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Nehemiah 13

Neh 13, Ne 13


Nehemiah 13

1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;

2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.

3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.

6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:

7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff to Tobiah out of the chamber.

9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.

10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.

14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.

15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.



17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:

24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.

25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.

26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?

28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

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

30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;

31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

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Summary and the Meaning of Chapter 13 of the Book of Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah is a continuation of the story of the Israelites after their return from exile in Babylon and their efforts to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. In Chapter 13, we see Nehemiah return to Jerusalem after being away for some time. He discovers that the people have fallen back into their old ways and have neglected the laws of God. Nehemiah takes it upon himself to restore order and reestablish the laws of God among the people. This chapter highlights the themes of repentance, restoration, and obedience to God's laws. It also serves as a reminder of the consequences that come with disobedience and the importance of staying faithful to God.

The Neglect of God's Laws

Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem after being away for some time, and he finds that the people have been neglecting the laws of God. He discovers that the priests have allowed Tobiah, an Ammonite, to take up residence in the temple chambers. This was a direct violation of God's commandments, as the Ammonites were one of the nations that God had specifically forbidden the Israelites to intermingle with (Deuteronomy 23:3). Nehemiah was appalled by this and immediately expelled Tobiah from the temple.

Nehemiah also discovers that the Levites, who were responsible for collecting the tithes and offerings for the temple, had been neglected. As a result, the Levites had to return to their fields to provide for their families, leaving the temple and its services unattended. This neglect of the Levites was a direct violation of God's commandments, as they were supposed to receive a portion of the tithes and offerings for their service to the temple (Numbers 18:21). Nehemiah rebukes the officials for their negligence and appoints trustworthy men to oversee the collection and distribution of tithes to the Levites.

In addition to these issues, Nehemiah also discovers that the people have been working on the Sabbath, which was also a violation of God's laws. The Sabbath was a day of rest and was meant to be a time for the people to focus on their relationship with God and to rest from their work (Exodus 20:8-11). However, the people had been buying and selling on the Sabbath, and even the merchants from surrounding nations had set up shop outside the city gates. Nehemiah confronts the people about this and reminds them of the consequences that came with disobeying God's laws.

Restoration and Repentance

After confronting the people about their neglect of God's laws, Nehemiah takes action to restore order and reestablish the laws of God among the people. He appoints trustworthy men to oversee the collection and distribution of tithes, expels Tobiah from the temple, and sets up measures to ensure that the people observe the Sabbath. Nehemiah also appoints priests and Levites to serve in the temple and to lead the people in worship and sacrifices to God.

In addition to these physical restorations, Nehemiah also leads the people in a spiritual restoration. He reminds them of the consequences that came with disobeying God's laws and urges them to repent and turn back to God. The people respond by confessing their sins and making a commitment to follow God's laws once again.

This restoration and repentance were essential for the Israelites to maintain their relationship with God and to continue to receive His blessings. It was a reminder that even when we stray from God's laws, He is always willing to forgive us and restore us if we turn back to Him with a repentant heart.

Obedience to God's Laws

The main theme of this chapter is the importance of obedience to God's laws. We see how the neglect and disobedience of God's laws led to chaos and disorder among the people. It resulted in the temple being defiled, the Levites being neglected, and the people facing consequences for their actions. However, when Nehemiah took action to restore order and reestablish the laws of God, the people were reminded of the blessings that come with obedience.

This chapter serves as a reminder to us that obedience to God's laws is essential for a healthy and prosperous relationship with Him. It also highlights the consequences that come with disobedience and the importance of repentance and restoration when we stray from God's ways.

The Meaning of Chapter 13

Chapter 13 of the book of Nehemiah serves as a reminder of the importance of obedience to God's laws. It shows how neglecting and disobeying God's laws can lead to chaos and disorder in our lives. However, it also serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness and willingness to restore us when we turn back to Him with a repentant heart.

This chapter also highlights the role of leadership in upholding God's laws and leading the people in obedience. Nehemiah's leadership was crucial in restoring order and reestablishing God's laws among the people. It serves as a reminder that leaders have a responsibility to guide and lead people towards obedience to God's laws.

Furthermore, this chapter reminds us that even when we stray from God's laws, He is always willing to forgive us and restore us if we turn back to Him. It highlights the importance of repentance and restoration in maintaining a healthy relationship with God.

In conclusion, Chapter 13 of the book of Nehemiah serves as a reminder of the consequences of disobedience and the importance of obedience to God's laws. It also emphasizes the role of leadership in upholding God's laws and the importance of repentance and restoration in maintaining a relationship with Him. This chapter continues to hold relevance for us today as we strive to live according to God's laws and follow His ways.



This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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