Loading…
Ezra 7:1–10:39

The Arrival of Ezra

7 Now after these things, in the reign of aArtaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the bson of Seraiah, cthe son of Azariah, the son of dHilkiah, 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 came up from Babylon; and he was ea skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, faccording to the hand of the Lord his God upon him. gSome of the children of Israel, the priests, hthe Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and ithe Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, jaccording to the good hand of his God upon him. 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to kseek 1the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to lteach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

The Letter of Artaxerxes to Ezra

11 This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of His statutes to Israel:

12 2Artaxerxes, mking of kings,

To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven:

Perfect peace, nand 3so forth.

13 I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14 And whereas you are being sent 4by the king and his oseven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your God which is in your hand; 15 and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, pwhose dwelling is in Jerusalem; 16 qand whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be rfreely offered for the 5house of their God in Jerusalem—17 now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their sgrain offerings and their drink offerings, and toffer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem.

18 And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of your God. 19 Also the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, pay for it from the king’s treasury.

21 And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the region beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, may require of you, let it be done diligently, 22 up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribed limit. 23 Whatever 6is commanded by the God of heaven, let it diligently be done for the 7house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

24 Also we inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tax, tribute, or custom on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God. 25 And you, Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, uset magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are in the region beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and vteach those who do not know them. 26 Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be death, or 8banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.

27 wBlessed 9be the Lord God of our fathers, xwho has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, 28 and yhas extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes.

So I was encouraged, as zthe hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.

Heads of Families Who Returned with Ezra

8 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of King Artaxerxes: of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, aHattush; of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of bParosh, Zechariah; and registered with him were one hundred and fifty males; of the sons of cPahath-Moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males; of 1the sons of Shechaniah, Ben-Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males; of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males; of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males; of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him eighty males; of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males; 10 of 2the sons of Shelomith, Ben-Josiphiah, and with him one hundred and sixty males; 11 of the sons of dBebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males; 12 of the sons of Azgad, Johanan 3the son of Hakkatan, and with him one hundred and ten males; 13 of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these—Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah—and with them sixty males; 14 also of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and 4Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

Servants for the Temple

15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the esons of Levi there. 16 Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and fMeshullam, leaders; also for Joiarib and Elnathan, men of understanding. 17 And I gave them a command for Iddo the chief man at the place Casiphia, and 5I told them what they should say 6to Iddo and his brethren the Nethinim at the place Casiphia—that they should bring us servants for the house of our God. 18 Then, by the good hand of our God upon us, they gbrought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and brothers, eighteen men; 19 and hHashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty men; 20 ialso of the Nethinim, whom David and the leaders had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim. All of them were designated by name.

Fasting and Prayer for Protection

21 Then I jproclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might khumble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the lright way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For mI was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, n“The hand of our God is upon all those for ogood who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are pagainst all those who qforsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He ranswered our prayer.

Gifts for the Temple

24 And I separated twelve of the leaders of the priests—Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them—25 and weighed out to them sthe silver, the gold, and the articles, the offering for the house of our God which the king and his counselors and his princes, and all Israel who were present, had offered. 26 I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, silver articles weighing one hundred talents, one hundred talents of gold, 27 twenty gold basins worth a thousand drachmas, and two vessels of fine polished bronze, precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, “You are tholy 7to the Lord; the articles are uholy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers. 29 Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the leaders of the priests and the Levites and vheads of the fathers’ houses of Israel in Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord.” 30 So the priests and the Levites received the silver and the gold and the articles by weight, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

The Return to Jerusalem

31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And wthe hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road. 32 So we xcame to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

33 Now on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the articles were yweighed 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; with them were the Levites, zJozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui, 34 with the number and weight of everything. All the weight was written down at that time.

35 The children of those who had been acarried away captive, who had come from the captivity, boffered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.

36 And they delivered the king’s corders to the king’s satraps and the governors in the region beyond 8the River. So they gave support to the people and the 9house of God.

Intermarriage with Pagans

9 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not aseparated themselves from the peoples of the lands, bwith respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, …

Read more