Ezra Journeys from Babylon to Jerusalem
1 aNow after these things, in the reign of bArtaxerxes king of Persia, there went up Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah,
2 son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,
3 son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth,
4 son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki,
5 son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest.
6 This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a ascribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all 1he requested bbecause the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.
7 aSome of the sons of Israel and some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8 He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9 For on the first of the first month 1he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, abecause the good hand of his God was upon him.
10 For Ezra had set his heart to 1study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and ato teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
King’s Decree on Behalf of Ezra
11 Now this is the copy of the decree which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, 1learned in the words of the commandments of the Lord and His statutes to Israel:
12 “1Artaxerxes, aking of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now
13 aI have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14 “Forasmuch as you are sent 1by the king and his aseven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,
15 and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, awhose dwelling is in Jerusalem,
16 with aall the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along bwith the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who coffered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem;
17 with this money, therefore, you shall diligently buy bulls, rams and lambs, awith their grain offerings and their drink offerings and boffer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18 “Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God.
19 “Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.
20 “The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may have occasion to provide, aprovide for it from the royal treasury.
21 “I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the 1River, that whatever Ezra the priest, athe scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently,
22 even up to 100 talents of silver, 100 1kors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt 2as needed.
23 “Whatever is 1commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, aso that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.
24 “We also inform you that ait is not allowed to 1impose tax, tribute or toll bon any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.
25 “You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, aappoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may bteach anyone who is ignorant of them.
26 “aWhoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for 1banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”
27 Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, awho has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem,
28 and ahas extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to bthe hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered 1leading men from Israel to go up with me.
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