Ezra 1; Ezra 2; Ezra 3

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Ezra 1

1 In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia, the Lord caused Cyrus to send an announcement to his whole kingdom and to put it in writing. This happened so the Lord's message spoken by Jeremiah would come true. He wrote:
2 This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me, and he has appointed me to build a Temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3 May God be with all of you who are his people. You are free to go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who is in Jerusalem.
4 Those who stay behind, wherever they live, should support those who want to go. Give them silver and gold, supplies and cattle, and special gifts for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.
5 Then the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites got ready to go to Jerusalem -- everyone God had caused to want to go to Jerusalem to build the Temple of the Lord.
6 All their neighbors helped them, giving them things made of silver and gold, along with supplies, cattle, valuable gifts, and special gifts for the Temple.
7 Also, King Cyrus brought out the bowls and pans that belonged in the Temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his own god.
8 Cyrus king of Persia had Mithredath the treasurer bring them and count them out for Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
9 He listed thirty gold dishes, one thousand silver dishes, twenty-nine pans,
10 thirty gold bowls, four hundred ten matching silver bowls, and one thousand other pieces.
11 There was a total of fifty-four hundred pieces of gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these things along when the captives went from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra 2

1 These are the people of the area who returned from captivity, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken away to Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each going back to his own town.
2 These people returned with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah. These are the people from Israel:
3 the descendants of Parosh -- 2,172;
4 the descendants of Shephatiah -- 372;
5 the descendants of Arah -- 775;
6 the descendants of Pahath-Moab (through the family of Jeshua and Joab) -- 2,812;
7 the descendants of Elam -- 1,254;
8 the descendants of Zattu -- 945;
9 the descendants of Zaccai -- 760;
10 the descendants of Bani -- 642;
11 the descendants of Bebai -- 623;
12 the descendants of Azgad -- 1,222;
13 the descendants of Adonikam -- 666;
14 the descendants of Bigvai -- 2,056;
15 the descendants of Adin -- 454;
16 the descendants of Ater (through the family of Hezekiah) -- 98;
17 the descendants of Bezai -- 323;
18 the descendants of Jorah -- 112;
19 the descendants of Hashum -- 223;
20 the descendants of Gibbar -- 95.
21 These are the people from the towns: 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 town of Elam -- 1,254;
32 of Harim -- 320;
33 of Lod, Hadid and Ono -- 725;
34 of Jericho -- 345;
35 of Senaah -- 3,630.
36 These are the priests: the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua) -- 973;
37 the descendants of Immer -- 1,052;
38 the descendants of Pashhur -- 1,247;
39 the descendants of Harim -- 1,017.
40 These are the Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (through the family of Hodaviah) -- 74.
41 These are the singers: the descendants of Asaph -- 128.
42 These are the gatekeepers of the Temple: the descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai -- 139.
43 These are the Temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
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, Nephussim,
51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
54 Neziah, and Hatipha.
55 These are the descendants of the servants of Solomon: the descendants of Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
56 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
57 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-Hazzebaim, and Ami.
58 The Temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon numbered 392.
59 Some people came to Jerusalem from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove that their ancestors came from Israel.
60 They were the descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda -- 652.
61 Also these priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai, who had married a daughter of Barzillai from Gilead and was called by her family name.
62 These people searched for their family records but could not find them. So they could not be priests, because they were thought to be unclean.
63 The governor ordered them not to eat any of the food offered to God until a priest had settled this matter by using the Urim and Thummim.
64 The total number of those who returned was 42,360.
65 This is not counting their 7,337 male and female servants and the 200 male and female singers they had with them.
66 They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 67435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
68 When they arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the leaders of families gave offerings to rebuild the Temple of God on the same site as before.
69 They gave as much as they could to the treasury to rebuild the Temple -- about 1,100 pounds of gold, about 6,000 pounds of silver, and 100 pieces of clothing for the priests.
70 All the Israelites settled in their hometowns. The priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and Temple servants, along with some of the other people, settled in their own towns as well.

Ezra 3

1 In the seventh month, after the Israelites were settled in their home- towns, they met together in Jerusalem.
2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests joined Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and began to build the altar of the God of Israel where they could offer burnt offerings, just as it is written in the Teachings of Moses, the man of God.
3 Even though they were afraid of the people living around them, they built the altar where it had been before. And they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord morning and evening.
4 Then, to obey what was written, they celebrated the Feast of Shelters. They offered the right number of sacrifices for each day of the festival.
5 After the Feast of Shelters, they had regular sacrifices every day, as well as sacrifices for the New Moon and all the festivals commanded by the Lord. Also there were special offerings brought as gifts to the Lord.
6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to bring burnt offerings to the Lord, but the foundation of the Lord's Temple had not yet been laid.
7 Then they gave money to the bricklayers and carpenters. They also gave food, wine, and oil to the cities of Sidon and Tyre so they would float cedar logs from Lebanon to the seacoast town of Joppa. Cyrus king of Persia had given permission for this.
8 In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, their fellow priests and Levites, and all who had returned from captivity to Jerusalem began to work. They chose Levites twenty years old and older to be in charge of the building of the Temple of the Lord.
9 These men were in charge of the work of building the Temple of God: Jeshua and his sons and brothers; Kadmiel and his sons who were the descendants of Hodaviah; and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers. They were all Levites.
10 The builders finished laying the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. Then the priests, dressed in their robes, stood with their trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, stood with their cymbals. They all took their places and praised the Lord just as David king of Israel had said to do.
11 With praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the Lord: "He is good; his love for Israel continues forever." And then all the people shouted loudly, "Praise the Lord! The foundation of his Temple has been laid."
12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and family leaders who had seen the first Temple cried when they saw the foundation of this Temple. Most of the other people were shouting with joy.
13 The people made so much noise it could be heard far away, and no one could tell the difference between the joyful shouting and the sad crying.