Nehemiah 13 That room


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Nehemiah 13:4 Before this,Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, 5 and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
6 But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission 7 and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. 8 I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9 I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.
10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11 So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.
12 All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.13 I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites

So.... while Nehemiah was back tasting the kings food in Babylon..... that rotten Tobiah, the one that spread the rumor that he wanted to kill the men working on the wall, causing them to have to work with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other..... that rotten Tobiah managed to take a portion of the Temple for himself.... that meant they couldn't store the grain [and stuff] in that room.... that meant that there wasn't enough grain [and stuff] to take care of the Levites and muscians.... so they had to find work elsewhere.

This is from the easy English site.

When Nehemiah was away in Persia, the priest Eliashib allowed Tobiah to use a large room in the temple. Tobiah was one of the enemies of the Jews. He had tried to stop the people building the walls of Jerusalem again (Nehemiah 2:10; 2:19; 4:3). Also he was an Ammonite. God’s law said that the Jews must not allow Ammonites to join them (Nehemiah 13:1). Tobiah was also a relative of Eliashib the priest. It seems that someone from Eliashib’s family had married Tobiah or someone from his family. The Jews had promised not to marry foreigners (Nehemiah 10:30). So they had done something that they promised not to do. And this was a very important matter, because they made this promise to God.​
The room that Tobiah used was a special room. The people stored the equipment for the temple there. They also stored their tithes and gifts for the priests in this room. So, when Tobiah used the room, they did not have anywhere to store the tithes. Also some Levites and temple servants lived outside Jerusalem. They probably stayed in this room when they came to Jerusalem to serve. So when it was their time to serve in Jerusalem they did not have anywhere to stay.
Eliashib was the chief priest (Nehemiah 13:28). He was responsible for the entire temple. And he was very important. But he was allowing Tobiah to use this room. And Eliashib had also allowed members of his family to marry foreigners. Eliashib was the leader of the priests. But even he was not obeying God’s law. So even the chief priest was not doing the things that the Israelites promised to do (chapter 10).​
When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he discovered what Eliashib had done. So Nehemiah was very angry. This does not mean that Nehemiah could not control his temper. It means that he acted in a strict way. He wanted to show that he was very unhappy about the situation. Jesus showed a similar reaction in a similar situation (John 2:12-17).​
Nehemiah said that Eliashib had done something evil. So Nehemiah threw all Tobiah’s property out of the room. The room was a special holy room. But it was not still holy because Tobiah the Ammonite had used it. So Nehemiah ordered people to clean the rooms. Then the priests carried out a ceremony to make the rooms holy again. They probably carried out special sacrifices to do this. Then Nehemiah put the equipment and the gifts of grain back into the room.​
Nehemiah also discovered that the people had not given their tithes and gifts to the Levites. They had promised to give one tenth (1/10th) of their crops for the priests and the Levites (Nehemiah 10:35-39). Then the priests and the Levites could serve God and they could take care of the temple all the time. But this was another promise that the people had failed to do. Instead the Levites and the singers had gone back to their own fields. They had to produce their own food so they were not doing their work in the temple.
The prophet Malachi lived about that time. God spoke to the people by Malachi. He said that the people were cheating God. They did not bring their gifts and their tithes to his house (Malachi 3:8-10).​

So..... Nehemiah made room for the tithes and offerings..... he had the room cleaned of Ammonite stuff and he made the Levites come in from their fields outside of Jerusalem. They were supposed to work at the Temple full time.

No.... for those who might want to ask.... No the priests, preachers, and maintenance staff shouldn't drive a new car every year on the backs of the members. No..... the priests, preachers, and maintenance staff should not be eating steak while the members are eating beans and rice. People.... don't need money..... people have need for water, food, clothing and shelter..... those were provided for by the tithes and offerings.

One last thought.... When Jacob's descendants [Jacob's name was changed by God to Israel].... when the family of Israel was wandering around the desert for 40 years..... their shoes and their clothes didn't wear out..... Deuteronomy 29:5 . I'm sure the faithful priest, preacher, and maintenance workers at the church are happy with the clothes and the shoes they have.... because their faith fills the mirror.