Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the first priest.
This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a diligent scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
And there went up some of the sons of Israel and of the priests and the Levites and the singers and the porters and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the king.
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king.
For upon the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD and to do it and to teach in Israel his statutes and judgments.
Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD and of his statutes over Israel.
Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra, the priest, perfect scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and to Cheenet.
By me is given commandment, that any of the people of Israel and of his priests and Levites in my realm, who desire of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
For thou art sent on behalf of the king and of his seven counsellors, to inquire of Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thy hand,
and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors freely offer unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who offer willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem;
Therefore, with diligence thou shalt buy with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their presents and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.
The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, thou shalt restore before the God of Jerusalem.
And whatever else shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have need to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house.
And by me, Artaxerxes, the king, is given the commandment to all the treasurers who are on the other side of the river, that whatever Ezra, the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
unto one hundred talents of silver and to one hundred measures of wheat and to one hundred baths of wine and to one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be speedily done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
Also unto you we cause it to be known, that regarding all of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, and ministers of the house of this God, no one shall be able to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thy hand, set as judges and governors, who govern all the people that are on the other side of the river, all such as know the laws of thy God, and teach those that do not know them.
And whoever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king, let them be judged speedily, whether it be unto death or to banishment or to confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.
Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to honour the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,
and has extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I, comforted according to the hand of the LORD my God upon me, gathered together the principals of Israel to go up with me.