And then there were 220 temple servants, descendants of the temple servants that David and the princes had assigned to help the Levites in their work. They were all signed up by name.
I proclaimed a fast there beside the Ahava Canal, a fast to humble ourselves before our God and pray for wise guidance for our journey - all our people and possessions.
I was embarrassed to ask the king for a cavalry bodyguard to protect us from bandits on the road. We had just told the king, "Our God lovingly looks after all those who seek him, but turns away in disgust from those who leave him."
So we fasted and prayed about these concerns. And he listened.
Then I picked twelve of the leading priests - Sherebiah and Hashabiah with ten of their brothers.
I weighed out for them the silver, the gold, the vessels, and the offerings for The Temple of our God that the king, his advisors, and all the Israelites had given:
25 tons of silver -100 vessels of silver valued at three and three-quarter tons three and three-quarter tons of gold
20 gold bowls weighing eighteen and a half pounds 2 vessels of bright red copper, as valuable as gold.
I said to them, "You are holy to God and these vessels are holy. The silver and gold are Freewill-Offerings to the God of your ancestors.
Guard them with your lives until you're able to weigh them out in a secure place in The Temple of our God for the priests and Levites and family heads who are in charge in Jerusalem."
The priests and Levites took charge of all that had been weighed out to them, and prepared to deliver it to Jerusalem to The Temple of our God.
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)