Priests and Levites
1These were the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Joshua:
Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
2Amariah, Malluk, Hattush,
3Shekaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
4Iddo, Ginnethon,#12:4 Many Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also verse 16); most Hebrew manuscripts Ginnethoi Abijah,
5Mijamin,#12:5 A variant of Miniamin Moadiah, Bilgah,
6Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah and Jedaiah.
These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Joshua.
8The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and also Mattaniah, who, together with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9Bakbukiah and Unni, their associates, stood opposite them in the services.
10Joshua was the father of Joiakim,
Joiakim the father of Eliashib,
Eliashib the father of Joiada,
11Joiada the father of Jonathan,
and Jonathan the father of Jaddua.
12In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families:
of Seraiah’s family, Meraiah;
of Jeremiah’s, Hananiah;
13of Ezra’s, Meshullam;
of Amariah’s, Jehohanan;
14of Malluk’s, Jonathan;
of Shekaniah’s,#12:14 Very many Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also verse 3); most Hebrew manuscripts Shebaniah’s Joseph;
15of Harim’s, Adna;
of Meremoth’s,#12:15 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also verse 3); Hebrew Meraioth’s Helkai;
16of Iddo’s, Zechariah;
of Ginnethon’s, Meshullam;
17of Abijah’s, Zikri;
of Miniamin’s and of Moadiah’s, Piltai;
18of Bilgah’s, Shammua;
of Shemaiah’s, Jehonathan;
19of Joiarib’s, Mattenai;
of Jedaiah’s, Uzzi;
20of Sallu’s, Kallai;
of Amok’s, Eber;
21of Hilkiah’s, Hashabiah;
of Jedaiah’s, Nethanel.
22The family heads of the Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua, as well as those of the priests, were recorded in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23The family heads among the descendants of Levi up to the time of Johanan son of Eliashib were recorded in the book of the annals. 24And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their associates, who stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as prescribed by David the man of God.
25Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon and Akkub were gatekeepers who guarded the storerooms at the gates. 26They served in the days of Joiakim son of Joshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest, the teacher of the Law.
Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem
27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. 28The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem – from the villages of the Netophathites, 29from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. 30When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
31I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of#12:31 Or go alongside the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of#12:31 Or proceed alongside the wall to the right, towards the Dung Gate. 32Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, 33along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zakkur, the son of Asaph, 36and his associates – Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani – with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. Ezra the teacher of the Law led the procession. 37At the Fountain Gate they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the site of David’s palace to the Water Gate on the east.
38The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of#12:38 Or them alongside the wall, together with half the people – past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 39over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah#12:39 Or Old Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
40The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials, 41as well as the priests – Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets – 42and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah. 43And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
44At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites. 45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the musicians and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon. 46For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the musicians and the gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.