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The New International Version

Ezra 8:15–23

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The Return to Jerusalem

15 I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava,l and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levitesm there. 16 So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning, 17 and I ordered them to go to Iddo, the leader in Kasiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his fellow Levites, the temple servantsn in Kasiphia, so that they might bring attendants to us for the house of our God. 18 Because the gracious hand of our God was on us,o they brought us Sherebiah,p a capable man, from the descendants of Mahli son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah’s sons and brothers, 18 in all; 19 and Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and nephews, 20 in all. 20 They also brought 220 of the temple servantsq—a body that David and the officials had established to assist the Levites. All were registered by name.

21 There, by the Ahava Canal,r I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journeys for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldierst and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyoneu who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.v23 So we fastedw and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.

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