¶ And what time as the book of Moses was read in the ears of the people there was found written therein, that the Ammonites and Moabites should never come into the congregation of God, because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, and hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: nevertheless our God turned the curse into a blessing. Now when they heard the Law, they separated from Israel everyone that had mixt himself therein. And before this had the Priest Eliasib delivered the chest of the house of our God unto his kinsman Tobiah: for he had made him a great chest, and there had they afore time laid the meatofferings, frankincense, vessel, and the tithes of corn, wine and oil (according to the commandment given to the Levites, singers and porters) and the heaveofferings of the priests. But in all this was not I at Ierusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Arthaxerses king of Babilon, came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I license of the king to come to Ierusalem. And I gat knowledge of the evil that Eliasib did unto Tobiah, in that he made him a chest in the court of the house of God, and it grieved me sore, and I cast forth all the vessels of the house of Tobiah out of the chest, and commanded them to cleanse the chest. And thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, the meatoffering and the incense.
¶ And I perceived, that the portions of the Levites were not given them, for the which cause the Levites and singers were fled, everyone to his land for to work. Then reproved I the rulers, and said: Why forsake we the house of God? But I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Iudah the tithes of corn, wine and oil unto the treasury. And I made treasurers over the treasure, even Selemiah the priest, and Zadoc the scribe, and of the Levites, Phedaiah, and under their hand Hanan the son of Zacur, the son of Mathaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. Think upon me, O my God here in, and wipe not out my mercy, that I have shewed on the house of my God, and on the officers thereof.
¶ At the same time saw I some treading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in clusters, and asses laden with wine, grapes, figs, and bringing all manner of burthens unto Ierusalem, upon the Sabbath day. And I rebuked them earnestly the same day that they sold the vitailles. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Iudah and Ierusalem. Then reproved I the rulers in Iudah, and said unto them: What evil thing is this that ye do, and break the Sabbath day? Did not our fathers even thus, and our God brought all this plague upon us and upon this city? And ye make the wrath more yet upon Israel, in that ye break the Sabbath. And it fortuned, that when the porters of Ierusalem made shadow before the Sabbath, I commanded to shut the gates, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burthen be brought in on the Sabbath day. Then remained the chapmen and the merchants once or twice over night without Ierusalem with all manner of wares. Then reproved I them sore, and said unto them: Why tarry ye all night about the wall? If ye do it once again, I will lay hands upon you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I said unto the Levites which were clean, that they should come and keep the gates, to hallow the Sabbath day. Think upon me (O my God) concerning this also, and spare me according to thy great mercy.
¶ And at the same time saw I Iews, that married wives of Asdod, Ammon, and of Moab: and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Iews' language, but by the tongue mighty a man perceive every people. And I reproved them, and cursed them, and smote certain men of them, and plucked them up, and took an oath of them by God: Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, neither shall ye take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Salomon the king of Israel sin therein? and yet among many Heathen was there no king like him, and he was dear unto his God, and God made him king over all Israel, and yet nevertheless outlandish women caused him to sin? And shall we then obey unto you, to do all this great evil, and to transgress against our God, and marry strange wives? And one of the children of Iehoiada, the son of Eliasib the high priest, had made a contract with Sanabalat the Horonite: but I chased him from me. O my God, think thou upon them that are quite of the priesthood, and have defiled the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. Thus cleansed I them from all such as were outlandish, and appointed the courses of the priests and Levites, every one to his office, and to offer the wood at times appointed, and the firstfruits. Think thou upon me, (O my God) for the best.