I hereby give official orders on how you are to help the leaders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that Temple of God: 1. All construction costs are to be paid to these men from the royal bank out of the taxes coming in from the land beyond the Euphrates. And pay them on time, without delays.
2. Whatever is required for their worship - young bulls, rams, and lambs for Whole-Burnt-Offerings to the God-of-Heaven; and whatever wheat, salt, wine, and anointing oil the priests of Jerusalem request - is to be given to them daily without delay
so that they may make sacrifices to the God-of-Heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
I've issued an official decree that anyone who violates this order is to be impaled on a timber torn out of his own house, and the house itself made a manure pit.
And may the God who put his Name on that place wipe out any king or people who dares to defy this decree and destroy The Temple of God at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued an official decree. Carry it out precisely and promptly.
Tattenai governor of the land across the Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their associates did it: They carried out the decree of Darius precisely and promptly.
So the leaders of the Jews continued to build; the work went well under the preaching of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. They completed the rebuilding under orders of the God of Israel and authorization by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, 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.
And then the Israelites celebrated - priests, Levites, every last exile, exuberantly celebrated the dedication of The Temple of God.
At the dedication of this Temple of God they sacrificed a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs - and, as an Absolution-Offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
They placed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their places for the service of God at Jerusalem - all as written out in the Book of Moses.
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)