September 26, Nehemiah 6-7

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When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that no gap was left in it—though at that time I had not installed the doors in the city gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.” They were planning to harm me.

So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing important work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.

Sanballat sent me this same message a fifth time by his aide, who had an open letter in his hand. In it was written:

It is reported among the nations—and Geshem agrees—that you and the Jews plan to rebel. This is the reason you are building the wall. According to these reports, you are to become their king and have even set up the prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim on your behalf, “There is a king in Judah.” These rumors will be heard by the king. So come, let’s confer together.

Then I replied to him, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.” For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will drop their hands from the work, and it will never be finished.”

But now, my God, strengthen my hands.

10 I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was restricted to his house. He said:

Let’s meet at the house of God,
inside the temple.
Let’s shut the temple doors
because they’re coming to kill you.
They’re coming to kill you tonight!

11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? How can someone like me enter the temple and live? I will not go.” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, because of the prophecy he spoke against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He was hired, so that I would be intimidated, do as he suggested, sin, and get a bad reputation, in order that they could discredit me.

14 My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat for what they have done, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the other prophets who wanted to intimidate me.

15 The wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul. 16 When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.

17 During those days, the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, since he was a son-in-law of Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. 19 These nobles kept mentioning Tobiah’s good deeds to me, and they reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. I said to them, “Do not open the gates of Jerusalem until the sun is hot, and let the doors be shut and securely fastened while the guards are on duty. Station the citizens of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some at their homes.”

The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and no houses had been built yet. Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles, the officials, and the people to be registered by genealogy. I found the genealogical record of those who came back first, and I found the following written in it:

These are the people of the province who went up among the captive exiles deported by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Each of them returned to Jerusalem and Judah, to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.

The number of the Israelite men included

Parosh’s descendants2,172
Shephatiah’s descendants372
10 Arah’s descendants652
11 Pahath-moab’s descendants:
Jeshua’s and Joab’s descendants2,818
12 Elam’s descendants1,254
13 Zattu’s descendants845
14 Zaccai’s descendants760
15 Binnui’s descendants648
16 Bebai’s descendants628
17 Azgad’s descendants2,322
18 Adonikam’s descendants667
19 Bigvai’s descendants2,067
20 Adin’s descendants655
21 Ater’s descendants: of Hezekiah98
22 Hashum’s descendants328
23 Bezai’s descendants324
24 Hariph’s descendants112
25 Gibeon’s descendants95
26 Bethlehem’s and Netophah’s men188
27 Anathoth’s men128
28 Beth-azmaveth’s men42
29 Kiriath-jearim’s, Chephirah’s, and Beeroth’s men743
30 Ramah’s and Geba’s men621
31 Michmas’s men122
32 Bethel’s and Ai’s men123
33 the other Nebo’s men52
34 the other Elam’s people1,254
35 Harim’s people320
36 Jericho’s people345
37 Lod’s, Hadid’s, and Ono’s people721
38 Senaah’s people3,930.

39 The priests included

Jedaiah’s descendants of the house of Jeshua973
40 Immer’s descendants1,052
41 Pashhur’s descendants1,247
42 Harim’s descendants1,017.

43 The Levites included

Jeshua’s descendants: of Kadmiel
Hodevah’s descendants74.

44 The singers included

Asaph’s descendants148.

45 The gatekeepers included

Shallum’s descendants, Ater’s descendants,
Talmon’s descendants, Akkub’s descendants,
Hatita’s descendants, Shobai’s descendants138.

46 The temple servants included

Ziha’s descendants, Hasupha’s descendants,

Tabbaoth’s descendants, 47 Keros’s descendants,

Sia’s descendants, Padon’s descendants,

48 Lebanah’s descendants, Hagabah’s descendants,

Shalmai’s descendants, 49 Hanan’s descendants,

Giddel’s descendants, Gahar’s descendants,

50 Reaiah’s descendants, Rezin’s descendants,

Nekoda’s descendants, 51 Gazzam’s descendants,

Uzza’s descendants, Paseah’s descendants,

52 Besai’s descendants, Meunim’s descendants,

Nephishesim’s descendants, 53 Bakbuk’s descendants,

Hakupha’s descendants, Harhur’s descendants,

54 Bazlith’s descendants, Mehida’s descendants,

Harsha’s descendants, 55 Barkos’s descendants,

Sisera’s descendants, Temah’s descendants,

56 Neziah’s descendants, Hatipha’s descendants.

57 The descendants of Solomon’s servants included

Sotai’s descendants, Sophereth’s descendants,

Perida’s descendants, 58 Jaala’s descendants,

Darkon’s descendants, Giddel’s descendants,

59 Shephatiah’s descendants, Hattil’s descendants,

Pochereth-hazzebaim’s descendants, Amon’s descendants.

60 All the temple servants
and the descendants of Solomon’s servants392.

61 The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but were unable to prove that their ancestral families and their lineage were Israelite:

62 Delaiah’s descendants,
Tobiah’s descendants,
and Nekoda’s descendants642

63 and from the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai—who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and who bore their name. 64 These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood. 65 The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole combined assembly numbered42,360
67 not including their 7,337 male and female servants,
as well as their 245 male and female singers.
68 They had 736 horses, 245 mules,
69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the family heads contributed to the project. The governor gave 1,000 gold coins, 50 bowls, and 530 priestly garments to the treasury. 71 Some of the family heads gave 20,000 gold coins and 2,200 silver minas to the treasury for the project. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold coins, 2,000 silver minas, and 67 priestly garments. 73 The priests, Levites, gatekeepers, temple singers, some of the people, temple servants, and all Israel settled in their towns.

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,

When you are doing something God has called you to do you will always have critics, naysayers and enemies trying to stop you. These people all have different reasons for not wanting you to follow God’s lead. The reasons they have are inconsequential. What is consequential is our determination to continue to follow God in spite of these people and their attempts to make us stop. In the end, we must all remember we have one goal in this life as believers and that is to follow God with all of our hearts. When we place our trust in him continually and ask him to use us to build his kingdom we are right where we should be. Don’t let the naysayers stop you from following through with God’s plan for your life.

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