Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
"Thus Cyrus, king of Persia, says, 'The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He has charged me to build Him a House at Jerusalem, *Isaiah 44:28 which [is] in Judah.
Who [is there] among you of all His people? His God is 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 whoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the House of God that [is] in Jerusalem.'"
Then the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin rose up, and the priests, and the Levites, with [them] all, whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the House of the Lord which [is] in Jerusalem.
And all those who [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.
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;
Cyrus, king of Persia, even brought forth those by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
And this [is] the number of them, thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, twenty nine knives,
Thirty basins of gold, four hundred and ten silver basins of a second [sort], [and] a thousand other vessels.
All the vessels of gold and of silver [were] five thousand four hundred. Sheshbazzar brought up all these with [them of] the captivity who were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Now these [are] the children of the province who went up out of the captivity, of those whom had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had carried away to Babylon, and came again to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city;
Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel.
The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred [and] seventy two.
The children of Shephatiah, three hundred [and] seventy two.
The children of Arah, seven hundred and seventy five.
The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua [and] Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred [and] fifty four.
The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty five.
The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty.
The children of Bani, six hundred forty two.
The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty three.
The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty two.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty six.
The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty six.
The children of Adin, four hundred fifty four.
The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety eight.
The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty three.
The children of Jorah, a hundred and twelve.
The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty three.
The children of Gibbar, ninety five.
The children of Bethlehem, a hundred [and] twenty three.
The men of Netophah, fifty six.
The men of Anathoth, a hundred twenty eight.
The children of Azmaveth, forty two.
The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty three.
The children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty one.
The men of Michmas, a hundred twenty two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty three.
The children of Nebo, fifty two.
The children of Magbish, a hundred fifty six.
The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty four.
The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty five.
The children of Jericho, three hundred forty five.
The children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred and thirty.
The priests, the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy three.
The children of Immer, a thousand fifty two.
The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty seven.
The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
The Levites, the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy four.
The singers, the children of Asaph, a hundred twenty eight.
The children of the porters, the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, a hundred thirty nine [in] all.
The Nethinims, the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,
The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,
The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants, the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred ninety two.
And these [were] those who went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, [and] Immer, but they could not show their father's house, and their seed, whether they [were] of Israel.
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty two.
And of the children of the priests, the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.
These sought their register [among] those who were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found, therefore they were put from the priesthood as polluted.
And the Tirshatha said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things, until a priest stood up with Urim and with Thummim.
The whole congregation together [was] forty two thousand three hundred [and] sixty,
Beside their servants and their maids, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty seven, and [there were] among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
Their horses [were] seven hundred thirty six; their mules, two hundred forty five;
Their camels, four hundred thirty five; [their] donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
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 its place.
They gave after their ability to the treasure of the work, sixty one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
So the priests, and the Levites, and [some] of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
And when the seventh month had come, and the Children of Israel [were] in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
Then Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, stood up, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as [it is] written in the law of Moses, the man of God.
And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear [was] upon them because of the people of those countries, and they offered burnt offerings thereon to the Lord, [even] burnt offerings morning and evening.
They also kept the feast of tabernacles, as [it is] written, and [offered] the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the required duty of every day;
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 everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord.
From the first day of the seventh month, they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not [yet] laid.
They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, to those of Sidon, and to those of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus, king of Persia.
Now in the second year of their coming to the House of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren, the priests and the Levites, and all those who were brought out of the captivity to Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, began to set forward the work of the House of the Lord.
Then Jeshua stood [with] his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the House of God, the sons of Henadad, [with] their sons and their brethren the Levites.
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David, king of Israel.
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks to the Lord; because [He is] good, for His mercy [endures] forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the House of the Lord was laid.
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, [who were] ancient men, who 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.
So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity built the temple to the Lord God of Israel;
Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we seek your God, as you [do]; and we sacrifice to Him since the days of Esarhaddon, king of Assur, who brought us up here."
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said to them, "You have nothing to do with us to build a House to our God; but we ourselves will build to the Lord God of Israel together, as king Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us."
Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus, king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius, king of Persia.
And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote [to him] an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions wrote to Artaxerxes, king of Persia; and the writing of the letter [was] written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.
Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort.
Then Rehum the chancellor [wrote], and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, [and] the 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.
This [is] the copy of the letter that they sent to him, [even] to Artaxerxes the king; "Your servants, the men on this side the river, and at such a time.
Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from you to us are brought to Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls [thereof], and joined the foundations.
Be it known now to the king, that, if this city is built, and the walls [are] set up [again, then] they will not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and [so] you will endamage the revenue of the kings.
Now because we have maintenance from [the king's] palace, and it was not proper for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore we have sent and certified the king;
That a search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers, so you will find in the book of the records, and know that this city [is] a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time, for which cause this city was destroyed.
We certify the king that, if this city is built [again], and the walls thereof [are] set up, by this means you will have no portion on this side of the river."
[Then] the king sent an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and [to] Shimshai the scribe, and [to] the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and [to] the rest beyond the river, "Peace, and at such a time.
The letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me.
And I commanded, and a search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and [that] rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all [countries] beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid to them.
Give commandment now to cause these men to cease, and that this city [must] not be built, until [another] commandment will be given from me.
Take heed now that you do not fail to do this, why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?"
Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter [was] read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them cease by force and power.
Then the work of the House of God which [is] at Jerusalem ceased. So it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia.
Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, *Haggai 1:1 and Zechariah, *Zechariah 1:1 the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who [were] in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, [even] to them.
Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, rose up, and Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and began to build the House of God which [is] at Jerusalem, and the prophets of God [were] with them helping them.
At the same time, Tatnai came to them, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus to them, "Who has commanded you to build this House, and to make up this wall?"
Then we said to them after this manner, "What are the names of the men who make this building?"
But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that 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, who [were] on this side the river, sent to Darius the king.
They sent a letter to him, wherein was written thus; "To Darius the king, all peace.
Be it known to the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the House of the great God, which is built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goes fast on, and prospers in their hands.
Then we asked those elders, [and] said to them thus, 'Who commanded you to build this House, and to make up these walls?'
We asked their names also, to certify you, that we might write the names of the men who [were] the chief of them.
And thus they returned us answer, saying, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the House that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up.
But after that, our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this House, *17:7 and carried the people away into Babylon.
But in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Babylon, [the same] king Cyrus made a decree to build this House of God.
And also the vessels 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 Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to [one], whose name [was] Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;
And said to him, 'Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that [is] in Jerusalem, and let the House of God be built in his place.'
Then the same Sheshbazzar came, [and] laid the foundation of the House of God which [is] in Jerusalem, and since that time, even until now, it has been in building, and it is [still] not finished.
Now therefore, if [it seems] good to the king, let there be a search made in the king's treasure house, which [is] there at Babylon, whether it is [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.'"
Then Darius the king made a decree, and a search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that [is] in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein a record [was] thus written.
In the first year of Cyrus the king, [the same] Cyrus the king made a decree [concerning] the House of God at Jerusalem, "Let the House be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof sixty cubits, [and] the breadth thereof sixty cubits;
[With] three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber, and let the expenses be given out of the king's house.
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 to Babylon, be restored, and brought again to 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, who [are] beyond the river, are far from there.
Leave the work of this House of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this House of God in his place.
Moreover, I make a decree what you will do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this House of God, that of the king's goods, [even] of the tribute beyond the river, expenses [must] be diligently given to these men, that they [must] not be hindered.
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 who [are] at Jerusalem, let it be given to them day by day without fail.
That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
Also I have made a decree, that whoever will alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.
And the God, who has caused His name to dwell there, [will] destroy all kings and people who will 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 the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, the son of Iddo. And they built, and finished [it], according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
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 the Children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this House of God with joy,
And offered at the dedication of this House of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
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 the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth [day] of the first month.
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 ate, who were brought again out of captivity, and all such who had separated themselves to them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel,
And kept the feast of unleavened bread for seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the House of God, the God of Israel.
Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
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.
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 [some] of the Children of Israel went up, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which [was] in the seventh year of the king.
For upon the first [day] of the first month, he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first [day] of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do [it], and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
Now this [is] the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, [even] a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of His statutes to Israel.
Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time.
"I make a decree, that all those of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, who are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you.
Forasmuch as you are sent of the king, and of his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law 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 habitation [is] in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that you can 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 you may speedily buy bullocks with this money, [and] 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 whatever will seem good to you, and to your brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do that after the will of your God.
The vessels also that are given to you for the service of the House of your God, deliver [those] before the God of Jerusalem.
And whatever more will be needful for the House of your God, which you will have occasion to bestow, bestow [it] out of the king's treasure house.
And I, [even] I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who [are] beyond the river, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, will require of you, it [must] be done speedily,
To a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much].
Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done diligently for the House of the God of heaven, for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this House of God, it will not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God that [is] in your hand, set magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people who [are] beyond the river, all such who know the laws of your God; and teach those who do not know [them].
And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be speedily executed upon him, whether [it is] to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
Blessed [is] the Lord God of our fathers, who has put [such a thing] as this in the king's heart, to beautify the House of the Lord which [is] in Jerusalem.
And has extended mercy to me before the king, and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God [was] upon me, and I gathered chief men together out of Israel to go up with me."
These [are] now the chief of their fathers, and [this is] the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom, of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel, of the sons of David; Hattush.
Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah, and with him a hundred and fifty were reckoned by genealogy of the males.
Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and two hundred males with him.
Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and three hundred males with him.
Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and fifty males with him.
And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and seventy males with him.
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and eighty males with him.
Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and two hundred and eighteen males with him.
And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and a hundred and sixty males with him.
And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and twenty eight males with him.
And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and a hundred and ten males with him.
And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names [are] these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and sixty males with them.
Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and seventy males with them.
And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we abode in tents for three days, and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there.
Then I sent 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, men of understanding.
And I sent them with commandment to Iddo, the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say to Iddo, [and] to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring ministers for the House of our God to us.
And they brought us a man of understanding by the good hand of our God upon us, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, eighteen with his sons and his brethren;
And Hashabiah, and twenty with him, Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons;
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.
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek a right way for us from Him, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God [is] upon all those who seek Him for good; but His power and His wrath [are] against all those who forsake Him."
So we fasted and besought our God for this, and He was entreated of us.
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,
And weighed the silver to them, and the gold, and the vessels, [even] the offering of the House of our God, which the king, and his counselors, and his lords, and all Israel [there] present, had offered.
I even weighed six hundred and fifty talents of silver to their hand, and silver vessels, a hundred talents, [and] a hundred talents of gold;
Also twenty basins of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
And I said to them, "You [are] holy to the Lord; the vessels [are] holy also; and the silver and the gold [are] a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers.
Watch and keep [them], until you weigh [them] before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the House of the Lord."
So the priests and the Levites took the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring [them] to Jerusalem to the House of our God.
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go to Jerusalem, and the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such who lay in wait by the way.
And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there for three days.
Now on the fourth day, the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the House of our God by 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, Levites;
By number [and] by weight of everyone, and all the weight was written at that time.
[Also] the children of those who had been carried away, who were brought out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety six rams, seventy seven lambs, twelve male goats [for] a sin offering, all [this was] a burnt offering to the Lord.
And they delivered the king's commissions to the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river, and they furthered the people, and the House of God.
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 of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons, so that the holy seed has mingled with the people of [those] lands, indeed, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this trespass."
And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down desolated.
Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel were assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away; and I sat desolated until the evening sacrifice.
And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands to the Lord my God,
And said, "O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass has grown up to the heavens.
Since the days of our fathers we [have been] in a great trespass to this day; and for our iniquities, we have, our kings [and] our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as [it is] this day.
And now for a little space, grace has been [shown] from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
For we [were] bondmen; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended mercy to 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 now, O our God, what will we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
Which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land, to which you 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.'
Now therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, *60:10 nor seek their peace or their wealth forever, that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave [it] for an inheritance to your children forever.
And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that You, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities [deserve], and have given us [such] deliverance as this;
Should we again break Your commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had consumed [us], so that [there should be] no remnant or escaping?
O Lord God of Israel, You [are] righteous, for we remain yet escaped, as [it is] this day, behold, we [are] before You in our trespasses, for we cannot stand before You because of this."
Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the House of God, a very great congregation of men and women and children assembled to him out of Israel, for the people wept very sore.
And Shechaniah, the son of Jehiel, [one] of the sons of Elam, answered and said to Ezra, "We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land, yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such who are born of them, according to the counsel of my Lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
Arise; for [this] matter [belongs] to you, we also [will be] with you, be of good courage, and do [it]."
Then Ezra arose, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, swear that they should do according to this word. And they swore.
Then Ezra rose up from before the House of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan, the son of Eliashib, and [when] he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water, for he mourned because of the transgression of those who had been carried away.
And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;
And that whoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those who had been carried away.
Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within three days. It [was] the ninth month, on the twentieth [day] of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the House of God, trembling because of [this] matter, and for the great rain.
And Ezra the priest stood up, and said to them, "You have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
Now therefore make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His pleasure, and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives." *60:10
Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, "As you have said, so must we do.
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 who have transgressed in this thing.
Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them who 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 has turned from us."
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 made an end with all the men who had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.
And among the sons of the priests, there were found, who had taken strange wives, [namely], of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and [being] guilty, [they offered] a ram of the flock for their trespass.
And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, and Zebadiah.
And of the sons of Harim; Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.
And of the sons of Pashur; Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah, (the same [is] Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
Of the singers also; Eliashib, and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.
Moreover of Israel, of the sons of Parosh; Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.
And of the sons of Elam; Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah.
And of the sons of Zattu; Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.
Of the sons also of Bebai; Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, [and] Athlai.
And of the sons of Bani; Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth.
And of the sons of Pahathmoab; Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.
And [of] the sons of Harim; Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
Benjamin, Malluch, [and] Shemariah.
Of the sons of Hashum; Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, [and] Shimei.
Of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and Uel,
Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh,
Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau,
And Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,
And Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,
Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,
Shallum, Amariah, [and] Joseph.
Of the sons of Nebo; Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah.
All these had taken strange wives, and [some] of them had wives by whom they had children.