Or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope. 1 Corinthians 9:10

Nehemiah 7-8

Nehemiah 7

Securing the City

1 Now when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2 I put my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3 I said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, with everyone near his house.”

Cencus of First Returned Exiles

4 Now the city was wide and large; but the people were few therein, and the houses were not built.

5 My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be listed by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who had returned first, and I found this written in it:

6 These are the descendants of the province who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, everyone to his city, 7 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel:
8 The descendants of Parosh: 2,172.
9 The descendants of Shephatiah: 372.
10 The descendants of Arah: 652.
11 The descendants of Pahathmoab, of the descendants of Jeshua and Joab: 2,818.
12 The descendants of Elam: 1,254.
13 The descendants of Zattu: 845.
14 The descendants of Zaccai: 760.
15 The descendants of Binnui: 648.
16 The descendants of Bebai: 628.
17 The descendants of Azgad: 2,322.
18 The descendants of Adonikam: 667.
19 The descendants of Bigvai: 2,067.
20 The descendants of Adin: 655.
21 The descendants of Ater: of Hezekiah, 98.
22 The descendants of Hashum: 328.
23 The descendants of Bezai: 324.
24 The descendants of Hariph: 112.
25 The descendants of Gibeon: 95.
26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah: 188.
27 The men of Anathoth: 128.
28 The men of Beth Azmaveth: 42.
29 The men of Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth: 743.
30 The men of Ramah and Geba: 621.
31 The men of Michmas: 122.
32 The men of Bethel and Ai: 123.
33 The men of the other Nebo: 52.
34 The descendants of the other Elam: 1,254.
35 The descendants of Harim: 320.
36 The descendants of Jericho: 345.
37 The descendants of Lod, Hadid, and Ono: 721.
38 The descendants of Senaah: 3,930.

The Priests

39 The priests: The descendants of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua: 973.
40 The descendants of Immer: 1,052.
41 The descendants of Pashhur: 1,247.
42 The descendants of Harim: 1,017.

The Levites

43 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the descendants of Hodevah: 74.
44 The singers: the descendants of Asaph: 148.
45 The gatekeepers: the descendants of Shallum, the descendants of Ater, the descendants of Talmon, the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Hatita, the descendants of Shobai: 138.

The Temple Servants

46 The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha,
the descendants of Hasupha,
the descendants of Tabbaoth,
47 the descendants of Keros,
the descendants of Sia,
the descendants of Padon,
48 the descendants of Lebana,
the descendants of Hagaba,
the descendants of Salmai,
49 the descendants of Hanan,
the descendants of Giddel,
the descendants of Gahar,
50 the descendants of Reaiah,
the descendants of Rezin,
the descendants of Nekoda,
51 the descendants of Gazzam,
the descendants of Uzza,
the descendants of Paseah.
52 The descendants of Besai,
the descendants of Meunim,
the descendants of Nephushesim,
53 the descendants of Bakbuk,
the descendants of Hakupha,
the descendants of Harhur,
54 the descendants of Bazlith,
the descendants of Mehida,
the descendants of Harsha,
55 the descendants of Barkos,
the descendants of Sisera,
the descendants of Temah,
56 the descendants of Neziah,
and the descendants of Hatipha.

Descendants of Solomon’s Servants

57 The descendants of Solomon’s servants:
the descendants of Sotai,
the descendants of Sophereth,
the descendants of Perida,
58 the descendants of Jaala,
the descendants of Darkon,
the descendants of Giddel,
59 the descendants of Shephatiah,
the descendants of Hattil,
the descendants of Pochereth Hazzebaim, and
the descendants of Amon.

60 All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants were 392.

61 These were the ones who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not verify their family name, or their ancestry, whether they were of Israel:

62 The descendants of Delaiah, the descendants of Tobiah, the descendants of Nekoda: 642.

Priests who Could Not Find their Pedigree

63 Of the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah,
the descendants of Hakkoz,
the descendants of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.

64 These searched for their genealogical records, but could not find them. Therefore they were deemed disqualified and removed from the priesthood. 65 The governor told that they should not eat of the most holy things until a priest stood up to minister with Urim and Thummim.

Accounting of People and Offerings

66 The whole assembly together was 42,366, 67 in addition to their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were 7,337. They had 245 singing men and singing women. 68 Their horses were 736; their mules, 245; 69 their camels, 435; their donkeys, 6,720.

70 Some from among the heads of fathers’ households gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 21 pounds of gold, 50 basins, and 530 priests’ garments. 71 Some of the family leaders gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 gold coins and 2,200 silver minas. 72 That which the rest of the people gave was 20,000 gold coins, plus 2,000 silver minas, and 67 priests’ garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their cities.

When the seventh month had come, the Israelites were in their cities.

Nehemiah 8

Ezra Reads the Law

1 All the people gathered together as one into the wide place that was in front of the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.

2 Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it before the wide place that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand. The ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

4 Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people), and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.
All the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” with the lifting up of their hands. They bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, taught the law to the people so they could understand it; and the people stayed in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the meaning, so that they understood the reading.

This Day is Holy

9 Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people,

“Today is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.”

For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.

10 Then he said to them,

“Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying,

“Hold your peace, for the day is holy. Do not be grieved.”

12 All the people went their way to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to celebrate, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

13 On the second day, the family leaders from all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered together to Ezra the scribe, to study the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; 15 and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying,

“Go out to the mountain, and get olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make temporary shelters, as it is written.”

16 So the people went out, and brought them, and made themselves temporary shelters, everyone on the roof of his house, in their courts, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the wide place of the water gate, and in the wide place of Ephraim’s gate. 17 All the assembly of those who had come back from captivity made temporary shelters, and lived in the temporary shelters; for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the Israelites had not done so. There was very great joy.

18 Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

The Rights of the Apostles

1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Have we no right to eat and to drink? 5 Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, just like the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7 What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and does not drink from the flock’s milk?

8 Do I speak these things according to the ways of men? Or does the law not also say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses,

“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”

Is it for the oxen that God cares, 10 or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope. 11 If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your worldly things? 12 If others partake of this right over you, don’t we yet more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Good News of Christ.

13 Do you not know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar? 14 Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Good News should live from the Good News. 15 But I have used none of these things, and I do not write these things that it may be done so in my case; for I would rather die, than that anyone should make my boasting void.

16 For if I preach the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me if I do not preach the Good News. 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News.

Psalm 33:12-22

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.

13 The Lord looks from heaven.
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions all of their hearts;
and he considers all of their works.

16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an army.
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain thing for safety,
neither does he deliver any by his great power.

18 The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his loving kindness,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul has waited for the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart rejoices in him,
because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let your loving kindness be on us, Lord,
since we have hoped in you.

Proverbs 21:11-12

11 When the mocker is punished, the simple gains wisdom.
When the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked,
and brings the wicked to ruin.

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