The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Esdras or the Book of Nehemias
At the head of those who signed this covenant was the governor, Nehemias the son of Hachelai; then came Sedecias,
Saraias, Azarias, Jeremias,
Pheshur, Amarias, Melchias,
Hattus, Sebenia, Melluch,
Harem, Merimuth, Obdias,
Daniel, Genthon, Baruch,
Mosollam, Abia, Miamin,
Maazia, Belgai and Semeia, all priests.
Then the Levites, Josue son of Azanias, Bennui of Henadad’s clan, Cedmihel,
Sebenia, Odaia, Celita, Phalaia, Hanan,
Micha, Rohob, Hasebia,
Zachur, Serebia, Sabania,
Odaia, Bani and Baninu.
Then the clan chiefs of Pharos, Phahath-Moab, Aelam, Zethu, Bani,
Bonni, Azgad, Bebai,
Adonia, Begoai, Adin,
Ater, Hezecia, Azur,
Odaia, Hasum, Besai,
Hareph, Anathoth, Nebai,
Megphias, Mosollam, Hazir,
Mesizabel, Sadoc, Jeddua,
Pheltia, Hanan, Anaia,
Osee, Hanania, Hasub,
Alohes, Phalea, Sobec,
Rehum, Hasebna, Maasia,
Echaia, Hanan, Anan,
Melluch, Haran and Baana.
The oath was taken by the whole people, priests, Levites, door-keepers, singers, Nathinaeans and the rest, all who had broken off their contact with the Gentiles to keep the law of God. Wives as well as husbands took it; sons and daughters, too,
where these were of age to understand its import. Their leaders did but go bail for the rest; all alike entered into a sworn undertaking that they would obey God’s law, given through his servant Moses. Never a decree or award or observance the Lord our God had enjoined but they would keep it sacred and live by it.
Never shall our children mate with the children of Gentile parents, or theirs with ours.
Never shall Gentile wares, exposed on sabbath or feast-day, furnish our needs. Every seventh year the land shall lie fallow, and all debts shall be remitted.
We impose upon ourselves a tax, of one third of a sicle yearly, for our God’s temple;
for the loaves that must be set out, and the continual offering, the burnt-sacrifice on sabbath and new moon and feast-day, welcome-offering and offering for fault that win Israel mercy, and all the needs of our God’s house.
For the provision of wood, we have cast lots between priests, Levites and the people at large so that each clan must take its turn, season and season about, bringing in logs to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as the law of Moses enjoins.
Year by year, too, we will bring to the Lord’s house the first-fruits of all that our lands or fruit-trees yield;
due offering shall be made there of all our first-born, man or beast, ox or sheep, as the law bids, before the priests that minister there in the Lord’s house;
food and drink, the fruit of all our trees, our grapes and our olives, shall be taxed by the priests that have charge of our God’s treasury. Our lands shall be tithed, too, for the Levites; in all our cities the Levites themselves shall collect a tithe from all our crops.
A priest of Aaron’s line shall accompany the Levites when they make the collection, and the Levites themselves shall contribute a tithe of their tithe to the house of our God, to the treasury where his wealth is stored.
To that treasury all alike must contribute, Levites and people out of their corn and wine and oil; that house must have its furniture of worship, priest and singer, door-keeper and ministrant. It is the house of the Lord our God; shall we leave it forsaken?
The Holy Bible