13 On that day there was a reading+ from the book+ of Moses in the ears of the people; and there was found written in it that the Amʹmon·ite+ and the Moʹab·ite+ should not come into the congregation* of the [true] God to time indefinite,+ 2 for they had not met the sons of Israel with bread+ and with water,+ but went hiring against them Baʹlaam+ to call down evil upon them.+ However, our God changed the malediction into a benediction.+ 3 So it came about that, as soon as they heard the law,+ they began to separate+ all the mixed company from Israel.
4 Now before this, E·liʹa·shib+ the priest in charge of a dining hall+ of the house of our God was a relative of To·biʹah;+ 5 and he proceeded to make for him a large dining hall,+ where previously they were regularly putting the grain offering,+ the frankincense and the utensils and the tenth* of the grain, the new wine+ and the oil,+ to which the Levites+ and the singers and the gatekeepers are entitled,* and the contribution for the priests.
6 And during all this [time] I did not happen to be in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second+ year of Ar·ta·xerxʹes+ the king of Babylon* I came to the king, and sometime later* I asked leave of absence from the king.+ 7 Then I came to Jerusalem and got to notice the badness that E·liʹa·shib+ had committed for To·biʹah+ by making for him a hall in the courtyard of the house+ of the [true] God. 8 And it seemed very bad to me.+ So I threw+ all the furniture of To·biʹah’s house outside the dining hall. 9 After that I said [the word] and they cleansed+ the dining halls;+ and I proceeded to put back there the utensils+ of the house of the [true] God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.+
10 And I got to find out that the very portions+ of the Levites had not been given [them], so that the Levites and the singers doing the work went running off, each one to his own field.+ 11 And I began to find fault+ with the deputy rulers+ and say: “Why has the house of the [true] God been neglected?”+ Consequently I collected them together and stationed them at their standing place. 12 And all Judah, for their part, brought in the tenth+ of the grain+ and of the new wine+ and of the oil+ to the stores.+ 13 Then I put Shel·e·miʹah the priest and Zaʹdok the copyist and Pe·daiʹah of the Levites in charge* of the stores; and under their control there was Haʹnan the son of Zacʹcur the son of Mat·ta·niʹah,+ for they were considered faithful;+ and upon them it devolved to do the distributing+ to their brothers.
15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the sabbath+ and bringing in grain heaps and loading+ [them] upon asses,+ and also wine, grapes and figs+ and every sort of burden, and bringing [them] into Jerusalem on the sabbath day;+ and I proceeded to bear witness [against them] on the day of their selling provisions. 16 And the Tyrʹi·ans+ themselves dwelt in [the city],* bringing in fish and every sort of merchandise+ and making sales on the sabbath to the sons of Judah and in Jerusalem. 17 So I began to find fault with the nobles+ of Judah and say to them: “What is this bad thing that YOU are doing, even profaning the sabbath day? 18 Was it not this way that YOUR forefathers did,+ so that our God brought upon us all this calamity,+ and also upon this city? Yet YOU are adding to the burning anger against Israel by profaning the sabbath.”+
19 And it came about that, as soon as the gates* of Jerusalem had grown shadowy before the sabbath, I immediately said [the word] and the doors began to be closed.+ I said further that they should not open them until after the sabbath; and some of my own attendants I stationed at the gates that no burden might come in on the sabbath day.+ 20 Consequently the traders and the sellers of every sort of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once and a second time. 21 Then I proceeded to bear witness+ against them and say to them: “Why are YOU spending the night in front of the wall? If YOU do it again, a hand I shall lay on YOU.”+ From that time on they did not come on the sabbath.
22 And I went on to say to the Levites+ that they should be regularly purifying+ themselves and coming in, keeping guard of the gates+ to sanctify*+ the sabbath day. This, also, do remember+ to my account, O my God, and do feel sorry for me according to the abundance of your loving-kindness.+
23 Also, in those days I saw the Jews that had given a dwelling+ to Ashʹdod·ite,+ Amʹmon·ite [and] Moʹab·ite+ wives. 24 And as for their sons, half were speaking Ashʹdod·ite, and there were none of them knowing how to speak Jewish,+ but in the tongue of the different peoples. 25 And I began to find fault with them and call down evil upon them+ and strike some men of them+ and pull out their hair and make them swear by God:+ “YOU should not give YOUR daughters to their sons, and YOU should not accept any of their daughters for YOUR sons or yourselves.+ 26 Was it not because of these that Solʹo·mon the king of Israel sinned?+ And among the many nations there proved to be no king like him;+ and loved of his God he happened to be,+ so that God constituted him king over all Israel. Even him the foreign wives caused to sin.+ 27 And is it not something unheard of for YOU to commit all this great badness in acting unfaithfully against our God by giving a dwelling to foreign wives?”+
30 And I purified+ them from everything foreign and proceeded to assign duties to the priests and to the Levites, each one in his own work,+ 31 even for the supply* of the wood+ at appointed times and for the first ripe fruits.