Les Perses ont vaincu les * Babyloniens. Puis Cyrus, le roi de Perse, a permis
les * Juifs de retourner en * Juda.

Le livre d’Ezra est la première partie. Il nous raconte le premier
deux groupes de * Juifs qui sont retournés en * Juda. Le premier groupe est revenu environ 70
des années après que * les Babyloniens eurent emmené * les Juifs * en * exil. Le livre aussi
explique comment les * Juifs ont reconstruit leur * temple. Puis, plusieurs années plus tard, un homme
appelé Ezra a aidé les * Juifs. Il les a aidés à connaître les commandements de Dieu et à obéir
leur.

Le livre de Néhémie est la deuxième partie. Il raconte l’histoire d’un
homme dont le nom était Néhémie. C’était un fonctionnaire très important qui travaillait pour
le roi de Perse. Dieu a envoyé Néhémie en * Juda afin d’accomplir une tâche spéciale.
Néhémie aiderait les * Juifs à reconstruire les murs autour de Jérusalem. Il
est arrivé en * Juda environ 13 ans après qu’Ezra y soit allé. Le roi a nommé
Néhémie pour être le chef de * Juda. Néhémie, comme Esdras, aida les * Juifs à
obéissez aux commandements de Dieu.

À propos des murs de la ville

Dans les temps anciens, la plupart des villes avaient des murs de ville. Le mur était un
défense importante qui entourait la ville.

Le mur serait fort et haut. Beaucoup de ces murs étaient plusieurs
mètres d’épaisseur. Et ils feraient de la ville un grand château.

Le haut du mur serait plat. Les gardes de la ville marcheraient
au sommet du mur. À partir de là, ils pouvaient surveiller tous les criminels qui étaient
à l’intérieur de la ville. De plus, les gardes pourraient voir si une armée ennemie
s’approcha de la ville.

Il y aurait des tours * le long du mur. Celles-ci étaient grandes,
bâtiments solides que les gardes pourraient utiliser. Et ils seraient très utiles si
il y avait une guerre.

Le mur aurait de grandes portes. Pendant la journée, ces portes étaient
ouvert. Les commerçants et les voyageurs pouvaient entrer dans la ville. Et ils pourraient aller au
marché. Mais la nuit, les gardes ont fermé les portes. Ensuite, personne ne pouvait entrer.
Et la ville serait en sécurité.

Parce que le mur était si fort, les gens l’utilisaient pour d’autres
fins aussi. Par exemple, les gens pourraient construire leurs maisons contre cela. Dans certaines
villes, ces maisons sont devenues une partie de l’enceinte de la ville. Alors, le mur est devenu
une rangée de maisons.

v1 Ceci est le récit de Néhémie, qui était le fils de
Hachaliah. C’était le mois appelé Kislev dans la 20e année du roi Artaxerxès »
règle. J’étais à Shushan, le château du roi.

Verset 1

Néhémie était un * Juif. Il était un serviteur important du roi de
Perse (Néhémie 1:11). Plusieurs années plus tôt, les * Perses avaient vaincu les
* Babyloniens. Puis le * roi de Perse avait permis aux * Juifs de retourner en * Juda
de l’exil * babylonien *. Certains des * Juifs étaient partis, mais beaucoup d’entre eux
vécu en Perse. Néhémie est probablement né en Perse. Le livre commence quand
Néhémie était à Shushan. Les * rois persans y avaient un palais, qu’ils utilisaient
pendant l’hiver. L’histoire d’Esther dans la Bible s’est produite à Suse (Esther
1: 1-2).

v2 Hanani, un de mes frères, m’a rendu visite. Il avait
viennent de * Juda avec d’autres hommes. Je leur ai posé des questions sur les * Juifs qui avaient
échappé à l’exil *. Aussi, j’ai interrogé Hanani et les autres hommes sur Jérusalem. v3
Ils m’ont parlé des * Juifs qui s’étaient échappés. «Ils vivent maintenant en * Juda.
Ils souffrent beaucoup de problèmes et de honte. Les murs de Jérusalem ne sont plus que des tas
de pierres. Le feu a brûlé les portes de la ville. »

Versets 2-3

Le frère de Néhémie et d’autres hommes sont venus de * Juda pour visiter
Néhémie. Il leur a demandé des nouvelles de Jérusalem, qui était la capitale de
*Juda.

Néhémie est probablement né en Perse. Il n’avait probablement jamais été
à * Juda. Mais il se souciait de * Juda. C’était le pays auquel Dieu avait donné
son peuple, appelé les * Juifs. Néhémie savait que les * Juifs n’avaient pas obéi à Dieu.
Alors Dieu les avait punis. Dieu les avait fait vivre loin de * Juda en
Babylone. Mais après 70 ans, Dieu leur avait permis de revenir.

Néhémie espérait probablement entendre de bonnes nouvelles. Le peuple de Dieu était
vivant de retour dans le pays que Dieu leur avait donné. Néhémie voulait entendre
qu’ils y étaient heureux. Il voulait entendre qu’ils servaient Dieu. Mais
son frère lui a donné de mauvaises nouvelles. Les gens n’étaient pas contents. De plus, les murs
de la ville n’étaient que des tas de pierres. Nous pouvons en savoir plus à ce sujet dans le livre
d’Ezra. Les gens d’autres nations qui vivaient près de Jérusalem se sont opposés à la
*Les Juifs. Ils ne voulaient pas que les * Juifs reconstruisent la ville (Esdras 4: 7-23).

v4 J’ai écouté ça. Puis je me suis assis et j’ai pleuré. je
était triste pendant plusieurs jours et je n’ai pas mangé. J’ai prié le Dieu du ciel.

Verset 4

Cette nouvelle rendit Néhémie très triste. Il était triste pendant plusieurs jours et il
n’ai pas mangé.

Parfois, les gens ne mangent pas pendant une courte période s’ils sont très
triste. Ils peuvent faire cela pour avoir plus de temps pour prier Dieu.

Néhémie a prié chaque nuit et chaque jour. Il a prié pour 4
mois. Du mois appelé Kislev (Néhémie 1: 1) au mois appelé Nisan
(Néhémie 2: 1) avait 4 mois.

v5 J’ai dit: «Tu es * Jéhovah, le Dieu du ciel. Vous êtes
génial. Tout le monde devrait avoir peur de vous. Vous faites toujours ce que vous promettez. Tu
ont conclu un accord avec ces personnes qui vous aiment. De telles personnes obéissent à votre
commandes. v6 Je suis votre serviteur. Veuillez prendre note de moi et écouter
ma prière. Je vous prie jour et nuit pour le peuple d’Israël. Ils
sont vos serviteurs. Je confesse les * péchés que le peuple * d’Israël a commis
contre vous. Ma famille et moi avons également fait de mauvaises choses. v7 Nous avons
fait de très mauvaises choses contre vous. Vous avez donné des ordres, des ordres et des jugements
à Moïse votre serviteur. Mais nous ne leur avons pas obéi.

v8 Vous avez donné des instructions à votre serviteur Moïse. Tu
dit: «Si vous n’êtes pas fidèle à moi (Dieu), je vous ferai disperser parmi les
nations. v9 Mais si vous revenez vers moi, je vous ramènerai. Obéis à mon
commandes! Fait ce que je dis! Alors même si je t’ai forcé à vivre dans le plus lointain
lieux, je vous ramènerai de là. Je te ramènerai au pays
où j’ai choisi de vivre.

v10 Ces gens sont vos serviteurs. Ils sont vos
gens. Vous êtes fort et puissant et vous les avez sauvés. v11 C’est mon
demande. Je suis votre serviteur. Veuillez entendre ma prière et la prière de tous vos
serviteurs. Nous aimons respecter votre nom. Je suis votre serviteur. S’il te plait donne moi
succès aujourd’hui. Et s’il vous plaît, rendez le roi favorable. »

J’étais l’homme qui servait le vin au roi.

Versets 5-11

Nous lisons plusieurs des prières de Néhémie dans ce livre. Une partie de
ses prières étaient très courtes. Mais celui-ci nous aide à comprendre ce que Néhémie
les prières étaient comme. Quand Néhémie a commencé sa prière, il a adoré Dieu. Ce
C’est ainsi que Daniel a commencé ses prières (Daniel 9: 4). C’est aussi ainsi que Jésus a enseigné
nous pour commencer nos prières (Luc 11: 2).

Néhémie était loin de * Juda. Donc il ne pouvait pas facilement aider
les gens là-bas. Mais il savait que le Dieu du ciel pouvait tout faire.

Néhémie était au courant de l’accord de Dieu avec les * Juifs. Dieu a promis
être gentil avec eux s’ils lui obéissent. Il leur a donné le pays appelé * Juda
(qui fait partie de * Israël) comme leur maison. Et c’était un bon endroit pour vivre.
Mais Néhémie savait aussi que Dieu avait dit à Moïse d’avertir le peuple. Dieu voudrait
punissez-les s’ils ne lui ont pas obéi (Deutéronome 28: 62-67). Et les gens avaient
pas obéi à Dieu. C’était la raison de l’exil. Et c’est pourquoi la plupart des * Juifs
vivaient encore en tant qu’étrangers à l’époque de Néhémie.

Alors maintenant, Néhémie a prié Dieu au nom de tous les * Juifs. Il
confessé les * péchés de tout le peuple. Daniel et Ezra avaient fait ça aussi
(Daniel 9: 4-15; Esdras 9: 6-7; Esdras 9:10).

Néhémie s’est également souvenu des promesses de Dieu. Si les gens faisaient confiance
Dieu encore, Dieu les ramènerait de * l’exil. S’ils obéissaient à Dieu, il le ferait
ramenez-les vivre en * Juda (Deutéronome 30: 1-5).

Néhémie a ajouté que les * Juifs étaient le peuple spécial de Dieu. Ils avaient
été esclaves dans un pays appelé Égypte. Mais Dieu est puissant. Et Dieu est gentil.
Dieu les avait sauvés d’Égypte. Et Néhémie priait pour que Dieu sauve
les à nouveau.

Néhémie a prié Dieu de l’aider. Mais il voulait aussi faire
quelque chose lui-même, bien qu’il fût loin de * Juda. Il travaillait dans le
palais du roi de Perse. Ce roi était très puissant. Il a gouverné de nombreux
pays, y compris * Juda. Ainsi, le travail de Néhémie lui a donné l’occasion de
parle à ce grand roi. Néhémie était très prudent et il était très sage. Il
a demandé à Dieu de l’aider afin qu’il puisse dire la bonne chose au roi. Mais
Néhémie a dû attendre 4 mois avant d’en avoir l’opportunité. Il y en a 4
mois entre le mois appelé Kislev (Néhémie 1: 1) et le mois appelé Nisan
(Néhémie 2: 1).

v1 C’était le mois appelé Nisan dans la 20e année de
Règle du roi Artaxerxès. Je servais le roi avec du vin. J’ai pris le vin et j’ai
l’a donné au roi. Je n’avais jamais été triste avant quand j’étais avec le roi. v2
Alors le roi m’a dit: «Votre visage est très triste. Mais tu n’es pas malade. Ça signifie
que tu es triste dans ton cœur. »

Ensuite, j’ai eu très peur. v3 Et j’ai dit au roi: «Je
espère que le roi aura une longue vie. Je vais vous dire pourquoi je suis triste. le
ville, où se trouvent les tombes de mes * ancêtres, est un tas de pierres. Le feu a brûlé son
portes.’

Versets 1-3

Quand Néhémie a appris la mauvaise nouvelle de * Juda, il a prié. Il a demandé
Dieu pour l’aider afin qu’il puisse dire la bonne chose au roi. 4 mois
plus tard, il a eu sa chance. Il n’a pas perdu les 4 mois. Il a continué à
prier. En fin de compte, il s’est senti confiant dans ce que Dieu voulait qu’il dise.

Le visage de Néhémie était triste lorsqu’il a servi le vin au roi. Il
n’avait pas été triste avant quand il était avec le roi. En ces jours, les serviteurs avaient
être heureux quand ils étaient avec le roi (Esther 4: 2). Ils ne doivent pas faire
roi triste ou en colère. Le roi pouvait tuer des serviteurs qui le mettaient en colère.

Mais Néhémie était triste ce jour-là. Et le roi pouvait voir ça
Néhémie était triste. Le roi était peut-être très en colère et Néhémie avait peur.
Mais Dieu contrôlait et donc le roi était gentil avec Néhémie. Le roi a demandé
Néhémie pourquoi il était triste. Alors Néhémie a annoncé au roi la mauvaise nouvelle
Jérusalem.

Néhémie a choisi ses mots avec soin. Il semble qu’il n’a pas
nommez en fait Jérusalem. Dans le passé, le roi s’était inquiété pour Jérusalem
(Esdras 4:19). A cette époque, le roi ne voulait pas que les * Juifs reconstruisent la ville.
Néhémie a donc simplement parlé de la ville où se trouvaient les tombes de ses * ancêtres. Il
mentionné les tombes pour une autre raison aussi. Souvent, les gens croient qu’ils
devrait prendre grand soin des tombes, en raison de leur religion. Néhémie espérait
que le roi éprouverait de la sympathie pour lui.

v4 Le roi m’a demandé: « Qu’est-ce que tu veux? »

Alors j’ai prié Dieu au ciel. v5 Puis j’ai dit au
roi, je suis votre serviteur. Je ferai ce que tu veux. Si vos pensées sont
favorable envers moi, veuillez m’envoyer à * Juda. Envoyez-moi dans la ville où
les tombes de mes * ancêtres sont. Ensuite, je peux le reconstruire. »

v6 La reine était assise à côté du roi. Et le
le roi m’a dit: «Combien de temps durera votre voyage? Et quand reviendrez-vous? »
Alors je lui ai dit quand je reviendrais. Et mon plan a plu au roi, et il a envoyé
moi.

Versets 4-6

Le roi a demandé à Néhémie ce qu’il voulait. C’était celui de Néhémie
opportunité, alors il a prié. Mais il n’a eu qu’un moment pour prier cette prière. ensuite
Néhémie a dit au roi ce qu’il (Néhémie) voulait faire. Il a demandé au roi de
envoyez-le en * Juda pour qu’il puisse reconstruire la ville. Néhémie était très
audacieux de dire cela. Mais il croyait que Dieu avait entendu ses prières. Alors il était
sur de soi.

Néhémie était un serviteur important du roi. Maintenant Néhémie était
demandant au roi de l’envoyer en Juda. * Juda était à 4 mois de marche de la Perse. Alors
il serait loin du roi pendant longtemps.

Il demandait également au roi de changer la décision du roi concernant
Jérusalem. Auparavant, le roi avait arrêté les gens qui voulaient construire la ville
à nouveau (Ezra 4:21).

Il demandait également au roi de le renvoyer loin de son confortable
la vie en Perse. Il allait devoir faire un long et difficile voyage. Alors il aurait
travailler dur pour reconstruire Jérusalem. Il a donc demandé au roi de l’envoyer là-bas.

Le roi savait que Néhémie était un bon et fidèle serviteur. le
le roi et la reine auraient aimé que Néhémie reste dans le palais. Mais Dieu
voulait que Néhémie aille à Jérusalem (Néhémie 2: 8; 2:18). Alors le roi a demandé
Néhémie combien de temps il resterait loin du palais. Néhémie a découvert comment
long le voyage prendrait. Et le roi accepta d’envoyer Néhémie en Juda.

v7 Et j’ai dit au roi: «Si le roi le veut,
veuillez me donner des lettres. Ceux-ci seront pour les agents du gouvernement de la
district au-delà de l’Euphrate. Dans ces lettres, dites-leur de laisser
je passe par leur territoire à * Juda. v8 Veuillez aussi me donner une lettre
à Asaph, qui s’occupe des forêts du roi. Dans cette lettre, merci de lui dire
pour me donner du bois des arbres. J’utiliserai ce bois pour faire des poutres pour le
portes du château qui est près du * temple. Et je vais l’utiliser pour les portes de
le mur de la ville. J’utiliserai également des poutres pour me construire une maison. »
le roi a fait tout ce que j’ai demandé. Il a fait cela parce que Dieu veillait sur moi.

Versets 7-8

Néhémie était convaincu que Dieu s’arrangeait pour qu’il aille à
*Juda. Alors Néhémie est devenu encore plus audacieux. Il a demandé plus d’aide au roi. Il
voulait que le roi le protège lors de son voyage en Juda. Il a demandé au roi
bois pour les portes de la ville. Néhémie savait déjà ce qu’il devait faire. Alors il était
capable d’expliquer tous les détails au roi.

Dieu s’occupait de Néhémie. Le roi a donc donné à Néhémie ce
Il a demandé.

v9 Puis je suis allé voir les fonctionnaires du gouvernement
district au-delà de l’Euphrate. Je leur ai donné les lettres du roi. Le roi
a envoyé des capitaines d’armée et des cavaliers avec moi.

v10 Mais Sanballat de Horon et Tobiah, un officiel
d’Ammon, j’ai entendu parler de ce que je faisais. Ils étaient très malheureux parce que j’étais
venir aider le peuple en * Israël.

Versets 9-10

Or Néhémie avait des lettres du roi. Cela montrerait aux gens
que le roi avait changé sa décision concernant Jérusalem. Les gens verraient aussi
les soldats que le roi a envoyés pour protéger Néhémie. Alors ils sauraient que
le roi aidait Néhémie. Mais certaines des personnes qui vivaient près de * Juda ont entendu
à propos de tout cela. Ils étaient en colère. Parce qu’ils étaient les * ennemis des Juifs, ils l’ont fait
Je ne veux pas que quiconque aide les gens en * Israël.

v11-12 Puis je suis venu à Jérusalem. Après trois jours, je
me suis levé pendant la nuit et je suis sorti. Seuls quelques hommes m’accompagnaient. Dieu avait
m’a donné le désir de faire quelque chose pour Jérusalem. Mais je n’en ai parlé à personne
ce. Je n’ai pris aucun cheval à part le cheval sur lequel je montais. v13 Et je suis allé
la nuit à travers la porte de la vallée jusqu’à la fontaine aux serpents et aux ordures
Porte. J’ai examiné les murs de Jérusalem. Ce n’étaient que des tas de pierres. Et moi
vu que le feu avait brûlé les portes. v14 Je suis allé à la porte de la fontaine et
à la piscine du roi. Mais je ne pouvais pas continuer plus loin à cause des tas de
des pierres. Le cheval que je montais ne pouvait pas passer. v15 Donc je
monta, pendant la nuit, par le ruisseau. Et j’ai examiné le mur. Alors je
refoulés. Je suis passé par la porte de la vallée. Et donc je suis revenu. v16 le
les dirigeants ne savaient pas où j’étais allé. Ils ne savaient pas ce que je faisais. je
ne le dit ni aux Juifs, ni aux prêtres, ni aux chefs. Je n’ai pas non plus dit au
fonctionnaires ou les autres personnes qui feraient le travail.

Versets 11-16

Néhémie voulait construire les murs de la ville le plus rapidement possible.
Mais il y avait beaucoup à faire. Il devrait travailler dur. Alors il s’est reposé pendant trois
jours après son long voyage. Dieu lui avait donné le désir de construire Jérusalem
encore. Néhémie voulait donc faire du bon travail.

Néhémie avait besoin de connaître l’ampleur de la tâche. Mais il n’a pas
veulent que ses ennemis connaissent ses plans. Donc, après trois jours, il est sorti la nuit.
Il n’a emmené que quelques personnes avec lui. Peut-être étaient-ils des hommes qui venaient de
Shushan avec lui. Ou peut-être étaient-ils des hommes qui connaissaient bien Jérusalem. Néhémie a fait
ne dites à personne ce qu’il faisait.

Néhémie a fait le tour de la ville. Il a vu que la ville était un
*se ruiner. Il a vu que le feu avait brûlé les portes. À un endroit, il y avait tellement
des ordures qu’il n’y avait pas de place pour que son cheval passe. Maintenant il savait que le
la tâche, de reconstruire la ville, était une tâche énorme.

Néhémie a vu que toute la ville était en mauvais état. Et le
la relation des gens avec Dieu était également en mauvais état:

· Le bâtiment le plus important de
Jérusalem était le * temple. Les * Juifs avaient reconstruit le * temple environ 70 ans
avant l’arrivée de Néhémie. Le premier * temple, que Salomon a construit, était un splendide
bâtiment. Mais ce temple plus tardif était beaucoup plus pauvre.

· Certains prêtres vivaient dans le
zone. Mais ils négligeaient leur travail spécial pour Dieu. Le peuple n’a pas
connaître la loi de Dieu. Et les gens faisaient beaucoup de choses que la Bible leur disait
pas à faire.

· Il n’y avait pas beaucoup d’autres bâtiments
dans la ville. La plupart des * Juifs qui sont retournés en * Juda vivaient dans les villages.
Jérusalem était un endroit dangereux où vivre. Les * Juifs avaient de nombreux ennemis et là
Il n’y avait pas de sécurité dans la ville. Il n’y avait aucune défense.

· Beaucoup de * Juifs avaient essayé de faire
accords avec leurs ennemis. Certains * juifs avaient même permis à leurs enfants de
épouser des gens d’autres nations. Les gens de ces nations étaient mauvais
les gens, et ils ont servi de faux dieux. Mais Dieu voulait que les * Juifs soient sa spéciale
gens. Il les avait choisis, et il voulait qu’ils restent séparés de la
d’autres nations.

Néhémie a vu que la ville avait besoin de murs solides. Et c’était le
tâche la plus importante. Les murs feraient de la ville un endroit sûr où vivre. Quand
les murs étaient complets, les gens pouvaient entrer dans la ville. Ici le
* Les Juifs pouvaient vivre dans un endroit séparé des autres nations. le
les prêtres pouvaient recommencer leur travail spécial pour Dieu dans le * temple. Et le
les gens apprendraient la loi de Dieu.

Mais, sans murs, les * Juifs deviendraient encore plus faibles. Leur
les ennemis deviendraient plus forts. Les prêtres seraient incapables de travailler pour Dieu. Et
personne ne voulait entretenir le * temple.

Jérusalem avait été une très grande ville. Néhémie a réalisé qu’il
ne pouvait pas reconstruire toute la ville. Au lieu de cela, il a sélectionné une zone pour entourer
des murs. C’était une zone plus petite que la ville autrefois. Mais c’était le plus
partie importante de la ville. Il comprenait le * temple et les parties les plus anciennes
de la ville. La zone comprenait suffisamment de terres pour tous ceux qui y vivraient.
Il y avait des fontaines et tout ce dont les gens avaient besoin. Et bientôt là
serait un marché important dans la ville.

v17 Puis j’ai dit à tous les * Juifs: ‘Vous savez que nous
ont beaucoup de difficulté. Jérusalem est une ruine et le feu a brûlé ses portes. Laisser
nous construisons le mur de Jérusalem. Alors nous n’aurons pas encore honte. » v18
Puis je leur ai dit comment Dieu s’était occupé de moi. Aussi je leur ai dit ce que le roi
m’avait dit. Et ils ont répondu: «Commençons à construire!» Alors ils se sont préparés
eux-mêmes pour faire ce bon travail.

v19 Mais Sanballat, Tobiah et Geshem ont entendu parler de notre
plan. Sanballat était de Horon. Tobiah était un officier d’Ammon. Geshem était un
*Arabe. Ils se sont moqués de nous et ils nous ont insultés. Ils ont dit: «Vous ne devriez pas être
faire une telle chose. Vous complotez contre le roi. »

v20 Puis j’ai répondu: «Le Dieu du ciel nous donnera
Succès. Nous sommes ses serviteurs et nous commencerons à construire. Mais tu n’es pas
citoyens de Jérusalem. Vous n’avez aucune autorité légale ici. Tu n’as pas le droit de
n’importe quelle partie de Jérusalem. »

Versets 17-20

Alors Néhémie a informé les habitants de la ville de son plan. Première,
il leur a rappelé la triste vérité. Leur ville était une ruine. Et ils ne pouvaient pas
être une nation forte alors que Jérusalem était dans un si mauvais état. Alors il a encouragé
les aider à reconstruire les murs. Puis il leur a annoncé de bonnes nouvelles. Il
leur a dit que Dieu voulait qu’ils reconstruisent les murs de la ville. Ce n’était pas simplement
Le plan de Néhémie. Néhémie était convaincu que Dieu l’avait envoyé (Néhémie) à
diriger les gens dans cette tâche. Déjà, Dieu s’occupait de Néhémie. Et même
le roi l’avait envoyé pour accomplir cette tâche. C’était vraiment une bonne nouvelle. Alors les gens
ont convenu qu’ils devraient commencer à construire les murs.

Les gens se sont préparés à construire les murs. Mais alors leurs ennemis
entendu parler de leurs plans. Ces ennemis ne pouvaient pas facilement attaquer les * Juifs
parce que le roi avait envoyé Néhémie. Le roi était très puissant. Si Néhémie est
les ennemis combattirent Néhémie, le roi s’opposera à eux. Alors à la place, les ennemis
ri des * Juifs. Ils ont prétendu qu’ils diraient des mensonges au roi
sur les * Juifs. Ils diraient que les Juifs étaient les ennemis du roi.

Mais Néhémie était confiant. Il savait que c’était le plan de Dieu de
reconstruisez Jérusalem. Alors Dieu les aiderait. Le vrai Dieu du ciel était sur leur
côté. Dieu ne laisserait pas leurs ennemis arrêter le travail. Les * Juifs construiraient
Jérusalem à nouveau. Encore une fois, ce serait une ville pour le peuple de Dieu.

Dans ce chapitre, il existe de nombreux noms. La Bible ne mentionne pas
la plupart de ces personnes ailleurs. Beaucoup d’entre eux étaient les chefs de famille, mais
seuls quelques-uns étaient importants dans la région locale. Ils n’étaient pas des constructeurs et ils
n’avait aucune compétence particulière pour faire le travail. Mais ils ont réalisé que Néhémie était
droite. Et ils étaient prêts à travailler dur. Ils ont vécu il y a plusieurs siècles, mais
ils ont fait un travail important pour Dieu. Dieu se soucie de toutes sortes de personnes. Et il est
heureux quand ils le servent bien.

Néhémie était un bon leader, mais il ne pouvait pas construire les murs
seul. Il avait besoin de nombreuses personnes pour l’aider. Il était satisfait de leur travail. Donc il
ont enregistré leurs noms et les emplois qu’ils ont accomplis.

Ces gens méritaient l’honneur. Leurs familles étaient retournées à
* Juda de * exil. Ils étaient le propre peuple de Dieu. Et ils ont travaillé dur pour faire
L’œuvre de Dieu. Néhémie a organisé le travail avec soin. Il a donné à chaque personne
responsabilité pour une section du mur. Et Néhémie a choisi les sections avec soin.
Par exemple, les hommes réparaient souvent la section de mur la plus proche de
leurs propres maisons.

v1 Eliashib le prêtre en chef et les prêtres qui étaient
avec lui construit la porte des moutons. Ils l’ont rendu saint pour Dieu et ils ont mis les portes
dans la porte. Ils ont réparé le mur jusqu’à la * Tour appelée Meah et le
* Tour appelée Hananeel. Puis ils ont rendu le mur saint pour Dieu. v2 Les hommes
de Jéricho a construit la partie suivante du mur. Et Zaccur, le fils d’Imri,
construit la section suivante.

Versets 1-2

Les premières personnes sur lesquelles Néhémie a écrit étaient le grand prêtre
et les autres prêtres. Ils ne pensaient pas qu’ils étaient trop importants pour aider.
Ils étaient de bons modèles pour le reste du peuple. Le Sheep Gate était probablement
près du * temple. Certaines personnes d’autres villes, comme Jéricho, ont également contribué à
construire les murs.

v3 Les fils
de Hassenaah a construit la porte du poisson et ils ont mis ses poutres en place. Ils ont mis le
portes dans la porte. Ils ont fixé les serrures et ils ont mis les barres en place.
v4 Meremoth, le fils d’Urijah et petit-fils de Hakkoz, a réparé le prochain
partie du mur. A côté de Meremoth, Meshullam a fait des réparations. Il était le fils de
Berekiah et était le petit-fils de Meshezabeel. À côté de Meshullam, Zadok, fils de
Baana, a fait des réparations. v5 Des hommes de Tekoa ont réparé la section suivante.
Mais leurs dirigeants ont refusé d’accomplir l’œuvre de Dieu.

Versets 3-5

Lorsque Néhémie enregistre certains des noms, il mentionne également leur
familles. Il le fait aussi souvent dans le reste de son livre. Les familles étaient très
important pour les * Juifs. Nous pouvons lire sur Meremoth dans Esdras (Esdras 8:33).

Chaque personne avait son propre travail spécial à faire.

Les chefs de Tekoa n’étaient pas comme les prêtres. Les leaders
de Tekoa a pensé qu’ils étaient trop importants. Alors ils ont refusé de faire
travail. Mais les autres hommes de Tekoa ont aidé à construire les murs. En fait, ils
fait du travail supplémentaire (Néhémie 3:27). Meshullam a également fait un travail supplémentaire (Néhémie 3:30).

v6 Jehoiada, le fils de Paseah, et Meshullam, le
fils de Besodeiah, répara la vieille porte. Ils ont mis ses poutres en place et ils
mettez les portes dans la porte. Ils ont attaché les serrures et ils ont mis les barres dans
position. v7 Melatiah de Gabaon, Jadon de Meronoth et les hommes de
Gabaon et Mizpah ont réparé la section suivante du mur. Le souverain de la
le district au-delà de l’Euphrate régnait sur Gabaon et Mizpah. v8 Uzziel,
le fils de Harhaiah, répara la section suivante du mur. Uzziel était un
ouvrier qualifié qui fabriquait des objets en or. Hananiah a réparé la partie suivante
Du mur. C’était un homme habile qui fabriquait du parfum. Uzziel et Hananiah
répara Jérusalem jusqu’au large mur. v9 Rephaiah, le fils de
Hur, a réparé la section suivante du mur. Rephaiah était un dirigeant. Il a régné à moitié
du district de Jérusalem. v10 Jedaiah, le fils d’Harumaph, réparé
la partie suivante du mur, qui était près de la maison de Jedaiah. À côté de Jedaiah,
Hattush, le fils de Hashabniah, a fait des réparations. v11 Malkijah, le fils de
Harim et Hasshub, le fils de Pahath-Moab, ont réparé une autre section de la
mur. Ils ont également réparé la tour des fours. v12 Shallum, le fils
de Hallohesh, a réparé la partie suivante du mur. Les filles de Shallum ont aidé
lui. Shallum était également un dirigeant. Il a régné sur l’autre moitié du district de
Jérusalem.

Versets 6-11

La plupart des personnes qui ont construit le mur n’étaient pas des constructeurs qualifiés.
C’étaient des gens normaux qui avaient d’autres emplois. Les hommes qui fabriquaient habituellement * du parfum ou
des objets en or ont aidé à construire les murs.

Certaines personnes ont travaillé sur les murs près de leurs propres maisons. C’était un
bonne idée. Ils n’avaient pas beaucoup à voyager et ils pouvaient prendre leurs repas
facilement. Ils pourraient également protéger leurs familles. Ensuite, ils verraient
leur travail tous les jours. Ce fait les encouragerait à faire du bon travail.

Des hommes importants qui régnaient sur certains des districts ont également aidé.
They did not think that they were too important to help. So they behaved as the
priests did. They were not like the leaders from Tekoa, who refused to help.

Malkijah, the son of Harim, had married a foreign wife (Ezra
10:31), but God had told the *Jews not to marry foreigners. So Ezra was very
angry with Malkijah. But now Malkijah helped to build the walls of Jerusalem.

Some women helped too. Shallum was another one of the leaders of
the people. But he worked on the walls too and his daughters helped him.

v13 Hanun and the residents of Zanoah repaired the
Valley Gate. They built it again and they put the doors in place. They fastened
the locks and they put the bars into position. They also repaired about 450
metres of the wall as far as the Rubbish Gate. v14 Malkijah, the son of
Rechab, repaired the Rubbish Gate. He built it again and he put the doors in
place. He fastened the locks and he put the bars into position. Malkijah ruled
the district called Beth Hakkerem. v15 Shallum, the son of Col-Hozeh,
repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it again and he made a roof over it. Il
put the doors in place. He fastened the locks and he put the bars into
position. Shallum also repaired the wall of the Pool called Siloam by the
king’s garden. He repaired this wall as far as the steps that descended from
David’s city. Shallum ruled the district called Mizpah. v16 Next to him,
Nehemiah, the son of Azbuk, repaired the wall in front of the graves of king
David’s family. He repaired the wall as far as the pool that some people had
made. He repaired it as far as the House of the Heroes. Nehemiah ruled half of
the district called Beth-Zur.

Verses 13-16

Hanun and the residents of Zanoah worked hard. They repaired a
gate and a very long section of the wall.

Malkijah, Shallum and Nehemiah helped to build the walls. Ils
also were rulers of the districts. This is not the Malkijah who married a
foreign wife (Nehemiah 3:11). Also this Nehemiah is not the same as the man who
wrote the book.

v17 Next to him, the *Levites repaired another
section of the wall. Rehum, the son of Bani, was one of the *Levites. Next to
Rehum, Hashabiah made repairs. Hashabiah ruled half of the district called
Keilah, and he made the repairs on behalf of his district. v18 Next to
him, Binnui, the son of Henadad, and some men from Keilah repaired another
section of the wall. Binnui ruled the other half of the district called Keilah.
v19 Next to him, Ezer, the son of Jeshua, repaired the wall. He repaired
it from a point opposite the hill where the store for the *weapons was. Il
repaired as far as the bend in the wall. Ezer ruled Mizpah. v20 Next to
him, Baruch, the son of Zabbai, repaired the wall. Baruch worked very hard. Il
repaired the wall from the bend to the door of the house of Eliashib, the chief
priest. v21 Next to him, Meremoth, the son of Uriah and the grandson of
Hakkoz, repaired another section. He repaired the wall from the door of
Eliashib’s house as far as the end of this house. v22 Next to Meremoth,
priests who lived near Jerusalem made repairs.

Verses 17-22

The *Levites also helped to build the wall. They and some priests
worked on the wall near to the house of the chief priest.

Men from Keilah and their rulers worked together on part of the
wall. And Ezer was another ruler who helped.

Clearly, all the people worked hard. They finished the work in 52
days (Nehemiah 6:15). But Nehemiah recorded that Baruch worked very hard.
Meremoth probably worked very hard too, because he worked on two parts of the
wall (Nehemiah 3:4).

v23 Beyond the priests, Benjamin and Hashub repaired
the wall opposite their house. Next to them, Azariah, the son of Maaseiah and
the grandson of Ananiah, repaired the wall near his own house. v24
Binnui, the son of Henadad, repaired the next section of the wall. He repaired
it from Azariah’s house to the bend in the wall and the corner. v25-26
Palal, the son of Uzai, repaired from the bend and the *tower that stuck out
from the king’s high palace. This house was near the guards’ yard. Next to
Palal, Pedaiah, the son of Parosh, and the *temple servants who lived in Ophel
repaired the wall. They repaired it as far as a point opposite the Water Gate
on the east side. And they repaired it as far as the *tower that stuck out. v27
Next to Pedaiah, the men from Tekoa repaired another part of the wall. Ce
section began at a place opposite the large *tower that stuck out. Ils
repaired it as far as the wall of Ophel. v28 Some priests repaired the
wall from a point above the Horse Gate. Each priest repaired the part of the
wall in front of his own house. v29 Next to them, Zadok, the son of
Immer, repaired the part of the wall in front of his house. Next to him,
Shemaiah, the son of Shechaniah, repaired another part of the wall. Shemaiah
was the guard of the East Gate.

Verses 23-29

In this part of the wall, some more people repaired the wall near
their own houses. Also Binnui repaired a second section of the wall (Nehemiah
3:18).

The *temple servants also helped to build the wall.

The men from Tekoa repaired another part of the wall (Nehemiah
3:5).

Some more priests worked on this part of the wall.

v30 Next to him were Hananiah, the son of Shelemiah,
and Hanun, the 6th son of Zalaph. They repaired another part of the wall. Prochain
to Hananiah and Hanun, Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, repaired the wall. Il
repaired the part of it that was in front of his room. v31 Next to him,
Malchiah repaired the wall. Malchiah was a skilled workman who made objects out
of gold. He repaired the wall as far as the house that the servants of the
*temple and the merchants used. This house was opposite the Miphkad Gate.
Malchiah also repaired the wall as far as the room above the corner of the
wall. v32 The skilled workmen who made objects out of gold worked with
the merchants. They repaired the wall from the room above the corner to the
Sheep Gate.

Verses 30-32

Meshullam repaired a second part of the wall (Nehemiah 3:4).

More of the skilled workmen who made things out of gold helped to
build the wall. Some merchants also helped.

Nehemiah started his report at the Sheep Gate (Nehemiah 3:1). Il
divided the work between many people and each had their own part to repair.
Nehemiah’s report goes all round the wall and back to the Sheep Gate.

v1 Sanballat heard that we were building the wall
encore. So he became very angry. He laughed at the *Jews. v2 Le sien
companions and the army from the country called Samaria were with him.
Sanballat said in front of all these people, ‘Those weak *Jews are stupid. Ils
will not really repair their wall and offer *sacrifices. You cannot build a
great city in a day. Fire has burned the stones and they are now just piles of
rubbish. You cannot make stones live. And you cannot build a city wall out of
rubbish.’ v3 Tobiah, from the country called Ammon, was with Sanballat.
Tobiah said, ‘They intend to build a wall. But their wall is as weak as a pile
of stones. It would fall down if a fox climbed on it!’

Verses 1-3

Sanballat and Tobiah were enemies of the *Jews. They did not want
the *Jews to build the walls of Jerusalem again. They probably knew that
Jerusalem would become an important city for trade again. So then, they would
lose some of their trade. They knew that it was a big task to build the walls
of the city again. But they saw that Nehemiah and the *Jews would work hard to
build the walls.

These men were not just opposing the *Jews. In fact, these men
were opposing God’s work. It was God’s plan that the *Jews should live in
Jerusalem. Jerusalem was in the country that God promised to give to the
*descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The *Jews had to leave that country
because of *sin. But God promised by the *prophets that some *Jews would
return. So it was God’s plan that the *Jews would rebuild Jerusalem.

But God’s plan did not only benefit the *Jews. God had decided,
by means of the *Jews, to help people from every nation. He would send Jesus to
be born a *Jew. God had promised this by the *prophets. And Jesus would die for
the *sins of people from every nation. God will forgive all people who invite
Jesus into their lives.

So we can see that Nehemiah was doing God’s work. And it was not
just men who were opposing the work. In fact, the devil was using these men
because the devil wanted to oppose God’s work.

Sanballat had the army from the country called Samaria with him.
Perhaps the *Jews near Jerusalem could see this army close to the city. Ce
might make them afraid. But Sanballat and Tobiah did not attack the *Jews. Ils
could not do that because the king had allowed Nehemiah to build the walls. Alors
Sanballat and Tobiah laughed at the *Jews and they insulted the *Jews.
Sanballat and Tobiah hoped that they could upset the *Jews. Then, the *Jews
might stop the construction of the wall. Sanballat and Tobiah said that the
task was too great. They said that the builders were too weak. Tobiah said that
the wall would fall down again easily. Clearly, Sanballat and Tobiah did not
think that God would help the *Jews. But God did help them. When the *Jews
finished the work, the walls were very strong. In fact, the people marched on
top of the walls (Nehemiah 12:31-39).

v4 I prayed, ‘Listen to us, our God, because our
enemies are insulting us. I pray that people will insult them in the same way.
I pray that their enemies will take everything from them. I pray that their
enemies will force them to live in *exile in a foreign country. v5 Faire
not forgive the evil things that they have done. Do not forget about their
*sins. They have made you angry in front of the people who are building the
wall.’

v6 So we continued the construction of the wall until
all of it reached half of its final height. The people were eager to work.

Verses 4-6

So Nehemiah prayed. That is what we would expect him to do.
Perhaps he called the people together to pray. (He says ‘us’ in his prayer.)

He knew that his enemies were not just insulting the *Jews. Ils
were insulting God himself. So he knew that God was angry.

So the *Jews did not take notice of the insults of their enemies
and they continued to build. They worked as hard as they could and the wall
reached half of its final height.

Today, we do not pray that our enemies will suffer. Jesus taught
us to forgive our enemies (Matthew 5:44). And we should pray that they will
trust Jesus. But Nehemiah was in a different situation. Previously, God had
told the *Jews to oppose their enemies (Deuteronomy 7:1-2). At that time, God
was using the *Jews for his purposes. These enemies had become so evil that
they could not avoid a terrible punishment (Genesis 15:16). And God gave their
land to the *Jews.

Nehemiah lived long after these events. And his enemies were not
the same enemies that God was punishing in the past. So Nehemiah did not
actually try to fight his enemies. Instead, he trusted God. Nehemiah was
confident that he was doing God’s work. So Nehemiah asked God to defend his
(God’s) own work. And so Nehemiah asked God to oppose these enemies.

v7 But Sanballat, Tobiah, the *Arabs and the people
from Ammon and Ashdod heard about our work. They heard that we were continuing
to repair the walls of Jerusalem. They also heard that we were mending the gaps
in the walls. So they were very angry. v8 They all plotted together to
come and to fight against Jerusalem. They wanted to cause confusion in the
city. v9 But we prayed to our God. We also placed guards round the city
every day and every night in case our enemies came.

Verses 7-9

The enemies of the *Jews heard that their insults had not
succeeded. The *Jews had not stopped the work, but, instead, they had worked
very hard. And the wall had reached half of its final height.

So Sanballat and his friends were very angry. They needed another
plan. These enemies lived all round Jerusalem. So they plotted to fight against
the city. The city’s defences were not yet complete. So, Sanballat and his
friends decided to carry out a sudden attack. Such an attack would frighten the
*Jews. And it would confuse them. So they would be unable to continue the task.

Nehemiah and his people did the sensible thing again. They prayed
to God. And they also guarded the city.

v10 But at that time the people in *Judah began to
complain. They said, ‘The people who carry materials are getting very tired. Là
is so much rubbish in our way. We will never finish the construction of the
wall.’

v11 Meanwhile, our enemies said, ‘We will go among
the *Jews. They will not know what is happening. They will not even see us. nous
will kill them and stop the work.’

v12 Then the *Jews who lived near our enemies came to
us. They spoke to us many times. They said, ‘Wherever we go, our enemies will
attack us.’

v13 So I placed some men behind the lowest parts of
the wall at the open places. I placed people in the same family together. Ils
had swords, *spears and bows. v14 I looked round. Then I stood up and I
spoke to the chief men, the officials and the rest of the people. I said, ‘Do
not be afraid of our enemies. Remember that the *Lord is great and powerful.
Fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters. Fight for your wives and
your homes.’

Verses 10-12

Now some of the *Jews were feeling tired. The work was hard and
their enemies were all round them. These problems upset them. So they began to
complain.

The enemies of the *Jews still tried to stop the work. Ils
plotted to surprise the *Jews with a sudden attack. Some of the *Jews heard
about their plan. The *Jews who lived outside the city were anxious about their
familles. So these *Jews reported this news back to the people in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah made plans to protect the men as they worked. He placed
men to guard the lowest parts of the walls. These were the most likely places
where an attack might happen. And Nehemiah made sure that the people had
*weapons to defend themselves and their families. He made sure that the
families were together. He knew that the men would fight hard in order to
protect their families.

Then Nehemiah reminded the leaders of the people that God was
with them. God is much more powerful than any enemies can be. God wanted them
to build the wall. So he would protect them and help them. They did not need to
worry.

v15 Our enemies heard that we knew about their plot.
They realised that God had caused their plot to be unsuccessful. So we all returned
to the wall and each of us continued our work.

Verse 15

The enemies of the *Jews heard that Nehemiah and the people knew
about their plan. So their plan could not succeed. They failed because God was
helping the *Jews. He had stopped the plans of Sanballat and his friends.

The *Jews were able to continue with the work. But they still
needed to be ready. Their enemies might come to attack them at any time.

v16-17 From that time, half of my men worked. But the
other half were ready to fight with *spears, *shields, and bows. And those men
were wearing special clothes that would protect them during a battle. le
officers stood behind all the people of *Judah who were building the wall. The people
who carried materials supported their loads with one hand. And they held a
*weapon in their other hand. v18 Each of the builders wore his sword by
his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the *trumpet stayed with me.

v19 Then I spoke to the chief men, the officials and
the rest of the people. I said, ‘There is much work to do and the work spreads
over a very large area. We are working a long way from each other along the
wall. v20 Wherever you hear the sound of the *trumpet, come to us there.
Our God will fight for us!’

Verses 16-20

Nehemiah decided to change the arrangements for the work. Il
wanted to make sure that everybody was ready for an attack.

Now, even the men who worked on the wall had their own *weapons.
But only half of the men worked on the wall. The other men were ready to fight.
They had many *weapons. Their job was to protect the builders.

Nehemiah would walk round the city in order to check the progress
of the work. But now, a man with a *trumpet walked with Nehemiah. So, if the enemies
came to attack them, the man would blow his *trumpet. If the people heard the
sound of the *trumpet, they would all stop work immediately. They would rush to
come together. Then they would be able to protect each other.

Nehemiah reminded the people again that God was supporting them.
They were doing God’s work, and God would fight for them.

v21 So we continued to work, but now half of the men
carried *spears. We worked from dawn until the stars appeared at nightfall. v22
At that time I also said to the people, ‘Each man and his servant should spend
the night in Jerusalem. Then they will act as guards by night, and as workmen
during the day.’ v23 I did not even undress at night. My companions, my
servants and my guards all behaved in the same way. And each man kept his
*weapon ready, even when he went for water.

Verses 22-23

So the people continued to work. Some repaired the walls and the
rest protected them. They all worked even harder from dawn until nightfall.
Even the people who lived outside Jerusalem stayed in the city at night.

Nehemiah was a good model for the people. He was the ruler. Mais
he did not think that he was too important to work. In fact, he was very busy.
He organised the workmen. He made sure that the quality of the work was satisfactory.
He was watching in case the enemies tried to attack. And he was ready to fight.
He kept his clothes on. He kept his *weapon ready.

v1 At this time, some men and their wives became
angry. They complained about some other *Jews. v2 They said, ‘We have
many sons and daughters. We need grain so that we can eat. Otherwise we shall
die.’

v3 Other men said, ‘We have to sell our fields, our
*vineyards and our houses to buy grain during the *famine.’

v4 And other men said, ‘We have to ask people to lend
us money. Otherwise we would be unable to pay the king’s tax on our fields and
*vineyards. v5 We have to sell our sons and daughters to other *Jews as
slaves. But we are *Jews, even as they are. Our sons and their sons are alike.
But some of our daughters are already slaves. We can do nothing about this
because our fields and our *vineyards already belong to other people.’

Verses 1-5

Nehemiah had organised the work well. He had selected guards to
protect the people from their enemies. But there were other problems too. le
wealthy *Jews thought that they saw an opportunity to make a good profit. Mais
they were doing this in a way that was unfair to the poorer *Jews. In fact, the
effect was often rather cruel.

So the poor people began to complain. There was a *famine in the
country and some of the people were hungry. They could not afford to buy the
food that they needed for their families. They could not afford to pay their
taxes either. Also, because they were building the city wall, they were not
able to do other work. So probably, they were not able to grow their own food.
And they had no money to buy food. They had to ask the richer people to lend
them money.

Some of the poor people even had to sell their property. Si ils
still did not have enough money, they would have to sell their sons and
daughters as slaves. They did not think that this was right. And they could see
that the rich people were making profits from this situation. So the poor
people became angry and they complained.

This was an opportunity for the rich people to become even
richer. They knew that the poor people were desperate. So the rich people were
forcing the poor people to pay too much money for their loans.

v6 I heard them complain about these things. Then I
was very angry. v7 I thought deeply about what I should do. Then I
accused the chief men and the officials. I told them, ‘These people are your
own relatives. But you are making unfair profits from them.’ I arranged a big
meeting to deal with them. v8 I said to them, ‘We have tried to buy back
those *Jews who had to sell themselves as slaves. They were slaves to the
people who were not *Jews. But now you are selling other *Jews, so that we will
have to buy them back!’ They were silent, because they had no excuse. v9
I also said, ‘What you are doing is not right. You should always respect and
obey God. Then our enemies in other countries will not make us ashamed.’

Verses 6-9

When Nehemiah heard about these troubles, he was very angry. Il
did not want to stop the work on the walls, but he did feel sorry for the poor
gens. He was very careful. He stopped and he thought about what to do. ensuite
he arranged a big meeting to deal with the problem.

The rich people were the chief men and the officials. Nehemiah
told them that they were doing the wrong thing. And the result was that their
own people were suffering. So Nehemiah reminded the rich people that some *Jews
had been slaves before. When Nehemiah had returned to *Judah, he and his
companions had tried to buy these slaves back. Now their own people were making
them slaves again. Nehemiah told the rich people that they had not obeyed God’s
commands (Deuteronomy 23:19-20; 24:10-13; Leviticus 25:35-46). God had sent the
*Jews into *exile because they did not obey his commands like this. If the rich
leaders respected God, they would not do these things. But otherwise, the *Jews
would be ashamed. And their enemies would laugh at them.

The rich people could not answer Nehemiah. They knew that their
actions were wrong. They knew that they had no excuse.

This passage shows us an important fact about Nehemiah’s
character. Nehemiah was a very sincere man. And he did the right things whether
or not anyone noticed. He used his own money to free *Jews who had been slaves.
But he has not mentioned this matter previously in this book. Nehemiah did not
care whether he impressed other people. But he always wanted to please God.

v10 ‘I and my companions and my helpers are also
lending money and grain to the people. But you should not charge them money for
such loans! v11 Give back to them their fields, their *vineyards, their
*orchards, and their houses immediately. Also, give back to them the money that
you charged them. You charged them a certain per cent on the money, grain, wine
and oil.’

v12 The chief men and officials replied, ‘We will
give it all back. We will not continue to charge them for the loans. We will do
as you say.’

Then I called the priests. I ordered the rich *Jews to make
a promise. They must do all that they had said. v13 I also shook my coat
that I was wearing. I said, ‘Every man must do what he has promised. Autrement,
I pray that God will shake that man. In other words, I pray that God will
disturb that man. And I pray that God will separate that man from his house and
his possessions. I pray that God will take everything away from that man. je
pray that God will leave that man with nothing.’

Everyone said, ‘We agree!’ And they praised the *Lord. Et
the people did what they had promised to do.

Verses 10-13

Nehemiah and his companions had also lent money and grain to the
poor people. But Nehemiah and his companions had not charged the people money
for the loans. Nehemiah had obeyed God’s command and he was a good model to the
other leaders of the people.

Nehemiah ordered the rich leaders to give back to the poor people
their property. He also told the leaders to give back the money that they had
charged the poor people for the loans. The leaders agreed to do what Nehemiah
had ordered. They promised to give all the property and money back to the poor
gens.

Nehemiah called the priests. He wanted them to hear the leaders’
promise. Then the leaders would realise that God knew about these promises. Et
they would be afraid not to do the things that they promised.

But the leaders did do what they had promised to do. And all the
people were happy with what their leaders had done.

v14 I was the ruler of the country called *Judah for
12 years. (This was between the 20th and the 32nd years of the rule of King
Artaxerxes.) For all this time, my relatives and I refused to accept the
special food that the king provided for the ruler. v15 But the previous
rulers made heavy demands on the people. They took food and wine. They also
took about half a kilo of silver from them. Even the rulers’ assistants made
the people feel not important. But, because I respected God, I did not do this.
v16 Instead, I continued to work hard on the wall. All my assistants
gathered by the wall for the work as well. Neither my assistants nor I bought
any fields. v17 In addition, 150 of the *Jews and their officers ate
with me. Leaders from the nations round us also ate with me. v18 Chaque
day, the cooks prepared one cow, 6 of the best sheep and some chickens for us
to eat. Every 10 days, we received plenty of all kinds of wine. However, I
never demanded the food that people usually had to give to the ruler. C’était
because the people already had to work very hard.

v19 I prayed, ‘Please, God, show your kindness. Tu
know all that I have done for these people.’

Verses 14-19

Here we find out more about Nehemiah. He was a good leader and a
good model to the people in different ways.

Nehemiah became the ruler, so he was an important man. But he
still had a humble attitude. And he really cared about the people.

The king allowed the ruler to have special food. This probably
means that the ruler could tax the people. But Nehemiah did not want to do
this, because he respected God. Nehemiah knew that many of the people were
poor. They had to pay tax to the king also. Nehemiah was probably already rich
because the king had appointed him as the ruler. The previous rulers of *Judah
had not been such good leaders. They had taken silver as well as food and wine
from the people.

Nehemiah did not even want to obtain his own property. His job
was to lead the people and to build the city walls. Also Nehemiah invited many
people to eat with him every day. He paid for this food himself. He was ruler
for 12 years and all that time he invited other people to eat his food. He did
not ask the people to give him food.

Nehemiah wanted God to be pleased. And because Nehemiah respected
God, Nehemiah was a good leader. He was generous to the people that he ruled.

v1 Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the *Arab and the rest
of our enemies heard that I had finished the wall. There were no gaps in it,
but I had not yet put the doors in the gates.

v2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message, ‘Let us
meet together in one of the villages on the plain called Ono.’

But they were plotting to hurt me. v3 So I sent some
men to say to them, ‘I am doing an important task. I cannot go down there. le
work should not stop, so that I can go down to meet you.’ v4 Sanballat
and the men who were with him sent me the same message 4 times. Each time I
gave them the same answer.

Verses 1-4

Nehemiah had solved the problem that caused the poor people to
complain. The people had built the wall, but they had not finished the gates.
But the enemies of the people did not give up. They still tried to stop the
travail.

Sanballat and his friends sent messages to Nehemiah. They invited
him to meet them. They pretended that they wanted to make peace with the *Jews.
If that had been the truth, then it would have been good news for the *Jews.
But Sanballat and his friends did not really want to make peace with the *Jews.
Instead, they wanted to attack Nehemiah. Perhaps if they hurt him, he would be
unable to continue to lead the people. Although the people had built the wall,
they still needed Nehemiah to lead them. He would help them to become a proper
nation again.

Nehemiah knew that his enemies were telling lies. He found out
that they wanted to hurt him. He also knew that it was not wise for him to go
to the meeting with his enemies. Ono was near to the land of his enemies, so it
was a dangerous place. He would have to walk for a day to get there. Après le
meeting, he would have to walk for another day to get back to Jerusalem. Tandis que
he travelled, he would not be able to lead the people. And the work was too
important to permit any delay. Nehemiah knew that it was essential to finish
the work on the gates of the city. So Nehemiah told his enemies that he was too
busy to meet them. They sent the same message 4 times and he gave them the same
answer.

v5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me again. Ce
was the 5th time that he came with the same message. The servant was carrying a
letter in his hand. Sanballat had not closed the letter. v6 The letter
said, ‘There is a report that you and the *Jews are plotting a revolution. Cette
is why you are building the wall. This report is well-known in the nations
round you. And Geshem says that it is true. People are also saying that you
want to become the *Jews’ king. v7 They say that you have appointed
*prophets. And these *prophets will declare the news about you in Jerusalem.
These *prophets intend to say, “There is a king in *Judah.” People will tell
the king about this. So come and let us discuss this.’

v8 I sent this reply to Sanballat, ‘What you are
saying is not true. You are making it all up.’

v9 Sanballat and the men with him were all trying to
frighten us. They thought, ‘The *Jews will be so afraid that they will stop the
travail. Then they will be unable to complete their task.’

But I prayed to God, ‘Make me strong.’

Verses 5-9

Sanballat sent another message to Nehemiah. It was a letter, but
Sanballat did not close it. It was open so that anyone could read it. Sanballat
did not want this letter to be secret. He wanted all the people to know what he
had written. In the letter, he pretended to be the friend of Nehemiah, but
again Sanballat told lies. He said that some people had accused Nehemiah. Ils
had said that the *Jews were plotting a revolution against the king. Sanballat
probably invented this story. Nehemiah was always very loyal to the king.
Nobody thought that Nehemiah would stop obeying the king. But Sanballat wanted
the *Jews to be afraid. Perhaps Nehemiah himself might worry about the king’s
reaction to such a report. The *Jews might delay in order to work out what to do.
If there was a pause, Nehemiah’s workmen might have to return home. The wall
was almost complete. But without gates, there would still be no security for
the people who lived in the city.

Of course, Nehemiah knew that Sanballat’s words were lies.
Nehemiah had no such plans. He knew that Sanballat was trying to frighten the
people and to stop the work. Again Nehemiah prayed and he asked God to make him
strong.

v10 One day I went to Shemaiah’s house. He was the
son of Delaiah and was the grandson of Mehetabel. Shemaiah had shut his door
and he would not go out of his house. He said, ‘Let us meet in God’s house, in
the inner *temple. Let us close the *temple’s doors. Men are coming to kill you.
They are coming by night to kill you.’

v11 But I said, ‘A man like me should not run away! je
cannot go into the *temple to save my life. I will not go!’

v12 I realised that God had not sent Shemaiah.
Shemaiah had pretended to give me a message from God because Tobiah and
Sanballat had paid him. v13 They paid him in order to frighten me. Ils
wanted to make me do what was wrong. Then Tobiah and Sanballat could make
people think bad things about me. They could make me ashamed.

Verses 10-13

One day Nehemiah went to visit Shemaiah. Shemaiah may have been a
priest (Ezra 2:60; Nehemiah 10:8). We do not know why Nehemiah visited him.
Perhaps Nehemiah wanted Shemaiah to pray with him. Nehemiah thought that he
could trust Shemaiah.

It seems that Shemaiah was a *prophet (see verses 12 and 14).
Perhaps Nehemiah was hoping that Shemaiah would give him (Nehemiah) a message
from God. And Shemaiah did pretend that he had a message from God. But in fact,
this message really came from Nehemiah’s enemies.

Shemaiah would not go out of his house, but he offered to go to
the *temple with Nehemiah. Shemaiah pretended that he wanted to protect
Nehemiah. Shemaiah told Nehemiah that men were coming to kill Nehemiah. But the
*temple was a strong building. If they closed the *temple doors, Nehemiah would
be safe inside.

Nehemiah realised that Shemaiah had given him bad advice. God’s
law said that only priests could enter the inner *temple. Nehemiah was not a
priest, so he could not go there. Such an action would be a *sin.

Nehemiah realised that Shemaiah had received money from Tobiah
and Sanballat. They wanted Nehemiah not to obey God’s commands. Then they would
be able to accuse Nehemiah. And the people would not continue to respect him.

Nehemiah refused to do what Shemaiah advised. But Shemaiah was
not the only *prophet who tried to frighten Nehemiah. The *prophets should have
supported God’s work. But instead, like Balaam (Numbers chapter 22), they
accepted money to oppose God’s work.

v14 I prayed, ‘God, you know the bad things that Tobiah
and Sanballat have done. And you know about Noadiah, the female *prophet, and
the other *prophets who have tried to frighten me.’

Again, Nehemiah prayed to God for help. We can see from his
prayer that he had other enemies as well as Tobiah and Sanballat. Certains
*prophets were trying to frighten him also. But Nehemiah trusted God. Nehemiah
could not stop what his enemies were doing. But God could stop them. Nehemiah’s
enemies were also God’s enemies and the enemies of the *Jews. So Nehemiah asked
God to deal with all the enemies.

v15 We finished the wall on the 25th day of the month
called Elul. It took 52 days to rebuild the wall. v16 Our enemies heard
that we had finished. All the nations round us became afraid, and they felt
less important. They realised that God had done the work.

Verses 15-16

Although their enemies tried to stop the work, the people built
the walls of Jerusalem in just 52 days. The people had worked very hard.

Nehemiah always knew that the *Jews were doing God’s work. Maintenant
even the enemies of the *Jews knew that God had helped the people to build the
walls. So the nations round *Judah became afraid of the *Jews. The God of the
*Jews is the only real God. But the other nations served false gods. False gods
are not real gods, so they have no power. But God is powerful.

v17 During the time while we were working on the
wall, the chief men of *Judah sent many letters to Tobiah. And Tobiah replied
many times to them. v18 The chief men sent letters to Tobiah because
many of them had promised to be loyal to him. This was because Tobiah was
married to Shecaniah’s daughter. Shecaniah was the son of Arah. Also Jehohanan,
Tobiah’s son, had married Meshullam’s daughter. Meshullam was the son of
Berekiah. v19 Those chief men also told me about good things that Tobiah
did. Also they told Tobiah what I replied to them. And Tobiah sent letters in
order to scare me.

Verses 17-19

The *Jews had many enemies while they were building the wall. Mais
even some of the chief men in *Judah were helping their enemies. Some of these
chief men had promised to be loyal to Tobiah.

Tobiah and his son had both married women from *Judah. Tobiah was
also a relative of Eliashib the priest (Nehemiah 13:4). God had told the *Jews
not to marry foreigners, but many *Jews did not obey him.

In the past, when *Jews married foreign wives, these wives
tempted them to *worship false gods. This even happened to King Solomon
although he was a very wise man (1 Kings 11:1-8). God had sent the *Jews into
*exile because they *worshipped false gods. Now God had brought the *Jews back
from *exile to *Judah, but many *Jews were still not obeying his commands. Quand
Ezra returned to *Judah, many leaders of the *Jews married foreign women (Ezra
chapters 9 and 10). This made Ezra very sad and angry.

Now, while Nehemiah was the ruler, the leaders of the *Jews were
again marrying foreign wives. Also, they were allowing their daughters to marry
foreign men. These leaders were not loyal to Nehemiah and their own people.
Instead, they were loyal to Tobiah, because of their foreign wives. Ils
believed Tobiah’s lies. And they told Nehemiah about the good things that
Tobiah did. They also told Tobiah what Nehemiah said to them. This probably
helped Tobiah as he tried to frighten Nehemiah.

The devil always opposes God’s work. But God wanted the *Jews to
become a nation again. He had a plan to save the world by means of a *Jew. Cette
*Jew was Jesus Christ.

People were willing to work with the devil in order to oppose
God’s work. That is very sad. The devil sent enemies like Sanballat and Tobiah
to the *Jews from the nations near them. The devil also caused trouble among
the *Jews themselves. And the devil used the *Jews who had become Tobiah’s
relatives. Then those *Jews believed Tobiah’s lies. And they told him what
Nehemiah was saying. But God helped Nehemiah and the *Jews who worked with him.
And so they finished the construction of the wall.

v1 So we had finished the construction of the wall.
And I had put the doors in place. We had appointed guards for the gates. We had
also appointed singers and *Levites for their work. v2 Then I appointed
Hanani, my brother, and Hananiah to be in command of Jerusalem. Hananiah was
the chief officer of the palace. He was a man whom people could trust. Il
respected God more than most men did. v3 I said to them, ‘The guards
must not open the gates of Jerusalem until the sun is hot. Order the guards to
shut and to lock the gates while they are still on duty. Also, appoint some of
the inhabitants of Jerusalem as guards. Some guards must be at particular
places. Other guards should be responsible for the area near their own houses.’

Verses 1-3

The people had built the walls of Jerusalem and they had put the
doors in place. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem had security at last. Mais
Nehemiah had not finished his work. For 52 days, the people had been anxious
about the work on the walls. They had to protect themselves while they built
the walls. But now the people needed leaders in the city to direct them. Première,
Nehemiah appointed singers and *Levites. They would lead the people when they
*worshipped God.

Then Nehemiah appointed Hanani his brother and Hananiah to rule
over the city. Nehemiah chose men whom people could trust. These men were
responsible for local government. So they did not lead the people when they
*worshipped God. But Nehemiah still chose men who respected God. He knew that
this was important. Men like these would rule the people well and fairly. Ils
would be good models for the people. Some of the other leaders had not been
good models (Nehemiah 5:7; 6:17).

Nehemiah realised that it was still important to protect the
city. He ordered the guards to shut the gates early and to lock the gates. le
guards must not open the gates too early in the morning. They had to wait until
the sun was hot. And they would remain on duty while the gates were open. Ils
had to shut and to lock the gates again in the evening.

More people became guards. They protected important points along
the wall of the city. Some of the people guarded the walls near their own
houses. This was a good idea. They did not have far to travel and they could
protect their families.

v4 Jerusalem was a large city. There was a lot of
room for people to live in it. But only a few people lived there. The people
had not repaired many of the houses.

Verse 4

Although the people had built the walls, they had not repaired
many of the houses. So not many people lived in the city, although it was a big
city. Nehemiah knew that a city could not be successful without inhabitants.

Nehemiah had to ask people to come and live in the city. C’était
a harder job for Nehemiah than when he asked them to build the walls. Many of
the people had homes and farms outside the city. They had come to Jerusalem so
that they could help to build the walls. But now they wanted to return to their
homes and to their families.

v5 My God gave me the desire to gather the people
ensemble. I called together the chief men, the officials and the people to
register them by their families. Then I found the register of the families of
the first people who returned from *exile. This is the information in this
register:

Verse 5

It seems that Nehemiah prayed about this problem. And God showed
him what to do. Nehemiah recorded all the people in a list of their families.
Then he found the list of the first people who returned from *exile. Nehemiah
could remind the people about their brave *ancestors who returned from *exile.
These *ancestors had left their homes in Persia. Then they had walked for many
weeks to come back to *Judah. When they arrived in *Judah, they had to build
new houses and to farm the land again. The people of Nehemiah’s time had houses
and farms because of the work of their *ancestors. Now these people could help
to make Jerusalem a great city again.

v6 These are the people in *Judah who returned from
*exile. (Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had taken their families into
*exile.) The people returned to Jerusalem and *Judah. Each person went back to
the town where his family used to live. v7 The leaders were Zerubbabel,
Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth,
Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah.

Verses 6-7

Nehemiah copied the register of the people who returned from
*exile in Babylonia. These people came back to *Judah about 90 years before the
time of Nehemiah. Zerubbabel and Jeshua led this group of people. Jeshua was
the chief priest. The people went back to the towns that God had given to their
*ancestors.

We can read about the return of the *Jews from *exile in Ezra
chapter 2. Ezra also recorded the list of the people who returned. Ezra’s list
is nearly the same as Nehemiah’s list. Perhaps some people did not actually
return, although they planned to do so. Perhaps Nehemiah spelt some names in a
different way. This might explain why the lists are slightly different.

Most families that went into *exile never returned to *Judah. Mais
those *Jews who returned were part of God’s plan. God had promised by the
*prophets that the *Jews would live again in *Judah after the *exile. God would
use their *descendants to bless (show his kindness to) every nation. And Jesus,
who would save people from the punishment for their *sins, would be among their
*descendants. So it was important for *Jews to know about their *ancestors.
Then they would know that they really were *Jews.

This is a list of the men of *Israel:

v8 The *descendants of Parosh, 2172.

v9 The *descendants of Shephatiah, 372.

v10 The *descendants of Arah, 652.

v11 The *descendants of Pahath-Moab (the *descendants
of Jeshua’s and Joab’s parts of this family), 2818.

v12 The *descendants of Elam, 1254.

v13 The *descendants of Zattu, 845.

v14 The *descendants of Zaccai, 760.

v15 The *descendants of Binnui, 648.

v16 The *descendants of Bebai, 628.

v17 The *descendants of Azgad, 2322.

v18 The *descendants of Adonikam, 667.

v19 The *descendants of Bigvai, 2067.

v20 The *descendants of Adin, 655.

v21 The *descendants of Ater (the *descendants of
Hezekiah’s part of this family), 98.

v22 The *descendants of Hashum, 328.

v23 The *descendants of Bezai, 324.

v24 The *descendants of Hariph, 112.

v25 The *descendants of Gibeon, 95.

v26 The men who lived in Bethlehem and Netophah, 188.

v27 The men who lived in Anathoth, 128.

v28 The men who lived in Beth Azmaveth, 42.

v29 The men who lived in Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and
Beeroth, 743.

v30 The men who lived in Ramah and Geba, 621.

v31 The men who lived in Michmash, 122.

v32 The men who lived in Bethel and Ai, 123.

v33 The men who lived in the other town called Nebo,
52.

v34 The *descendants of the other Elam, 1254.

v35 The *descendants of Harim, 320.

v36 The *descendants of Jericho, 345.

v37 The *descendants of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 721.

v38 The *descendants of Senaah, 3930.

v39 This is a list of the priests:

The *descendants of Jedaiah (the *descendants of Jeshua’s
part of this family), 973.

v40 The *descendants of Immer, 1052.

v41 The *descendants of Pashhur, 1247.

v42 The *descendants of Harim, 1017.

v43 These are the *Levites:

The *descendants of Jeshua; in fact, the *descendants of
Kadmiel (the *descendants of Hodaviah’s part of Kadmiel’s family), 74.

v44 These are the singers:

The *descendants of Asaph, 148.

v45 These are the men who guarded the gates:

The *descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and
Shobai, 138.

v46 These are the people who served in the *temple:

The *descendants of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,

v47 Keros, Sia, Padon,

v48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,

v49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,

v50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,

v51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,

v52 Besai, Meunim, Nephussim,

v53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

v54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

v55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

v56 Neziah and Hatipha.

v57 These are the *descendants of Solomon’s servants:

The *descendants of Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,

v58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,

v59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon.

v60 The total number of men who served in the *temple
and those who were the *descendants of Solomon’s servants, 392.

Verses 7-60

The people who returned to *Judah had different jobs to do. Certains
were priests and *Levites and some were singers. They led the people when they
*worshipped God. Some of the people guarded the *temple and the gates and some
were servants in the *temple.

v61 These are the people from the towns of Tel Melah,
Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer. But they could not prove that they really
belonged to the families of *Israel:

v62 The *descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda,
642.

v63-64 And some priests searched for their family
registers, but they could not find them. So they could not prove who their
*ancestors were. These priests were the *descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and
Barzillai. (Barzillai had married a woman from the family of Barzillai from
Gilead and he took her family’s name.) Because their family registers were
missing, these men were unholy. So they were not able to do the priests’ work. v65
The chief officer therefore ordered these men not to eat the most sacred food.
At that time, there was no priest who could use the Urim and Thummim to make a
decision. These men would have to obey the chief officer until such a priest arrived.

Verses 61-65

Some of the people could not prove who their *ancestors were.
Some of these people were priests. God appointed the *descendants of Aaron (who
was the brother of Moses) to be priests. So the priests had to prove that they
were *descendants of Aaron. Otherwise, they could not serve as priests.

God gave some priests the Urim and Thummim. (Urim and Thummim
means ‘perfect lights’. These objects were probably precious stones.) Somehow,
these priests used these objects to know what God was telling the people to do.
The priest would wear these objects in his jacket, over his heart (Leviticus
8:8).

But at that time there was no priest who could use the Urim and
Thummim to make a decision.

So the men who had no family records needed such a priest. Cette
priest would use the Urim and Thummim in order to ask God for direction. ensuite
God would show that priest what to do about these men. These men could not
prove their *ancestors. But perhaps God would allow them to serve as priests in
the end. But until that happened, these men could not work as priests. The work
of the priests was sacred and important. So the chief officer would not allow
anyone who might not be a priest to work in the *temple.

v66 The total number of all the people was 42 360.

v67 There were also 7337 male and female servants and
245 male and female singers.

v68 There were 736 horses and 245 mules (strong
animals that could carry people).

v69 There were 435 camels and 6720 donkeys (small
animals that could carry people).

v70 Some of the leaders of the families gave gifts to
the work.

The chief officer of *Judah gave these things to the store
of the *temple:

• 8.5 kilos of gold

• 50 bowls

• 530 sets of special clothes for the priests to wear.

v71 Some of the leaders of the families gave these
things to the store of the *temple:

• 170 kilos of gold

• 1200 kilos of silver.

v72 The rest of the people gave a total of:

• 170 kilos of gold

• 1100 kilos of silver

• 67 sets of special clothes for the priests to wear.

Verses 66-72

The *Babylonians had destroyed the *temple when they took the
*Jews into *exile.

When the people had returned to *Judah at the time of Zerubbabel,
they started to build the *temple. They started the work on the *temple as soon
as they could.

Some of the people had become rich when they lived in Babylon and
Persia. They were able to give generous gifts for the work of the *temple. le
chief officer was a good model for the people, because he was generous also.

Donkeys are animals like small horses. They have long ears. Mules
are also like small horses. They are born after male donkeys mate with female
horses. The *Jews brought these animals back with them. And they brought their
servants too. The *Jews wanted to make their permanent homes in *Judah.

v73 By the 7th month, the people of *Israel had begun
to live in their own towns.

This included the priests, the *Levites, the men who guarded
the gates and the singers. It also included some of the other people and the
servants in the *temple. And it included the rest of the nation of *Israel who
began to live in their own towns.

Verse 73

In the past, God had promised to give the country called *Judah
to the *Jews. God gave some land to each family (Numbers 34:13-15). Quand le
*Jews returned from *exile, they lived in their own towns. These were the same
towns that God had given to their *ancestors.

This register calls the people ‘the people of *Israel’ instead of
‘the people of *Judah’. God gave Jacob the name *Israel when he promised to
make Jacob’s *descendants God’s special people. Many years later, the nation
divided into two parts. The name of the northern part was *Israel, and people
called the inhabitants *Israelites. The name of the southern part was *Judah,
and people called the inhabitants *Jews. God allowed the *Assyrians to defeat
the *Israelites and to take them into *exile. The *Israelites never returned
from their *exile. (In the end, only a small number of their families would
return to join the people in Judah.) So, at the time of this register, only the
people in *Judah remained, but they were still God’s special people. Et
sometimes they called themselves ‘the people of *Israel’.

In Nehemiah 7:6-73, Nehemiah copied the register of the first
people who returned from *exile. This happened about 90 years before Nehemiah
became the ruler of *Judah.

In chapter 8, Nehemiah continues to explain the events while he
ruled *Judah. He had arranged a special meeting for all the *Jews (Nehemiah
8:1-4). In fact, there were several meetings. They happened on the sacred
holidays that were in the 7th month of the year.

At the end of these meetings, the people would decide which *Jews
would live in Jerusalem (chapter 11). But first, Nehemiah wanted the people to
learn about God. They did not yet know about God’s law. And they did not know
how to serve God.

So, Ezra and the *Levites taught the people. The people confessed
their *sins. Then they made an important agreement (chapters 9 and 10). Ils
promised that they would serve God. And they promised to provide everything
that the priests needed for the *temple.

v1 Then all the people gathered together in the
square that was in front of the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the teacher to
bring the book of the Law of Moses. The *Lord had told *Israel to obey this
Law. v2 So on the first day of the 7th month, Ezra the priest brought
the book. He brought the book of the Law to all the people. Both men and women
were there. Children who were old enough to understand the Law were there, too.
v3 Ezra stood. And he looked towards the square that was in front of the
Water Gate. He stood in front of the men, the women and the children who could
understand. Ezra read the Law aloud from dawn until midday. Everybody listened
carefully. They wanted to understand what Ezra was reading from the book of the
Law.

v4 Ezra the teacher stood on a high wooden platform
that people had made especially for this occasion. On Ezra’s right side stood
Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah. On Ezra’s left side
stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and
Meshullam.

Verses 1-4

The people had finished the work on the walls of Jerusalem in the
6th month of the year (Nehemiah 6:15). The people had worked hard for 52 days.
But Nehemiah had not finished his work. His next task would take much more than
52 days. Nehemiah had to make the people into a proper nation of God’s people
encore. They needed to learn again about God’s commands. And the people wanted
to hear God’s law and to understand it.

So on the first day of the 7th month they asked Ezra the priest
to read God’s law to them. They even built a high wooden platform for Ezra. Il
stood on the platform while he read the law. Ezra read the law to all the men
and women. The children who were old enough to understand were also present. Il
read for about 5 or 6 hours and the people listened.

Ezra had 13 companions with him on the high platform. Peut-être
they also read the law so that Ezra did not have to read for the whole time.

v5 Ezra opened the book. Everyone could see him
because he was standing on the platform above the people. And when he opened
the book, everyone stood up. v6 Ezra praised the *Lord, the great God.
All the people raised their hands and they replied, ‘Yes, we agree, we agree!’
Then they turned their faces to the ground and they *worshipped the *Lord.

Verses 5-7

When Ezra started to read the law, all the people stood up. Ils
wanted to give honour to God. Then Ezra praised God and the people agreed with
him. Then they turned their faces to the ground. This was to show how much they
wanted to give honour to God.

v7 While the people were standing there, the *Levites
went among them. The *Levites helped the people to understand the Law. le
names of the *Levites were Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai,
Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah. v8 Ils
read from the book of the Law of God. They made it clear and they explained its
meaning. So they helped the people to understand what Ezra was reading.

Verses 7-8

Some of the *Levites also helped Ezra. They moved among the
people and they read the law to smaller groups. They explained the law. Et
they helped the people to understand its meaning. Some of the people probably
did not understand the language of the book of the law. So the *Levites had to
translate into the language of the people.

v9 All the people were crying when they heard the
Law. So Nehemiah the ruler, Ezra the priest and teacher, and the *Levites, who
were teaching the people, spoke. They said to everyone, ‘Today is a special day
for the *Lord your God. Do not be sad or cry.’ v10 Then Nehemiah said to
the people, ‘Go and enjoy special food and sweet drinks. Share some of the food
and drink with those who do not have any. Today is a special day for our *Lord.
Do not be sad. The joy that you have in the *Lord will make you strong.’

v11 The *Levites made all the people calm. They said,
‘Stop crying, because today is a special day. Do not be sad.’

v12 Then everyone went away to enjoy a meal. Ils
shared food and drink with other people. They had a very happy time together,
because they understood the Law. They understood what Ezra and the *Levites had
read to them.

Verses 9-12

The people had not heard God’s law for a long time. Ezra read the
law. Then the people realised that they had *sinned. God had sent his people
into *exile because they had *sinned. This made the people cry. They were sorry
because they had *sinned.

But Nehemiah, Ezra and the *Levites told them not to cry. Personne
had read God’s law for a long time. But now the people were hearing God’s word
encore. So it was a special holy day for God.

Soon the people would confess their *sins. At that time, it would
be right for them to be sad. But that was the wrong attitude on this special
journée. Instead, the people should be happy. God loved them and he chose them to
be his own people. He had brought their families back from *exile as he
promised. And he had spoken to them by his law. God was very kind to them, so
they should be happy.

Nehemiah told the people to be happy and not sad. He told them to
go home and to enjoy good food. He told them to share food with those who did
not have any. So the people did what Nehemiah told them to do.

v13 On the second day, the leaders of all the
families came together to Ezra the teacher. The priests and the *Levites also
gathered with them. They wanted to study God’s Law. v14 They discovered
that God’s Law said this, ‘The people of *Israel should have a special holiday
in the 7th month.’ (The *Lord gave this law to Moses to give to the people of
*Israel.) God’s Law said that they must make shelters from branches of trees.
They must live in these shelters during this special holiday. v15 Ils
had to tell everyone in all their cities and in Jerusalem about these commands.
They must say, ‘Go to the hills. Bring back branches from different types of
trees. Cut branches from trees called pines, olives, myrtles and palms. And cut
branches from other trees that give shade. From these branches make shelters,
as God’s Law tells us to do.’

Verses 13-15

The people wanted to hear God’s law again the next day. This time
the leaders of the families came to hear what was in the book of the law. Ezra
and the priests and the *Levites helped the people to study God’s law. Quand
they all studied God’s law, they found out about a special holiday. The holiday
was in the 7th month of the year. It was called the holiday of the shelters.

Actually there should have been three special holidays during the
7th month of the year.

1.         The first holiday
was the special day of the *trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25). God told his people
to have a special day of rest on the first day of the month. He told them not
to work. He told them to meet together when they heard the sound of the
*trumpets.

2.         The second
special day was on the 10th day of the month (Leviticus 23:26-32). That was a
day for the people to be sad because they had *sinned. They should be humble
and they should confess their *sins to God. Then God would forgive their *sins.

3.         The third special
holiday was the holiday of the shelters (Leviticus 23:33-36). It started on the
15th day of the month and it lasted for 7 days. God wanted to remind the people
about the time when he rescued their *ancestors from the country called Egypt.
When the people left Egypt, they lived in shelters. God had looked after them
until he led them into the country called *Israel. *Judah was the south part of
the land that God had promised to give to his people. So, afterwards, God said
that his people should make shelters during the 7th month of the year. le
people must make the shelters from branches and they must live in the shelters
for 7 days. On the 8th day, the people had to meet together. This 8th day was
an extra holiday. On that day, people remembered how God gave them his law. Dieu
told the people to be happy during this whole holiday (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).

When the leaders of the people studied God’s law, they discovered
about the holiday of the shelters. This was a good holiday for them to hear
about. God had rescued their *ancestors from Egypt many centuries earlier. Maintenant
he had rescued them from *exile in Babylon.

v16 So the people went out and brought back branches.
They used these to build shelters for themselves. They built them in these
places:

• on the roofs of their houses

• in their yards

• in the yard by the *temple

• in the square by the gate called Water Gate

• in the square by the gate called Ephraim Gate.

v17 All the families who had returned from *exile
built shelters. Then they lived in the shelters. The people of *Israel had not
done this since the time when Joshua the son of Nun lived. They had very great
joy. v18 Every day of the holiday, Ezra read aloud from the book of
God’s Law. The holiday lasted for 7 days. On the 8th day, the people gathered
for the final meeting, as the Law ordered.

Verses 16-18

When the people learned about the holiday of the shelters they
wanted to obey God. So they collected branches, which they used to build
shelters. And they lived in the shelters as God had told them to do. All the
people who had returned from *exile did this. They did all that God had ordered
about the holiday of the shelters.

They were very happy because God had brought his people back to
*Judah. God had helped them to build Jerusalem again. Now God’s people were
obeying him again. And the people listened to Ezra as he read from the book of
God’s law every day of the holiday.

Nehemiah still had not finished his work for God. He could have
returned to Persia. He had a successful career there. But he remained in *Judah
for 12 years. He wanted to make the *Jews into a holy nation of God’s people
encore.

v1 On the 24th day of the same month, the *Israelite
people gathered together. They did not eat anything. They wore rough clothes
and they put dust on their heads. v2 The families of *Israel had
separated themselves from all foreigners. The *Israelite people stood and they
confessed their *sins. They also confessed the *sins that their *ancestors had
done. v3 The people stood where they were. For three hours they read
from the book of the Law of the *Lord their God. For three more hours they
confessed and they *worshipped the *Lord their God.

Verses 1-3

So the people had the special holiday of the shelters in the 7th
month of the year. It lasted from the 15th day of the month until the 22nd day
(Nehemiah 8:14-18). It was a happy holiday.

Two days later, they gathered together again. This time they were
sad. They did not eat any food. The people also wore rough clothes and they put
dust on their heads. This was to show that they were sad and sorry for their
*sins. They were ready to pray and to confess their *sins to God.

The people wanted to serve and to obey the real God. They said
that they were sorry for their *sins. They even confessed the *sins that their
*ancestors had done. They listened to the book of the law of God for another
three hours. Then they *worshipped God and they confessed their *sins for
another three hours.

The people also separated themselves from all foreigners. Plus
foreigners served other gods, which were not real gods. God had warned the
*Jews that they must not follow the ways of the foreigners. And God’s people
must not serve other gods instead of the real God. So God warned them to
separate themselves from all foreigners. God had sent their *ancestors into
*exile because they had served other gods.

At other times, some foreigners wanted to *worship the real God.
God allowed them to join with his special people the *Jews. For example, Ruth
was from Moab, but she became an *ancestor of Jesus (Ruth 1:16, 22; 4:13-17;
Luke 3:23-32).

v4 Some *Levites stood on the steps and they called
out with loud voices to the *Lord their God. Their names were Jeshua, Bani,
Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Kenani.

v5 Some *Levites also spoke to the people. Leur
names were Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and
Pethahiah. They said,

‘Stand up and praise the *Lord your God.

The *Lord has always lived and he will continue to live
always.

We praise
you, *Lord. You are magnificent.

You are much
greater than we can ever say!

v6
Only you alone are the *Lord.

You made the
sky.

You made the
highest heaven and all the stars.

You made the
earth and everything on it.

You made the
seas and everything in them.

You make
everything continue to live.

All who live
in heaven *worship you!’

Verses 4-6

Some *Levites led the people to pray to God. Other *Levites led
the people to *worship and to praise God.

They remembered that God has always lived. He was not born and he
will not die. He made everything. He is the real God. He is not like the false
gods that the foreigners served. They were not real gods. They did not make
anything, but people made them.

v7
‘You are the *Lord.

Tu
are God.

Tu
chose Abram.

Tu
brought him out of Ur.

Ur
was the city where the people called Chaldeans lived.

Tu
gave him the name ‘Abraham’.

v8 Tu
found that he trusted you.

Tu
made an agreement with him that nobody can change.

Tu
promised to give to his *descendants a country where many nations lived.

le
Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites and the
Girgashites were all nations that lived in that country.

Tu
did what you promised to do.

Tu
always do what is right.’

Verses 7-8

In their prayers to God, the people remembered all the things
that he had done for them and for their *ancestors.

The people remembered that God had chosen Abram. God had given
him a new name, Abraham, and a new place to live. God had promised that Abraham
would have many *descendants. God promised to give a special country to the
*descendants of Abraham. God always does what is right. He always does what he
promises to do. These people were Abraham’s *descendants. And they were now
living in the country called *Judah. It was part of the land that God had
promised to give to Abraham’s *descendants.

v9
‘You saw the troubles that our *ancestors suffered in Egypt.

Tu
heard their cry for help by the Red Sea.

v10
You performed wonderful acts of power against the king of Egypt.

Tu
performed wonderful acts of power against all his officials and all the people
in his country.

Tu
knew how proudly the Egyptians (people from Egypt) dealt with our *ancestors.

Everyone
saw how great you are.

Et
people today still remember this.

v11
You made a path through the sea for our *ancestors.

Ils
walked through the sea on dry ground!

But you threw
those who pursued them into the deep sea.

Ils
sank like stones into the fierce currents of water.

v12
You led our *ancestors during the day by a column of cloud.

Tu
led them at night by a column of fire.

Ce
fire lit their way and it showed them where to go.’

Verses 9-12

In their prayers to God, the people remembered that their
*ancestors had lived in the country called Egypt. The king of Egypt and his
people had made the *Jews suffer. So the *Jews called to God to help them. Dieu
heard their cries and he rescued them from the people of Egypt. The king of
Egypt did not want the *Jews to leave his country, because they were slaves to
his people. But God performed wonderful acts to prove that he was the powerful
real God. He made the king and the people of Egypt suffer until they agreed to
free the *Jews.

When the *Jews escaped from Egypt, God led his people through the
desert. He used a cloud to lead them during the day. And at night, he used a
column of fire to show them the way that they should go. When they reached the
Red Sea, God made a special path. Then they could cross the sea. The army of
Egypt tried to follow the *Jews. But God drowned the army of Egypt in the sea.

We can read all about this in Exodus chapters 3 to 14.

v13
‘You came down onto Sinai Mountain.

From heaven
you spoke to our *ancestors.

You gave them
fair judgements and right laws.

You gave them
good rules and commands.

v14
You told them to respect your special weekly day of rest.

You gave your
servant Moses commands, rules and laws for our *ancestors to obey.

v15
When our *ancestors were hungry,

tu
gave them bread from heaven.

When they
needed to drink,

tu
brought them water out of a rock.

You told them
to enter the country that you had promised to them.

You told them
to take possession of it.’

Verses 13-15

While they were in the desert, God called Moses up to Sinai
Mountain. On Sinai Mountain, God gave Moses good and fair laws for his people.
God told the people to rest on the 7th day of the week. That was a special holy
day for God. Then the people knew how to obey God. They knew how God wanted
them to live.

Also while the people were in the desert, God fed them. He sent
them special bread from heaven. He even brought water for them out of a rock.
He showed them that he cared about them. He showed them that he was the
powerful real God. God reminded the people that he had promised to give to them
their own special country. Other nations already lived in that country. But God
told the *Jews to go into the country. He told them to take possession of it.

We can read all about this in Exodus chapters 16 to 20.

v16
‘But our *ancestors became proud.

They did not
want to do what you told them to do.

They refused
to obey your instructions.

v17
They refused to obey you.

They did not
remember the wonderful acts

cette
you performed among them.

They were not
loyal to you.

Ils
appointed a leader to take them back

à
the place where they had been slaves.

But you are a
God who forgives.

You are very
kind to people, although they do not deserve your kindness.

You are slow
to become angry,

et
you always love very much.

So you did
not leave our *ancestors.

v18
You did not leave them even when they made

une
gold image of a young cow.

They said,
“This image is your god who brought you out of Egypt.”

They did very
evil things to insult you.

v19
You show great kindness to your people.

So you did
not leave them in the desert.

The column of
cloud did not leave them.

By day, it
led them in the way that they should go.

The column of
fire by night did not leave them.

It lit up
their way and it showed them where to go.

v20
You sent your good Spirit to teach our *ancestors.

You did not
stop feeding them with your bread from heaven.

You gave them
water when they needed to drink.

v21
For 40 years you provided everything that they needed in the desert.

They did not
need anything else.

Their clothes
never wore out and their feet never became tired or sore.’

Verses 16-21

Although God looked after his people, they did not obey his law.
He gave them food and water in the desert. But they did not remember all the
good and wonderful things that God had done for them. Although God led them
with the cloud and the fire, they asked Aaron, Moses’ brother, to make them
another god. Aaron made a gold image of a young cow and the people *worshipped
the image instead of the real God (Exodus 32:1-35).

This made God very angry. But he still loved his people. So he
continued to look after them. He continued to lead them by the cloud and the
fire. He continued to give them food and water. And he continued to teach them
what they should do to please him.

Because the people would not believe God, they had to live in the
desert for 40 years. They often did not obey God and they often made him angry.
But he continued to look after them all the time (Exodus chapter 16; Numbers
9:15-23).

v22
‘You gave them countries where kings had ruled.

You gave them
nations.

You made
these countries the borders of *Israel.

*Israel’s
people took possession of the country of Sihon, king of Heshbon,

et
the country of Og, king of Bashan.

v23
You made their *descendants

comme
many as the stars in the sky.

You brought
them into the country

cette
you had told their *ancestors to enter and to possess.

v24 Alors
their *descendants went in and they possessed this country.

le
Canaanites were the people who lived in this country.

Mais
you overcame the Canaanites for them.

You handed
over the kings of the Canaanites

et
the people of the country to our *ancestors.

They could do
what they wanted to the Canaanites.

v25
Our *ancestors took possession of strong cities.

They took
land that was good for their crops.

They took
possession of houses that were

full
of all kinds of good things.

They took
wells that people had already dug.

They took
*vineyards, *orchards, and plenty of fruit trees.

They ate
until they were completely full.

They became
fat.

They greatly
enjoyed all the good things that you gave to them.’

Verses 22-25

The *Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years. During this time,
almost all the adults who left Egypt died. Although the people often did not
obey God, God was still looking after their families. He led them into the
country that he had promised to give to them. And he made them into a great
nation. God allowed the *Jews to defeat all the nations who lived in the
country.

So the people entered the country to live in it. The people found
that the land was good to produce crops. There were already good cities and
houses in the country, which the *Jews did not have to build themselves. Ils
did not have to dig wells because the previous people had already dug wells.
The people enjoyed many good things for which they did not have to work. Dieu
gave all these good things to his people in their new country (Deuteronomy
6:10-12; Joshua 21:43-45).

v26
‘But they did not obey you.

Ils
refused to do what you told them to do.

They turned
away from your Law.

They killed
your *prophets

OMS
warned them to turn back to you.

They did very
evil things to insult you.

v27 Alors
you allowed their enemies to defeat our *ancestors.

These enemies
caused them much trouble.

When this trouble
happened,

notre
*ancestors cried to you for help.

And from
heaven, you heard them.

And, because
you are very kind,

tu
gave them leaders to save them.

These leaders
rescued them from their enemies.

v28
But as soon as our *ancestors had peace,

ils
did wicked things again.

So you let
their enemies overcome them.

You let their
enemies rule over them.

But our
*ancestors turned and they cried to you again.

And, from
heaven, you heard them.

You rescued
them many times,

car
you are very kind.

v29
You warned them to obey your Law again.

But they
became proud

et
they did not obey your commands.

They did evil
things that were against your rules.

If a man
obeys your rules,

il
will live.

But our
*ancestors turned against you.

Ils
became unwilling to obey you.

They refused
to listen to you.

v30
For many years, you were patient with our *ancestors.

By your
Spirit, you warned them by your *prophets.

But our
*ancestors would not listen.

So you let
the people from other countries overcome them.

v31
But because you are so kind,

tu
did not destroy our *ancestors.

You did not
leave them.

You are a
kind God, although people do not deserve your kindness.’

Verses 26-31

God was good to his people the *Jews. He looked after them and he
gave them a good country to live in. But they did not obey him. God sent
*prophets to warn them, but they killed the *prophets. So God punished the
gens. He allowed their enemies to defeat them. Then the people called out to
God for help. God continued to love his people. So he heard their cries and he
rescued them. But then they forgot God again and they did not obey his Law. Alors,
again, God punished them. He allowed their enemies to defeat them and to rule over
them again. Again, the people called out to God and he heard their cries. Il
rescued them and he warned them to obey his Law.

This happened many times during the history of the *Jews. le
people did not obey God, so he punished them. He allowed their enemies to
defeat them. Then the people were sorry and they asked God to rescue them. Dieu
did rescue them and he warned them to obey him. But the people soon forgot how
good God was. Then they did wicked things again.

Although the people often forgot God’s kindness, God still loved
leur. They did not deserve his kindness. But he was still good to them and he
did not destroy the nation.

v32
‘You are our God.

You are great
and powerful.

Vous êtes
magnificent.

You always do
what you promised.

Et
you are kind to us.

So now,
please consider all our troubles to be important to you.

Our kings,
our leaders, our priests and our *prophets

avoir
suffered these troubles.

Notre
*ancestors and all your people have suffered these troubles.

Nous avons
suffered them from the time

de
the kings of Assyria until now.

v33
But you have been fair when you allowed all these things to happen to us.

Tu
have done what is right.

Mais
we have done wicked things.

v34
Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our *ancestors

did not obey
your Law.

They did not
listen to your commands.

Tu
warned them, but they did not listen.

v35
You gave to our *ancestors many good things

quand
they lived in their own country.

You gave to
them this large country.

Et
it was a good country in which to produce crops.

But they did
not serve you there.

Et
they did not stop doing wicked things.

v36
But now we are slaves.

You gave to
our *ancestors this land.

Alors
then, they could eat the food that it yielded.

You gave this
land to them

alors
that they could enjoy all its good things.

See, we are
slaves in this country!

v37
The harvest of this land is great.

But we have
done wicked things.

So this
harvest goes to the kings

cette
you have placed over us.

They rule
over our bodies

et
over our animals.

They do what
they like with us.

We suffer
much trouble.’

Verses 32-37

So the people in Nehemiah’s time remembered their history. Ils
remembered that God had been kind to their *ancestors. So they praised God. Dieu
always does everything that he has promised to do. They realised this fact. Alors
they thanked God. And they asked God to help them in their present troubles.
They knew that God was right and fair to punish his people. They knew that they
too had behaved like their *ancestors. They and their leaders had not obeyed
God’s laws. Although the people were living in *Judah again, they still had to
serve the king of Persia. They felt like slaves in their own country because
they had to give much of their harvest to a foreign king. So the people
appealed to God to help them.

v38 ‘Because of all these things, we are making an
agreement that nobody can change.

Nous sommes
writing down this agreement. Our leaders, our *Levites and our priests are
signing it.’

Verse 38

So the people decided to make promises to God. They wrote down
their agreement with God and their leaders signed it. Then everybody would know
what they had promised to do.

We can read about this agreement in the next chapter.

The people had listened to the law of God (Nehemiah chapter 8)
and they had remembered their history (Nehemiah chapter 9). Then they made an
agreement with God.

v1 This is a list of the people who signed this
agreement:

Nehemiah the chief officer, who was the son of Hachaliah,

and Zedekiah,

v2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

v3 Pashur, Amariah, Malkijah,

v4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

v5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

v6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

v7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

v8 Maaziah, Bilgai and Shemaiah.

Those were the priests.

v9 These were the *Levites:

Jeshua, who was the son of Azaniah,

Binnui, who was one of the sons of Henadad,

Kadmiel.

v10 The other *Levites, who were their companions
étaient:

Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

v11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

v12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

v13 Hodiah, Bani and Beninu.

Verses 1-13

Nehemiah recorded this list of the men who signed the agreement
with God. Nehemiah was the ruler of *Judah, so he signed the agreement.
Zedekiah probably helped Nehemiah to rule, so he signed the agreement also.
Some of the priests also signed the agreement. These priests were probably the
heads of the families. Some of the *Levites also signed the agreement. le
*Levites and the priests led the people when they *worshipped God.

v14 The leaders of the people were:

Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

v15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

v16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

v17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,

v18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,

v19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

v20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

v21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

v22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

v23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,

v24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

v25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

v26 Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,

v27 Malluch, Harim and Baanah.

Verses 14-27

The leaders of the people also signed the agreement.

v28-29 The rest of the people, together with the
chief men, agreed to make a serious promise to obey God’s law. And they agreed
that they would be responsible for their future behaviour. These people were:

· the priests

· the *Levites

· the people who guarded the gates

· the singers

· the servants of the *temple

· all the people who separated themselves from the
people who lived in the nations near them. They did this because they wanted to
obey God’s law.

· their wives

· all their sons and daughters who were old enough to
understand.

God had given his law by his servant Moses. These people
promised to obey all the commands, judgements and rules of the *LORD our *Lord.

Verses 28-29

After all the leaders of the people had signed the agreement, all
the rest of the people agreed. They also made a serious promise to God. Même
the children who were old enough to understand made promises to God. They all
promised to obey all the laws of God.

The people in the nations near Jerusalem served other gods, which
were not real gods. So the *Jews separated themselves from these other nations
because they wanted to be loyal to the real God.

v30-31 ‘This is what we promise.

· We will not allow our daughters to
marry the people who belong to the nations near us.

· We will not allow their daughters
to marry our sons.

· The 7th day of the week will be a
special holy day for us. The people who live near us will bring goods or grain
to sell to us. But we will not buy anything on that day, or on any other holy
journée.

· Every 7th year we will not farm the
land and we will cancel all debts.’

Verses 30-31

The people promised God that *Jews would not marry people from
other nations. Most foreigners served other gods, which were not real gods. Dieu
knew that the *Jews would follow the ways of the foreigners. They would serve
other gods and they would not serve him. So he warned them not to marry these
foreigners (Nehemiah 13:1-3; 13:24-27). God had sent their *ancestors into
*exile because they had served other gods.

The people also promised to keep the 7th day of the week special
and holy for God. God had told them to rest on the 7th day. He told them to
allow their animals and their foreign servants to rest also (Exodus 23:12). Dieu
himself had rested on the 7th day after he had made the world. So he made it a
special day (Genesis 2:1-3).

It was a special day when the people *worshipped God. He told
them not to work on that day. He also told them not to farm their land each 7th
an. Then they would not be able to grow crops, because God wanted them to
depend on him.

If the people rested on the 7th day, then the nations near them
would notice. Then the other nations would know that the *Jews loved the real
Dieu.

Just before the people went into *exile, God warned them by his
*prophet Jeremiah. God made a promise if the people obeyed his command about
the 7th day. He promised that the people would be a great nation (Jeremiah
17:24-25). But they did not obey his command. So God sent them into *exile and
he allowed enemies to destroy Jerusalem.

v32 ‘We will make a law for ourselves. That law will
oblige us to pay the *temple tax each year. That money will pay for the work of
God’s house, called the *temple.

v33 This money will pay for the special bread and for
the grain and meat for the regular *sacrifices. It will also pay for the
*sacrifices on holy days. These *sacrifices happen every 7th day of the week
and at the start of every month. The money will also pay for the special
meetings and the holy *sacrifices. The money will also pay for the *sacrifices
when the *Israelite people ask God to forgive their *sins. And it will pay for
all the work of God’s house, that is, the *temple.

v34 We all threw *lots. This included the priests,
the *Levites and the rest of the people. By this method, we have decided which
families will bring the gift of wood. They will bring the wood at certain times
in the year. The priests will use this wood to burn the *sacrifices to the
*Lord our God. This is what God’s law orders.

v35 We also promise that we will bring the first of
our crops and the first of our fruit. We will bring these every year to the
house of the *Lord.

v36 We will also bring the first of our sons to be
born and the first of our cows and sheep. God’s law says that we should do
this. We will bring them to the house of our God. We will bring them to the
priests who serve there. v37 And we will bring the first of our grain
and our gifts. We will bring the fruit of all our trees and wine and oil to the
priests. We will bring these to the special rooms in the house of our God. nous
will bring one tenth (1/10th) of our crops to the *Levites. The *Levites will
receive the *tithes in all the towns where we work.

v38 And a priest, who is a *descendant of Aaron will
be with the *Levites. He will be with the *Levites when they receive the
*tithes. Then the *Levites will bring a 10th part of the *tithes to the house
of our God. They will bring it to the special rooms at the *temple.

v39 So the people of *Israel and the *Levites will
bring the gifts of grain, wine and oil to the rooms. These special rooms
contain the equipment for the *temple. The priests stay in these rooms when
they are serving in the *temple. The singers and the people who guard the gates
also stay there.

We promise that we will not neglect the house of our God.’

Verses 32-39

The people also promised to pay money each year. Each person
would pay the same amount, as tax. They paid 4 grams (1/8 ounce) of silver.
This money was to pay for all the work of the *temple. Then the people also
promised to provide wood for the fire for the *sacrifices.

They also promised to bring the best of their crops, their fruit and
their animals to God. They even promised to bring the first of their sons. Mais
God’s law allowed them to pay a price instead (Exodus 13:11-16).

Also, the people promised to give one tenth (1/10th) of their
crops. They gave all these things to the *Levites. Then the *Levites could
serve God and take care of the *temple all the time. So they did not have to
work in the fields. The *Levites also gave one 10th to the priests. Puis le
priests could serve God and they could lead the people to *worship God. Alors le
priests also did not have to work in the fields.

The people promised that they would not neglect the house of God,
in other words, the *temple.

The people had built the city called Jerusalem again. Then they
returned to the smaller towns and villages where they lived. Not many people
lived in the city called Jerusalem. It was important for people to live in the
city. Then it would become a great city again and the people could protect the
*temple in the city.

v1 The leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. le
rest of the people threw *lots to decide who else would live in Jerusalem. Une
person in every 10 people went to live in Jerusalem, the holy city. The other 9
stayed in the other towns. v2 The people thanked all the men who chose
to live in Jerusalem.

Verses 1-2

The leaders of the people lived in the city. They would help
Hanani and Hananiah to rule the people (Nehemiah 7:2). But a city can only be a
great city if many people live there. The people who lived in the other towns
and villages already had houses and land. If they moved to live in Jerusalem,
they would have to build new houses and to find new work. The people used *lots
to decide who would live in the city. They used *lots in order to find out what
God wanted them to do (Proverbs 16:33). So they chose one tenth (1/10th) of the
people to live in Jerusalem. All the people were grateful for those people who
were willing to live in Jerusalem.

v3-4 In the other towns in *Judah, the people lived
on their own land. This included the *Israelites, the priests, the *Levites and
the people who served in the *temple. And the people who were *descendants of
King Solomon’s servants also lived on their own land. Other people from the
*descendants of *Judah and Benjamin lived in Jerusalem. The leaders of the
district lived in Jerusalem. This is a list of their names.

Among the *descendants of Judah were:

· Athaiah who was the son of Uzziah
and was the grandson of Zechariah. (Zechariah was the son of Amariah and was
the grandson of Shephatiah. Shephatiah was the son of Mahalalel and he was a
*descendant of Perez.)

· v5 Maaseiah who was the son
of Baruch and was the grandson of Col-Hozeh. (Col-Hozeh was the son of Hazaiah
and was the grandson of Adaiah. Adaiah was the son of Joiarib and was the grandson
of Zechariah. And he was a *descendant of Shelah.)

· v6 There were 486
*descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem. They were all strong men.

v7 Among the *descendants of Benjamin were:

· Sallu who was the son of Meshullam
and was the grandson of Joed. (Joed was the son of Pedaiah and was the grandson
of Kolaiah. Kolaiah was the son of Maaseiah and was the grandson of Ithiel. Et
he was a *descendant of Jeshaiah.)

· v8 And after Sallu there
were Gabbai and Sallai.

· The total number of men was 928.

v9 Joel, the son of Zicri, was their chief officer.
And *Judah, the son of Hassenuah, was the second officer of the city.

Verses 3-9

Many of the people lived on their own land in the other towns and
villages. Some of the rulers of the districts lived in Jerusalem. Nehemiah
recorded their names.

Some of them were *descendants of Judah. Judah’s sons were Perez
and Shelah. Perez was born after Judah *sinned with Tamar. Tamar was the widow
of *Judah’s other son called Er (Genesis 38:11-30). Jesus was also one of the
*descendants of Perez. Judah’s wrong action could not prevent God’s good plan.

v10 Among the priests who lived in Jerusalem were:

· Jedaiah who was the son of Joiarib,
Jakin,

· v11 Seraiah, who was the
ruler of the house of God. He was the son of Hilkiah and was the grandson of
Meshullam. (Meshullam was the son of Zadok and was the grandson of Meraioth.
Meraioth was the son of Ahitub.)

· v12 Their companions who did
the work in the *temple also lived in Jerusalem. The total number of them was
822.

· There was also Adaiah. He was the
son of Jeroham and was the grandson of Pelaliah. (Pelaliah was the son of Amzi
and was the grandson of Zechariah. Zechariah was the son of Pashhur and was the
grandson of Malkijah.)

· v13 Their companions who
were heads of families also lived in Jerusalem. The total number of them was
242.

· There was also Amashsai. He was the
son of Azarel and was the grandson of Ahzai. (Ahzai was the son of Meshillemoth
and was the grandson of Immer.)

· v14 There were also his
companions, who were strong and brave men. The total number of them was 128.
Their chief officer was Zabdiel who was the son of Haggedolim.

v15 Among the *Levites were:

· Shemaiah who was the son of Hashub
and was the grandson of Azrikam. (Azrikam was the son of Hashabiah and was the
grandson of Bunni.)

· v16 Shabbethai and Jozabad
were two leaders of the *Levites. They were responsible for the outside work of
the house of God.

· v17 Mattaniah led the people
in prayer and when they gave thanks to God. He was the son of Mica and was the
grandson of Zabdi. (Zabdi was the son of Asaph.)

· There was also Bakbukiah, who was
his assistant. And there was Abda. He was the son of Shammua and was the
grandson of Galal. (Galal was the son of Jeduthun.)

· v18 Le nombre total de
*Levites in the holy city called Jerusalem was 284.

v19 Among the men who guarded the gates were:

· Akkub, Talmon, and their
companions. The total number of men who guarded the gates was 172.

Verses 10-18

Nehemiah recorded the names of the priests and the *Levites who
lived in Jerusalem. The priests led the people when they *worshipped God. le
*Levites helped the priests and they looked after the *sacrifices. Some of
these men looked after the work of the *temple. Other men led the people in
prayer and when they gave thanks to God. Nehemiah also recorded the names of
the men of Jerusalem who guarded the gates. They also guarded the *temple and
the rooms for the *tithes and *temple equipment (1 Chronicles 9:17-27).

v20 The other people of *Israel and the other priests
and *Levites lived in the other towns and cities in *Judah. They all lived on
the land which belonged to their families and their *ancestors. v21 le
*temple servants lived in Ophel. Ziha and Gishpa were their managers.

Verses 20-21

God had given the country called *Judah to his special people the
*Jews. He gave each family a share in the land. So when the people returned
from the *exile, they returned to the country of their *ancestors.

v22 The leader of the *Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi.
(He was the son of Bani and was the grandson of Hashabiah. Hashabiah was the
son of Mattaniah and was the grandson of Mica.) Uzzi was one of the
*descendants of Asaph. Asaph’s *descendants were the singers who were
responsible for the work of the house of God. v23 The singers carried
out their daily work by royal authority.

v24 Pethahiah was the king’s agent in all the affairs
of the people. He was the son of Meshezabel and he was a *descendant of Zerah
and Judah.

Verses 22-24

Asaph was a leader of the singers at the time of King David (1
Chronicles 6:39). He also wrote some of the Psalms in the Bible. Le sien
*descendants were the singers in the *temple.

Although the king lived far away in Persia, he wanted to know
about the people in *Judah. He had a special interest in the work of the
*temple. The king had given royal authority to Ezra about the *worship in the
*temple (Ezra 7:11-26).

v25 Some of the *descendants of Judah lived on their
land in the villages. Some lived in Kiriath Arba and the villages near it. Certains
lived in Dibon and the villages near it and some lived in Jekabzeel and the
villages near it. v26 Some lived in Jeshua and some lived in Moladah.
Some lived in Bethpelet. v27 Some lived in Hazarshual and some lived in
Beersheba and the villages near it. v28 Some lived in Ziklag and some
lived in Meconah and the villages near it. v29 Some lived in Enrimmon
and some lived in Zorah. Some lived in Jarmuth. v30 Some lived in Zanoah
and some lived in Adullam and the villages near these towns. Some lived in
Lachish and the land there. Some lived in Azekah and the villages near it. Alors
all these people lived in the area between Beersheba and the valley called
Hinnom.

v31 The *descendants of Benjamin from Geba lived in
Michmash, Aija, Bethel and the villages near Bethel. v32 Some lived in
Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, v33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, v34 Hadid,
Zeboim, Neballat, v35 Lod and Ono. They also lived in the valley called
‘The valley of skilled men’.

v36 Some groups of the *Levites from *Judah lived
among the *descendants of Benjamin.

Verses 25-36

Nehemiah also recorded the names of the towns and villages of
*Judah.

We do not know much about the people in this chapter. They lived
many years ago, but they did an important job for Nehemiah and for God. Dieu
cares about all sorts of people. And he is pleased when they serve him well.

Often Nehemiah also recorded the names of the families and the
*ancestors of the people. The people in *Judah were part of God’s plan to save
the world by Jesus Christ. (Jesus was a *Jew.) So it was important for *Jews to
know about their *ancestors. Then they would know that they really were *Jews.
The priests and *Levites could only do their special work if they were genuine
*descendants of Levi (Nehemiah 7:63-65). (The priests were *descendants of
Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron was a *descendant of Levi.)

v1 This is a list of the priests and *Levites who
returned from *exile. They returned with Zerubbabel, who was the son of Shealtiel,
and with Jeshua.

Seraiah,
Jeremiah, Ezra,

v2
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

v3
Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

v4
Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah,

v5
Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

v6
Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,

v7
Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah and Jedaiah.

These men were the leaders of the priests and their
companions at the time of Jeshua.

v8 The *Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel,
Sherebiah, *Judah and Mattaniah. Mattaniah and his companions were responsible
for the songs to thank God.

v9 Bakbukiah and Unni and their companions stood
opposite them when Mattaniah and his companions led the songs.

Verses 1-9

Nehemiah recorded the names of the first priests and *Levites to
return from *exile. Zerubbabel led these people back to *Judah about 93 years
before the time when Nehemiah and his companions returned. Jeshua was the name
of the chief priest at the time of Zerubbabel.

v10 Jeshua was the father of Joiakim. Joiakim was the
father of Eliashib and Eliashib was the father of Joiada.

v11 Joiada was the father of Jonathan and Jonathan
was the father of Jaddua.

Verses 10-11

Nehemiah then recorded the family of the chief priest. C’était
important for *Jews to know about their *ancestors. But it was especially
important for the priests to know about their *ancestors. They could only do
their special work if they were genuine *descendants of Aaron, the brother of
Moses. The chief priests came from one family. When the people had had a king,
they had counted their dates by the years of the king’s rule. But now they did
not have a king, so they counted their dates by the names of the chief priests
(1 Chronicles 6:3-15; Nehemiah 12:12).

v12 In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of
the families of the priests.

Meraiah was
from the family of Seraiah.

Hananiah was
from the family of Jeremiah.

v13
Meshullam was from the family of Ezra.

Jehohanan was
from the family of Amariah.

v14
Jonathan was from the family of Malluch.

Joseph was
from the family of Shecaniah.

v15
Adna was from the family of Harim.

Helkai was
from the family of Meremoth.

v16
Zechariah was from the family of Iddo.

Meshullam was
from the family of Ginnethon.

v17
Zicri was from the family of Abijah.

Piltai was
from the family of Miniamin and Moadiah.

v18
Shammua was from the family of Bilgah.

Jehonathan
was from the family of Shemaiah.

v19
Mattenai was from the family of Joiarib.

Uzzi was from
the family of Jedaiah.

v20
Kallai was from the family of Sallai.

Eber was from
the family of Amok.

v21
Hashabiah was from the family of Hilkiah.

Nethaneel was
from the family of Jedaiah.

Verses 12-21

Then Nehemiah recorded the names of the most important priests at
his own time. These men were the heads of the families of the priests when he
was the ruler of *Judah. Joiakim was the chief priest. Most of the family names
are the same as those of Zerubbabel’s time when Jeshua was the chief priest
(Nehemiah 12:1-7). The priests clearly used the same family names. C’était
important for them to know to which family they belonged.

v22 The people made records of the heads of the
*Levite families and the families of the priests. And they continued to make
these records during the time of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua. Celles-ci
records ended when Darius was king of Persia. v23 And the people
recorded the heads of the families of the *descendants of Levi until the time
of Johanan. He was the grandson of Eliashib.

v24 The leaders of the *Levites were Hashabiah,
Sherebiah and Jeshua who was the son of Kadmiel. They and their companions who
stood opposite them praised God. And they thanked God. One side praised God and
then the other side praised him. That was the command of David, the man of God.

v25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon
and Akkub guarded the gates. And they guarded the store rooms by the gates. v26
These people lived at the time of Joiakim. Joiakim was the son of Jeshua and
was the grandson of Jozadak. At that time, Nehemiah was the chief officer and
Ezra was the priest and teacher.

Verses 22-26

The people kept records for many years of the families of the
priests and the *Levites. (Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua were the chief
priests during these years.) These records were very important. Only the
*descendants of Levi, the son of Jacob, could serve as *Levites. Only the
*descendants of Aaron, who was a *Levite and the brother of Moses, could serve
as priests (Nehemiah 7:63-65).

Some of the *Levites praised and thanked God. This was their
special task at the *temple. Centuries before, King David had made rules about
the *worship at the *temple. David also wrote many of the Psalms (songs) that
these *Levites used to praise God.

Other *Levites took care of the *temple and the equipment for the
*temple.

v27 The people had finished the construction of the
wall of Jerusalem. So they had a happy occasion. They went to look for the
*Levites who were living in the towns. And the people brought the *Levites to
Jerusalem. The *Levites were very happy. They sang and they thanked God. Ils
used different types of musical instruments. v28 The families of the
singers gathered from the district round Jerusalem. They came from the villages
round Netophah. v29 They also came from Beth Gilgal and from the land at
Geba and Azmaveth. (The singers had built villages for themselves round
Jerusalem.) v30 Then the priests and *Levites carried out a ceremony so
that they would be ready to serve God. Then they carried out similar ceremonies
on behalf of the people, for the gates, and for the wall.

Verses 27-30

The people were happy because they had built the walls of
Jerusalem again. They knew that God had helped them. And they wanted to thank
God for his help. The job of the *Levites was to lead the people when they
praised God. So the people gathered the *Levites and the singers from all the
other towns. And the *Levites sang and they thanked God with musical
instruments. The priests carried out a special ceremony. Probably they made
*sacrifices on behalf of themselves and the other people. By means of these
*sacrifices, they asked God to forgive their *sins. Then they would be ready to
serve God.

v31 Then I took the leaders of *Judah onto the top of
the wall. I also appointed two large groups to thank God. One group went to the
right and they walked along the wall to the Rubbish Gate. v32 Hoshaiah
and half of the leaders of *Judah followed them. v33 Azariah, Ezra,
Meshullam, v34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah and Jeremiah followed too. v35
Some of the sons of the priests followed with *trumpets. One of the priests was
Zechariah. He was the son of Jonathan and was the grandson of Shemaiah.
(Shemaiah was the son of Mattaniah and was the grandson of Michaiah. Michaiah
was the son of Zaccur and was a *descendant of Asaph.) v36 The other
priests were the companions of Zechariah. They were Shemaiah, Azarael, Milalai,
Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, *Judah and Hanani. They had the musical instruments
that David, the man of God, chose. Ezra the teacher walked in front of them. v37
When they reached the Fountain Gate, they went up the steps of the area called
‘the city of David’. This was where the wall went up. The group walked along
the wall above the house of David. They walked to the Water Gate. The Water
Gate was on the east side.

Verses 31-37 Then Nehemiah took the leaders of the people onto
the top of the wall. He divided them into two groups. One group marched one way
round the walls. As they marched, they thanked God. And the priests played
*trumpets and other musical instruments. Ezra was with this group.

Before the people had started to build, their enemies had laughed
at them. The enemies of the *Jews did not want the people to build the walls
encore. Tobiah had even said that a fox would be able to knock the walls down.
Now the walls were so wide and strong that the people could march on them.

v38 The other group who thanked God went in the
opposite direction. I followed them with half of the people. We went along the
wall, above the *Tower of the Ovens. We went to the Broad Wall. v39 nous
went above the Gate of Ephraim, past the Old Gate and the Fish Gate. We passed
the *Tower of Hananel and the *Tower of the Hundred. We went by the Sheep Gate
and then we stopped at the Gate of the Guards.

Verses 38-39

The other group also thanked God as they marched the other way
round the walls. Nehemiah was with this group.

v40 So the two groups who thanked God stood in the
house of God. I was there too with half of the officials. v41 le
priests were with us with their *trumpets. They were Eliakim, Maaseiah,
Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah. v42 And Maaseiah,
Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer were also there.
Jezrahiah led the singers as they sang.

v43 And they offered great *sacrifices that day. Ils
were very happy because God had made them very happy. The women and the
children were very happy too. People far away could hear the sound of happiness
from Jerusalem.

Verses 40-43

The two groups met again at the *temple, which was the house of
Dieu. There they praised and they thanked God. The priests led with their
*trumpets. But all the people praised and thanked God. They were all happy
because God had helped them to build the walls. They made such a noise that
people far away could hear the sound of happiness. Now the other people round
*Judah would know that the *Jews served the real God. Everyone would know that
God had helped his people to build the walls of Jerusalem again.

v44 At that time the people appointed men to look
after the special rooms. They stored the gifts, the first of the fruit and
grain and the *tithes in these rooms. The men had to go out to the fields round
the cities. They went there to collect the share for the priests and the
*Levites. That was what God’s law ordered. The people in *Judah were pleased
with the priests and the *Levites who served. v45 The priests and the
*Levites served God and they made things holy. The singers and those who
guarded the gates did this too. This was the command of David and his son
Solomon. v46 Many years earlier, in the days of David and Asaph, there was
a chief of the singers. He led the people when they sang songs to praise and to
thank God. v47 At the time of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, all the
*Israelites gave daily gifts. They gave a share for the singers. And they gave
a share for the people who guarded the gates. They also gave a share to the
*Levites. And the *Levites gave a share to the *descendants of Aaron.

Verses 44-47

Only the *descendants of Aaron could serve as priests. Alors le
phrase ‘the *descendants of Aaron’ means the priests.

Although the people were having a happy time they had to think
about the future of the nation. They had promised to give one tenth (1/10th) of
their crops for the priests and the *Levites. Then the priests and the *Levites
could serve God and they could take care of the *temple all the time. le
people had promised that they would not neglect the house of God (Nehemiah
10:32-39).

Now the people made arrangements for the *tithes. They appointed
people to collect the *tithes and to put them in special rooms in the *temple.
These men would look after these special rooms. The people gave their *tithes
because God’s law ordered them to do so. But they also gave these gifts to the
priests and to the *Levites. They did this because they were pleased with the
work of the priests and the *Levites. They also gave gifts to the other men who
served. They gave gifts to the singers and to those who guarded the gates of
the city and the *temple.

Twelve years after the people rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem,
Nehemiah returned to Persia. Some time later, he asked the king to allow him to
return to *Judah (Nehemiah 13:6). There, Nehemiah discovered that the people
were doing many wrong things. In this chapter, we can read what Nehemiah did
about these serious problems.

v1 On that day, they read aloud the book of Moses.
And the people were listening. The book said that God’s special people must
never let the *Ammonite and *Moabite people join them. v2 C’était
because the *Ammonite and *Moabite people had not given the *Israelites food
and water. They had paid Balaam to declare that evil things would happen to the
*Israelites. But our God changed that. He did good things for them instead. v3
The people heard this law, so they separated themselves from all foreigners.

Verses 1-3

This seems to mean a particular day after Nehemiah returned to
*Judah. It seems that, until then, the people had neglected to read the law of
Dieu. But on that particular day, they heard the law. Then they knew that they
had not obeyed God’s commands. God’s law said that they must never allow the
*Ammonite and *Moabite people to join the people of God. The *Ammonites and
*Moabites were *descendants of Moab and Benammi, the sons of Lot. Moab and
Benammi were born after Lot’s daughters made him *sin (Genesis 19:10-38). le
*Ammonites and *Moabites were always the enemies of the *Jews. The *Moabites
encouraged the *Jews to serve false gods at the time of Moses (Numbers 25:1-5).

So the people obeyed God and they separated themselves from all
foreigners.

(God did not want the *Israelites to marry people from other
nations. This was because the *Israelites were God’s special people. But God
still cared about the people from other nations. In fact, God’s plan was to use
the *Israelites so that he could do good things for people from every nation
(Genesis 12:3). So people from other nations could still serve the real God.
For example, Ruth was from Moab, but she became an *ancestor of Jesus. So God
even allowed *Moabites to join his special people, the *Jews, if they really
*worshipped him. See Ruth 1:16-22; 4:13-17; Luke 3:23-32.)

v4 Before this, Eliashib the priest was responsible
for the rooms of the house of our God. He was a relative of Tobiah. v5
Eliashib allowed Tobiah to use a large room. This was a room where people used
to store the gifts of grain, *perfume and the *temple equipment. They also
stored there the *tithes of grain, new wine and oil. The law said that the
people should give these things to the *Levites. And there were also gifts for
the singers and the people who guarded the gates. People also stored the gifts
for the priests in this room.

Verses 4-5

When Nehemiah was away in Persia, the priest Eliashib allowed
Tobiah to use a large room in the *temple. Tobiah was one of the enemies of the
*Jews. He had tried to stop the people building the walls of Jerusalem again
(Nehemiah 2:10; 2:19; 4:3). Also he was an *Ammonite. God’s law said that the
*Jews must not allow *Ammonites to join them (Nehemiah 13:1). Tobiah was also a
relative of Eliashib the priest. It seems that someone from Eliashib’s family
had married Tobiah or someone from his family. The *Jews had promised not to
marry foreigners (Nehemiah 10:30). So they had done something that they
promised not to do. And this was a very important matter, because they made
this promise to God.

The room that Tobiah used was a special room. The people stored
the equipment for the *temple there. They also stored their *tithes and gifts
for the priests in this room. So, when Tobiah used the room, they did not have
anywhere to store the *tithes. Also some *Levites and *temple servants lived
outside Jerusalem. They probably stayed in this room when they came to
Jerusalem to serve. So when it was their time to serve in Jerusalem they did
not have anywhere to stay.

Eliashib was the chief priest (Nehemiah 13:28). Il était
responsible for the entire *temple. And he was very important. But he was
allowing Tobiah to use this room. And Eliashib had also allowed members of his
family to marry foreigners. Eliashib was the leader of the priests. But even he
was not obeying God’s law. So even the chief priest was not doing the things
that the *Israelites promised to do (chapter 10).

v6 When this happened, I was not in Jerusalem. In the
32nd year of the rule of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, I had returned to the
king. Some time later, I asked the king to allow me to go back. v7 So I
went back to Jerusalem. Then I discovered the evil thing that Eliashib had
done. He had provided Tobiah with a large room inside the walls of the house of
Dieu. v8 I was very angry about this. So I threw all Tobiah’s property
out of the room. v9 I ordered people to clean the rooms. I told the
priests to carry out a special ceremony so that the rooms would be holy again.
Then I put back into the room the equipment for the house of God. I also put
back the gifts of grain and the *perfume.

Verses 6-9

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he discovered what Eliashib
had done. So Nehemiah was very angry. This does not mean that Nehemiah could
not control his temper. It means that he acted in a strict way. Il voulait
show that he was very unhappy about the situation. Jesus showed a similar
reaction in a similar situation (John 2:12-17).

Nehemiah said that Eliashib had done something evil. So Nehemiah
threw all Tobiah’s property out of the room. The room was a special holy room.
But it was not still holy because Tobiah the *Ammonite had used it. So Nehemiah
ordered people to clean the rooms. Then the priests carried out a ceremony to
make the rooms holy again. They probably carried out special *sacrifices to do
this. Then Nehemiah put the equipment and the gifts of grain back into the
room.

v10 I also discovered that the *Levites had not
received their share of the gifts from the people. So the *Levites and the
singers, who did the work, had to go back to work in their own fields. v11
So I was angry with the officials. I said, ‘You should not have neglected the
house of God.’ I gathered the *Levites and the singers together. And I made
them go back to work in the *temple.

Verses 10-11

Nehemiah also discovered that the people had not given their
*tithes and gifts to the *Levites. They had promised to give one tenth (1/10th)
of their crops for the priests and the *Levites (Nehemiah 10:35-39). Puis le
priests and the *Levites could serve God and they could take care of the
*temple all the time. But this was another promise that the people had failed
to do. Instead the *Levites and the singers had gone back to their own fields.
They had to produce their own food so they were not doing their work in the
*temple.

Perhaps the people did not bring the *tithes and gifts because there
was nowhere to store them in the *temple. Tobiah was using the special room.
But perhaps the room was already empty even before Tobiah began to use it.
Perhaps it was empty because the people were not still bringing their gifts to
put into the room.

Nehemiah blamed the officials who were the leaders of the people.
The people had promised not to neglect the house of God (Nehemiah 10:39). Mais
Nehemiah said that they had neglected the house of God. And he made the
*Levites and the singers return to their work in the *temple.

The *prophet Malachi lived about that time. God spoke to the
people by Malachi. He said that the people were cheating God. They did not
bring their gifts and their *tithes to his house (Malachi 3:8-10).

v12 Then all the people of *Judah brought the *tithes
of grain, new wine and oil. They brought them to the special rooms in the house
of God. v13 Then I appointed men to look after the rooms where the
people stored the *tithes. These men were Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the
teacher and Pedaiah the *Levite. I appointed Hanan to help them. Hanan was the
son of Zaccur and was the grandson of Mattaniah. Everybody knew that these men
were honest. Their job was to give shares to all their companions.

Verses 12-13

So the people again started to bring their *tithes and gifts to
the house of God. Nehemiah was wise and he appointed a team of good men to look
after this work. The men whom Nehemiah chose were honest men. Everybody knew
this. These men looked after the special holy rooms. These rooms were special
because these rooms stored the *tithes and gifts only. The men that Nehemiah
chose shared these things with the priests and the *Levites.

v14 ‘You know what I have done, my God. I have done
these good things for the house of my God and its work. Do not allow anyone to
stop these arrangements.’

Verse 14

Nehemiah was a man who prayed often. He always wanted to do the
right thing for God and for God’s work. So he prayed that the gifts for the
*temple would continue.

v15 In those days, I saw that men in *Judah were
working on the 7th day of the week. (But the 7th day of the week should be a
holy day for rest.) They were squeezing juice out of fruit to make wine. Aussi,
some men were bringing grain and they were loading it on horses. They also
brought wine, fruit and other loads into Jerusalem. And they were doing this
work on the 7th day. I warned them, ‘Do not sell food on this day.’

v16 Some men from the city called Tyre lived in
Jerusalem. They brought fish and all kinds of goods into Jerusalem. Then they
sold these things in Jerusalem on the 7th day to the people of *Judah. v17
Then I told the important men in *Judah, ‘You should not be doing this wicked
chose. You are spoiling the 7th day.’ v18 Your *ancestors did the same
chose. That is why God allowed bad things to happen to us and to this city. Maintenant
you are making him angry with *Israel again, because you are spoiling the 7th
journée.

Verses 15-18

Nehemiah also discovered something else when he returned to
*Judah. He saw that some of the people were working on the 7th day of the week.
They were also loading grain on horses. Maybe some of this was grain that they
should have given to the *Levites (Nehemiah 13:10). The *Jews were also buying
goods from the people of other nations on the 7th day of the week.

God had ordered the people to rest on the 7th day. He told them
to allow their animals and their foreign servants to rest also (Exodus 23:12).
But they were working and they were making their horses work too. The 7th day
was a special day when the people *worshipped God. The people had promised that
the 7th day of the week would be special and holy for God (Nehemiah 10:31).
Again, they had failed to do something that they promised. And this was an
important matter, because they made this promise to God.

Again, Nehemiah blamed the important men of *Judah. He said that
their behaviour was wicked. He reminded them about their history. God had
punished their *ancestors because they did not rest on the 7th day of the week.
That was why God had allowed foreign nations to destroy Jerusalem. Now the
people were making God angry again. Nehemiah probably remembered the words of
the *prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah had warned the people just before God had sent
them into *exile. He told them not to carry loads on the 7th day of the week
(Jeremiah 17:19-27).

v19 I gave an order. At nightfall before the 7th day,
the guards must shut the gates of Jerusalem. They must not open the gates until
the 7th day is over. I told some of my servants to guard the gates. They did not
allow anyone to bring a load in on the 7th day. v20 Once or twice, the
merchants and various traders spent the night outside Jerusalem, near the city
wall. v21 But I warned them. I said, ‘You must not stay by the wall
during the night. If you do this again, I will arrest you.’ After that, they
did not come on the 7th day. v22 I told the *Levites to wash themselves
and to make themselves holy. I told them to go and to guard the gates. ensuite
they would keep the 7th day holy.

My God, you know about these things also. Be kind to me
because of your great love.

Verses 19-22

Nehemiah gave orders that people must not trade on the 7th day of
la semaine. He ordered the guards in Jerusalem to shut the gates of the city
during the 7th day. He also spoke to the people from other nations who brought
goods to sell. He warned them not to come on the 7th day of the week. He told
the *Levites to make themselves clean and holy and to guard the gates of the
city. Nehemiah believed that Jerusalem was a holy city (Nehemiah 11:1, 18). Il
wanted Jerusalem to remain a holy city that pleased God.

Nehemiah prayed again. He remembered God’s great love. Et
Nehemiah asked God to show his (God’s) kindness.

v23 In those days, I also saw men from *Judah who had
married women from the nations called Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. v24 Moitié
of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the languages of the other
nations. They could not speak the language of *Judah. v25 So I told
these men that their behaviour was wrong. I asked God to allow bad things to
happen to them. I struck some of them and I pulled out their hair. I forced
them to make a promise to God. I said, ‘You must not allow their daughters to
marry your sons. You must not take their daughters to be wives for you or for
your sons. v26 This was how Solomon the king of *Israel *sinned. Là
was no king as great as he was in any of the nations. God loved him very much
and God made him king over all *Israel. But foreign women made him *sin. v27
And now, we hear that you also are doing the same wicked things. We must not
*sin against our God. We must not marry foreign women.’

Verses 23-27

Nehemiah discovered something else when he returned to *Judah.
Some of the men had married women from the nations called Ashdod, Ammon and
Moab. God had ordered the people not to marry foreigners. He had also ordered
the *Jews not to allow the *Ammonites and *Moabites to join them (Nehemiah
13:1-2). The people had promised God that they would not marry foreigners
(Nehemiah 10:30). This was another promise to God that the people had failed to
perform.

Although these people lived in *Judah, half of their children did
not know the *Jews’ own language. They spoke the languages of other nations.
They would not be able to read or to understand God’s law. It would be very
easy for them to start to *worship the false gods of other nations.

Perhaps these men had married foreign women in order to make
friends with people from other nations. Then these men could trade and they
could make more money. But perhaps these men married the foreign women because
these men had followed their emotions. Or perhaps there were not enough *Jewish
women for all the men to marry. But whatever their reasons were, these men were
not obeying God’s law.

Nehemiah was very angry. Again, his anger was not a mere emotion.
He had full control over his behaviour. But he showed his disgust at what these
men had done. He even pulled out their hair. Hair was very important to Jewish
men. To lose their hair would cause them to be ashamed. Nehemiah was very
strict with these men. But they respected his authority. And they accepted the
punishment. Then Nehemiah forced these men to make a serious promise to God.
Nehemiah ordered them not to marry foreign women. Also they must not allow
their sons and daughters to marry foreigners.

Nehemiah reminded the people again about their history. God made
King Solomon to be very wise. But even Solomon was not wise when he married
foreign women. And they tempted him to *worship other false gods (1 Kings
11:1-13).

It seems that Nehemiah did not tell these men to send their
foreign women away. That was how Ezra dealt with a similar problem many years
earlier.

The *prophet Malachi lived about that time. God spoke to the
people by Malachi about this matter too. He said that the people were not
obeying God. When they married foreign women, they were not obeying God
(Malachi 2:10-16).

v28 Joiada was the son of the chief priest Eliashib.
The wife of one of Joiada’s sons was the daughter of Sanballat from Horon. So I
chased Joiada’s son away from me.

Verses 28

Even the grandson of Eliashib the chief priest had married a
daughter of Sanballat. Sanballat was one of the enemies of the *Jews. He had
tried to stop the *Jews building the walls of Jerusalem again (Nehemiah 2:10;
2:19; 4:1-2). Nehemiah was very angry because Sanballat was now a relative of
the chief priest. And Nehemiah showed complete disgust against Eliashib’s
grandson. Nehemiah refused even to allow that man (Eliashib’s grandson) to
remain in the same room. Nehemiah forced the man to go away.

v29 You know about these men, my God. They have made
the priests unholy. They have spoiled the agreement that you made with the
priests and the *Levites.

v30 So I removed everything that was foreign from the
priests and the *Levites. I gave to them their tasks. Everyone had his own job
to do. v31 I appointed people to bring the gifts of wood and the first
of the grain and fruit at the right time.

You know about these matters, my God. Show your kindness to
me.

Verses 29-31

Nehemiah prayed again. He knew that the priests had not obeyed
Dieu. They had not been good models for the people. Nehemiah tried to make the
priests and the *Levites do the right things again. He removed everything
foreign from them. He arranged for each of them to do his own proper tasks. Il
made sure that good people would collect the *tithes and the gifts at the right
temps.

Nehemiah recorded another of his prayers to end his book. He had
always tried to do what was right. He only wanted to please God. And he asked
God to show his kindness.

Ammonite ~ someone from the country called Ammon, or
anything that has a relationship to the country called Ammon.

arabe ~ a member of a nation that opposed Nehemiah’s plans.

Assyrians ~ people from the country called Assyria.

ancestors ~ people from the same family in previous
centuries.

Babylonian ~ a person from the country called Babylonia,
or anything with a relationship to Babylonia. The capital city of Babylonia was
called Babylon.

descendant ~ a future member of a family.

exile ~ a period when people cannot live in their own
country. This period may be for many years.

famine ~ a time when there is not enough food, so people
become hungry.

introduction ~ the first section of a book. le
introduction contains information that explains the contents of the book.

Israël ~ the entire nation that belonged to the families
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. After the death of King Solomon, the nation split
into two. The northern part became a separate country, called Israel. Then, the
inhabitants were called *Israelites.

Israelites ~ the people from the country called *Israel.
But the word is sometimes used to mean the people who came from the country
called *Judah too.

Jehovah ~ a special name for God. This name means that God
is always God. And it reminds us about the special relationship between God and
his people.

Jews ~ all the people from the family of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob. Or, just the people from the country called *Judah.

Judah ~ the south part of the nation that belonged to the
families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. After the death of King Solomon, the
nation split into two, and Judah became a separate country. Then, the
inhabitants were called *Jews. Judah was also the name of a son of Jacob. Dieu
gave the region called Judah to this man’s (Judah’s) descendants.

Levites ~ the people of one of the 12 families of *Israel;
they acted as assistants to the priests in the *temple.

Lord ~ a title for God to show that he is over all. Mais
sometimes we translate *Jehovah as ‘Lord’.

lots ~ a method that seems to choose something by chance.
But people would pray about the decision. They asked God to control the lots.
And they believed that the decision came from God.

Moabite ~ a person from the country called Moab; ou
anything with a relationship to Moab.

orchard ~ a place to grow fruit trees.

perfume ~ oil that smells sweet.

Persian ~ a person from the country called Persia, or
anything with a relationship to the country called Persia.

prophet ~ someone who tells God’s messages; a person whom
God sends to speak for him; someone who is able to tell the will of God to
other people; someone who declares God’s words. However, some people were false
prophets. These people pretended to speak God’s words. But really, their
messages came from the devil, or from their own imagination.

ruin ~ buildings and walls that have fallen down.

sacrifice ~ a gift to God by the *Jews. They gave such a
gift when they asked God to forgive their *sins. The gift was often an animal
or a bird. Sometimes people offered sacrifices to thank God for something.

shield ~ soldiers use these strong boards to keep
themselves safe from attack.

sin ~ when people do bad things against God or other
people; when people do not obey the commands of God.

spear ~ a long and thin *weapon of war which has a point.
Soldiers throw them.

temple ~ the special building in Jerusalem where the *Jews
*worshipped God.

tithe ~ one tenth (1/10th or 10%). The law said that the
people must give a 10th of the harvest of oil, grain and wine to God. This 10th
part was called a ‘tithe’.

tower ~ a tall, strong building.

trumpet ~ an instrument to make music or to sound an
alarm.

vineyard ~ a place where fruit bushes grow. People use the
fruit to make wine.

weapon ~ a tool of war that a soldier uses in attack or
defence.

worship ~ to praise God and to give thanks to him; to show
honour to God and to say that we love him very much. But some people worship
false gods instead of the real God.

Bibles ~ AV, NIV, RSV & TEV

Stan K. Evers ~ ‘Doing a great work’ ~ Evangelical Press ~ Welwyn
Commentary series

Derek Kidner ~ ‘Ezra and Nehemiah’ ~ IVP Tyndale Old Testament
Commentaries

Raymond Brown ~ ‘The Message of Nehemiah’ ~ IVP The Bible Speaks
Aujourd’hui

Dave Cave ~ ‘Ezra and Nehemiah’ ~ Crossway Bible Guides

Warren W. Wiersbe ~ ‘Be Determined’ ~ Victor

Strong’s Lexicon

© 2006, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

November 2006

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.bible

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