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Nehemiah 12:27-47

Context
The Wall of Jerusalem is Dedicated

12:27 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, 1  they sought out the Levites from all the places they lived 2  to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication joyfully with songs of thanksgiving and songs accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres. 12:28 The singers 3  were also assembled from the district around Jerusalem and from the settlements of the Netophathites 12:29 and from Beth Gilgal and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built settlements for themselves around Jerusalem. 12:30 When the priests and Levites had purified themselves, they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

12:31 I brought the leaders of Judah up on top of the wall, and I appointed two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed 4  on the top of the wall southward toward the Dung Gate. 12:32 Going after them were Hoshaiah, half the leaders of Judah, 12:33 Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 12:34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 12:35 some of the priests 5  with trumpets, Zechariah 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 colleagues – Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani – with musical instruments of 6  David the man of God. (Ezra the scribe led them.) 7  12:37 They went over the Fountain Gate and continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall. They passed the house of David and continued on to the Water Gate toward the east.

12:38 The second choir was proceeding 8  in the opposite direction. I followed them, along with half the people, on top of the wall, past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 12:39 over the Ephraim Gate, the Jeshanah Gate, 9  the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate. They stopped 10  at the Gate of the Guard.

12:40 Then the two choirs that gave thanks took their stations 11  in the temple of God. I did also, along with half the officials with me, 12:41 and the priests – Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with their trumpets – 12:42 and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. The choirs sang loudly 12  under the direction of Jezrahiah. 12:43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away.

12:44 On that day men were appointed over the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits, and tithes, to gather into them from 13  the fields of the cities the portions prescribed by the law for the priests and the Levites, for the people of Judah 14  took delight in the priests and Levites who were ministering. 15  12:45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, along with the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commandment of David and 16  his son Solomon. 12:46 For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors 17  for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanks to God. 12:47 So in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah, all Israel was contributing the portions for the singers and gatekeepers, according to the daily need. 18  They also set aside 19  the portion for the Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “from all their places.” The words “they lived” are implied.

3 tn Heb “the sons of the singers.”

4 tc The translation reads וְהָאַחַת הֹלֶכֶת (vÿhaakhat holekhet, “and one was proceeding”) rather than the MT reading וְתַהֲלֻכֹת (vÿtahalukhot, “and processions”).

5 tn Heb “some of the sons of the priests.”

6 tn Or “prescribed by” (NIV, NLT); TEV “of the kind played by.” The precise relationship of these musical instruments to David is not clear.

7 tn Heb “was before them.”

8 tc The translation reads הוֹלֶכֶת (holekhet, “was proceeding”) rather than the MT הַהוֹלֶכֶת (haholekhet, “the one proceeding”). The MT probably reflects dittography – accidental writing of ה (hey) twice instead of once.

9 tn Or “the Old Gate” (so KJV, NASB, NCV, NRSV).

10 tn Heb “they stood.”

11 tn Heb “stood.”

12 tn Heb “caused to hear.”

13 tc The translation reads מִשְּׂדֶי (missÿde, “from the fields”) rather than the MT reading לִשְׂדֵי (lisdey, “to the fields”).

14 tn Heb “for Judah.” The words “the people of” have been supplied in the translation for clarity, since “Judah” is a proper name as well as a place name.

15 tn Heb “standing.”

16 tc With many medieval Hebrew MSS and the ancient versions the translation reads the conjunction (“and”). It is absent in the Leningrad MS that forms the textual basis for BHS.

17 tn Heb “heads.” The translation reads with the Qere the plural רֹאשֵׁי (roshey, “heads”) rather than the Kethib singular רֹאשׁ (rosh, “head”) of the MT.

18 tn Heb “a thing of a day in its day.”

19 tn Heb “were sanctifying.”



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