Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxesking of Persia,Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,2
The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,3
The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,4
The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,5
The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chiefpriest:6
This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a readyscribe in the law of Moses, which the LORDGod of Israel had given : and the kinggranted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers , and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventhyear of Artaxerxes the king.8
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifthmonth, which was in the seventhyear of the king.9
For upon the first day of the firstmonthbegana he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifthmonthcame he to Jerusalem, according to the goodhand of his God upon him.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israelstatutes and judgments.11
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,b 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 hundredmeasuresc of wheat, and to an hundredbaths of wine, and to an hundredbaths of oil, and saltwithoutprescribing how much.
23Whatsoeverd 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,eor to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.27Blessed be the LORDGod of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king'sheart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:28
And hath extendedmercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors , and before all the king'smightyprinces. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.