so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.1
Furthermore, I decree that if anyone changes this edict, a beam is to be pulled from his house and he is to be lifted up and impaled2 on it. And for this crime his house is to be made a pile of rubble.3
May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there,4 overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem. I Darius5 have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.
Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates6 carried it out with diligence.
So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching7 of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus,8 Darius9 and Artaxerxes,10 kings of Persia.
The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.11
Then the people of Israel--the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles--celebrated the dedication12 of the house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God they offered13 a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
And they installed the priests in their divisions14 and the Levites in their groups15 for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.16
On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover.17
The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered18 the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)