EZRA

    Chapter 1

  1. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel — he is the God which is in Jerusalem. And whoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
  2. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered. Also, Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem and had put them in the house of his gods, even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this is the number of them: thirty dishes of gold; a thousand dishes of silver; twenty-nine knives; thirty basins of gold; silver basins of a second sort, four hundred ten; and other vessels, a thousand. All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
  3. Now these are the children of the province that went up out of captivity, of those who had been carried away (whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon) and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, everyone unto his city who came with Zerubbabel: Joshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah.
  4. The number of the men of the people of Israel: The children of Parosh — two thousand one hundred seventy-two; the children of Shephatiah — three hundred seventy-two; the children of Arah — seven hundred seventy-five; the children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab — two thousand eight hundred twelve; the children of Elam — a thousand two hundred fifty-four; the children of Zattu — nine hundred forty-five; the children of Zaccai — seven hundred sixty; the children of Bani — six hundred forty-two; the children of Bebai — six hundred twenty-three; the children of Azgad — a thousand two hundred twenty-two; the children of Adonikam — six hundred sixty-six. The children of Bigvai — two thousand fifty-six. The children of Adin — four hundred fifty-four; the children of Ater (of Hezekiah) — ninety-eight; the children of Bezai — three hundred twenty-three; the children of Jorah — a hundred twelve; the children of Hashum — two hundred twenty-three; the children of Gibbar — ninety-five; the children of Bethlehem — a hundred twenty-three; the men of Netophah — fifty-six; the men of Anathoth — a hundred twenty-eight; the children of Azmaveth — forty-two; the children of Kiriath-Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth — seven hundred forty-three; the children of Ramah and Gaba — six hundred twenty-one; the men of Michmash — a hundred twenty-two; the men of Beth-el and Ai — two hundred twenty-three; the children of Nebo — fifty-two; the children of Magbish — a hundred fifty-six; the children of the other Elam — a thousand two hundred fifty-four; the children of Harim — three hundred twenty; the children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono — seven hundred twenty-five; the children of Jericho — three hundred forty-five; the children of Senaah — three thousand six hundred thirty.
  5. The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua — nine hundred seventy-three; the children of Immer — a thousand fifty-two; the children of Pashur — one thousand two hundred forty-seven; the children of Harim — one thousand seventeen.
  6. The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah — seventy-four.
  7. The singers: the children of Asaph — a hundred twenty-eight.
  8. The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all — a hundred thirty-nine.
  9. The temple servants: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, the children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon, the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub, the children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai, the children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephusim, the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, the children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah, the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
  10. The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Hassophereth, the children of Peruda, the children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
  11. All the temple servants and the children of Solomon’s servants were three hundred ninety-two.
  12. And these were they who went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, but they could not show their father’s house and their seed whether they were of Israel: the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda — six hundred fifty-two. And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and were called after their name. These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found. Therefore were they as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshatha said unto them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
  13. The whole congregation together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty, besides their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven. And there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules — two hundred forty-five; their camels — four hundred thirty-five; their asses — six thousand seven hundred twenty.
  14. And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God, to set it up in his place. They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work sixty-one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pounds of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments. So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the temple servants dwelled in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
  15. And when the seventh month had come and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. Then stood up Joshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases, for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries. And they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening. They kept also the Feast of Tabernacles as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the custom, as the duty of every day required, and afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of everyone that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters, and food, and drink, and oil unto them of Sidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
  16. Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that had come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem, and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. Then stood Joshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
  17. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord because he is good, for his mercy endures for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers who were old men that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice. And many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
  18. Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity built the temple unto the Lord God of Israel, then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do, and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here. But Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel said unto them, You have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God, but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.
  19. Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort. Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions — the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites — and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side of the river, and at such a time. This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king:
  20. Your servants, the men on this side of the river: And at such a time, be it known unto the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the king that if this city is built and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so you shall damage the revenue of the kings. Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified to the king that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers; so shall you find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time, for which cause was this city destroyed. We certify to the king that if this city is built again and the walls thereof set up, by this means you shall have no portion on this side of the river.
  21. Then sent the king an answer: Unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river: Peace. And at such a time, the letter which you sent unto us has been plainly read before me. And I commanded, and search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all countries beyond the river, and toll, tribute, and custom was paid unto them. Give now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built until another commandment shall be given from me. Take heed now that you fail not to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
  22. Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem, unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
  23. Then the prophets — Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo — prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem. And with them were the prophets of God helping them.
  24. At the same time came to them Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them: Who has commanded you to build this house and to make up this wall? Then said we unto them after this manner: What are the names of the men that make this building? But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease until the matter came to Darius. And then they returned an answer by letter concerning this matter. The copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites who were on this side of the river sent unto Darius the king. They sent a letter unto him wherein was written thus:
  25. Unto Darius the king: All peace. Be it known unto the king that we went into the province of Judah, to the house of the great God which is built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goes fast on and prospers in their hands. Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus: Who commanded you to build this house and to make up these walls? We asked their names also, to certify to you that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them. And thus they returned us an answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of Heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago which a great king of Israel built and set up. But after our fathers had provoked the God of Heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon. But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor, and said unto him, Take these vessels, go. Carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in his place. Then came the same Sheshbazzar and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And since that time even until now has it been in building, and yet it is not finished. Now therefore if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house which is there at Babylon, whether it be so that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
  26. Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the scrolls where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Ecbatana, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a scroll, and therein was a record thus written:
  27. In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid: the height thereof sixty cubits, and the breadth thereof sixty cubits, with three rows of great stones and a row of new timber. And let the expenses be given out of the king’s house. And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem and brought unto Babylon, be restored and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.
  28. Now therefore Tattennai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites who are beyond the river, are far from there. Let the work of this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover, I make a decree what you shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of Heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests who are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail, that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors unto the God of Heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons. Also, I have made a decree that whoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hung thereon, and let his house be made a dunghill for this. And the God that has caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people that shall apply their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
  29. Then Tattennai, governor on this side of the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, and offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God which is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
  30. And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month; for the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. And the children of Israel who had come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat, and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy. For the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.






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