Bible in Basic English

NEHEMIAH, 9
Feast of booths observed

9.1     Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel came together, taking no food and putting haircloth and dust on their bodies. 2 And the seed of Israel made themselves separate from all the men of other nations, publicly requesting forgiveness for their sins and the wrongdoing of their fathers. 3 And for a fourth part of the day, upright in their places, they were reading from the book of the law of their God ; and for a fourth part of the day they were requesting forgiveness and worshipping the Lord their God. 4 Then Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani took their places on the steps of the Levites, crying in a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said, Get up and give praise to the Lord your God for ever and ever. Praise be to your great name which is lifted up high over all blessing and praise.
    9:6 You are the Lord, even you only ; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens with all their armies, the earth and all things in it, the seas and everything in them ; and you keep them from destruction: and the armies of heaven are your worshippers. 7 You are the Lord, the God, who took Abram and made him yours, guiding him from Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham ; 8 You saw that his heart was true to you, and made an agreement with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite and the Girgashite, even to give it to his seed, and you have done what you said; for righteousness is yours:
    9:9 And you saw the trouble of our fathers in Egypt, and their cry came to your ears by the Red Sea; 10 And you did signs and wonders on Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land ; for you saw how cruel they were to them. So you got yourself a name as it is today. 11 By you the sea was parted before them, so that they went through the sea on dry land ; and those who went after them went down into the deep, like a stone into great waters. 12 And you went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light on the way they were to go. 13 And you came down on Mount Sinai, and your voice came to them from heaven, giving them right decisions and true laws, good rules and orders : 14 And you gave them word of your holy Sabbath, and gave them orders and rules and a law, by the hand of Moses your servant : 15 And you gave them bread from heaven when they were in need, and made water come out of the rock for their drink, and gave them orders to go in and take for their heritage the land which your hand had been lifted up to give them.
    9:16 But they and our fathers, in their pride, made their necks stiff, and gave no attention to your orders, 17 And would not do them, and gave no thought to the wonders you had done among them; but made their necks stiff, and turning away from you, made a captain over themselves to take them back to their prison in Egypt : but you are a God of forgiveness, full of grace and pity, slow to wrath and great in mercy, and you did not give them up. 18 Even when they had made for themselves an ox of metal, and said, This is your God who took you up out of Egypt, and had done so much to make you angry ; 19 Even then, in your great mercy, you did not give them up in the waste land : the pillar of cloud still went before them by day, guiding them on their way, and the pillar of fire by night, to give them light, and make clear the way they were to go. 20 And you gave your good spirit to be their teacher, and did not keep back your manna from their mouths, and gave them water when they had need of it. 21 Truly, for forty years you were their support in the waste land, and they were in need of nothing ; their clothing did not get old or their feet become tired. 22 And you gave them kingdoms and peoples, making distribution to them in every part of the land : so they took for their heritage the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og, king of Bashan. 23 And you made their children as great in number as the stars of heaven, and took them into the land, of which you had said to their fathers that they were to go in and take it for themselves. 24 So the children went in and took the land, and you overcame before them the people of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them up into their hands, with their kings and the people of the land, so that they might do with them whatever it was their pleasure to do. 25 And they took walled towns and a fat land, and became the owners of houses full of all good things, water-holes cut in the rock, vine-gardens and olive-gardens and a wealth of fruit-trees : so they had food enough and became fat, and had joy in the good you gave them.
    9:26 But they were hard-hearted, and went against your authority, turning their backs on your law, and putting to death your prophets, who gave witness against them with the purpose of turning them back again to you, and they did much to make you angry. 27 And so you gave them up into the hands of their haters who were cruel to them : and in the time of their trouble, when they made their prayer to you, you gave ear to them from heaven; and in your great mercy gave them saviours, who made them free from the hands of their haters. 28 But when they had rest, they did evil again before you : so you gave them into the hands of their haters, who had rule over them : but when they came back and made their prayer to you, you gave ear to them from heaven; again and again, in your mercy, you gave them salvation ; 29 And gave witness against them so that you might make them come back again to your law: but their hearts were lifted up, and they gave no attention to your orders and went against your decisions (which, if a man keeps them, will be life to him), and turning their backs on you, made their necks stiff and did not give ear. 30 Year after year you put up with them, and gave witness against them by your spirit through your prophets : still they did not give ear : and so you gave them up into the hands of the peoples of the lands. 31 Even then, in your great mercy, you did not put an end to them completely, or give them up ; for you are a God of grace and mercy.
    9:32 And now, our God, the great, the strong, the God who is to be feared, who keeps faith and mercy, let not all this trouble seem small to you, which has come on us, and on our kings and our rulers and on our priests and our prophets and our fathers and on all your people from the time of the kings of Assyria till this day. 33 But still, you have been in the right in everything which has come on us ; you have been true to us, but we have done evil : 34 And our kings, our rulers, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or given attention to your orders and your witness, with which you gave witness against them. 35 For they have not been your servants in their kingdom, and in all the good things you gave them, and in the great and fat land you gave them, and they have not been turned away from their evil-doing. 36 Now, today, we are servants, and as for the land which you gave to our fathers, so that the produce of it and the good might be theirs, see, we are servants in it : 37 And it gives much increase to the kings whom you have put over us because of our sins : and they have power over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great trouble.
    9:38 And because of all this we are making an agreement in good faith, and putting it in writing; and our rulers, our Levites, and our priests are putting their names to it.

NEHEMIAH, 10
Covenant to keep the law

10.1     NOW those who put down their names were Nehemiah the Tirshatha, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah ; these were the priests . 9 And the Levites : by name, Jeshua, the son of Azaniah, Binnui, of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel, 10 And their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu . 14 The chiefs of the people : Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 And Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
    10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the door-keepers, the music-makers, the Nethinim, and all those who had made themselves separate from the peoples of the lands, to keep the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and wisdom ; 29 They were united with their brothers, their rulers, and put themselves under a curse and an oath, to keep their steps in the way of God's law, which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to keep and do all the orders of the Lord, our Lord, and his decisions and his rules ; 30 And that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the lands, or take their daughters for our sons ; 31 And if the peoples of the lands come to do trade in goods or food on the Sabbath day, that we would do no trade with them on the Sabbath or on a holy day : and that in the seventh year we would take no payment from any debtor.
    10:32 And we made rules for ourselves, taxing ourselves a third of a shekel every year for the upkeep of the house of our God ; 33 For the holy bread, and for the regular meal offering and the regular burned offering on the Sabbaths and at the new moon and the fixed feasts, and for the sin-offerings to take away the sin of Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34 And we, the priests and the Levites and the people, made selection, by the decision of the Lord, of those who were to take the wood offering into the house of God, by families at the regular times, year by year, to be burned on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is recorded in the law; 35 And to take the first-fruits of our land, and the first-fruits of every sort of tree, year by year, into the house of the Lord ; 36 As well as the first of our sons and of our cattle, as it is recorded in the law, and the first lambs of our herds and of our flocks, which are to be taken to the house of our God, to the priests who are servants in the house of our God: 37 And that we would take the first of our rough meal, and our lifted offerings, and the fruit of every sort of tree, and wine and oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God ; and the tenth of the produce of our land to the Levites ; for they, the Levites, take a tenth in all the towns of our ploughed land. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, is to be with the Levites, when the Levites take the tenths: and the Levites are to take a tenth of the tenths into the house of our God, to the rooms, into the store-house ; 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi are to take the lifted offering of the grain and wine and oil into the rooms where the vessels of th

DRAFT : work in progress.


NEHEMIAH, 11
Inhabitants of Jerusalem

    11:1 And the rulers of the people were living in Jerusalem: the rest of the people made selection, by the decision of chance, of one out of every ten to be living in Jerusalem, the holy town; the other nine to go to the other towns. 2 And the people gave a blessing to all the men who were freely offering to take up their places in Jerusalem.
    11:3 Now these are the chiefs of the divisions of the country who were living in Jerusalem: but in the towns of Judah everyone was living on his heritage in the towns, that is, Israel, the priests, the Levites, the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants. 11:4 And in Jerusalem there were living certain of the children of Judah and of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah, the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez; 11:5 And Maaseiah, the son of Baruch, the son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite. 11:6 All the sons of Perez living in Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight men of good position.
    11:7 And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu, the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah. 11:8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred and twenty-eight. 11:9 And Joel, the son of Zichri, was their overseer; and Judah, the son of Hassenuah, was second over the town. 11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah, the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11:11 Seraiah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God, 11:12 And their brothers who did the work of the house, eight hundred and twenty-two; and Adaiah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, 11:13 And his brothers, heads of families, two hundred and forty-two; and Amashsai, the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 11:14 And their brothers, men of war, a hundred and twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.
    11:15 And of the Levites : Shemaiah, the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni, 11:16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who were responsible for the outside business of the house of God; 11:17 And Mattaniah, the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who had to give the first note of the song of praise in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers, and Abda, the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 11:18 All the Levites in the holy town were two hundred and eighty-four.
    11:19 In addition the door-keepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers who kept watch at the doors, were a hundred and seventy-two. 11:20 And the rest of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, every one in his heritage. 11:21 But the Nethinim were living in the Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.
    11:22 And the overseer of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi, the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the music-makers, who was over the business of the house of God. 11:23 For there was an order from the king about them and a regular amount for the music-makers, for their needs day by day. 11:24 And Pethahiah, the son of Meshezabel, of the sons of Zerah, the son of Judah, was the king's servant in everything to do with the people.
    11:25 And for the daughter-towns with their fields, some of the men of Judah were living in Kiriath-arba and its daughter-towns, and in Dibon and its daughter-towns, and in Jekabzeel and its daughter-towns, 11:26 And in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth-pelet, 11:27 And in Hazar-shual, and in Beer-sheba and its daughter-towns, 11:28 And in Ziklag, and in Meconah and its daughter-towns, 11:29 And in En-rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth, 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam and their daughter-towns, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its daughter-towns. So they were living from Beer-sheba to the valley of Hinnom. 11:31 And the children of Benjamin were living from Geba, at Michmash and Aija, and at Beth-el and its daughter-towns, 11:32 At Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 11:35 Lod and Ono, the valley of expert workers. 11:36 And of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah were joined to Benjamin.

NEHEMIAH, 12
Dedication of the wall

    12:1 Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua : Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 12:2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 12:3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 12:4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 12:5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 12:6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.
    12:8 And the Levites : Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the music-makers, he and his brothers. 12:9 And Bakbukiah and Unno, their brothers, were opposite them in their watches. 12:10 And Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, and Joiakim was the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib was the father of Joiada, 12:11 And Joiada was the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan was the father of Jaddua.
    12:12 And in the days of Joiakim there were priests, heads of families : of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah ; 12:13 Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan ; 12:14 Of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 12:15 Of Harim, Adna ; of Meraioth, Helkai ; 12:16 Of Iddo, Zechariah ; of Ginnethon, Meshullam ; 12:17 Of Abijah, Zichri ; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai ; 12:18 Of Bilgah, Shammua ; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan ; 12:19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi ; 12:20 Of Sallai, Kallai ; of Amok, Eber ; 12:21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah ; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.
    12:22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were listed as heads of families; and the priests, when Darius the Persian was king. 12:23 The sons of Levi, heads of families, were recorded in the book of the histories, even till the days of Johanan, the son of Eliashib. 12:24 And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua, the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers opposite them, to give blessing and praise as ordered by David, the man of God, watch against watch. 12:25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were door-keepers keeping the watch at the store-houses of the doors. 12:26 These were in the days of Joiakim, the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the ruler and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
    12:27 And when the time came for the wall of Jerusalem to be made holy, they sent for the Levites out of all their places to come to Jerusalem, to keep the feast with joy, and with praise and melody, with brass and corded instruments of music. 12:28 And the sons of the music-makers came together from the lowland round about Jerusalem and from the daughter-towns of the Netophathites, 12:29 And from Beth-gilgal and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the music-makers had made daughter-towns for themselves round about Jerusalem. 12:30 And the priests and the Levites made themselves clean; and they made the people clean, and the doorways and the wall.
    12:31 Then I made the rulers of Judah come up on the wall, and I put in position two great bands of them who gave praise, walking in ordered lines; one went to the right on the wall, in the direction of the doorway where the waste was put ; 12:32 And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the rulers of Judah, 12:33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, 12:34 Judah and Benjamin and Shemaiah and Jeremiah, 12:35 And certain of the priests' sons with wind instruments; Zechariah, the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 12:36 And his brothers, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel and Judah, Hanani, with the music-instruments of David, the man of God ; and Ezra the scribe was at their head; 12:37 And by the doorway of the fountain and straight in front of them, they went up by the steps of the town of David, at the slope up of the wall, over the house of David, as far as the water-doorway to the east.
    12:38 And the other band of those who gave praise went to the left, and I went after them with half the people, on the wall, over the tower of the ovens, as far as the wide wall ; 12:39 And over the doorway of Ephraim and by the old door and the fish door and the tower of Hananel and the tower of Hammeah, as far as the sheep door: and at the doorway of the watchmen they came to a stop. 12:40 So the two bands of those who gave praise took up their positions in the house of God, and I and half of the chiefs with me: 12:41 And the priests ; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with wind instruments; 12:42 And Maaseiah and Shemaiah and Eleazar and Uzzi and Jehohanan and Malchijah and Elam and Ezer. And the makers of melody made their voices loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. 12:43 And on that day they made great offerings and were glad ; for God had made them glad with great joy ; and the women and the children were glad with them: so that the joy of Jerusalem came to the ears of those who were far off.
    12:44 And on that day certain men were put over the rooms where the things which had been given were stored, for the lifted offerings and the first-fruits and the tenths, and to take into them the amounts, from the fields of every town, fixed by the law for the priests and the Levites : for Judah was glad on account of the priests and the Levites who were in their places. 12:45 And they kept the watch of their God, and were responsible for making things clean, and so did the music-makers and the door-keepers, as it was ordered by David and Solomon his son. 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph in the past, there was a master of the music, and songs of blessing and praise to God. 12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave what was needed by the music-makers and the door-keepers day by day : and they made the offerings holy for the Levites; and the Levites did the same for the sons of Aaron.

NEHEMIAH, 13
Nehemiah's reforms

    13:1 TOn 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; 13:2 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. 13:3 So after hearing the law, they took out of Israel all the mixed people.
    13:4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who had been placed over the rooms of the house of our God, being a friend of Tobiah, 13:5 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. 13:6 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, 13:7 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. 13:8 And it was evil in my eyes: so I had all Tobiah's things put out of the room. 13:9 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.
    13:10 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. 13:11 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. 13:12 Then all Judah came with the tenth part of the grain and wine and oil and put it into the store-houses. 13:13 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. 13:14 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.
    13:15 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. 13:16 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. 13:17 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 ? 13:18 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.
    13:19 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. 13:20 So the traders in all sorts of goods took their night's rest outside Jerusalem once or twice. 13:21 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. 13:22 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.
    13:23 And in those days I saw the Jews who were married to women of Ashdod and Ammon and Moab: 13:24 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. 13:25 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. 13:26 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. 13:27 Are we then without protest to let you do all this great evil, sinning against our God by taking strange women for your wives?
    13:28 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.
    13:30 So I made them clean from all strange people, and had regular watches fixed for the priests and for the Levites, everyone in his work ; 31 And for the wood offering, at fixed times, and for the first fruits. Keep me in mind, O my God, for good.

<< Ezra     < Pevious   |   BBE   |   Esther >