1 After these acts in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, there went up from Babylon, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest.
6 This Ezra was a perfect scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel did give. And the king gave him all that he required, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7 And there went up certain of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and of the Levites, of the singers, of the porters, and of the Nethinims; unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of king Artaxerxes.
8 And they came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, that is the seventh year of the king. 9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon: and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of God upon him. 10 For Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the precept and judgment in Israel.
11 And this is the copy of the letter, that king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, which was a teacher in the words of the LORD and of his statutes over Israel: 12 "Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest and scribe in the law of the God of heaven: peace and salutation. 13 I have commanded, that all they of the people of Israel, and of the priests and Levites in my realm, which are minded of their own good will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee; 14 and therefore art thou sent of the king and of the seven lords of the counsel, to visit Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of God, which is in thy hand; 15 and that thou shouldest take with thee, silver and gold, which the king and the lords of his counsel give of their own good will unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is at Jerusalem, 16 and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the country of Babylon; with it that the people and priests give of their own good will unto the house of God at Jerusalem. 17 Take thou the same, and buy diligently with the same money, calves, lambs, goats, and meat offerings and drink offerings, to be offered upon the altar of the house of your God at Jerusalem. 18 And look: what it liketh thee and thy brethren to do with the remnant of the money, that do after the will of your God. 19 And the vessels that are given thee for the ministration in the house of thy God, those deliver thou before God at Jerusalem. 20 And whatsoever thing more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which is necessary for thee to spend, let the same be given out of the king's chamber. 21 I king Artaxerxes have commanded all the treasurers beyond the water, that look: whatsoever Ezra, the priest and scribe in the law of the God of heaven, requireth of you; that ye fulfill the same diligently, 22 until a hundred talents of silver, until a hundred quarters of wheat, and until a hundred baths of wine, and till a hundred baths of oil, and salt without measure. 23 Whatsoever belongeth to the law of the God of heaven, let the same be done with diligence for the house of the God of heaven, that there come no wrath upon the king's realm and his children. 24 And known be it unto you, that ye shall have no authority to require taxing and custom, yearly rents upon any of the priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, and ministers in the house of this God. 25 But thou Ezra - after the wisdom of thy God that is in thy hand - set thou judges and arbiters, to judge all the people that is beyond the Jordan, even all such as know the law of thy God: and them that know it not, those see that ye teach. 26 And whosoever will not diligently fulfill the law of thy God, and the king's law, shall have his judgment for the deed, whether it be unto death, or to be banished, or to be condemned in goods, or to be put in prison."
27 Praised be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath so inspired the king's heart, to garnish the house of God at Jerusalem: 28 and hath inclined his mercy unto me in the presence of the king, and his counselors, and before all the king's high estates. And I was comforted, according to the hand of the LORD my God over me, and so gathered I the heads of Israel together, that they might go up with me.