Ezra 4:7-23 American Standard Version (ASV)
7 And in the days of [a]Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the [b]Syrian character, and set forth in the [c]Syrian tongue. 8 [d]Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: 9 then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth.
11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men beyond the River, and so forth. 12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews that came up from thee are come to us unto Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations. 13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful unto the kings. 14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not meet for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 15 that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; for which cause was this city laid waste. 16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded, and the walls finished, by this means thou shalt have no portion beyond the River.
17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and [e]in the rest of the country beyond the River: Peace, and so forth. 18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been [f]plainly read before me. 19 And I decreed, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all the country beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid unto them. 21 Make ye now a decree to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until a decree shall be made by me. 22 And take heed that ye be not slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
23 Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Ezra 7-8 American Standard Version (ASV)
7 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6 this Ezra went up from Babylon. And he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Jehovah, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of Jehovah his God upon him. 7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For upon the first day of the first month [a]began he to go up from Babylon; and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the commandments of Jehovah, and of his statutes to Israel: 12 [b]Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect and so forth. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and their priests and the Levites, in my realm, that are minded of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with thee. 14 Forasmuch as thou art sent [c]of the king and his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thy hand, 15 and 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, 16 and all the silver and gold that thou shalt 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; 17 therefore thou shalt with all diligence buy with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal-offerings and their drink-offerings, and shalt offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do ye after the will of your God. 19 And the vessels that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And 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. 21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers that 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 with all diligence, 22 unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred [d]measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, upon them. 25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God that is in thy hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the River, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye him that knoweth them not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him with all diligence, whether it be unto death, or to [e]banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27 Blessed be Jehovah, the God of our fathers, who hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of Jehovah which is in Jerusalem; 28 and hath extended lovingkindness unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened according to the hand of Jehovah my God upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
8 Now these are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: 2 Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males a hundred and fifty. 4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males. 5 Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males. 6 And of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males. 7 And of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males. 8 And of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him fourscore males. 9 Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 And of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him a hundred and threescore males. 11 And of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty and eight males. 12 And of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him a hundred and ten males. 13 And of the sons of Adonikam, that were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them threescore males. 14 And of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and [f]Zabbud; and with them seventy males.
15 And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then 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, [g]who were teachers. 17 And [h]I sent them forth unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should say unto [i]Iddo, and his brethren the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And according to the good hand of our God upon us they brought us [j]a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen; 19 and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty; 20 and of the Nethinim, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim: all of them were mentioned by name.
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to ask 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 that seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. 23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.
24 Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the [k]priests, [l]even Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, 25 and weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered: 26 I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels a hundred talents; of gold a hundred talents; 27 and twenty bowls of gold, of a thousand darics; and two vessels of fine bright brass, precious as gold. 28 And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto Jehovah, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill-offering unto Jehovah, the God of your fathers. 29 Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chiefs of the priests and the Levites, and the princes of the fathers’ houses of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of Jehovah. 30 So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
31 Then we departed from the river 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 the lier-in-wait by the way. 32 And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. 33 And on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God [m]into 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, the Levites)— 34 the whole by number and by weight: and all the weight was written at that time.
35 The children of the captivity, that were come out of exile, 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 Jehovah. 36 And they delivered the king’s commissions unto the king’s satraps, and to the governors beyond the River: and they furthered the people and the house of God.