the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas,1 the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest--
this Ezra2 came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted3 him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him.4
Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.5
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king.
He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him.6
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching7 its decrees and laws in Israel.
This is a copy of the letter King Artaxerxes had given to Ezra the priest and teacher, a man learned in matters concerning the commands and decrees of the LORD for Israel:
Artaxerxes, king of kings,8 To Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings.
Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go.
You are sent by the king and his seven advisers9 to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God, which is in your hand.