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Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia [almost seventy years after the first Jewish captives were taken to Babylon], that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might begin to be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing:

Then the heads of families of Judah and Benjamin, with the priests and the Levites, got ready, even all those whose spirits were moved by God to go up and take in hand the building of the Lord's house 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, beside all that was willingly offered.

Now these were the inventories: thirty gold metal dishes, one thousand silver metal dishes, twenty-nine vessels,

All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

Now these were the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exile whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon carried captive to Babylonia. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his [own] city.

All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.

And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:

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 that they were not to have the most holy things for their food, till a priest came to give decision by Urim and Thummim.

Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

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

They gave as they were able to the treasury for the work 61,000 darics of gold, 5,000 minas of silver, and 100 priests' garments.

As a result, the priests, descendants of Levi, certain people, the singers, door-keepers, and the Temple Servants were able to settle in their original cities, with the rest of the Israelis in their cities.

And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.

They set up the altar on its foundations, because {they were in terror} because of the peoples of the lands. And they offered burnt offerings on it for Yahweh, burnt offerings for the morning and the evening.

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 every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.

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 Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were 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.

And the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Yahweh, and the priests [in their] apparel with the trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with the cymbals, were positioned to praise Yahweh, {as described by} King David of Israel.

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient 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:

The people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shouting from that of the weeping, because the people were shouting so loudly. And the sound was heard far away.

Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple unto Jehovah, the God of Israel;

Then the people who were already in the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build.

They were hiring advisers to oppose them, so as to frustrate their plans, throughout the time of King Cyrus of Persia until the reign of King Darius of Persia.

At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus, the people who were already in the land wrote an accusation against the residents of Judah and Jerusalem.

Now for the cause that we were salted with the salt of the temple, and not being fit to us to see the king's nakedness, for this we sent and made known to the king;

So that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: and you will see in the book of the records that this town has been uncontrolled, and a cause of trouble to kings and countries, and that there were outbursts against authority there in the past: for which reason the town was made waste.

The king sent, a message, unto Rehum holder of judicial authority, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, who were dwelling in Samaria, and the rest Beyond the River, Peace and so forth.

And there have been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all beyond the river; and tribute, tax, and toll were paid to them.

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 rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

Then we told them after this manner, what the names of the men were that were making this building.

For the eyes of their God were upon the elders of the Jews, and they could not cause them to cease until the matter came to Darius, and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king:

We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.

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 now, if it seem good to the king, let search be made in the king's treasure-house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that orders were given by king Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.

So the elders of the Jews were building and prospering, through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished building by the command of the God of Israel and by the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia.

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, which were 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 held the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them glad, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, so that their hands were strengthened in the work of the house of God, which is the God of Israel.

And the vessels that were given to you for the service of the house of your God you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem.

These were the heads of their {families} and the register of those returnees from Babylonia who [came up] with me in the reign of King Artaxerxes:

Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.

And of the sons of Adonikam, that were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them threescore males.

And I made them come together by the river flowing to Ahava; and we were there in tents for three days: and after viewing the people and the priests I saw that no sons of Levi were there.

Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, who were teachers.

I sent them to Iddo, who was the leader in the place called Casiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his relatives, who were the temple servants in Casiphia, so they would bring us attendants for the temple of our God.

Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.

I weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the articles-the contribution for the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his leaders, and all the Israelites who were present had offered.

We set out from the Ahava River on the twelfth [day] of the first month to go to Jerusalem. We were strengthened by our God, and He protected us from the power of the enemy and from ambush along the way.

And we came to Jerusalem and were there for three days.

And on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, the Levite;

They were weighed by number and by weight of every one. And all the weight was written at that time.

Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.

Then they delivered copies of the king's orders to the king's officers, and governors on this side of the Euphrates River. The orders were in support of the people and God's Temple.

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

For they have taken from their daughters for themselves and their sons. So the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and the hand of the officials and prefects were foremost in this sin.

Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

And saying, My God, I was ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face, O my God, to thee: for our iniquities were multiplied over the head, and our guilt was magnified even to the heavens.

From the days of our fathers we are in a great trespass even to this day; and in our iniquities we were given, we, our kings, our priests, into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder, and to shame of face as this day.

For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy 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 desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

And while Ezra prayed, and made confession, weeping and falling down before the house of God, there were gathered to him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children; for the people wept very much.

And Shecaniah son of Jehiel, from the sons of Elam, will answer and say to Ezra, We transgressed against our God, and we were dwelling with strange wives from the people of the land: and now there is hope to Israel concerning this.

And they made a public statement through all Judah and Jerusalem, to all those who had come back, that they were to come together to Jerusalem;

And that if anyone did not come before three days were past, as ordered by the rulers and the responsible men, all his goods would be put under the curse, and he himself would be cut off from the meeting of the people who had come back.

Then were all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered together at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open space of the house of God, trembling because of the matter, and because of the pouring rain.

Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.

And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.

And they got to the end of all the men who were married to strange women by the first day of the first month.

And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.

Of the sons of Immer there were Hanani and Zebadiah;

And from the sons of Harim were Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.

And from the sons of Pashur were Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah.

Of Levites there were Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah and Eliezer.

Of Israel, of the sons of Parosh there were Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah and Benaiah;

Of the sons of Nebo there were Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel and Benaiah.

All these had taken foreign wives; and there were among them wives who had had children.