Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful,3 following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians,a9 who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man10 nor young woman, old man or aged.11 God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.12
In the first year of Cyrus24 king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and 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 appointed25 me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you--may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.' "