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Ezra 1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Decree of Cyrus

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,[a] the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Lord put it into the mind of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and to put it in writing:

This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever is among His people, may his God be with him, and may he go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. Let every survivor, wherever he lives, be assisted by the men of that region with silver, gold, goods, and livestock, along with a freewill offering for the house of God in Jerusalem.”

Return from Exile

So the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone God had motivated[b]—prepared to go up and rebuild the Lord’s house in Jerusalem. All their neighbors supported them[c] with silver articles, gold, goods, livestock, and valuables, in addition to all that was given as a freewill offering. King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and had placed in the house of his gods. King Cyrus of Persia had them brought out under the supervision of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. This was the inventory:

30 gold basins, 1,000 silver basins,
29 silver knives, 10 30 gold bowls,
410 various[d] silver bowls, and 1,000 other articles.

11 The gold and silver articles totaled 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought all of them when the exiles went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The Exiles Who Returned

These now are the people of the province who came from those captive exiles King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon[e] had deported to Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

The number of the Israelite men included:[f]

Parosh’s descendants2,172
Shephatiah’s descendants372
Arah’s descendants775
Pahath-moab’s descendants:
Jeshua’s and Joab’s descendants2,812
Elam’s descendants1,254
Zattu’s descendants945
Zaccai’s descendants760
10 Bani’s descendants642
11 Bebai’s descendants623
12 Azgad’s descendants1,222
13 Adonikam’s descendants666
14 Bigvai’s descendants2,056
15 Adin’s descendants454
16 Ater’s descendants: of Hezekiah98
17 Bezai’s descendants323
18 Jorah’s descendants112
19 Hashum’s descendants223
20 Gibbar’s descendants95
21 Bethlehem’s people123
22 Netophah’s men56
23 Anathoth’s men128
24 Azmaveth’s people42
25 Kiriatharim’s, Chephirah’s, and Beeroth’s people743
26 Ramah’s and Geba’s people621
27 Michmas’s men122
28 Bethel’s and Ai’s men223
29 Nebo’s people52
30 Magbish’s people156
31 the other Elam’s people1,254
32 Harim’s people320
33 Lod’s, Hadid’s, and Ono’s people725
34 Jericho’s people345
35 Senaah’s people3,630

36 The priests included:

Jedaiah’s descendants of the house of Jeshua973
37 Immer’s descendants1,052
38 Pashhur’s descendants1,247
39 and Harim’s descendants1,017

40 The Levites included:

Jeshua’s and Kadmiel’s descendants
from Hodaviah’s descendants74

41 The singers included:

Asaph’s descendants128

42 The gatekeepers’ descendants included:

Shallum’s descendants, Ater’s descendants,
Talmon’s descendants, Akkub’s descendants,
Hatita’s descendants, Shobai’s descendants, in all139

43 The temple servants included:

Ziha’s descendants, Hasupha’s descendants,
Tabbaoth’s descendants, 44 Keros’s descendants,
Siaha’s descendants, Padon’s descendants,
45 Lebanah’s descendants, Hagabah’s descendants,
Akkub’s descendants, 46 Hagab’s descendants,
Shalmai’s[g] descendants, Hanan’s descendants,
47 Giddel’s descendants, Gahar’s descendants,
Reaiah’s descendants, 48 Rezin’s descendants,
Nekoda’s descendants, Gazzam’s descendants,
49 Uzza’s descendants, Paseah’s descendants,
Besai’s descendants, 50 Asnah’s descendants,
Meunim’s[h] descendants, Nephusim’s[i] descendants,
51 Bakbuk’s descendants, Hakupha’s descendants,
Harhur’s descendants, 52 Bazluth’s descendants,
Mehida’s descendants, Harsha’s descendants,
53 Barkos’s descendants, Sisera’s descendants,
Temah’s descendants, 54 Neziah’s descendants,
and Hatipha’s descendants.

55 The descendants of Solomon’s servants included:

Sotai’s descendants, Hassophereth’s descendants,
Peruda’s descendants, 56 Jaalah’s descendants,
Darkon’s descendants, Giddel’s descendants,
57 Shephatiah’s descendants, Hattil’s descendants,
Pochereth-hazzebaim’s descendants, and Ami’s descendants.
58 All the temple servants
and the descendants of Solomon’s servants392.

59 The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer but were unable to prove that their families and ancestry were Israelite:

60 Delaiah’s descendants,
Tobiah’s descendants,
Nekoda’s descendants652

61 and from the descendants of the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, the descendants of Barzillai—who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name. 62 These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood. 63 The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.

64 The whole combined assembly numbered42,360
65 not including their 7,337 male and female slaves,
and their 200 male and female singers.
66 They had 736 horses, 245 mules,
67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

Gifts for the Work

68 After they arrived at the Lord’s house in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders gave freewill offerings for the house of God in order to have it rebuilt on its original site. 69 Based on what they could give, they gave 61,000 gold coins,[j] 6,250 pounds[k] of silver, and 100 priestly garments to the treasury for the project. 70 The priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, and some of the people settled in their towns, and the rest of Israel settled in their towns.


  1. Ezra 1:1 Cyrus reigned 559–530 b.c.
  2. Ezra 1:5 Lit everyone whose spirit God had stirred
  3. Ezra 1:6 Lit supported their hands
  4. Ezra 1:10 Or similar
  5. Ezra 2:1 Nebuchadnezzar reigned 605–562 b.c.
  6. Ezra 2:2 Lit the men of the people of Israel
  7. Ezra 2:46 Alt Hb tradition reads Shamlai’s
  8. Ezra 2:50 Alt Hb tradition reads Meinim’s
  9. Ezra 2:50 Alt Hb tradition reads Nephisim’s
  10. Ezra 2:69 Or drachmas, or darics
  11. Ezra 2:69 Lit 5,000 minas

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the understanding of the experts.[a]

20 Where is the philosopher?[b] Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. 22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.[c] 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Boasting Only in the Lord

26 Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective,[d] not many powerful, not many of noble birth. 27 Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28 God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29 so that no one[e] can boast in His presence. 30 But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.[f]

Paul’s Proclamation

When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony[g] of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom[h] but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.


  1. 1 Corinthians 1:19 Is 29:14
  2. 1 Corinthians 1:20 Or wise
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:23 Other mss read Greeks
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:26 Lit wise according to the flesh
  5. 1 Corinthians 1:29 Lit that not all flesh
  6. 1 Corinthians 1:31 Jr 9:24
  7. 1 Corinthians 2:1 Other mss read mystery
  8. 1 Corinthians 2:4 Other mss read human wisdom

Psalm 27:7-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Lord, hear my voice when I call;
be gracious to me and answer me.
My heart says this about You,
“You[a] are to seek My face.”
Lord, I will seek Your face.
Do not hide Your face from me;
do not turn Your servant away in anger.
You have been my helper;
do not leave me or abandon me,
God of my salvation.
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord cares for me.

11 Because of my adversaries,
show me Your way, Lord,
and lead me on a level path.
12 Do not give me over to the will of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing violence.

13 I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong[b] and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.


  1. Psalm 27:8 You is plural in Hb
  2. Psalm 27:14 Lit Lord; let your heart be strong

Proverbs 20:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

22 Don’t say, “I will avenge this evil!”
Wait on the Lord, and He will rescue you.

23 Differing weights[a] are detestable to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are unfair.


  1. Proverbs 20:23 Lit A stone and a stone

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