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Ezra 4:24-6:22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Rebuilding of the Temple Resumed

24 Now the construction of God’s house in Jerusalem had stopped and remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia. But when the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began to rebuild God’s house in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, helping them.

At that time Tattenai the governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues came to the Jews and asked, “Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure?”[a] They also asked them, “What are the names of the workers[b] who are constructing this building?” But God was watching[c] over the Jewish elders. These men wouldn’t stop them until a report was sent to Darius, so that they could receive written instructions about this matter.

The Letter to Darius

This is the text of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues, the officials in the region, sent to King Darius. They sent him a report, written as follows:

To King Darius:

All greetings.

Let it be known to the king that we went to the house of the great God in the province of Judah. It is being built with cut[d] stones, and its beams are being set in the walls. This work is being done diligently and succeeding through the people’s efforts. So we questioned the elders and asked, “Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure?”[e] 10 We also asked them for their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.

11 This is the reply they gave us:

We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But since our fathers angered the God of heaven, He handed them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. 13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, he issued a decree to rebuild the house of God. 14 He also took from the temple in Babylon the gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and carried them to the temple in Babylon. He released them from the temple in Babylon to a man named Sheshbazzar, the governor by the appointment of King Cyrus. 15 Cyrus told him, “Take these articles, put them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its original site.” 16 Then this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of God’s house in Jerusalem. It has been under construction from that time until now, yet it has not been completed.

17 So if it pleases the king, let a search of the royal archives[f] in Babylon be conducted to see if it is true that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. Let the king’s decision regarding this matter be sent to us.

Darius’s Search

King Darius gave the order, and they searched in the library of Babylon in the archives.[g] But it was in the fortress of Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found with this record written on it:

In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem:

Let the house be rebuilt as a place for offering sacrifices, and let its original foundations be retained.[h] Its height is to be 90 feet[i] and its width 90 feet,[j][k] with three layers of cut[l] stones and one of timber. The cost is to be paid from the royal treasury. The gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon must also be returned. They are to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem where they belong[m] and put into the house of God.

Darius’s Decree

Therefore, you must stay away from that place, Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and your[n] colleagues, the officials in the region. Leave the construction of the house of God alone. Let the governor and elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its original site.

I hereby issue a decree concerning what you must do, so that the elders of the Jews can rebuild the house of God:

The cost is to be paid in full to these men out of the royal revenues from the taxes of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, and oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—let it be given to them every day without fail, 10 so that they can offer sacrifices of pleasing aroma to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.

11 I also issue a decree concerning any man who interferes with this directive:

Let a beam be torn from his house and raised up; he will be impaled on it, and his house will be made into a garbage dump because of this offense. 12 May the God who caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who dares[o] to harm or interfere with this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued the decree. Let it be carried out diligently.

13 Then Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues diligently carried out what King Darius had decreed. 14 So the Jewish elders continued successfully with the building under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia. 15 This house was completed on the third day of the month of Adar[p] in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

Temple Dedication and the Passover

16 Then the Israelites, including the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the exiles, celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of God’s house they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, and 400 lambs, as well as 12 male goats as a sin offering for all Israel—one for each Israelite tribe. 18 They also appointed the priests by their divisions and the Levites by their groups to the service of God in Jerusalem, according to what is written in the book of Moses.

19 The exiles observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 All of the priests and Levites were ceremonially clean, because they had purified themselves. They killed the Passover lamb for themselves, their priestly brothers, and all the exiles. 21 The Israelites who had returned from exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the Gentiles of the land[q] in order to worship Yahweh, the God of Israel. 22 They observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, because the Lord had made them joyful, having changed the Assyrian king’s attitude toward them, so that he supported them[r] in the work on the house of the God of Israel.


  1. Ezra 5:3 Or finish its furnishings
  2. Ezra 5:4 One Aram ms, LXX, Syr; MT reads Then we told them exactly what the names of the men were
  3. Ezra 5:5 Lit But the eye of their God was
  4. Ezra 5:8 Or huge
  5. Ezra 5:9 Or finish its furnishings
  6. Ezra 5:17 Lit treasure house
  7. Ezra 6:1 Lit Babylon where the treasures were stored
  8. Ezra 6:3 Lit be brought forth
  9. Ezra 6:3 Lit 60 cubits
  10. Ezra 6:3 Lit 60 cubits
  11. Ezra 6:3 A copyist seemingly overlooked the term for length and inadvertently read the 60 cubits for height and width. Like Solomon’s temple, this temple was probably 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
  12. Ezra 6:4 Or huge
  13. Ezra 6:5 Lit Jerusalem, to its place,
  14. Ezra 6:6 Lit their
  15. Ezra 6:12 Lit who stretches out its hand
  16. Ezra 6:15 = February–March
  17. Ezra 6:21 Lit land to them
  18. Ezra 6:22 Lit their hands

1 Corinthians 3:5-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Role of God’s Servants

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers.[a] You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day[b] will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.[c]

16 Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s sanctuary, God will destroy him; for God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.

The Folly of Human Wisdom

18 No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness;[d] 20 and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.[e] 21 So no one should boast in human leaders, for everything is yours 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come—everything is yours, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 3:9 Or are coworkers belonging to God
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:13 The day of Christ’s judgment of believers
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:15 Lit yet so as through fire
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:19 Jb 5:13
  5. 1 Corinthians 3:20 Ps 94:11

Psalm 29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 29

The Voice of the Lord

A Davidic psalm.

Ascribe to Yahweh, you heavenly beings,[a]
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due His name;
worship Yahweh
in the splendor of His holiness.[b]

The voice of the Lord is above the waters.
The God of glory thunders—
the Lord, above vast waters,
the voice of the Lord in power,
the voice of the Lord in splendor.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion,[c] like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth[d]
and strips the woodlands bare.

In His temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sat enthroned at the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned, King forever.
11 The Lord gives His people strength;
the Lord blesses His people with peace.


  1. Psalm 29:1 Or you angels, or you sons of the mighty; lit Lord sons of [the] gods
  2. Psalm 29:2 Or in holy attire, or in holy appearance
  3. Psalm 29:6 = Mount Hermon
  4. Psalm 29:9 Or the oaks shake

Proverbs 20:26-27 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

26 A wise king separates out the wicked
and drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The Lord’s lamp sheds light on a person’s life,[a]
searching the innermost parts.[b]


  1. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  2. Proverbs 20:27 Lit the chambers of the belly

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