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Nehemiah 3:1-31
1. THEN ELIASHIB the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set up its doors; they consecrated it even to the Tower of Hammeah or the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.
2. And next to him [Eliashib] the men of Jericho built. Next to [them] Zaccur son of Imri built.
3. And the Fish Gate the sons of Hassenaah built; they laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
4. And next to them Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired. Next to them Meshullam son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, repaired. Next to them Zadok son of Baana repaired.
5. Next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles or lords did not put their necks to the work of their Lord.
6. Moreover, the Old Gate Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired. They laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
7. Next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, [up] to the seat or residence of the governor [west of] the River [Euphrates, there in Jerusalem].
8. Next to them repaired Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths. Next to him repaired Hananiah, one of the perfumers, and they abandoned [fortification of] Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall [omitting that part of the ancient city and reducing the area].
9. Next to them repaired Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem.
10. Next to them repaired Jedaiah son of Harumaph, opposite his own house. And next to him repaired Hattush son of Hashabneiah.
11. Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab repaired another portion and the Tower of the Furnaces.
12. Next to [them] repaired Shallum son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
13. The Valley Gate [the main entrance in the west wall, the Jaffa Gate] was repaired by Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah. They built it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate.
14. The Dung Gate was repaired by Malchijah son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem. He rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
15. The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallum son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt and covered it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah (Siloam), by the King's Garden, as far as the stairs that go down [the eastern slope] from the [portion of Jerusalem known as] the City of David.
16. After him Nehemiah [III] son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired [the wall] to a point opposite the sepulchers of David, and to the artificial pool and the house of the guards.
17. After him the Levites: Rehum son of Bani. Next to him repaired Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah.
18. After him repaired their brethren under Bavvai son of Henadad, ruler of [the other] half of the district of Keilah.
19. Next to him repaired Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, another district over opposite the ascent to the armory at the angle [in the wall].
20. After him Baruch son of Zabbai (Zaccai) earnestly repaired another portion [toward the hill] from the angular turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
21. After him Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired from the door of Eliashib's house to the end of his house.
22. After him the priests, men of the plain, repaired.
23. After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them repaired Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah beside his own house.
24. After him Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section [of the wall], from the house of Azariah to the angular turn of the wall and to the corner.
25. Palal son of Uzai repaired opposite the angular turn of the wall and the tower which stands out from the upper house of the king by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah son of Parosh
26. And the servants of the priests dwelling on Ophel [the hill south of the temple] repaired to opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower.
27. After them the Tekoites repaired another portion opposite the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.
28. Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, everyone opposite his own house.
29. After them repaired Zadok son of Immer opposite his house. Then Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, keeper of the East Gate, repaired.
30. After him Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam son of Berechiah repaired opposite his chamber.
31. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the ascent and upper room of the corner.

Nehemiah 4:1-23
1. BUT WHEN Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and in a great rage, and he ridiculed the Jews.
2. And he said before his brethren and the army of Samaria, What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things [at will and by themselves]? Will they [try to bribe their God] with sacrifices? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?
3. Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him, and he said, What they build--if a fox climbs upon it, he will break down their stone wall.
4. [And Nehemiah prayed] Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their taunts upon their own heads, and give them for a prey in a land of their captivity.
5. Cover not their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have vexed [with alarm] the builders and provoked You.
6. So we built the wall, and all [of it] was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart and mind to work.
7. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were going up and that the breaches were being closed, they were very angry.
8. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem, to injure and cause confusion and failure in it.
9. But because of them we made our prayer to our God and set a watch against them day and night.
10. And [the leaders of] Judah said, The strength of the burden bearers is weakening, and there is much rubbish; we are not able to work on the wall.
11. And our enemies said, They will not know or see till we come into their midst and kill them and stop the work.
12. And when the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times, You must return [to guard our little villages]; from all places where they dwell they will be upon us.
13. So I set [armed men] behind the wall in places where it was least protected; I even thus used the people as families with their swords, spears, and bows.
14. I looked [them over] and rose up and said to the nobles and officials and the other people, Do not be afraid of the enemy; [earnestly] remember the Lord and imprint Him [on your minds], great and terrible, and [take from Him courage to] fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.
15. And when our enemies heard that their plot was known to us and that God had frustrated their purpose, we all returned to the wall, everyone to his work.
16. And from that time forth, half of my servants worked at the task, and the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail; and the leaders stood behind all the house of Judah.
17. Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand,
18. And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked. And he who sounded the trumpet was at my side.
19. And I said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people, The work is great and scattered, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another.
20. In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.
21. So we labored at the work while half of them held the spears from dawn until the stars came out.
22. At that time also I said to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that at night they may be a guard to us and a laborer during the day.
23. So none of us--I, my kinsmen, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me--took off our clothes; each kept his weapon [in his hand for days].

Nehemiah 5:1-19
1. NOW THERE arose a great cry of the [poor] people and of their wives [driven to borrowing] against their Jewish brethren [the few who could afford to lend].
2. For some said, We, our sons and daughters, are many; therefore allow us to take grain, that we may eat and live! If we are not given grain, let us take it!
3. Also some said, We are mortgaging our lands, vineyards, and houses to buy grain because of the scarcity.
4. Others said, We have borrowed money on our fields and vineyards to pay the [Persian] king's heavy tax.
5. Although our flesh is the same as that of our brethren and our children are as theirs, yet we are forced to sell our children as slaves; some of our daughters have already been thus sold, and we are powerless to redeem them, for others have our lands and vineyards.
6. I [Nehemiah] was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
7. I thought it over and then rebuked the nobles and officials. I told them, You are exacting interest from your own kinsmen. And I held a great assembly against them.
8. I said to them, We, according to our ability, have bought back our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations; but will you even sell your brethren, that they may be sold to us? Then they were silent and found not a word to say.
9. Also I said, What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts and reproach of the nations, our enemies?
10. I, my brethren, and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us stop this forbidden interest! [Exod. 22:25.]
11. Return this very day to them their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses, and also a hundredth of all the money, grain, new wine, and oil that you have exacted from them.
12. Then they said, We will restore these and require nothing from them. We will do as you say. Then I called the priests and took an oath of the lenders that they would do according to this promise.
13. I shook out my lap and said, So may God shake out every man from his house and from [the exercise and fruits of] his labor who does not keep this promise! So may he be shaken out and emptied. And all the assembly said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise.
14. Also, in the twelve years after I was appointed to be their governor in Judah, from the twentieth to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, neither I nor my kin ate the food allowed to [me] the governor.
15. But the former governors lived at the expense of the people and took from them food and wine, besides forty shekels of silver [a large monthly official salary]; yes, even their servants assumed authority over the people. But I did not so because of my [reverent] fear of God.
16. I also held fast to the work on this wall; and we bought no land. And all my servants were gathered there for the work.
17. And there were at my table 150 Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations about us.
18. Now these were prepared for each day: one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days a store of all sorts of wine. Yet for all this, I did not demand [my rights] the food allowed me as governor, for the [tribute] bondage was heavy upon this people.
19. O my God, [earnestly] remember me for good for all I have done for this people. [Heb. 6:10.]

Psalms 89:1-4
1. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Ethan the Ezrahite. I WILL sing of the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness from generation to generation.
2. For I have said, Mercy and loving-kindness shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness will You establish in the very heavens [unchangeable and perpetual].
3. [You have said] I have made a covenant with My chosen one, I have sworn to David My servant,
4. Your Seed I will establish forever, and I will build up your throne for all generations. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! [Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33; Gal. 3:16]

Proverbs 21:21-27
21. He who earnestly seeks after and craves righteousness, mercy, and loving-kindness will find life in addition to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God) and honor. [Prov. 15:9; Matt. 5:6.]
22. A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23. He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles. [Prov. 12:13; 13:3; 18:21; James 3:2.]
24. The proud and haughty man--Scoffer is his name--deals and acts with overbearing pride.
25. The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
26. He covets greedily all the day long, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous gives and does not withhold. [II Cor. 9:6-10.]
27. The sacrifice of the wicked is exceedingly disgusting and abhorrent [to the Lord]--how much more when he brings it with evil intention?

Acts 26:1-32
1. THEN AGRIPPA said to Paul, You are permitted to speak on your own behalf. At that Paul stretched forth his hand and made his defense [as follows]:
2. I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that it is before you that I am to make my defense today in regard to all the charges brought against me by [the] Jews,
3. [Especially] because you are so fully and unusually conversant with all the Jewish customs and controversies; therefore, I beg you to hear me patiently.
4. My behavior and manner of living from my youth up is known by all the Jews; [they are aware] that from [its] commencement my youth was spent among my own race in Jerusalem.
5. They have had knowledge of me for a long time, if they are willing to testify to it, that in accordance with the strictest sect of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee.
6. And now I stand here on trial [to be judged on the ground] of the hope of that promise made to our forefathers by God, [Acts 13:32, 33.]
7. Which hope [of the Messiah and the resurrection] our twelve tribes confidently expect to realize as they fervently worship [without ceasing] night and day. And for that hope, O king, I am accused by Jews and considered a criminal!
8. Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9. I myself indeed was [once] persuaded that it was my duty to do many things contrary to and in defiance of the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; I [not only] locked up many of the [faithful] saints (holy ones) in prison by virtue of authority received from the chief priests, but when they were being condemned to death, I cast my vote against them.
11. And frequently I punished them in all the synagogues to make them blaspheme; and in my bitter fury against them, I harassed (troubled, molested, persecuted) and pursued them even to foreign cities.
12. Thus engaged I proceeded to Damascus with the authority and orders of the chief priests,
13. When on the road at midday, O king, I saw a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, flashing about me and those who were traveling with me.
14. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew tongue saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute Me [to harass and trouble and molest Me]? It is dangerous and turns out badly for you to keep kicking against the goads [to keep offering vain and perilous resistance].
15. And I said, Who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.
16. But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear to you,
17. Choosing you out [selecting you for Myself] and delivering you from among this [Jewish] people and the Gentiles to whom I am sending you--[Ezek. 2:1, 3.]
18. To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me. [Isa. 42:7, 16.]
19. Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision,
20. But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance.
21. Because of these things the Jews seized me in the temple [enclosure] and tried to do away with me.
22. [But] to this day I have had the help which comes from God [as my ally], and so I stand here testifying to small and great alike, asserting nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses declared would come to pass--
23. That the Christ (the Anointed One) must suffer and that He, by being the first to rise from the dead, would declare and show light both to the [Jewish] people and to the Gentiles.
24. And as he thus proceeded with his defense, Festus called out loudly, Paul, you are mad! Your great learning is driving you insane!
25. But Paul replied, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but I am uttering the straight, sound truth.
26. For the king understands about these things well enough, and [therefore] to him I speak with bold frankness and confidence. I am convinced that not one of these things has escaped his notice, for all this did not take place in a corner [in secret].
27. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? [Do you give credence to God's messengers and their words?] I perceive and know that you do believe.
28. Then Agrippa said to Paul, You think it a small task to make a Christian of me [just offhand to induce me with little ado and persuasion, at very short notice].
29. And Paul replied, Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you, but also all who are listening to me today, might become such as I am, except for these chains.
30. Then the king arose, and the governor and Bernice and all those who were seated with them;
31. And after they had gone out, they said to one another, This man is doing nothing deserving of death or [even] of imprisonment.
32. And Agrippa said to Festus, This man could have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Caesar.