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The Second Book of Esdras the Prophet

or the book of Nehemiah

From the Hebrew: Esdras means “help”
and Nehemiah means “Jehovah comforts”

 

Chapters 1-7 | 8-end | Next Book


 

Chapter 1

      These are the acts of Nehemiah the son of *Hachalia. It fortuned in the month *Casleu, in the twentieth year, that I was in the castle at Susan: and Hanani, one of my brethren, came with certain men of Judah, and I asked them how the Jews did that were delivered and escaped from the captivity, and how it went at Jerusalem. And they said unto me: The remnant of the captivity that are in the land in great misfortune and rebuke. The walls of Jerusalem are broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
      When I heard these words, I sat me down and wept, and mourned two days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven and said: O' Lord God of heaven, thou great and terrible God, thou that keepest covenant and mercy for them that love thee and observe thy commandments: Let thine ears hearken, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray now before thee day and night for the children of Israel thy servants, and knowledge the sins of the children of Israel, which we have committed against thee.
      And I and my fathers house have sinned also. We have been corrupt unto thee, in that we have not kept the commandments, statutes, and laws, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Yet call to remembrance the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, and saidest: If ye transgress, then I will scatter you abroad among the nations. But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments and do them: though yee were cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven yet will I gather you from thence, and will bring you from thence, even unto the place, that I have chosen for my name to dwell there. They are thy servants, and thy people whom thou hast delivered through thy great power and mighty hand. O' Lord, let thine ears hearken to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, whos desire is to fear thy name, and let thy servant prosper this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the kings butler.

 

*Hachalia = otherwise Helchiah *Casleu =The month Casleu ( as the Jews call it ) is to us November with part of December added thereto. MN

 

 

 

Chapter 2

      In the month Nisan in the twentieth year of the reign of king Artaxerses, when the wine stood before him, I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king and I was heavy in his presence. Then said the king unto me: Why lookest thou so sadly? Thou art not sick, that is not the matter, but thou art heavy hearted. Nevertheless I was sore afraid and said unto the king: God save the kings life forever, should I not look sadly? The city of my fathers burial lieth waste and the gates thereof are consumed with fire. Then said the king unto me: what is then thy request? Then made I my prayer to the God of heaven, and said unto the king: If it please the king, and if thy servant be favored in thy sight. I be seek thee send me in to Judah unto the city of my fathers burial, that I may build it.
      And the king said unto me, and so did the queen that sat by him: how long shall thy journey continue, and when wilt thou come again? And it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time, and said unto the king: if it please the king, let him give me letters to the captains beyond the water, that they may convey me over, till I come into Judah: And letters unto Asaph the Lord of the kings wood, that he may give me wood for beams to the gates of the palace, which are hard on the house and hard on the walls of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king gave me according to the good hand of God upon me: And when I came to the captains beyond the water, I gave them the kings letters. And the king sent captains and horsemen with me.
      But when Sanabalat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant of the Ammonites heard that, it grieved them sore, that there was come a man which sought the wealth of the children of Israel. And when I came to Jerusalem, and had been there three days, I gat me up in the night season, and a few men with me: for I told no man what God had given me in my heart to do at Jerusalem: and there was not one beast with me, save it that I rode upon. And I rode up by night unto valley port before the Dragon well, and to the Dongeport, and considered the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down, and the ports thereof consumed with the fire. And I went over unto the wellport, and to the kings *condite, and there was no room for my beast, that it could go under me. Then went I on in the night by the brook side, and considered the wall, and turned back and came home again to the valley port.
      And the rulers knew not whither I went or what I did: for hither to had I not told the Jews and the priests, the counselors and the rulers, and the other that did labor in the work. And I said I unto them: Ye see the misery that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and how the gates thereof are burned with fire, come let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, that we be no more a rebuke. And I told them of the good hand of my God which was upon me: and the kings words that he had spoken unto me. And they said: then let us get up, and build: and their hands were strengthened to good.
      But when Sanabalat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant the Ammonites, and Gesem the Arabian heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said: what is this that ye do? Will ye fall away again from the king? Then answered I them, and said: the God of heaven he it is that causeth us to prosper: and we be his servants. Let us get up and build. As for you, ye have no portion, nor right, nor remembrance in Jerusalem.

 

*condite=conduit for water RN

 

 

 

Chapter 3

      And Eliasib the high priest gat him up with his brethren the priests, and builded the Sheepgate. They repaired it, and set up the doors of it: even unto the tower of Meah repaired they it, namely unto the tower of Hananeel. Next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And beside him builded Sachur the son of Amri. But the fish port did the children of Asanah build, they covered it and set on the doors, locks and bars of it. Next unto him builded Marimoth the son of Uriah the son of Nakoz. Next unto him builded Mosolam the son of Barachiah the son of Mesesabeel. Next unto him builded Zadoc the son of Baana. Next unto him builded they of Thekua. But their great men put not their necks to the service of their Lord.
      The old gate builded Jehoiadah the son of Paseah, and Mosolam the son of Besodiah, they covered it, and set on the doors, locks and bars of it. Next unto them builded Malatiah the Gabaon, and Jadon the Merano, men of Gibeon and of Mazphah for the seat of the captain on this side the water. Next unto him builded Usiel the son of Harhaiah the goldsmith. Next unto him builded Hananiah the *Apotecaris son and they repaired Jerusalem unto the broad wall. Next unto him builded Raphaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half quarter of Jerusalem. Next unto him builded Jedaiah the son of Haremaph over against his house. Next unto him builded Hatus the son of Hasaboniah. But Melchia the son of Harim, and Hasub the son of Pahath Moab builded the other piece, and the tower beside the furnace. Next unto him builded Selum the son of Halohes the ruler of the half quarter of Jerusalem, and his daughters.
       The valley gate builded Hanun, and the citizens of Zanoah. They builded it, and set on the doors, locks and bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall, unto the Dongeport. But the Dongport builded Melchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the fourth part of the vineyards: he builded it, and set on the doors, locks and bars thereof. But the Wellgate builded Selum the son of Cholhosah, the ruler of the fourth part of Masphah, He builded it, covered it, and set on the doors, locks, and bars thereof, and the wall unto the pool of Siloah by the kings garden, unto the steps that go down from the city of David. After him builded Nehemiah the son of Asbok, the ruler of the half quarter of Bethzur, until the other side over against the sepulchers of David, and to the pool Asuia and unto the house of the mighty.
      After him builded the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him builded Hashabiah the ruler of the half quarter at Keilah in his quarter. After him builded their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half quarter of Keilah. After him builded Ezer the son of Jesua, the ruler of Masphah the other piece hard over against the harness corner. After him builded Baruch the son of Zabai the other piece worshipfully and costly, from the corner unto the door of the house of Eliasib the high priest. After him builded Marimuth the son of Uriah the son of Hacos the other piece, from the door of the house of Eliasib even as long as the house of Eliasib extended. And after him builded the priests, the men of the country. After him builded Benjamin and Hasub over against their house. After them Asariah the son of Maasiah the son of Ananiah next to his house. After him builded Benui the son of Henadad the other piece from the house of Asariah unto the turning, and unto the corner.
      After him builded Phalel the son of Usai over against the corner and the high tower, which lieth out over from the kings house, beside the court of the prison. After him Phadaiah the son of Pharos ( as for the Nethinims they dwelt in Ophel, unto the Watergate, toward the east where the tower that lieth out ). After him builded they of Thekua the other piece over against the great tower, that lieth outward, and unto the wall of Ophel.
      But from the Horsegate forth builded the priests, every one over against his house. After them builded Zadok the son of Emer over against his house. After him builded Semeiah the son of Sechaniah the keeper of the east gate. After him builded Hananiah the son of Selemiah, and Hanun the son of Zalaph the sixth, that other peace. After him builded Mosolam the son of Barachiah over against his chest. After him builded Melchiah the goldsmiths son, until the house of the Nethinims, and of the merchants over against counsel gate, and to the parlor in the corner unto the Sheepgate builded the goldsmiths and the merchants.

 

*Apotecaris = (preparer of medicine) some read Naracaim (unknown) MN

 

 

 

Chapter 4

      But when Sanabalat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth and took great indignation and mocked the Jews and said before his brethren and the host of Samaria: What do the impotent Jews? shall they be thus *suffered shall they offer? shall they perform it in one day? shall they make the stones whole again that are brought to dust, and are burnt? And Tobiah the Ammonite beside him said: Let them build on, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stoney wall. Hear O' thou our God, how we are despised, turn their shame upon their own head, that thou mayest give them over to despising in the land of their captivity. Cover not their wickedness, and put not out their sin from thy presence: for they have provoked the builders. Yet builded we the wall, and joined it whole together, unto the half height. And the people were well minded to labor.
      But when Sanabalat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and Ammonites, and Asdodits heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that they had begun to stop up the gaps they were very wroth, and conspired all together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to make a hinderance therein. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set watchmen upon the wall day and night over against them. And Judah said: the strength of the bearers is too feeble, and there is too much dust, we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries thought: they shall not know neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and hinder the work. But when the Jews that dwelt beside them, came out of all the places where they dwelt about us, and told us as good as ten times, then set I the people after their kindreds with their swords, spears, and bows beneath in the low places behind the wall, and looked, and gat me up, and said unto the chief men and rulers, and to the other people: Be not ye afraid of them think yee upon the great Lord which ought to be feared and fight for your brethren, sons, daughters, wives, and your houses. Nevertheless when our enemies heard that we had gotten word of it, God brought their counsel to nought, and we turned again to the wall, every one unto his labor. And from that time forth it came to pass, that the half part of the young men did the labor, and the other half part held spears, shields, bows, and breastplates: and the rulers stood behind all the house of Judah, which builded on the wall, and bare burdens, from those that *laded them. With one hand did they the work, and with the other held they their weapon. And everyone that builded, had his sword girded by his side, and so builded they. And the trumpeters stood beside me.
      And I said unto the principal men, and rulers, and to the other people: the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall one far from another. Look in what place now ye hear the noise of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us. Our God shall fight for us, and we will be laboring in the work. And the half of them held the spears from the morning spring, till the stars came forth. And at the same time said I unto the people: every one abide with his servant at Jerusalem, that in the night season we may give attendance to the watch, and to labor on the day time. As for me and my brethren, and my servants, and the men of the watch behind me, we put never off our clothes, so much as to wash ourselves.

 

*suffered (allowed/tolerated?)       *laded = To load with or as if with cargo (baggage). To place (something) as a load for or as if for shipment (sent to one place or the other). weigh down. To take up or remove (water) with a ladle or dipper.

 

 

 

Chapter 5

      And there arose a great complaint of the people, and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. And there were some that said: our sons and daughters are too many, let us take corn for them to eat, that we may live. Some said: Let us set our lands, vineyards, and houses, to pledge, and take up corn in the darth. But some said: let us borrow money of the kings tribute for our lands and vineyards. Now are our brethrens bodies as our own bodies and their children as our children: else should we subdue our sons and daughters into bondage, and some of our daughters are subdued already, *and no strength is there in our hands, and other men shall have our lands and vineyards.
       But when I heard their complaint and such words, it displeased me sore, and I advised so in my mind, that I rebuked the counselors, the rulers, and said unto them: Will ye require *usury one of another? And I brought a great congregation against them and said unto them: We ( after our ability ) have bought our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the Heathen. And will ye sell your brethren, whom we have bought unto us? Then held they their peace, and could find nothing to answer.
      Also I said: It is not good that ye do. Ought ye not to walk in the fear of God because of the rebuke of the Heathen our enemies? I and my brethren, and my servants have lent them money and corn: but as for usury, let us leave it. Therefore this same day see that ye restore them their lands again, their vineyards, oil gardens, and houses, and the hundred part of the money of the corn, wine, and oil, that ye have won of them. Then said they: We will restore them again and will require nothing of them and will do as thou hast spoken. And I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do so. And I shook my lap, and said: God shake out every man after the same manner from his house and from his labor, that maintaineth not this word: even thus be he shaken out, and void. And all the congregation said: Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did so.
      And from that time forth it was committed unto me to be a captain in the land of Juda, namely from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of king Arthaxerses ( that is twelve years ) I and my brethren lived not of such sustenance as was given to a captain: For the old captains that were before me, had been chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, and forty sicles of silver: yee and their servants had *oppressed the people. But so did not I, and that because of the fear of God. I labored also in the work upon the wall, and bought no land. And all my servants came thither together unto the work. Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, which came unto me, from among the Heathen, that are about us. And there was prepared me daily an ox, and six chosen sheep, and birds, and ever once in ten days a great sum of wine. Yet required not I the living of a captain for the bondage was grievous unto the people. Think upon me my God unto the best, according to all that I have done for this people.

 

* After the Hebrew some read: and we have not wherewith to redeem them. MN
*usury = The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest (or being involved in it) RN *kjv = bare rule over the people ( by their own lips ) RN

 

 

 

Chapter 6

      And when Sanabalat, Tobiah, and Gesem the Arabian, and the other of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there were no more gaps therein (howbeit at the same time had I not hanged the doors upon the gates) Sanabalat and Gesem sent unto me, saying: come and let us meet together* in the villages upon the plain of the city Ono. Nevertheless they thought to do me evil. Notwithstanding I sent messengers unto them, saying: I have a great business to do, I cannot come down. The work should stand still, if I were negligent, and came down to you. Howbeit they sent unto me as good as four times after the same manner. And I gave the same answer. Then sent Sanabalat his servant unto me the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand, wherein was written: it is told the Heathen, and Gesem hath saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, and wilt be their King in these matters, and thou hast ordained the Prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, and to say: He is King of Judah.
       Now this shall come to the kings ears: come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. Nevertheless I sent unto him saying: there is no such thing done as thou sayest: thou hast feigned it out of thine own heart. For they were all minded to make us afraid and thought: They shall withdraw their hands from the work, that they shall not labor. Howbeit I strengthen my hand the more. And I came unto the house of Semaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, and he had shut himself within, and said: let us come together in to the house of God, even unto the middest of the temple, and shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee, yee even in the night will they come to put you to death. But I said: should such man as I flee? *Who is that, being as I am, that will go in to the temple, to save his life? I will not go in.
      For I perceived, that God had not sent him: Yet spake he prophecy upon me, nevertheless Tobiah and Sanabalat had hired him for money. That through fear I should do so, and sin: that they might have an evil report of me. My God think thou upon Tobiah and Sanabalat according to these their works, and of the Prophet Noadiah and the other Prophets, that would have put me in fear.
      And the wall was finished on the five and twentieth day of the month *Elul, in two and fifty days. And when all our enemies heard thereof, all the Heathen that were about us, were afraid and their courage failed them: for they perceived, that this work came of God. And at the same time were there many of the chief of Juda, whos letters went unto Tobiah, and from Tobiah them, ( for there were many in Judah that were sworn unto him: for he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Johanan had the daughter of Mosolam the son of Barachiah and they spake good of him before me, and told him my words ) and Tobiah sent letters, to put me in fear.

 

* After the Greek some read Lepharim MN See also that Ono = power and wealth and from "foreign" origin; god given. This word Lepharim is not found in current Hebrew or Greek sources, however a close similitude "lehabin" means "fire" RN
*See, Christ speaks of the temple being within, that Nehemiah will not enter into this temple "made with mans hands" to save his life. such as it is today. Our heart has forever been the focus of God. RN *Elul is compared to our July with part of August joined thereto, it was their first month in order. MN

 

 

 

Chapter 7

      Now when we had builded the wall I hanged on the doors, and the porters, singers and Levites were appointed. And I commanded my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace at Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God more than did many other, and I said unto them: let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until *the son be known. and while they are yet standing in the watch, the doors shall be shut and barred. And there were certain citizens of Jerusalem appointed to be watchmen every one in his watch, and about his house. As for the city, it was large of room, and great, but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
       And my God gave me in my heart, that I gathered together the principal men and the people to number them. And I found *a register of the number of them, which came up afore out of the captivity: and found written therein: * These are the sons of the land that went up from the captivity of the carrying away,( whom Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon had brought away ) and came again to Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city, which came with Zorobabel, Jesua, Nehemiah, Asariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mardochee, Belsan, Mesparath, Begvai, Nahum, Baanah.
       This is the number of the men of the people of Israel. The children of Pharos, two thousand, an hundred, and two and seventy: the children of Saphatiah, three hundred and two and seventy: The children of Arah, six hundred and two and fifty. The children of Pahath Moab among the children of Jesua Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred and four and fifty. The children of Zethua, eight hundred and five and forty. The children of Sacai, seven hundred and threescore: The children of Bani, six hundred and eight and forty. The children of Bebai, six hundred and eight and twenty. The children of Asgad, two thousand, three hundred and two and twenty. The children of Adonikam, six hundred and seven and threescore. The children of Bigoai, two thousand, and seven and threescore. The children of Adin, six hundred, and five and fifty. The children of Ater of Hezekiah, eight and ninety. The children of Hasum, three hundred eight and twenty. The children of Bezai, three hundred and four and twenty. The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve. The children of Gabaon, five and ninety. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred and eight and fourscore. The men of Anathoth, an hundred and eight and twenty. The men of Beth Asmoth, two and forty. The men of Kariath Jarim, Cephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and three and forty of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. The men of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred and one and twenty. The men of Machmas, an hundred and two and twenty. The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred and three and twenty. The men of the other Nebo, an hundred and two and fifty: The children of the other Elam, a thousand, two hundred and four and fifty. The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The children of Jericho: three hundred and five and forty. The children of Lodhadid and Ono, seven hundred and one and twenty. The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
      The priests. The children of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and three and seventy: The children of Emer, a thousand, and two and fifty. The children of Phashur, a thousand, two hundred and seven and forty: The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
      The Levites. the children of Jeshua of Cadmiel, among the children of Hoduah, four and seventy. The singers. the children of Asaph, an hundred and eight and forty. The porters: The children of Selum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akub, the children of Hatita, the children of Sobai, all together an hundred and eight and thirty.
      The Nethinims, the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabaoth, The children of Ceros, the children of Sia, the children of Phadon, The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai, the children of Hanan, The children of Gidel, the children of Gaher, the children of Reaia, The children of Razin, the children of Necoda, the children of Gasem, The children of Usa, the children of Phaseah, the children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephusasim, The children of Bacbuc, the children of Hacupha, the children of Harhur, The children of Bezlith, the children of Mahida, the children of Harsa, The children of Bercos, the children of Sissera, the children of Thamah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
      The children of Solomons servants, the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Pherida, The children of Jaala, the children of Darcon, the children of Gidel, The children of Saphatiah, the children of Natil, the children of Pochereth of Zabaim, the children of Amon. All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomons servants, were all together three hundred and two and ninety.
      And these went up also, Thel Melah, Tel Harsa, Cherub, Adon, and Emer: but they could not show their fathers house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel. The children of Dalaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Necoda, six hundred and two and forty. And of the children of the priests. The children of Hobaiah, the children of Hacos, the children of Bersilai, which took one of the daughters of Bersilai the Galaadite to wife, and was named after their name. These sought the register of their generation and when they found it not, they were put from the priesthood. And the Hathirsatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy, till there came up a Priest with light and perfectness.
      The whole congregation as one man, was two and forty thousand, three hundred and threescore, Beside their servants and maidens, of whom there were seven thousand, three hundred and seven and thirty. And they had two hundred and seven and forty singing men and women, seven hundred and six and thirty horses, two hundred and five and forty Mules, four hundred and five and thirty Camels, and six thousand, seven hundred and twenty Asses.
      And certain of the ancient fathers gave unto the work. Nathirsatha gave to the treasure a thousand drames, fifty basens, five hundred and thirty priests garments. And some of the chief fathers gave unto the treasure of the work, twenty thousand and two hundred pound of silver. And the other people gave twenty thousand drams, and two thousand pound of silver, and seven and three score priests garments. And the priests and Levites, the Porters, the singers, and the other of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities.

 

*the son be known = this is our Lord Christ. the exact original text "is the sonne be whote" where sonne is "son" and whote is to "know" from wote Deut 33 RN
* some read the book of Genealogy
* 1 Esdras 2 MN

 

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