Ezra 1-3 New English Translation (NET Bible)
The Decree of Cyrus
1 [a] In the first[b] year of King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the Lord’s message spoken through[c] Jeremiah,[d] the Lord motivated[e] King Cyrus of Persia to issue[f] a proclamation[g] throughout his kingdom and also to put it in writing. It read:[h]
2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:
“‘The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed[i] me to build a temple[j] for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Anyone of[k] his people among you (may his God be with him!) may go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and may build the temple of the Lord God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 Anyone who survives in any of those places where he is a resident foreigner must be helped by his neighbors[l] with silver, gold, equipment, and animals, along with voluntary offerings for the temple of God which is in Jerusalem.’”
The Exiles Prepare to Return to Jerusalem
5 Then the leaders[m] of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and the Levites—all those whose mind God had stirred—got ready[n] to go up in order to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors assisted them[o] with silver utensils,[p] gold, equipment, animals, and expensive gifts, not to mention[q] all the voluntary offerings.
7 Then King Cyrus brought out the vessels of the Lord’s temple which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem and had displayed[r] in the temple of his gods. 8 King Cyrus of Persia entrusted[s] them to[t] Mithredath[u] the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar[v] the leader of the Judahite exiles.[w]
9 The inventory[x] of these items was as follows:
11 All these gold and silver vessels totaled 5,400.[ab] Sheshbazzar brought them all along when the captives were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
The Names of the Returning Exiles
2 [ac] These are the people[ad] of the province who were going up,[ae] from the captives of the exile whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had forced into exile in Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own city. 2 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
3 the descendants[ah] of Parosh: 2,172;
4 the descendants of Shephatiah: 372;
5 the descendants of Arah: 775;
7 the descendants of Elam: 1,254;
8 the descendants of Zattu: 945;
9 the descendants of Zaccai: 760;
10 the descendants of Bani: 642;
11 the descendants of Bebai: 623;
12 the descendants of Azgad: 1,222;
13 the descendants of Adonikam: 666;
14 the descendants of Bigvai: 2,056;
15 the descendants of Adin: 454;
16 the descendants of Ater (through[ak] Hezekiah): 98;
17 the descendants of Bezai: 323;
18 the descendants of Jorah: 112;
19 the descendants of Hashum: 223;
20 the descendants of Gibbar: 95.
21 The men[al] of Bethlehem: 123;
22 the men of Netophah: 56;
23 the men of Anathoth: 128;
24 the men of the family[am] of Azmaveth: 42;
25 the men of Kiriath Jearim,[an] Kephirah and Beeroth: 743;
26 the men of Ramah and Geba: 621;
27 the men of Micmash: 122;
28 the men of Bethel and Ai: 223;
29 the descendants of Nebo: 52;
30 the descendants of Magbish: 156;
31 the descendants of the other Elam: 1,254;
32 the descendants of Harim: 320;
33 the men of Lod, Hadid, and Ono: 725;
34 the men of Jericho: 345;
35 the descendants of Senaah: 3,630.
36 The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family[ao] of Jeshua): 973;
37 the descendants of Immer: 1,052;
38 the descendants of Pashhur: 1,247;
39 the descendants of Harim: 1,017.
40 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (through the line of Hodaviah): 74.
41 The singers: the descendants of Asaph: 128.
42 The gatekeepers:[ap] the descendants of Shallum, the descendants of Ater, the descendants of Talmon, the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Hatita, and the descendants of Shobai: 139.
43 The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, the descendants of Hasupha, the descendants of Tabbaoth, 44 the descendants of Keros, the descendants of Siaha, the descendants of Padon, 45 the descendants of Lebanah, the descendants of Hagabah, the descendants of Akkub, 46 the descendants of Hagab, the descendants of Shalmai,[aq] the descendants of Hanan, 47 the descendants of Giddel, the descendants of Gahar, the descendants of Reaiah, 48 the descendants of Rezin, the descendants of Nekoda, the descendants of Gazzam, 49 the descendants of Uzzah, the descendants of Paseah, the descendants of Besai, 50 the descendants of Asnah, the descendants of Meunim, the descendants of Nephussim, 51 the descendants of Bakbuk, the descendants of Hakupha, the descendants of Harhur, 52 the descendants of Bazluth, the descendants of Mehida, the descendants of Harsha, 53 the descendants of Barkos, the descendants of Sisera, the descendants of Temah, 54 the descendants of Neziah, and the descendants of Hatipha.
55 The descendants of the servants of Solomon: the descendants of Sotai, the descendants of Hassophereth, the descendants of Peruda, 56 the descendants of Jaala, the descendants of Darkon, the descendants of Giddel, 57 the descendants of Shephatiah, the descendants of Hattil, the descendants of Pokereth Hazzebaim, and the descendants of Ami.
58 All the temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon: 392.
59 These are the ones that came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer (although they were unable to certify[ar] their family connection[as] or their ancestry,[at] as to whether they really were from Israel):
60 the descendants of Delaiah, the descendants of Tobiah, and the descendants of Nekoda: 652.
61 And from among[au] the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that[av] name). 62 They[aw] searched for their records in the genealogical materials, but did not find them.[ax] They were therefore excluded[ay] from the priesthood. 63 The governor[az] instructed them not to eat any of the sacred food until there was a priest who could consult[ba] the Urim and Thummim.[bb]
64 The entire group numbered 42,360,[bc] 65 not counting[bd] their male and female servants, who numbered 7,337. They also had 200 male and female singers 66 and 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 68 When they came to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders[be] offered voluntary offerings for the temple of God in order to rebuild[bf] it on its site. 69 As they were able,[bg] they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas[bh] of gold, 5,000 minas[bi] of silver, and 100 priestly robes.[bj]
70 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 Israel lived in their towns.
The Altar is Rebuilt
3 When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites[bk] were living[bl] in their[bm] towns, the people assembled[bn] in[bo] Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak[bp] and his priestly colleagues[bq] and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his colleagues[br] started to build[bs] the altar of the God of Israel so they could offer burnt offerings on it as required by[bt] the law of Moses the man of God. 3 They established the altar on its foundations, even though they were in terror of the local peoples,[bu] and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and the evening offerings. 4 They observed the Feast of Shelters[bv] as required[bw] and offered the proper number of[bx] daily burnt offerings according to the requirement for each day. 5 Afterward they offered the continual burnt offerings and those for the new moons and those for all the holy assemblies of the Lord and all those that were being voluntarily offered to the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. However, the Lord’s temple was not at that time established.[by]
Preparations for Rebuilding the Temple
7 So they provided money[bz] for the masons and carpenters, and food, beverages, and olive oil for the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar timber from Lebanon to the seaport[ca] at Joppa, in accord with the edict of King Cyrus of Persia. 8 In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work,[cb] along with the rest of their associates,[cc] the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed[cd] the Levites who were at least twenty years old[ce] to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple. 9 So Jeshua appointed both his sons and his relatives,[cf] Kadmiel and his sons (the sons of Yehudah[cg]), to take charge of the workers in the temple of God, along with the sons of Henadad, their sons, and their relatives[ch] the Levites. 10 When the builders established the Lord’s temple, the priests, ceremonially attired and with their clarions,[ci] and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with their cymbals, stood to praise the Lord according to the instructions left by[cj] King David of Israel.[ck] 11 With antiphonal response they sang,[cl] praising and glorifying the Lord:
“For he is good;
All the people gave a loud[cm] shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established. 12 Many of the priests, the Levites, and the leaders[cn]—older people who had seen with their own eyes the former temple while it was still established[co]—were weeping loudly,[cp] and many others raised their voice in a joyous shout. 13 People were unable to tell the difference between the sound of joyous shouting and the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people were shouting so loudly[cq] that the sound was heard a long way off.