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Ezra 1:1–3:13

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

1:1–3pp—2Ch 36:22–23

1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah,a the Lord moved the heartb of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“ ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointedc me to buildd a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivorse may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold,f with goods and livestock, and with freewill offeringsg for the temple of Godh in Jerusalem.’ ”i

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin,j and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had movedk—prepared to go up and build the housel of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold,m with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.

Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god.a n Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzaro the prince of Judah.

This was the inventory:

gold dishes 30

silver dishes 1,000

silver pansb 29

10 gold bowls 30

matching silver bowls 410

other articles 1,000

11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

2:1–70pp—Ne 7:6–73

2 Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles,p whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylonq had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town,r in company with Zerubbabel,s Joshua,t Nehemiah, Seraiah,u Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of the people of Israel:

the descendants of Paroshv 2,172

of Shephatiah 372

of Arah 775

of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab) 2,812

of Elam 1,254

of Zattu 945

of Zakkai 760

10 of Bani 642

11 of Bebai 623

12 of Azgad 1,222

13 of Adonikamw 666

14 of Bigvai 2,056

15 of Adin 454

16 of Ater (through Hezekiah) 98

17 of Bezai 323

18 of Jorah 112

19 of Hashum 223

20 of Gibbar 95

21 the men of Bethlehemx 123

22 of Netophah 56

23 of Anathoth 128

24 of Azmaveth 42

25 of Kiriath Jearim,a Kephirah and Beeroth 743

26 of Ramahy and Geba 621

27 of Mikmash 122

28 of Bethel and Aiz 223

29 of Nebo 52

30 of Magbish 156

31 of the other Elam 1,254

32 of Harim 320

33 of Lod, Hadid and Ono 725

34 of Jerichoa 345

35 of Senaah 3,630

36 The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiahb (through the family of Jeshua) 973

37 of Immerc 1,052

38 of Pashhurd 1,247

39 of Harime 1,017

40 The Levites:f

the descendants of Jeshuag and Kadmiel (of the line of Hodaviah) 74

41 The musicians:h

the descendants of Asaph 128

42 The gatekeepersi of the temple:

the descendants of

Shallum, Ater, Talmon,

Akkub, Hatita and Shobai 139

43 The temple servants:j

the descendants of

Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,

44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,

45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,

46 Hagab, Shalmai, Hanan,

47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,

48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,

49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,

50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,

51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

54 Neziah and Hatipha

55 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of

Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,

56 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,

57 Shephatiah, Hattil,

Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Ami

58 The temple servantsk and the descendants of the servants of Solomon 392

59 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descendedl from Israel:

60 The descendants of

Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda 652

61 And from among the priests:

The descendants of

Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileaditem and was called by that name).

62 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthoodn as unclean. 63 The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred foodo until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.p

64 The whole company numbered 42,360, 65 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 200 male and female singers.q 66 They had 736 horses,r 245 mules, 67 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

68 When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the familiess gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 daricsb of gold, 5,000 minasc of silver and 100 priestly garments.

70 The priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns.t

Rebuilding the Altar

3 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,u the people assembledv together as one in Jerusalem. Then Joshuaw son of Jozadakx and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiely and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Mosesz the man of God. Despite their feara of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.b Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernaclesc with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moond sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord,e as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid.

Rebuilding the Temple

Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters,f and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logsg by sea from Lebanonh to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrusi king of Persia.

In the second monthj of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabelk son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twentyl years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. Joshuam and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviaha) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.

10 When the builders laidn the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets,o and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praisep the Lord, as prescribed by Davidq king of Israel.r 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good;

his love toward Israel endures forever.”s

And all the people gave a great shoutt of praise to the Lord, because the foundationu of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple,v weptw aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joyx from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

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Or gods

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The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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See Septuagint (see also Neh. 7:29); Hebrew Kiriath Arim.

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That is, about 1,100 pounds or about 500 kilograms

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That is, about 3 tons or about 2.8 metric tons

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Hebrew Yehudah, a variant of Hodaviah

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