A Jewish exile in Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes I. Longimanns (b.c. 464
Now after this, in the reign of Artaxerxes [son of Xerxes, or Ahasuerus] king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, read more. The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest -- "
Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, scribe of the instructions of the God of heaven: Greetings. I make a decree that all of the people of Israel and of their priests and Levites in my realm, who offer freely to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you. read more. For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem according to the instruction of your God, which is in your hand, And to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, Whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, And all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylonia, with the freewill offerings of the people and of the priests, offered willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem. Therefore you shall with all speed and exactness buy with this money young bulls, rams, lambs, with their cereal offerings and drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. And whatever shall seem good to you and to your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver before the God of Jerusalem. And whatever more shall be needful for the house of your God which you shall have occasion to provide, provide it out of the king's treasury. And I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers in the province beyond the [Euphrates] River that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the instructions of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it shall be done exactly and at once -- " Up to 100 talents of silver, 100 measures of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt not specified. Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done diligently and honorably for the house of the God of heaven, lest His wrath be against the realm of the king and his sons. Also we notify you that as to any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on them. You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, which is [in His instructions] in your hand, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people [west] of the River; choose those who know the instructions of your God, and teach him who does not know them. And whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him exactly and speedily, whether it be unto death or banishment or confiscation of goods or imprisonment.
These are the heads of their fathers' houses and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia in the reign of King Artaxerxes: Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of Ithamar, Daniel; of David, Hattush read more. Of the sons of Shecaniah; of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, and with him were registered 150 men by genealogy; Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, with 200 men; Of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah son of Jahaziel, with 300 men; Of the sons of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan, with 50 men; Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, with 70 men; Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael, with 80 men; Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel, with 218 men; Of the sons of [Bani], Shelomith son of Josiphiah, with 160 men; Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai, with 28 men; Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan, with 110 men; Of the sons of Adonikam, the last to come, their names are Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, with 60 men; Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud [Zaccur], with 70 men.
For they have taken as wives some of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this wicked act and direct violation [of God's will].
On the second day, all the heads of fathers' houses, with the priests and Levites, gathered to Ezra the scribe to study and understand the words of divine instruction. And they found written in the law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month read more. And that they should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written. So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each on the roof of his house and in their courts and the courts of God's house and in the squares of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephraim. All the assembly of returned exiles made booths and dwelt in them; for since the days of Jeshua (Joshua) son of Nun up to that day, the Israelites had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. Also day by day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast for seven days; the eighth day was a [closing] solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.
Now these are the priests and Levites who went up with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and with Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
And Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam,