Ezra 1

Josiah Keeps the Passover

35 gJosiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb hon the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their offices iand encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. And he said to the Levites jwho taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves kaccording to your fathers' houses by your divisions, las prescribed in the writing of David king of Israel mand the document of Solomon his son. And nstand in the Holy Place oaccording to the groupings of the fathers' houses of your brothers the lay people, and according to the division of the Levites by fathers' household. And slaughter the Passover lamb, and pconsecrate yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord by1 Moses.

Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, as Passover offerings for all who were present, lambs and young goats from the flock to the number of 30,000, and 3,000 bulls; qthese were from the king's possessions. And his officials contributed willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. rHilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief officers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings 2,600 Passover lambs and 300 bulls. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 bulls.

10 When the service had been prepared for, the priests sstood in their place, tand the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11 uAnd they slaughtered the Passover lamb, and the priests vthrew the blood that they received from them wwhile the Levites flayed the sacrifices. 12 And they set aside the burnt offerings that they might distribute them according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the bulls. 13 xAnd they roasted the Passover lamb with fire according to the rule; and they yboiled the holy offerings in pots, in cauldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the lay people. 14 And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were offering the burnt offerings and the fat parts until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place zaccording to the command of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's aseer; band the gatekeepers were at each gate. They did not need to depart from their service, for their brothers the Levites prepared for them.

16 So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. 17 And the people of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, cand the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days. 18 dNo Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

Josiah Killed in Battle

20 eAfter all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at fCarchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 But he sent envoys to him, saying, What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you. 22 Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but gdisguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of hMegiddo. 23 And the archers shot King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, iTake me away, for I am badly wounded. 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. jAll Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 kJeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah; and all lthe singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a rule in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds according to what is written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

Judah's Decline

36 mThe people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king in his father's place in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. Then the king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and nlaid on the land a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent1 of gold. And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him to Egypt.

oJehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. pAgainst him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon qand bound him in chains rto take him to Babylon. sNebuchadnezzar also carried part of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his palace in Babylon. tNow the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and the abominations that he did, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.

uJehoiachin was eighteen2 years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 10 In vthe spring of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon, wwith the precious vessels of the house of the Lord, and made his brother xZedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11 yZedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before zJeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. 13 aHe also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. bHe stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 All the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. And they polluted the house of the Lord that he had made holy in Jerusalem.

15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, csent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 dBut they kept mocking the messengers of God, edespising his words and scoffing at his prophets, funtil the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy.

Jerusalem Captured and Burned

17 gTherefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged. He gave them all into his hand. 18 hAnd all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. 19 iAnd they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels. 20 He jtook into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, kand they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had lenjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate mit kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

The Proclamation of Cyrus

22 nNow in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, othat the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, pthe Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.

Ezra Illustration

Ezra

The Proclamation of Cyrus

aIn the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, bthat the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so cthat he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and dhe has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israelehe is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, feveryone whose spirit gGod had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. And all who were about them haided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. iCyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that jNebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of kMithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to lSheshbazzar the prince of Judah. And this was the number of them: m30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; 11 all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.

The Exiles Return

nNow these were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles owhom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, pMordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: qthe sons of Parosh, 2,172. The sons of Shephatiah, 372. The sons of Arah, 775. The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,812. The sons of Elam, 1,254. The sons of Zattu, 945. The sons of Zaccai, 760. 10 The sons of Bani, 642. 11 The sons of Bebai, 623. 12 The sons of Azgad, 1,222. 13 The sons of Adonikam, 666. 14 The sons of Bigvai, 2,056. 15 The sons of Adin, 454. 16 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 17 The sons of Bezai, 323. 18 The sons of Jorah, 112. 19 The sons of Hashum, 223. 20 The sons of Gibbar, 95. 21 The sons of Bethlehem, 123. 22 The men of Netophah, 56. 23 The men of Anathoth, 128. 24 The sons of Azmaveth, 42. 25 The sons of Kiriath-arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 26 The sons of Ramah and Geba, 621. 27 The men of Michmas, 122. 28 The men of Bethel and Ai, 223. 29 The sons of Nebo, 52. 30 The sons of Magbish, 156. 31 The sons of rthe other Elam, 1,254. 32 The sons of Harim, 320. 33 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 725. 34 The sons of Jericho, 345. 35 The sons of Senaah, 3,630.

36 The priests: the ssons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, 973. 37 The sons of Immer, 1,052. 38 The tsons of Pashhur, 1,247. 39 The sons of Harim, 1,017.

40 The Levites: the sons of uJeshua and Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodaviah, 74. 41 The singers: the sons of vAsaph, 128. 42 The sons of the wgatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, in all 139.

43 xThe temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 44 the sons of Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, 45 the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub, 46 the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shamlai, the sons of Hanan, 47 the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, 48 the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, 49 the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, 50 the sons of Asnah, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephisim, 51 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 52 the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 53 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 54 the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha.

55 yThe sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Hassophereth, the sons of Peruda, 56 the sons of Jaalah, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 57 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, and the sons of Ami.

58 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants were 392.

59 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, zthough they could not prove their fathers' houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 60 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, 652. 61 Also, of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, and the sons of aBarzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name). 62 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and bso they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 63 The cgovernor told them that they were not dto partake of the most holy food, until there should be a priest to consult eUrim and Thummim.

64 fThe whole assembly together was 42,360, 65 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337, and they had 200 male and female gsingers. 66 Their horses were 736, their mules were 245, 67 their camels were 435, and their donkeys were 6,720.

68 hSome of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to ithe treasury of the work 61,000 darics1 of gold, 5,000 minas2 of silver, and 100 priests' garments.

70 jNow the priests, the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants lived in their towns, and all the rest of Israel3 in their towns.

Rebuilding the Altar

kWhen the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. Then arose Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and lZerubbabel the son of mShealtiel with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, nas it is written in the Law of Moses the oman of God. They set the altar in its place, pfor fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands, and qthey offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, burnt offerings morning and evening. rAnd they kept the Feast of Booths, sas it is written, tand offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the rule, as each day required, and after that the regular burnt uofferings, the offerings at the new moon vand at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, wand food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians xto bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, yaccording to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Rebuilding the Temple

Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, zZerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and zJeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They aappointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to bsupervise the work of the house of the Lord. And zJeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together bsupervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the csons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, daccording to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

eFor he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, fold men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.