Ezra 6

Listen to Ezra 6

The Decree of Darius

1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and 1search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored.
2 And in Ecbatana, the capital that is 2in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: "A record.
3 In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits[a] and its breadth sixty cubits,
4 3with three layers of great stones and one layer of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury.
5 And also 4let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God."
6 "Now therefore, 5Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, 6and your associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away.
7 Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site.
8 Moreover, 7I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River.
9 And whatever is needed--bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require--let that be given to them day by day without fail,
10 that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven 8and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
11 Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and 9his house shall be made a dunghill.
12 May the God 10who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence."

The Temple Finished and Dedicated

13 Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, 11Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered.
14 12And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and 13by decree of Cyrus and 14Darius and 15Artaxerxes king of Persia;
15 and this house was finished on the third day of the 16month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
16 And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the 17dedication of this house of God with joy.
17 They offered at the dedication of this house of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18 And they set the priests 18in their divisions and the Levites 19in their divisions, for the service of God at Jerusalem, 20as it is written in the Book of Moses.

Passover Celebrated

19 21On the fourteenth day of the first month, the returned exiles kept the Passover.
20 22For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were clean. 23So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves.
21 It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and 24also by every one who had joined them and separated himself 25from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to worship the LORD, the God of Israel.
22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread 26seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful 27and had turned the heart of 28the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Ezra 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The decree for completing the temple. (1-12) The temple is finished. (13-22)

Verses 1-12 When God's time is come for fulfilling his gracious purposes concerning his church, he will raise up instruments to do it, from whom such good service was not expected. While our thoughts are directed to this event, we are led by Zechariah to fix our regard on a nobler, a spiritual building. The Lord Jesus Christ continues to lay one stone upon another: let us assist the great design. Difficulties delay the progress of this sacred edifice. Yet let not opposition discourage us, for in due season it will be completed to his abundant praise. He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Verses 13-22 The gospel church, that spiritual temple, is long in the building, but it will be finished at last, when the mystical body is completed. Every believer is a living temple, building up himself in his most holy faith: much opposition is given to this work by Satan and our own corruptions. We trifle, and proceed in it with many stops and pauses; but He that has begun the good work, will see it performed. Then spirits of just men will be made perfect. By getting their sins taken away, the Jews would free themselves from the sting of their late troubles. Their service was with joy. Let us welcome holy ordinances with joy, and serve the Lord with gladness.

Cross References 29

  • 1. Ezra 5:17
  • 2. [2 Kings 17:6]
  • 3. 1 Kings 6:36
  • 4. Ezra 1:7, 8; Ezra 5:14
  • 5. Ezra 5:3, 6
  • 6. Ezra 5:6
  • 7. Ezra 7:13, 21
  • 8. Jeremiah 29:7; [1 Timothy 2:2]
  • 9. Daniel 2:5; Daniel 3:29
  • 10. 1 Kings 9:3
  • 11. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 12. Ezra 5:1, 2
  • 13. ver. 3; Ezra 1:1; Ezra 5:13
  • 14. ver. 12; [Ezra 4:24]
  • 15. Ezra 7:1
  • 16. Esther 3:7
  • 17. 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chronicles 7:5
  • 18. [Ezra 8:35]
  • 19. 1 Chronicles 24:1; 2 Chronicles 35:5
  • 20. 1 Chronicles 23:6
  • 21. Numbers 3:6; Numbers 8:9
  • 22. Exodus 12:6
  • 23. 2 Chronicles 30:15
  • 24. 2 Chronicles 35:11
  • 25. Nehemiah 9:2; Nehemiah 10:28; [Ezra 9:1]
  • 26. Ezra 9:11
  • 27. Exodus 12:15; Exodus 13:6; 2 Chronicles 30:21; 2 Chronicles 35:17
  • 28. Ezra 7:27; [Proverbs 21:1]
  • 29. [Nehemiah 13:6]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

Chapter Summary


Darius, on receiving the letter from his officers in Samaria, searched for the decree of Cyrus, and found it, and which he confirmed, Ezr 6:1-7 and made a fresh decree, and ordered expenses to be given out of his tribute for the building of the temple, and for the sacrifices of it; and that whosoever altered it should be hanged on the timber of his own house, and imprecated a curse on those that should destroy the house of God, Ezr 6:8-12 upon which the building went on, and was finished, Ezr 6:13-15 and the temple was dedicated to God in a solemn manner, Ezr 6:16-18, and the passover was kept by all the people, Ezr 6:19-22.

Ezra 6 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.