1 And what time as the book of Moses was read in the ears of the people there was found written therein, that the Ammonites and Moabites should never come into the congregation of God, 2 because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, and hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: nevertheless our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 Now when they heard the Law, they separated from Israel everyone that had mixed himself therein.
4 And before this had the Priest Eliashib delivered the chest of the house of our God unto his kinsman Tobiah: 5 for he had made him a great chest, and there had they afore time laid the meat offerings, frankincense, vessel, and the tithes of corn, wine and oil - according to the commandment given to the Levites, singers and porters - and the heave offerings of the priests.
6 But in all this 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 license of the king 7 to come to Jerusalem. And I gat knowledge of the evil that Eliashib did unto Tobiah, in that he had made him a chest in the court of the house of God, 8 and it grieved me sore, and I cast forth all the vessels of the house of Tobiah out of the chest, 9 and commanded them to cleanse the chest. And thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, the meat offering and the incense. 10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites were not given them, for the which cause the Levites and singers were fled, everyone, to his land for to work. 11 Then reproved I the rulers, and said, "Why forsake we the house of God?" But I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12 Then brought all Judah the tithes of corn, wine and oil unto the treasury. 13 And I made treasurers over the treasure, even Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah, and under their hand Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
14 Think upon me, O my God, herein, and wipe not out my mercy, that I have showed on the house of my God, and on the officers thereof!
15 At the same time saw I some treading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in clusters, and asses laden with wine, grapes, figs, and bringing all manner of burdens unto Jerusalem, upon the Sabbath day. And I rebuked them earnestly the same day that they sold the victuals. 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah and Jerusalem.
17 Then reproved I the rulers in Judah, and said unto them, "What evil thing is this that ye do, and break the Sabbath day? 18 Did not our fathers even thus, and our God brought all this plague upon us and upon this city? And ye make the wrath more yet upon Israel, in that ye break the Sabbath."
19 And it fortuned, that when the ports of Jerusalem began to be dark in the evening before the Sabbath, I commanded to shut the gates, 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 Then remained the chapmen and merchants once or twice overnight without Jerusalem with all manner of wares. 21 Then reproved I them sore, and said unto them, "Why tarry ye all night about the wall? If ye do it once again, I will lay hands upon you." From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. 22 And I said unto the Levites which were clean, that they should come and keep the gates, to hallow the Sabbath day. Think upon me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to thy great mercy!
23 And at the same time saw I Jews, that married wives of Ashdod, 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 the one people and the other people. 25 And I reproved them, and cursed them, and smote certain men of them, and plucked them up, and took an oath of them by God, "Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, neither shall ye take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon the king of Israel sin therein? And yet among many Heathen was there no king like him, and he was dear unto his God, and God made him king over all Israel, and yet nevertheless outlandish women caused him to sin? 27 And shall we then obey unto you, to do all this great evil, and to transgress against our God, and marry strange wives?"
28 And one of the children of Jehoiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, had made a contract with Sanballat the Horonite: but I chased him from me.
29 O my God, think thou upon them that are quit of the priesthood, and have defiled the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites!