1In the 1st year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of Yahweh spoken by Jeremiah, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and put it in writing saying:
2"Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
" 'Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a house in Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3Anyone from all his people among you—may his God be with him—let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4Let every survivor, wherever he lives, be helped by the people there with silver, gold, goods and livestock, as well as voluntary offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.' "
5Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—all those whose spirit God had stirred—arose to go up and build the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem. 6All their neighbours strengthened their hands with silver vessels, gold, goods, livestock and valuables as well as the voluntary offerings.
7Also King Cyrus brought out the vessels of the house of Yahweh which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8Cyrus, king of Persia, had them brought out by Mithredath the treasurer who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
9This is their number: 30 gold basins, 1000 silver basins, 29 silver utensils, 1030 gold bowls, 410 other silver bowls, and 1000 other vessels.
11All the articles of gold and silver totalled 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought them all up when the exiles went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
1Now these are the people who were going up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had taken away to Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own city. 2They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
The number of the men of the Israelites were:
3The sons of Parosh, 2,172;
4The sons of Shefatiah, 372;
5The sons of Arah, 775;
6The sons of Pahath-Moab (thru the sons of Jeshua and Joab), 2,812;
7The sons of Elam, 1,254;
8The sons of Zattu, 945;
9the sons of Zaccai, 760;
10the sons of Bani, 642;
11the sons of Bebai, 623;
12the sons of Azgad, 1,222;
13the sons of Adonikam, 666;
14the sons of Bigvai, 2,056;
15the sons of Adin, 454;
16the sons of Ater (thru Hezekiah), 98;
17the sons of Bezai, 323;
18the sons of Jorah, 112;
19the sons of Hashum, 223;
20the sons of Gibbar, 95;
21the men of Bethlehem, 123;
22the men of Netofah, 56;
23the men of Anathoth, 128;
24the men of the house of Azmaveth, 42;
25the men of Kiriath Jearim, Kefirah and Beeroth, 743;
26the men of Ramah and Geba, 621;
27the men of Micmash, 122;
28the men of Bethel and Ai, 223;
29the sons of Nebo, 52;
30the sons of Magbish, 156;
31the sons of the other Elam, 1,254;
32the sons of Harim, 320;
33the men of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 725;
34the men of Jericho, 345;
35the sons of Senaah, 3,630.
the sons of Jedaiah (thru the house of Jeshua), 973;
37the sons of Immer, 1,052;
38the sons of Pashhur, 1,247;
39the sons of Harim, 1,017.
the sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel (thru the sons of Hodaviah), 74
the sons of Asaf, 128.
42The sons of the gatekeepers:
the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, 139.
43The temple servants:
the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasufa, the sons of Tabbaoth, 44the sons of Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, 45the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub, 46the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shalmai, the sons of Hanan, 47the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, 48the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, 49the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, 50the sons of Asnah, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nefisim, 51the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakufa, the sons of Harhur, 52the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 53the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 54the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatifa.
55The sons of Solomon's servants:
the sons of Sotai, the sons of Hassofereth, the sons of Peruda, 56the sons of Jaalah, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 57the sons of Shefatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Ami.
58All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants, 392.
59Now these are the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha,Kerub, Addon and Immer; however they were unable to show whether their fathers’ houses and their descendants were from Israel:
60the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 652.
61From the priests:
the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and he was called by their name). 62Their records were searched for among the genealogical records, but were not found; so they were considered unclean and excluded from the priesthood. 63The governor told them not to eat any of the sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.
64The entire group numbered 42,360, 65besides their male and female servants who numbered 7,337. They also had 200 male and female singers, 66736 horses, 245 mules, 67435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.
68When they arrived at the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the fathers’ households offered voluntary offerings for the house of God in order to rebuild it on its site. 69According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 gold drachmas 5,000 silver minas and 100 priestly garments.
70The priests, the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants lived in their cities; and the rest of Israel in their cities.
1When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites were in their cities, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his colleagues commensed building the altar of the God of Israel in order to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as is written in the law of Moses, the man of God. 3They set up the altar on its foundations, even though they feared the local people; and they sacrificed burnt offerings to Yahweh, both in the morning and the evening. 4And in accordance with what is written they observed the Festival of Booths and offered the required number of daily burnt offerings;as the duty of every day required. 5After that they offered the regular burnt offerings, those for the new moons, those for Yahweh’s holy festivals and all those that were brought as voluntary offerring to Yahweh. 6From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh, however the foundation of Yahweh’s temple had not been laid.
7Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters; and food, drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre so that they would bring cedar wood from Lebanon to the sea at Joppa, in accordance to the edict of Cyrus king of Persia. 8In the second year after they had come to the house of God in Jerusalem, in the second month; Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers—the priests, the Levites and all those who came from the exile to Jerusalem—began the work. They appointed Levites who were 20 years and older to supervise the work on the house of Yahweh. 9Jeshua appointed his sons and brothers, Kadmiel and his sons (sons of Judah), and the sons of Henadad with their sons and brothers, the Levites, to supervise the workers in the house of God. 10When the builders laid the foundation of Yahweh’s temple, the priests in their robes with their trumpets, and the Levites (sons of Asaf) with their cymbals stood to praise Yahweh according to the instructions of David king of Israel. 11Praising and glorifying Yahweh they sang:
"For he is good;
His loving kindness toward Israel is forever."
All the people gave a great shout as they praised Yahweh because the foundation of the house of Yahweh was laid. 12Many of the priests, Levites and family heads—the older men who had seen the former temple—wept loudly when they saw the foundation being laid; and many others shouted for joy. 13The people were unable to distinguish the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping because the people were shouting so loudly, and the sound was heard far away.
1When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for Yahweh the God of Israel 2they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers’ households and said to them, "Let us help you build for we, like you, seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here." 3But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel said to them, "You have no part with with us in building a house to our God. We will build it ourselves to Yahweh God of Israel, just as King Cyrus, king of Persia has commanded us."
4Then the local people began to discourage the people of Judah and dishearten them from building. 5They hired advisors to oppose them and frustrate their plans throughout all the days of Cyrus king of Persia until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6During the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 7In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated.
8Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe, and the the rest of their associates: the judges, the rulers, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa—that is the Elamites, 10and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Esarhaddon deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere beyond the River.
11This is a copy of the letter they sent to him.
To Artaxerxes the king. From your servants, men beyond the River. 12May the king be aware that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are completing its walls and repairing its foundations. 13May the king also be aware that if this city is built and the walls are completed then they will no longer pay tribute, tax or custom and the treasury of the kings will suffer. 14Since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not fit for us to see the king’s dishonour, we are sending this information to the king 15so that a search can be made in the records of your fathers. You will discover in those records that this city is a rebellious city, injurious to both kings and provinces, inciting revolt since ancient times. This is the reason the city was destroyed. 16We are informing the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, you will be left with nothing beyond the River.
17The king sent a response:
To Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and elsewhere beyond the River.
Greetings. 18The letter you sent to us has been translated and read in my presence. 19I issued a decree, a search was made and it was discovered that this city has revolted against kings since ancient times and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20Powerful kings have ruled over Jerusalem and provinces beyond the River. Tribute, taxes and custom were paid to them. 21Now issue a decree that these men are to stop working and this city is not to be rebuilt until I issue a decree. 22Be careful not to neglect this matter, why should danger increase to the detriment of the king?
23As soon as the copy of the letter from King Artaxerxes was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their associates, they went quickly to the Jews in Jerusalem and stopped them with threat of armed force.
24 (resuming from 4:5) So the work on the house of God stopped. It remained halted until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
- The text from Ezra 4:8 to Ezra 6:18 is in Aramaic
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