In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia - this fulfilled the Message of God preached by Jeremiah - God prodded Cyrus king of Persia to make an official announcement throughout his kingdom. He wrote it out as follows:
From Cyrus king of Persia, a Proclamation: God, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has also assigned me to build him a Temple of worship in Jerusalem, Judah.
Who among you belongs to his people? God be with you! Go to Jerusalem which is in Judah and build The Temple of God, the God of Israel, Jerusalem's God.
Those who stay behind, wherever they happen to live, will support them with silver, gold, tools, and pack animals, along with Freewill-Offerings for The Temple of God in Jerusalem.
The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites - everyone, in fact, God prodded - set out to build The Temple of God in Jerusalem.
Their neighbors rallied behind them enthusiastically with silver, gold, tools, pack animals, expensive gifts, and, over and above these, Freewill-Offerings.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)