1 On that day there was a reading from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and they saw that it said in the book that no Ammonite or Moabite might ever come into the meeting of God; 2 Because they did not give the children of Israel bread and water when they came to them, but got Balaam to put a curse on them: though the curse was turned into a blessing by our God. 3 So after hearing the law, they took out of Israel all the mixed people.
4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who had been placed over the rooms of the house of our God, being a friend of Tobiah, 5 Had made ready for him a great room, where at one time they kept the meal offerings, the perfume, and the vessels and the tenths of the grain and wine and oil which were given by order to the Levites and the music-makers and the door-keepers, and the lifted offerings for the priests.
6 But all this time I was not at Jerusalem: for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, king of Babylon, I went to the king; and after some days, I got the king to let me go, 7 And I came to Jerusalem; and it was clear to me what evil Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in making ready for him a room in the buildings of the house of God. 8 And it was evil in my eyes: so I had all Tobiah's things put out of the room. 9 Then I gave orders, and they made the rooms clean: and I put back in them the vessels of the house of God, with the meal offerings and the perfume. 10 And I saw that the Levites had not been given what was needed for their support; so that the Levites and the music-makers, who did the work, had gone away, everyone to his field. 11 Then I made protests to the chiefs, and said, Why has the house of God been given up? And I got them together and put them in their places. 12 Then all Judah came with the tenth part of the grain and wine and oil and put it into the store-houses. 13 And I made controllers over the store-houses, Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and with them was Hanan, the son of Zaccur the son of Mattaniah: they were taken to be true men and their business was the distribution of these things to their brothers.
14 Keep me in mind, O my God, in connection with this, and do not let the good which I have done for the house of my God and its worship go from your memory completely.
15 In those days, I saw in Judah some who were crushing grapes on the Sabbath, and getting in grain and putting it on asses; as well as wine and grapes and figs and all sorts of goods which they took into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I gave witness against them on the day when they were marketing food. 16 And there were men of Tyre there, who came with fish and all sorts of goods, trading with the children of Judah and in Jerusalem on the Sabbath.
17 Then I made protests to the chiefs of Judah, and said to them, What is this evil which you are doing, not keeping the Sabbath day holy? 18 Did not your fathers do the same, and did not our God send all this evil on us and on this town? but you are causing more wrath to come on Israel by not keeping the Sabbath holy.
19 And so, when the streets of Jerusalem were getting dark before the Sabbath, I gave orders for the doors to be shut and not to be open again till after the Sabbath: and I put some of my servants by the door so that nothing might be taken in on the Sabbath day. 20 So the traders in all sorts of goods took their night's rest outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 Then I gave witness against them and said, Why are you waiting all night by the wall? if you do so again I will have you taken prisoners. From that time they did not come again on the Sabbath. 22 And I gave the Levites orders to make themselves clean and come and keep the doors and make the Sabbath holy. Keep this in mind to my credit, O my God, and have mercy on me, for great is your mercy.
23 And in those days I saw the Jews who were married to women of Ashdod and Ammon and Moab: 24 And their children were talking half in the language of Ashdod; they had no knowledge of the Jews' language, but made use of the language of the two peoples. 25 And I took up the cause against them, cursing them and giving blows to some of them and pulling out their hair; and I made them take an oath by God, saying, You are not to give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Was it not in these things that Solomon, king of Israel, did wrong? among a number of nations there was no king like him, and he was dear to his God, and God made him king over all Israel: but even he was made to do evil by strange women. 27 Are we then without protest to let you do all this great evil, sinning against our God by taking strange women for your wives?
28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib, the chief priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite: so I sent him away from me.
29 Keep them in mind, O my God, because they have put shame on the priests' name and on the agreement of the priests and the Levites.