For we were slaves; yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage, but has extended mercy over us before the king of Persia, that we may be given life to lift up the house of our God and to cause the desolations thereof to be restored and to give us a wall of protection in Judah and in Jerusalem.
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,
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 god.
Then Darius, the king, gave a commandment, and a search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered according to the prophecy of Haggai, the prophet, and Zechariah, the son of Iddo. They built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel and according to the commandment of Cyrus and of Darius and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a diligent scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king.
Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD and of his statutes over Israel.
Behold, we are slaves this day, behold us here, slaves in the land which thou didst give unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof.
and remember his covenant with them and repent according to the multitude of his mercies.
Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endures for ever:
and he had fenced it and gathered out the stones thereof and planted it with the choicest vine and built a tower in the midst of it and also made a winepress therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be eaten up; and break down its wall, and it shall be trodden down:
Therefore say, Thus hath the Lord GOD said: Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to cause the people to return and to build Jerusalem unto the Anointed Prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, while the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times.
Ye look for much and find little; and when ye lock it up at home, I shall blow upon it. Why? said the LORD of the hosts. Because my house is deserted, and ye run each one of you unto his own house.
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about and will be the glory in the midst of her.
Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, said the LORD of the hosts.