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And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them.

And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance, but that which had been sanctified, they cooked in pots and in caldrons and in pans and divided them speedily among all the people.

And afterward they made ready for themselves and for the priests and for the children of Aaron, which were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night. And therefore the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests the sons of Aaron.

And there was no Passover like it kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. And none of the kings of Israel kept a Passover like that which Josiah and the priests and the Levites, and all of Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, kept.

And he sent messengers to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house with which I have war; and God has told me to make haste: keep aloof from God who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

However, Josiah would not go back; but keeping to his purpose of fighting against him, and giving no attention to the words of Neco, which came from God, he went forward to the fight in the valley of Megiddo.

So his servants took him away out of the war-chariot, and conveyed him in a second chariot which he had, and carried him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in the sepulchres of his fathers, - and, all Judah and Jerusalem, were mourning over Josiah.

And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah; and all the singing men and the singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day and made them an ordinance in Israel, which are written in the lamentations.

Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD,

after which the king of Egypt dethroned him and imposed a fine on the land of 100 talents of silver and one talent of gold.

Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God.

Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.

And thereto he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar which had received an oath of him by God, and was too stiff necked and too hard hearted to turn unto the LORD God of Israel.

Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

So that the words of the Lord, which he said by the mouth of Jeremiah, might come true, till the land had had pleasure in her Sabbaths; for as long as she was waste the land kept the Sabbath, till seventy years were complete.

Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order that the words which the Lord had said by the mouth of Jeremiah might come true, the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, was moved by the Lord, and he made a public statement and had it given out through all his kingdom and put in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

During the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in fulfillment of the message from the LORD spoken through Jeremiah, the LORD prompted Cyrus, king of Persia, to make this proclamation throughout his entire kingdom, which was also released in written form:

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

And whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.

And all they that were about them, strengthened their hands with vessels of silver and gold, with goods and cattle, and jewels, beside that which they gave of their own free will.

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 gods;

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;

Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

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:

And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:

And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:

And after that, the regular burned offering and the offerings for the new moons and all the fixed feasts of the Lord which had been made holy, and the offering of everyone who freely gave his offering to the Lord.

They gave silver also to the masons and to the carpenters. And they gave meat and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and to the people of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Many also of the old priests and Levites and ancient fathers which had seen the first house - when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes - wept with a loud voice. And many shouted with joy,

Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

And the rest of the nations which the great and noble Osnappar took over and put in Samaria and the rest of the country over the river:

This is a copy of the letter which they sent to King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men beyond [that is, west of] the River [Euphrates], and so forth.

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.

That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.

Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

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.

At the same time came to them Tattenai, which was the captain on this side the water, and Shetharbozenai, and their counselors, and said thus unto them, "Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up the walls thereof?"

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:

They sent a report to him in which was written thus: To Darius the king, all peace!

Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

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.

But after our forefathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them over into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, which brake down this house, and carried the people away unto Babylon.

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;

Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

So Darius the king issued orders, and they searched in the archives of the treasury which were deposited there in Babylon.

And at Ecbatana in the capital in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was recorded:

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.

And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in 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 the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.

And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.

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.

This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready 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, which was in the seventh year of the king.

Now this is a copy of the letter which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra, the priest and the scribe, who put into writing the words of the orders of the Lord, and of his rules for Israel:

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.

Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellers, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;

And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellers have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,

And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:

That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.

and that which to thee and to thy brethren is good to do with the rest of the silver and gold, according to the will of your God ye do.'

And the vessels which have been given to you for the uses of the house of your God, you are to give to the God of Jerusalem.

And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.

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 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.

Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:

And has given mercy to me before the king and his government and before all the king's great captains. And I was made strong by the hand of the Lord my God which was on me, and I got together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

And I gathered them to the river which runs to Ahava. And we stayed there in tents three days. And I looked over the people and the priests, and did not find there any of the sons of Levi.

Then sent I to Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, the rulers, and Joiarib and Elnathan, which were men of understanding.

And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellers, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:

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.

And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants and captains of the other side the river, which favoured the people and the house of God.

And, at the evening gift, I arose from mine affliction, which had been accompanied by the rending of my garment and my robe, - and I bowed upon my knees, and spread forth my hands unto Yahweh my God;

Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.

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;

O Lord God of Israel, righteousness is yours; we are only a small band which has been kept from death, as at this day: see, we are before you in our sin; for no one may keep his place before you because of this.

and now, let us make a covenant with our God, to cause all the women to go out, and that which is born of them, by the counsel of the Lord, and of those trembling at the command of our God, and according to law it is done;

And they caused a proclamation be made throughout Judah and Jerusalem, unto all the children which had been in captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem:

But the number of people is great, and it is a time of much rain; it is not possible for us to go on waiting outside, and this is not a thing which may be done in one day or even two: for our sin in this business is great.

Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.

Among the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, and Kelaiah, which same is Kelita, Pethahiah, Judah and Eliezer.

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they will say to me, They being left which were left of the captivity there in the province, in great evil and in reproach: and the walls of Jerusalem being broken down, and its gates were burnt with fire.

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I pray thee, the word, which thou didst command Moses thy servant, saying, - If, ye, are unfaithful, I, will scatter you among the peoples:

But if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens [the expanse of outer space], yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My Name.

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