12Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time.
13I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
14Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which [is] in thine hand;
15And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation [is] in Jerusalem,
16And 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, offering willingly for the house of their God which [is] in Jerusalem:
17That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which [is] in Jerusalem.
18And whatsoever 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.
19The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, [those] deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
20And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow [it] out of the king's treasure house.
21And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which [are] beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
22Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much].
23Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
25And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not.
26And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether [it be] unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put [such a thing] as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem:
28And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God [was] upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
1These [are] now the chief of their fathers, and [this is] the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
2Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.
3Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.
4Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.
5Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
6Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.
7And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.
8And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.
9Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
10And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.
11And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
12And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.
13And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names [are] these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.
14Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.
15And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.
16Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
17And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, [and] to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.
18And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;
19And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;
20Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.
21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God [is] upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath [is] against all them that forsake him.
23So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
24Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,
25And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, [even] the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel [there] present, had offered:
26I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, [and] of gold an hundred talents;
27Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
28And I said unto them, Ye [are] holy unto the LORD; the vessels [are] holy also; and the silver and the gold [are] a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.
29Watch ye, and keep [them], until ye weigh [them] before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.
30So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring [them] to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
31Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.
32And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
33Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him [was] Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them [was] Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;
34By number [and] by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.
35[Also] the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats [for] a sin offering: all [this was] a burnt offering unto the LORD.
36And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.
1Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, [doing] according to their abominations, [even] of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of [those] lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
4Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
5And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
6And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
7Since the days of our fathers [have] we [been] in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, [and] our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as [it is] this day.
8And now for a little space grace hath been [shewed] from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,
11Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
12Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave [it] for an inheritance to your children for ever.
13And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities [deserve], and hast given us [such] deliverance as this;
14Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed [us], so that [there should be] no remnant nor escaping?
15O LORD God of Israel, thou [art] righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as [it is] this day: behold, we [are] before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.
1Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.
2And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, [one] of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
3Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
4Arise; for [this] matter [belongeth] unto thee: we also [will be] with thee: be of good courage, and do [it].
5Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.
6Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and [when] he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.
7And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;
8And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
9Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It [was] the ninth month, on the twentieth [day] of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of [this] matter, and for the great rain.
10And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
11Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
12Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
13But the people [are] many, and [it is] a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither [is this] a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.
14Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.
15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this [matter]: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.
16And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, [with] certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by [their] names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
17And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.
End of today's reading.
End of today's reading.