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These are the words of Cyrus, king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has made me responsible for building a house for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

All the vessels of gold and of silver are five thousand and four hundred; the whole hath Sheshbazzar brought up with the going up of the removal from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;

These are the ones who came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. This is the number of the men of the people of the sons of Israel:

Sons of the gatekeepers; sons of Shallum, sons of Ater, sons of Talmon, sons of Akkub, sons of Hatita, sons of Shobai, the whole are a hundred thirty and nine.

All the Nethinim, and the sons of the servants of Solomon are three hundred ninety and two.

And these are they that went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub-Addan, Immer; but they could not shew their fathers' house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.

these have sought their register among those reckoning themselves by genealogy, and they have not been found, and they are redeemed from the priesthood,

apart from their servants and their handmaids; these are seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and of them are singers and songstresses two hundred.

Their horses are seven hundred thirty and six, their mules, two hundred forty and five,

And the seventh month cometh, and the sons of Israel are in the cities, and the people are gathered, as one men, unto Jerusalem.

and after this a continual burnt-offering, and for new moons, and for all appointed seasons of Jehovah that are sanctified; and for every one who is willingly offering a willing-offering to Jehovah.

And many of the priests, and the Levites, and the heads of the fathers, the aged men who had seen the first house -- in this house being founded before their eyes -- are weeping with a loud voice, and many with a shout, in joy, lifting up the voice;

and the people are not discerning the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people are shouting -- a great shout -- and the noise hath been heard unto a distance.

And adversaries of Judah and Benjamin hear that the sons of the captivity are building a temple to Jehovah, God of Israel,

and they draw nigh unto Zerubbabel, and unto heads of the fathers, and say to them, 'Let us build with you; for, like you, we seek to your God, and we are not sacrificing since the days of Esar-Haddon king of Asshur, who brought us up hither.'

And it cometh to pass, the people of the land are making the hands of the people of Judah feeble, and troubling them in building,

and are hiring against them counsellors to make void their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even till the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Then Rehum counsellor, and Shimshai scribe, and the rest of their companions, Dinaites, and Apharsathchites, Tarpelites, Apharsites, Archevites, Babylonians, Susanchites, (who are Elamites),

And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.

And this is the sum of the letter that they sent: "Unto king Artaxerxes: Thy servants, the men that are now on this side the water.

Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

Now be it known to the king that if this city is built and the walls are finished, they will not pay tribute and toll, and the royal revenue will be reduced.

Now because we are salted with the salt of the palace, and it is not just unto us to see the king's dishonour; therefore, we have sent to make this known unto the king,

so that he doth seek in the book of the records of thy fathers, and thou dost find in the book of the records, and dost know, that this city is a rebellious city, and causing loss to kings and provinces, and makers of sedition are in its midst from the days of old, therefore hath this city been wasted.

We are making known to the king that, if this city be builded and the walls finished, by this means a portion beyond the river thou hast none.'

An answer hath the king sent unto Rehum counsellor, and Shimshai scribe, and the rest of their companions who are dwelling in Samaria, and the rest beyond the river, 'Peace, and at such a time:

Give an order now, that these men are to do nothing more, and that the building of the town is to be stopped, till I give an order.

And prophesied have the prophets, (Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah son of Iddo) unto the Jews who are in Judah and in Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel -- unto them.

Then have Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jozadak, risen, and begun to build the house of God, that is in Jerusalem, and with them are the prophets of God supporting them.

At that time come to them hath Tatnai, governor beyond the river, and Shethar-Boznai, and their companions, and thus they are saying to them, 'Who hath made for you a decree this house to build, and this wall to finish?'

Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building?

The copy of a letter that Tatnai, governor beyond the river, hath sent, and Shethar-Boznai and his companions, the Apharsachites who are beyond the river, unto Darius the king.

Let it be known to the king that we went to the house of the great God in the province of Judah. It is being built with cut stones, and its beams are being set in the walls. This work is being done diligently and succeeding through the people’s efforts.

And also their names we have asked of them, to let thee know, that we might write the names of the men who are at their head.

And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.

'In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king hath made a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: the house let be builded in the place where they are sacrificing sacrifices, and its foundations strongly laid; its height sixty cubits, its breadth sixty cubits;

Let the Temple be rebuilt where they offered sacrifices. Let the foundations thereof be laid with a height of 60 cubits and a width of 60 cubits, constructed with three layers of foundation stone interlaced with a row of new timber, the expenses for which are to be paid from the king's treasury.

The gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon must also be returned. They are to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem where they belong and put into the house of God.

Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:

And by me is made a decree concerning that which ye do with the elders of these Jews to build this house of God, that of the riches of the king, that are of the tribute beyond the river, speedily let the outlay be given to these men, that they cease not;

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 which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:

And may the God who has made it a resting-place for his name send destruction on all kings and peoples whose hands are outstretched to make any change in this or to do damage to this house of God at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have given this order, let it be done with all care.

and the elders of the Jews are building and prospering through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah son of Iddo, and they have built and finished by the decree of the God of Israel, and by the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

for the priests and the Levites have been purified together -- all of them are pure -- and they slaughter the passover for all the sons of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

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,

You are also to bring the silver and gold the king and his counselors have willingly given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,

Then you are to buy with this money as many bulls, rams, and lambs as needed, along with their grain and drink offerings, and offer them on the altar at the house of your God in Jerusalem.

The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.

And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,

'And to you we are making known, that upon any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, and servants of the house of God, tribute and custom there is no authority to lift up.

And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.

These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.

From the sons of Pahath-Moab: Elihoenai son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred who are males.

From the sons of Shechaniah: the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred who are males.

And from the sons of Adin: Ebed son of Jonathan, and with him fifty who are males.

And from the sons of Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him seventy who are males.

And from the sons of Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him eighty who are males.

From the sons of Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen who are males.

And from the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah, and with him a hundred and sixty who are males.

And from the sons of Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight who are males.

And from the sons of Azgad: Johanan son of Hakkatan, and with him a hundred and ten who are males.

And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.

And from the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud, and with them seventy who are males.

For I was ashamed to request of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy along the way, because we had told the king, The hand of our God is upon all them for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.

And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.

After these things had been done, the leaders approached me and said: “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the surrounding peoples whose detestable practices are like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites.

and unto me are gathered every one trembling at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of the removal, and I am sitting astonished till the present of the evening.

And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

From the days of our fathers we are in great guilt unto this day, and in our iniquities we have been given -- we, our kings, our priests -- into the hand of the kings of the lands, with sword, with captivity, and with spoiling, and with shame of face, as at this day.

But now is there a little and sudden graciousness come from the LORD our God, so that some of us are escaped: that he may give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may light our eyes, and give us a little life in our bondage.

For we are bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended lovingkindness unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the ruins thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

And now, O our God, what are we to say after this? for we have not kept your laws,

that Thou hast commanded by the hands of thy servants the prophets, saying, The land into which ye are going to possess it, is a land of impurity, by the impurity of the people of the lands, by their abominations with which they have filled it -- from mouth unto mouth -- by their uncleanness;

and now, your daughters ye do not give to their sons, and their daughters ye do not take to your sons, and ye do not seek their peace, and their good -- unto the age, so that ye are strong, and have eaten the good of the land, and given possession to your sons unto the age.

And after everything which has come on us because of our evil-doing and our great sin, and seeing that the punishment which you, O God, have given us, is less than the measure of our sins, and that you have kept from death those of us who are here;

Are we again to go against your orders, taking wives from among the people who do these disgusting things? would you not be angry with us till our destruction was complete, till there was not one who got away safe?

O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

And gathered are all the men of Judah and Benjamin to Jerusalem by the third day, it is the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month, and all the people sit in the broad place of the house of God, trembling on account of the matter and of the showers.

But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

Let now our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all them that are in our cities that have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God be turned from us, until this matter be despatched.

And the sons of the removal do so, and Ezra the priest, and men, heads of the fathers, for the house of their fathers, are separated, even all of them by name, and they sit on the first day of the tenth month, to examine the matter;

And there are found of the sons of the priests that have settled strange women: of the sons of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and his brethren, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah;

all these have taken strange women, and there are of them women -- who adopt sons.