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Ezra 4; Ezra 5; Ezra 6; Psalm 137

1 Now the enemies of Juda and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to the Lord the God of Israel. 2 And they came to Zorobabel, and the chief of the fathers, and said to them: Let us build with you, for we seek your God as ye do: behold we have sacrificed to him, since the days of Asor Haddan king of Assyria, who brought us hither. 3 But Zorobabel, and Josue, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel said to them: You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God, but we ourselves alone will build to the Lord our God, as Cyrus king of the Persians hath commanded us. 4 Then the people of the land hindered the hands of the people of Juda, and troubled them in building. 5 And they hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their design all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of the Persians. 6 And in the reign of Assuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Juda and Jerusalem. 7 And in the days of Artaxerxes, Beselam, Mithridates, and Thabeel, and the rest that were in the council wrote to Artaxerxes king of the Persians: and the letter of accusation was written in Syrian, and was read in the Syrian tongue. 8 Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe wrote a letter from Jerusalem to king Artaxerxes, in this manner: 9 Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe and the rest of their counsellors, the Dinites, and the Apharsathacites, the Therphalites, the Apharsites, the Erchuites, the Babylonians, the Susanechites, the Dievites, and the Elamites, 10 And the rest of the nations, whom the great and glorious Asenaphar brought over: and made to dwell in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the countries of this side of the river in peace. 11 (This is the copy of the letter, which they sent to him:) To Artaxerxes the king, thy servants, the men that are on this side of the river, send greeting. 12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews, who came up from thee to us, are come to Jerusalem a rebellious and wicked city, which they are building, setting up the ramparts thereof and repairing the walls. 13 And now be it known to the king, that if this city be built up, and the walls thereof repaired, they will not pay tribute nor toll, nor yearly revenues, and this loss will fall upon the kings. 14 But we remembering the salt that we have eaten in the palace, and because we count it a crime to see the king wronged, have therefore sent and certified the king, 15 That search may be made in the books of the histories of thy fathers, and thou shalt find written in the records: and shalt know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to the kings and provinces, and that wars were raised therein of old time: for which cause also the city was destroyed. 16 We certify the king, that if this city be built, and the walls thereof repaired, thou shalt have no possession on this side of the river. 17 The king sent word to Reum Beelteem and Samsai the scribe, and to the rest that were in their council, inhabitants of Samaria, and to the rest beyond the river, sending greeting and peace. 18 The accusation, which you have sent to us, hath been plainly read before me, 19 And I commanded: and search hath been made, and it is found, that this city of old time hath rebelled against kings, and seditions and wars have been raised therein. 20 For there have been powerful kings in Jerusalem, who have had dominion over all the country that is beyond the river: and have received tribute, and toll and revenues. 21 Now therefore hear the sentence: Hinder those men, that this city be not built, till further orders be given by me. 22 See that you be not negligent in executing this, lest by little and little the evil grow to the hurt of the kings. 23 Now the copy of the edict of king Artaxerxes was read before Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe, and their counsellors: and they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and hindered them with arm and power. 24 Then the work of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem was interrupted, and ceased till the second year of the reign of Darius king of the Persians.
1 Now Aggeus the prophet, and Zacharias the son of Addo, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judea and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel. 2 Then rose up Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Josue the son of Josedec, and began to build the temple of God in Jerusalem, and with them were the prophets of God helping them. 3 And at the same time came to them Thathanai, who was governor beyond the river, and Stharbuzanai, and their counsellors: and said thus to them: Who hath given you counsel to build this house, and to repair the walls thereof? 4 In answer to which we gave them the names of the men who were the promoters of that building. 5 But the eye of their God was upon the ancients of the Jews, and they could not hinder them. And it was agreed that the matter should be referred to Darius, and then they should give satisfaction concerning that accusation. 6 The copy of the letter that Thathanai governor of the country beyond the river, and Stharbuzanai, and his counsellors the Arphasachites, who dwelt beyond the river, sent to Darius the king. 7 The letter which they sent him, was written thus: To Darius the king all peace. 8 Be it known to the king, that we went to the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which they are building with unpolished stones, and timber is laid in the walls: and this work is carried on diligently and advanceth in their hands. 9 And we asked those ancients, and said to them thus: Who hath given you authority to build this house, and to repair these walls? 10 We asked also of them their names, that we might give thee notice: and we have written the names of the men that are the chief among them. 11 And they answered us in these words, saying: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are building a temple that was built these many years ago, and which a great king of Israel built and set up. 12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, he delivered them into the hands of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon the Chaldean: and he destroyed this house, and carried away the people to Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, king Cyrus set forth a decree, that this house of God should be built. 14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the temple of God, which Nabuchodonosor had taken out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, and had brought them to the temple of Babylon, king Cyrus brought out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one Sassabasar, whom also he appointed governor, 15 And said to him: Take these vessels, and go, and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in its place. 16 Then came this same Sassabasar, and laid the foundations of the temple of God in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it is in building, and is not yet finished. 17 Now therefore if it seem good to the king, let him search in the king’s library, which is in Babylon, whether it hath been decreed by Cyrus the king, that the house of God in Jerusalem should be built, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
1 Then king Darius gave orders, and they searched in the library of the books that were laid up in Babylon, 2 And there was found in Ecbatana, which is a castle in the province of Media, a book in which this record was written. 3 In the first year of Cyrus the king: Cyrus the king decreed, that the house of God should be built, which is in Jerusalem, in the place where they may offer sacrifices, and that they lay the foundations that may support the height of threescore cubits, and the breadth of threescore cubits, 4 Three rows of unpolished stones, and so rows of new timber: and the charges shall be given out of the king’s house. 5 And also let the golden and silver vessels of the temple of God, which Nabuchodonosor took out of the temple of Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be restored, and carried back to the temple of Jerusalem to their place, which also were placed in the temple of God. 6 Now therefore Thathanai, governor of the country beyond the river, Stharbuzanai, and your counsellors the Apharsachites, who are beyond the river, depart far from them, 7 And let that temple of God be built by the governor of the Jews, and by their ancients, that they may build that house of God in its place. 8 I also have commanded what must be done by those ancients of the Jews, that the house of God may be built, to wit, that of the king’s chest, that is, of the tribute that is paid out of the country beyond the river, the charges be diligently given to those men, lest the work be hindered. 9 And if it shall be necessary, let calves also, and lambs, and kids, for holocausts to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the custom of the priests that are in Jerusalem, be given them day by day, that there be no complaint in any thing. 10 And let them offer oblations to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his children. 11 And I have made a decree: That if any whosoever, shall alter this commandment, a beam be taken from his house, and set up, and he be nailed upon it, and his house be confiscated. 12 And may the God, that hath caused his name to dwell there, destroy all kingdoms, and the people that shall put out their hand to resist, and to destroy the house of God, that is in Jerusalem. I Darius have made the decree, which I will have diligently complied with. 13 So then Thathanai, governor of the country beyond the river, and Stharbuzanai, and his counsellors diligently executed what Darius the king had commanded. 14 And the ancients of the Jews built, and prospered according to the prophecy of Aggeus the prophet, and of Zacharias the son of Addo: and they built and finished, by the commandment of the God of Israel, and by the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes kings of the Persians. 15 And they were finishing this house of God, until the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of king Darius. 16 And the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 And they offered at the dedication of the house of God, a hundred calves, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and for a sin offering for all Israel twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses over the works of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses. 19 And the children of Israel of the captivity kept the phase, on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 For all the priests and the Levites were purified as one man: all were clean to kill the phase for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and themselves. 21 And the children of Israel that were returned from captivity, and all that had separated themselves from the filthiness of the nations of the earth to them, to seek the Lord the God of Israel, did eat. 22 And they kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, that he should help their hands in the work of the house of the Lord the God of Israel.
1 (136-1) Upon the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept: when we remembered Sion: 2 (136-2) On the willows in the midst thereof we hung up our instruments. 3 (136-3) For there they that led us into captivity required of us the words of songs. And they that carried us away, said: Sing ye to us a hymn of the songs of Sion. 4 (136-4) How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land? 5 (136-5) If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. 6 (136-6) Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee: If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy. 7 (136-7) Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem: Who say: Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. 8 (136-8) O daughter of Babylon, miserable: blessed shall he be who shall repay thee thy payment which thou hast paid us. 9 (136-9) Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.
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