Nehemiah rebukes those who intermarry
On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people;
and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not
come into the congregation of God for ever;
Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but
hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned
the curse into a blessing.
Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from
Israel all the mixed multitude.
And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber
of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the
meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the
corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the
Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth
year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain
days obtained I leave of the king:
And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for
Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
That day they read in the book of Moses that they should not allow any Ammonites and Moabites to enter their
congregation forever. [1
Because they didn't give the Israelites food and water, but hired Balaam to curse them. 
(Even though God turned the curse into a blessing.)
And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff to Tobiah out of the chamber.
Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I
again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the
And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them:
for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to
Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God
forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil
unto the treasuries.
And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok
the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son
of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their
office was to distribute unto their brethren.
I (Nehemiah) was angry at Tobiah, so I threw out all of his stuff.
Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds
that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.
In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath,
and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs,
and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath
day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner
of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil
thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon
us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark
before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, 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 burden be brought in on
the sabbath day.
So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem
once or twice.
Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the
wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came
they no more on the sabbath.
Oh God, remember what a good job I did when I cleaned up your house.
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that
they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember
me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness
of thy mercy.
Oh God, remember what a good job I did when I told the Levites to clean themselves and keep
the sabbath day.
In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon,
and of Moab:
In those days I saw Jews that married wives of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. [3
And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak
in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
And their children were speaking foreign languages.
And I contended with
them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their
hair, and made
them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto
their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for
So I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote some of them, and plucked off their hair [4
and made them swear by God, and said to them,
You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
Did not Solomon king
of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king
like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel:
nevertheless even him
did outlandish women cause to sin.
Didn't Solomon sin by doing these things?
God loved him, but outlandish women made him sin.
Shall we then hearken
unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in
marrying strange wives?
It's a great evil to marry strange wives!
And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was
son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
One of the sons of the high priest married a Horonite, so I chased him from me.
Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the
covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the
priests and the Levites, every one in his business;
Remember them, Oh God, because they have defiled the priesthood.
And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits.
Remember me, O my God, for good.
Remember me, Oh God, for all the good things I've done.
- The Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever. (v.1)
Did any Moabite enter the congregation of the Lord?
- Because they ... hired Balaam against them. (v.2)
Did Balaam curse the Israelites?
- In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives ... of Moab. (v.23)
Is it OK to marry a Moabite?
- I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair.
What the Bible says about torture
The Bible's guide
- An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
- The Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever. 13:1
- Don't marry non-believers.
- And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not ... take their daughters ... for yourselves. 13:25
- Don't let your children marry non-believers.
- And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons,
nor take their daughters unto your sons. 13:25
- Christian Response
- SAB Author Answered