Now this is the copy of the letter that the kingArtaxerxesgave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe , even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.12Artaxerxes,king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven,perfect peace, and at such a time.13Imake a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem,go with thee.14Forasmuchas thou art sentoftheking,a and of his sevencounsellors , to enquireconcerningJudah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;15
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel,whosehabitation is in Jerusalem,16
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon,with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:17Thatthou mayest buyspeedily with thismoneybullocks,rams,lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offerthemupon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.18
And whatsoevershall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.19
The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.20
And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow , bestow it out of the king'streasurehouse.21
And I, even IArtaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be donespeedily,22Unto an hundredtalents of silver, and to an hundredmeasuresb of wheat, and to an hundredbaths of wine, and to an hundredbaths of oil, and saltwithoutprescribing how much.
23Whatsoeverc is commanded bytheGod of heaven, let it be diligentlydone for the house of the God of heaven:forwhy should there bewrathagainst the realm of the king and his sons?24
Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites,singers,porters,Nethinims, or ministers of thishouse of God, it shall not be lawful to imposetoll,tribute, or custom,upon them.
And thou,Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand,setmagistrates and judges, which may judgeall the people that are beyond the river,all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.26
And whosoever will notdo the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgmentbeexecutedspeedily upon him,whether it be unto death,or to banishment,dor to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.