New International Version

Nehemiah 13:1-31

Nehemiah’s Final Reforms

1On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, 2because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) 3When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.

4Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, 5and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.

6But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission 7and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. 8I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.

10I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.

12All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms. 13I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites.

14Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.

15In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. 16People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. 17I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? 18Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”

19When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. 22Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.

23Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. 24Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah. 25I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. 26Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. 27Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”

28One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.

29Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.

30So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task. 31I also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times, and for the firstfruits.

Remember me with favor, my God.

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

Nehemiasʼ Bog 13:1-31

Nehemias’ reformer

1Da Toraen blev læst op for folket, opdagede man, at der stod skrevet deri, at ingen ammonitter eller moabitter kunne blive indlemmet i Guds folk.13,1 Jf. 5.Mos. 23,4-7. 2Grunden til denne bestemmelse var, at disse folk ikke havde vist israelitterne gæstfrihed, dengang de stod på grænsen til Kana’ans land, men i stedet havde betalt Bileam for at forbande dem. Gud forvandlede dog forbandelsen til velsignelse. 3Da det afsnit blev læst op, tog man straks konsekvensen og udelukkede alle af blandet herkomst fra forsamlingen.

4-5Nogen tid forinden var præsten Eljashib blevet udpeget til at have overopsyn med templets forrådskamre. Han havde imidlertid overdraget et stort forrådskammer til Tobija, fordi de var i familie. Forrådskamrene var ellers beregnet til opbevaring af afgrødeofre, røgelse, redskaber til brug i templet og tiende af korn, vin og olivenolie, så der kunne være mad til præsterne, levitterne, sangerne og tempelvagterne, sådan som Moses havde foreskrevet. 6På det tidspunkt var jeg ikke i Jerusalem, for jeg var rejst tilbage til kong Artaxerxes i Babylon. Det var i hans 32. regeringsår. Et stykke tid efter fik jeg tilladelse til at vende tilbage til Jerusalem, 7og da jeg ved hjemkomsten opdagede, hvor skandaløst Eljashib havde handlet ved at overdrage et af templets forrådskamre til Tobija, 8blev jeg meget vred og smed alle Tobijas ting ud af kammeret. 9Så forlangte jeg, at kammeret skulle renses, og at redskaberne, afgrødeofrene og røgelsen skulle bringes tilbage på deres plads.

10Ved samme lejlighed blev jeg klar over, at levitterne ikke havde fået de gaver, de havde krav på. Derfor var både de og tempelsangerne rejst hjem for at passe deres dyr og marker. 11Straks konfronterede jeg lederne med denne forsømmelse over for Guds hus, hvorefter jeg kaldte levitterne tilbage til deres opgaver i templet 12og bragte forholdene i orden, så Judas folk igen sendte tienden af deres korn, vin og olivenolie til forrådskamrene.

13Fra da af gav jeg præsten Shelemja, sekretæren Zadok og levitten Pedaja ansvaret for at administrere forrådet—og de fik Hanan, søn af Zakkur, søn af Mattanja, til hjælp. Disse mænd havde ry for at være pålidelige, og derfor fik de betroet opgaven med at fordele tienden blandt de øvrige levitter.

14Min Gud, glem ikke min trofasthed og alt det, jeg har gjort til gavn for tjenesten i dit tempel.

15Jeg lagde siden mærke til, at nogle judæere pressede vindruer på sabbatten, mens andre læssede korn, vin, druer, figner og andre afgrøder på deres æsler for at tage ind til Jerusalem og sælge dem. Derfor gav jeg dem en alvorlig advarsel om, at det måtte de ikke gøre på en sabbat.

16Der var også folk fra Tyrus, som boede i Jerusalem, og som bragte fisk og alle mulige varer ind til byen for at sælge dem til judæerne på sabbatsdagen. 17Da sagde jeg til Judas ledere: „Hvorfor holder I ikke sabbatten hellig? 18Har I glemt, at jeres forfædre heller ikke gjorde det, og at vi endnu lider under konsekvenserne? Vil I nu yderligere provokere Gud og forværre straffen for Israels folk ved at vanhellige sabbatten?”

19Fra da af forlangte jeg, at byportene skulle holdes lukket for de handlende lige fra sabbattens begyndelse fredag aften ved mørkets frembrud, og indtil sabbatteb var forbi. Og jeg satte folk til at holde vagt ved portene, så ingen kunne slippe ind med varer på sabbatten. 20Da nogle handlende derefter slog sig ned uden for bymuren for at sælge deres varer der, 21advarede jeg dem: „Næste gang jeg finder jer udenfor muren, bliver I arresteret!” Siden den tid holdt de sig borte på sabbatsdagen.

22Derefter gav jeg levitterne ordre til at gennemgå renselsesritualet og sørge for at bevogte portene, så sabbatten fremover kunne holdes hellig.

Min Gud, glem ikke hvad jeg har gjort for dig. Se i nåde til mig på grund af din trofaste kærlighed.

23Omkring den tid lagde jeg mærke til, at i de familier, hvor mændene havde giftet sig med kvinder fra Ashdod, Ammon eller Moab, 24talte mindst halvdelen af børnene deres mors sprog, og de kunne ikke tale judæernes sprog. 25Da skældte jeg mændene ud og forbandede dem. Nogle af dem slog jeg, eller jeg trak dem i håret, og jeg mindede dem om Guds befaling: „I må ikke give jeres døtre til mænd fra fremmede folkeslag, og hverken I eller jeres sønner må tage fremmede kvinder til ægte! 26Var det ikke netop den synd, der fældede kong Salomon? Der var ingen konge som han! Gud elskede ham og gjorde ham til konge over hele Israel, men selv han blev forført til afgudsdyrkelse ved at gifte sig med fremmede kvinder! 27Skal vi virkelig høre om jer, at I gifter jer med fremmede kvinder og på den måde er troløse overfor vores Gud?”

28Jojada var søn af ypperstepræsten Eljashib, og en af Jojadas sønner havde giftet sig med en datter af Sanballat fra Bet-Horon. Derfor afsatte jeg ham som præst. 29Min Gud, drag dem til ansvar for, at de med deres handlinger har vanhelliget præsteembedet og brudt den pagt, som præsterne og levitterne på en særlig måde burde overholde.

30Således rensede jeg ud blandt folket, og jeg opstillede regler for præsternes og levitternes pligter og opgaver. 31Jeg sørgede også for, at der blev bragt alterbrænde til rette tid, og at folket gav de foreskrevne høstofre af markens første afgrøder.

Min Gud, glem ikke det gode, jeg har gjort.