After this, the heads of clans were chosen, tribe by tribe, to go to Jerusalem with their wives, children, slaves, and animals.
Emperor Darius sent a thousand cavalry troops to escort them safely back to Jerusalem.
He sent them off to the music of drums and flutes, while all the rest of the Jewish people danced for joy.
These are the names, by tribes, clans, and families, of the men who returned:
Among the priests, descendants of Phinehas son of Aaron, was Joshua, son of Jozadak and grandson of Seraiah. He was accompanied by Zerubbabel, who was the son of Shealtiel of the family of David, of the line of Perez, of the tribe of Judah.
He was the one who had spoken the wise words before Emperor Darius of Persia. They left Babylon in the second year of his reign in Nisan, the first month.
These are the Jewish men who returned from exile. Their families had been living in Babylonia since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners.
They returned to Jerusalem and the rest of Judah, each to his own hometown. Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Resaiah, Eneneus, Mordecai, Beelsarus, Aspharasus, Reeliah, Rehum, and Baanah.
The following is a list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned with their leaders from exile: Parosh 2,172 Shephatiah 472 Arah 756 Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) 2,812 Elam 1,254 Zattu 945 Chorbe 705 Bani 648 Bebai 623 Azgad 1,322 Adonikam 667 Bigvai 2,066 Adin 454 Ater (also called Hezekiah) 92 Kilan and Azetas 67 Azaru 432 Annias 101 Arom - Bezai 323 Arsiphurith 112 Baiterus 3,005
People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned: Bethlehem 123 Netophah 55 Anathoth 158 Beth Azmaveth 42 Kiriath Jearim 25 Chephirah and Beeroth 743 the towns of the Chadiasans and the Ammidians 422 Ramah and Geba 621 Michmash 122 Bethel 52 Magbish 156 The other Elam and Ono 725 Jericho 345 Senaah 3,330
The following is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile: Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua and Anasib) 972 Immer 1,052 Pashhur 1,247 Harim 1,017
Clans of Levites who returned from exile: Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bannas, and Sudias 74 Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) 128 Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) 139
Clans of Temple workmen who returned from exile: 5:Esau, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,5:Keros, Siaha, Padon,5:Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,5:Uthai, Ketab, Hagab,5:Shamlai, Hanan, Cathua,5:Geddur, Jairus, Daisan,5:Noeba, Chaseba, Gazera,5:Uzza, Phinoe, Asara,5:Besai, Asnah, Meunim,5:Nephisim, Akub, Hakupha,5:Asur, Pharakim, Bazluth,5:Mehida, Cutha, Charea,5:Barkos, Sisera, Temah,5:Neziah, Hatipha
Clans of Solomon's servants who returned from exile: 5:Hassophereth, Peruda, Jaalah,5:Lozon, Giddel, Shephatiah,5:Agia, Phochereth Hazzebaim,5:Sarothie, Masiah, Gas,5:Addus, Subas, Apherra,5:Barodis, Shaphat, Adlon
The total number of descendants of the Temple workmen and of Solomon's servants who returned from exile was 372.
There were 652 belonging to the clans of Delaiah (descendants of Tobiah) and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah and Tel Harsha, with their leaders Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but these could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites.
The following clans, who claimed to be priestly clans, could find no record to prove their ancestry: Habaiah, Hakkoz, Jaddus (the ancestor of the clan of Jaddus had married Agia, one of the daughters of Barzillai, and had taken the name of his father-in-law's clan). Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not allowed to function as priests.
Nehemiah the governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a High Priest who could use the Revelation and Truth. 1
The total number of Israelites (twelve years old or older, not counting servants) 42,360 Male and female servants 7,337 Male and female musicians 245 Camels 435 Horses 7,036 Mules 245 Donkeys 5,525
When the exiles arrived at the place of God's Temple in Jerusalem, some of the leaders of the clans took a vow to rebuild the Temple on its old site, to the best of their ability.
They promised to contribute for the rebuilding and the service of the Temple 1,000 pounds of gold, 5,000 pounds of silver, and 100 robes for priests.
The priests, the Levites, and some of the people settled in or near Jerusalem; the musicians and the Temple guards settled in nearby towns; and the rest of the Israelites settled in the towns where their ancestors had lived. 2
By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. Then they all assembled in the open square in front of the first gate on the east side of the Temple area.
Joshua son of Jehozadak, his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, together with his relatives, prepared the altar of the God of Israel,
so that they could burn sacrifices on it according to the instructions written in the Law of Moses, the man of God.
Some of the local people, even though they were stronger than the Jews and opposed to them, joined them in rebuilding the altar where it had stood before. Then the Jews began once again to burn the regular morning and evening sacrifices on the altar.
They celebrated the Festival of Shelters, according to the regulations, each day offering the sacrifices required for that day.
They also offered the normal daily sacrifices, as well as those required for the Sabbath, the New Moon Festival, and the other regular assemblies for worship. 3
Although the people had not yet rebuilt God's Temple, everyone who had made a vow to God began to offer sacrifices on the first day of the seventh month.
The people gave money to pay the stonemasons and the carpenters; they gave food, drink,
and carts to be sent to the cities of Tyre and Sidon in exchange for cedar logs from Lebanon, which were to be floated to the harbor at Joppa. All of this was done according to the orders given by Emperor Cyrus of Persia.
So in the second month of the year after they came back to the site of the Temple in Jerusalem, they started the work and began laying the foundation. Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the rest of the Jewish people, the priests, and the Levites - in fact, all the exiles who had come back to Jerusalem, joined in the work.
The Levites twenty years of age or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Temple for the Lord. The Levite Jeshua and his sons and relatives, his brother Kadmiel, the sons of Jeshua Emadabun, the sons of Joda son of Iliadun, and all their sons and relatives - in fact, all the Levites joined together to take charge of the rebuilding of the Temple. While the workers were building the Temple of the Lord,
the priests in their robes took their places with trumpets and other musical instruments in their hands, and the Levites of the clan of Asaph stood there with cymbals. 4
They praised the Lord and gave thanks to him according to the instructions handed down from the time of King David.
They sang psalms praising the Lord, repeating the refrain: "The goodness of the Lord and his glorious presence are with all Israel forever." 5
All the people blew trumpets and shouted with all their might, praising the Lord because the Temple was being rebuilt.
Some of the older priests, Levites, and heads of clans had seen the first Temple, and when they came and saw the building of this Temple, they cried and wailed.
Others who were there blew trumpets and shouted for joy.
The crowd blew the trumpets so loud that the blast could be heard far away, but no one nearby could hear the blast of the trumpets because the sound made by those who were crying and wailing was so loud.
The enemies of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin heard the sound of the trumpets and came to see what it meant.
When they learned that those who had returned from exile were rebuilding the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, 6
they went to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the heads of the clans and said, "Let us join you in building the Temple.
We worship the same Lord you worship and we have been offering sacrifices to him ever since Emperor Esarhaddon of Assyria sent us here to live."
Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the heads of the clans told them, "We don't need your help in building the Temple for the Lord our God.
We will build it ourselves, just as Emperor Cyrus of Persia commanded us."
Then the people who had been living in the land began to harass the Jews; they cut off their supplies and kept them from building.
These people plotted, agitated, and rioted so much that they prevented the Temple from being completed during the reign of Emperor Cyrus. The work was halted until Darius became emperor, two years later.