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Nehemiah - Chapter 13
1 At that time they were reading to the people from the Book of Moses, when they found this written in it, 'No Ammonite or Moabite is to be admitted to the assembly of God, and this is for all time,
4 Earlier, Eliashib the priest, who was in charge of the rooms of the Temple of our God, and who was close to Tobiah,
5 had provided him with a large room where they previously used to store the meal offerings, incense, utensils, tithes of corn, wine and oil, that is, the part of the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.
6 While all this was going on I was away from Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had gone to see the king. But after some time I asked the king for permission to leave,
7 and returned to Jerusalem, where I learned about the crime which Eliashib had committed for Tobiah's benefit, by providing him with a room in the courts of the Temple of God.
13 As supervisors of the storehouses I appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, Pedaiah one of the Levites and, as their assistant, Hanan son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, since they were considered reliable people; their duty was to make the distributions to their kinsmen.
15 At the same time I saw people in Judah treading the winepress, bringing in sacks of grain and loading donkeys on the Sabbath; they were also bringing wine, grapes, figs and every kind of merchandise into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I forbade them to sell the food.
17 So I also reprimanded the leading men of Judah, saying to them, 'What a wicked way to behave, profaning the Sabbath day!
18 Was this not exactly what your ancestors did, with the result that our God brought all this misery down on us and on this city? And now you are adding to the wrath hanging over Israel by profaning the Sabbath yourselves!'
19 So when the gates of Jerusalem were getting dark at the approach of the Sabbath, I gave orders for the doors to be shut and directed that they were not to be opened again until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my attendants at the gates to make sure that no merchandise was brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 So the traders and dealers in goods of all kinds spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice,
22 I then ordered the Levites to purify themselves and act as guards at the gates, so that the Sabbath day might be kept holy. Remember this also to my credit, have pity on me in the greatness of your faithful love.
25 I reprimanded them, I cursed them, I struck several of them and tore out their hair and adjured them by God, 'You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons or let their daughters marry your sons, or marry them yourselves!
26 Was it not because of women like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Although among many nations there was no king like him and he was loved by his God, and God made him king of all Israel, even then foreign women led him into sinning!
29 Remember them, my God, for having defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priests and Levites!
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Gospel, Matthew 3:1-12
Reading 2, Romans 15:4-9
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