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Ezra 6 (Holman Christian Standard)

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Darius' Search

1 King Darius gave the order, and they searched in the library of Babylon in the archives.a 2 But it was in the fortress of Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found with this record written on it: 3 In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: Let the house be rebuilt as a place for offering sacrifices, and let its [original] foundations be retained.b Its height is to be 90 feetc and its width 90 feet,d 4 with three layers of cute stones and one of timber.f The cost is to be paid from the royal treasury. 5 The gold and silver articles of God's house that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon must also be returned. They are to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem, where they belong,g and put into the house of God.

Darius' Decree

6 Therefore, you must stay away from that place, Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and yourh colleagues, the officials in the region. 7 Leave the construction of this house of God alone. Let the governor and elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its [original] site. 8 I hereby issue a decree concerning what you must do, so that the elders of the Jews can rebuild this house of God: The cost is to be paid in full to these men out of the royal revenues from the taxes of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that the [work] will not stop. 9 Whatever is needed-young bulls, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, and oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem-let it be given to them every day without fail, 10 so that they can offer sacrifices of pleasing aroma to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 I also issue a decree concerning any man who interferes with this directive: Let a beam be torn from his house and raised up; he will be impaled on it, and his house will be made into a garbage dump because of this [offense]. 12 May the God who caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who daresi to harm or interfere with this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued the decree. Let it be carried out diligently. 13 Then Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues diligently carried out what King Darius had decreed. 14 So the Jewish elders continued successfully with the building under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia. 15 This house was completed on the third day of the month of Adarj in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

Temple Dedication and the Passover

16 Then the Israelites, including the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of God's house they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, and 400 lambs, as well as 12 male goats as a sin offering for all Israel-one for each Israelite tribe. 18 They also appointed the priests by their divisions and the Levites by their groups to the service of God in Jerusalem, according to what is written in the book of Moses. 19 The exiles observed the Passoverk on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 All of the priests and Levites were ceremonially clean, because they had purified themselves. They killed the Passover lamb for themselves, their priestly brothers, and all the exiles. 21 The Israelites who had returned from exile ate [it], together with all who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the Gentiles of the landl in order to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. 22 They observed the Festival of Unleavened Breadm for seven days with joy, because the Lord had made them joyful, having changed the Assyrian king's attitude toward them, so that he supported themn in the work on the house of the God of Israel.
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