Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nehemiah, Chapters 11-13

Chapter 11

The Israelites draw lots to determine who will live in Jerusalem and who will live in the other cities. Then there are lists of all the people who go to each. It's absolutely riveting.

Chapter 12

The first 30-odd verses of this chapter detail the duties of the various families. Then Nehemiah divides his congregation in two and sends one half to pray at the eastern wall and another to pray at the western. Then they barbecue.

Chapter 13

On reading the Torah, the Israelites discover yet again that god has outlawed intermarriage with the Moabites and the Ammonites and they exile all the foreigners.

Meanwhile, someone named Tobiah moves into the temple with the blessing of his relative, Eliashib the priest. Nehemiah was in Persia at the time, so he had no idea, because this was before texting took off. He throws him out and orders 'purification' of the room. He also finds out that no one has been tithing to the priests and choir. He puts new, trustworthy clerks in charge of the store rooms.

Another day, Nehemiah observes his citizens using wine presses and transporting the wine on the Sabbath. Wine sold the day it's pressed? Yuck! So he bans the sale of food on that day.

Finally, he notices the Israelites are intermarrying again, and some of their kids don't even speak Hebrew. He has his goons beat some of them up. But this time the wives and children aren't sent away.

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