A History of the Priests and Levites
1Here is the list of the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the high priest:
Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
3Shecaniah, Harim,#12:3 Hebrew Rehum; compare 7:42; 12:15; Ezra 2:39. Meremoth,
4Iddo, Ginnethon,#12:4 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Latin Vulgate (see also 12:16); most Hebrew manuscripts read Ginnethoi. Abijah,
5Miniamin, Moadiah,#12:5 Hebrew Mijamin, Maadiah; compare 12:17. Bilgah,
6Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
7Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah.
These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Jeshua.
8The Levites who returned with them were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his associates was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9Their associates, Bakbukiah and Unni, stood opposite them during the service.
10Jeshua the high priest was the father of Joiakim.
Joiakim was the father of Eliashib.
Eliashib was the father of Joiada.
11Joiada was the father of Johanan.#12:11 Hebrew Jonathan; compare 12:22.
Johanan was the father of Jaddua.
12Now when Joiakim was high priest, the family leaders of the priests were as follows:
Meraiah was leader of the family of Seraiah.
Hananiah was leader of the family of Jeremiah.
13Meshullam was leader of the family of Ezra.
Jehohanan was leader of the family of Amariah.
14Jonathan was leader of the family of Malluch.#12:14a As in Greek version (see also 10:4; 12:2); Hebrew reads Malluchi.
Joseph was leader of the family of Shecaniah.#12:14b As in many Hebrew manuscripts, some Greek manuscripts, and Syriac version (see also 12:3); most Hebrew manuscripts read Shebaniah.
15Adna was leader of the family of Harim.
Helkai was leader of the family of Meremoth.#12:15 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 12:3); Hebrew reads Meraioth.
16Zechariah was leader of the family of Iddo.
Meshullam was leader of the family of Ginnethon.
17Zicri was leader of the family of Abijah.
There was also a#12:17 Hebrew lacks the name of this family leader. leader of the family of Miniamin.
Piltai was leader of the family of Moadiah.
18Shammua was leader of the family of Bilgah.
Jehonathan was leader of the family of Shemaiah.
19Mattenai was leader of the family of Joiarib.
Uzzi was leader of the family of Jedaiah.
20Kallai was leader of the family of Sallu.#12:20 Hebrew Sallai; compare 12:7.
Eber was leader of the family of Amok.
21Hashabiah was leader of the family of Hilkiah.
Nethanel was leader of the family of Jedaiah.
22A record of the Levite families was kept during the years when Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua served as high priest. Another record of the priests was kept during the reign of Darius the Persian.#12:22 Darius the Persian is probably Darius II, who reigned 423–404 b.c., or possibly Darius III, who reigned 336–331 b.c. 23A record of the heads of the Levite families was kept in The Book of History down to the days of Johanan, the grandson#12:23 Hebrew descendant; compare 12:10-11. of Eliashib.
24These were the family leaders of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua, Binnui,#12:24 Hebrew son of (i.e., ben), which should probably be read here as the proper name Binnui; compare Ezra 3:9 and the note there. Kadmiel, and other associates, who stood opposite them during the ceremonies of praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as commanded by David, the man of God. 25This included Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, and Obadiah.
Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were the gatekeepers in charge of the storerooms at the gates. 26These all served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, son of Jehozadak,#12:26 Hebrew Jozadak, a variant spelling of Jehozadak. and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.
Dedication of Jerusalem’s Wall
27For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28The singers were brought together from the region around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites. 29They also came from Beth-gilgal and the rural areas near Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own settlements around Jerusalem. 30The priests and Levites first purified themselves; then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
31I led the leaders of Judah to the top of the wall and organized two large choirs to give thanks. One of the choirs proceeded southward#12:31 Hebrew to the right. along the top of the wall to the Dung Gate. 32Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, 33along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah. 35Then came some priests who played trumpets, including Zechariah son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, a descendant of Asaph. 36And Zechariah’s colleagues were Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. They used the musical instruments prescribed by David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe led this procession. 37At the Fountain Gate they went straight up the steps on the ascent of the city wall toward the City of David. They passed the house of David and then proceeded to the Water Gate on the east.
38The second choir giving thanks went northward#12:38 Hebrew to the left. around the other way to meet them. I followed them, together with the other half of the people, along the top of the wall past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 39then past the Ephraim Gate to the Old City Gate,#12:39 Or the Mishneh Gate, or the Jeshanah Gate. past the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel, and on to the Tower of the Hundred. Then we continued on to the Sheep Gate and stopped at the Guard Gate.
40The two choirs that were giving thanks then proceeded to the Temple of God, where they took their places. So did I, together with the group of leaders who were with me. 41We went together with the trumpet-playing priests—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah— 42and the singers—Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. They played and sang loudly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director.
43Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.
Provisions for Temple Worship
44On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work. 45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as commanded by David and his son Solomon, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers. 46The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph. 47So now, in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel brought a daily supply of food for the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Levites. The Levites, in turn, gave a portion of what they received to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.