Now this is the copy of the decree which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, learned in the words of the commandments of the LORD and His statutes to Israel:
"Artaxerxes, 1king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now
2I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.
"Forasmuch as you are sent by the king and his 3seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,
and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, 4whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,
with 5all the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along 6with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who 7offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem;
with this money, therefore , you shall diligently buy bulls, rams and lambs, 8with their grain offerings and their drink offerings and 9offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
"Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God.
"Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.
"The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may have occasion to provide, 10provide for it from the royal treasury.
"I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, 11the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently,
even up to 100 talents of silver, 100 kors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt as needed.
"Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, 12so that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.
"We also inform you that 13it is not allowed to impose tax, tribute or toll 14on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.
"You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, 15appoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may 16teach anyone who is ignorant of them.
"17Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment."