|Ezra 7 |
1 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,
2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest —
6 This Ezra came up from Babylon to Jerusalem. He was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. And the king granted him all he requested, because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.
7 And some of the children of Israel, with some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinims [temple servants], also went up to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8 Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9 On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he arrived in Jerusalem, because of the good hand of his God upon him.
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest and scribe, a scribe learned in the words of the commands and statutes of the LORD to Israel.
12 "Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings.
13 I make a decree that all the people of Israel and of their priests and Levites in my realm, who of their own freewill offer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14 For you are sent by the king and of his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the Law of your God that is in your hand,
15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,
16 And all the silver and gold that you may obtain from all the provinces of Babylon, with the freewill offerings of the people and of the priests, offered willingly for the temple of their God in Jerusalem.
17 With this money, therefore, you shall speedily buy bullocks, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the temple of your God in Jerusalem.
18 And whatever seems good to you and to your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and gold, do it according to the will of your God.
19 Also deliver to the God of Jerusalem all the vessels that are given to you for the service of the temple of your God.
20 And whatever more may be needed for the temple of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.
21 And I, Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers who are in the region beyond the Euphrates River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done speedily,
22 Up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred measures of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without limit.
23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the temple of the God of heaven, so that there should not 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, upon any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim [temple servants] or other servants of this temple of God.
25 And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are beyond the River; choose those who know the laws of your God, and you teach those who do not know them.
26 And whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death or banishment or confiscation of goods or imprisonment."
27 [Then Ezra said], Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this into the king's heart, to beautify the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem,
28 And who has extended his mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. So I was strengthened because the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together leading men of Israel to go up with me.
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