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2 Chronicles 36:14-23; Ezra 1:1-11; Ezra 2:1-59 (New International Version)

14 Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Fall of Jerusalem

36:17-20pp -- 2Ki 25:1-21; Jer 52:4-27 36:22-23pp -- Ezr 1:1-3

15 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the LORD's temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah. 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 23 "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: " 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you--may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.' "

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

1:1-3pp -- 2Ch 36:22-23

1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 2 "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: " 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Anyone of his people among you--may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.' " 5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites--everyone whose heart God had moved--prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings. 7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8 Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This was the inventory: gold dishes, 30 silver dishes, 1,000 silver pans, 29 10 gold bowls, 30 matching silver bowls, 410 other articles, 1,000 11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along when the exiles came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

2:1-70pp -- Ne 7:6-73

1 Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, 2 in company with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah): The list of the men of the people of Israel: 3 the descendants of Parosh, 2,172 4 of Shephatiah, 372 5 of Arah, 775 6 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab), 2,812 7 of Elam, 1,254 8 of Zattu, 945 9 of Zaccai, 760 10 of Bani, 642 11 of Bebai, 623 12 of Azgad, 1,222 13 of Adonikam, 666 14 of Bigvai, 2,056 15 of Adin, 454 16 of Ater (through Hezekiah), 98 17 of Bezai, 323 18 of Jorah, 112 19 of Hashum, 223 20 of Gibbar, 95 21 the men of Bethlehem, 123 22 of Netophah, 56 23 of Anathoth, 128 24 of Azmaveth, 42 25 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth, 743 26 of Ramah and Geba, 621 27 of Micmash, 122 28 of Bethel and Ai, 223 29 of Nebo, 52 30 of Magbish, 156 31 of the other Elam, 1,254 32 of Harim, 320 33 of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 725 34 of Jericho, 345 35 of Senaah, 3,630 36 The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua), 973 37 of Immer, 1,052 38 of Pashhur, 1,247 39 of Harim, 1,017 40 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (through the line of Hodaviah), 74 41 The singers: the descendants of Asaph, 128 42 The gatekeepers of the temple: the descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai 139 43 The temple servants: the descendants of 44 Keros, Siaha, Padon, 45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub, 46 Hagab, Shalmai, Hanan, 47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, 48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, 49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai, 50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim, 51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, 52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, 53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah, 54 Neziah and Hatipha 55 The descendants of the servants of Solomon: the descendants of 56 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel, 57 Shephatiah, Hattil, 58 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon, 392 59 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:
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