Now this is the copy of the decreewhichKingArtaxerxesgave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, alearned in the words of the commandments of the LORD and His statutes to Israel:
"bArtaxerxes, 1king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now132I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdomwho are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14"Forasmuch as you are sentcby the king and his 3sevencounselors to inquireconcerningJudah and Jerusalem according to the law of your Godwhich is in your hand,
and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freelyoffered to the God of Israel, 4whosedwelling is in Jerusalem,
with 5all the silver and goldwhich you find in the wholeprovince of Babylon, along6with the freewilloffering of the people and of the priests, who 7offeredwillingly for the house of their Godwhich is in Jerusalem;
with thismoney, therefore , you shall diligentlybuybulls, rams and lambs, 8with their grain offerings and their drinkofferings and 9offer them on the altar of the house of your Godwhich is in Jerusalem.
18"Whateverseemsgood 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.
"Also the utensilswhich are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in fullbefore the God of Jerusalem.
"The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may haveoccasion to provide, 10provide for it from the royaltreasury.
"I, even I, KingArtaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurerswho are in the provinces beyond the dRiver, that whateverEzra the priest, 11the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be donediligently,
even up to 100talents of silver, 100ekors of wheat, 100baths of wine, 100baths of oil, and saltfas needed.
23"Whatever is gcommanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, 12so that there will not be wrathagainst the kingdom of the king and his sons.
"We also inform you that 13it is not allowed to himposetax, tribute or toll14on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of thishouse of God.
"You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your Godwhich is in your hand, 15appointmagistrates and judges that they may judgeall the peoplewho are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may 16teach anyone who is ignorant of them.
"17Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for deathor for ibanishmentor for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment."