Rebuilding the Altar

(A)When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. Then arose Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and (B)Zerubbabel the son of (C)Shealtiel with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, (D)as it is written in the Law of Moses the (E)man of God. They set the altar in its place, (F)for fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands, and (G)they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, burnt offerings morning and evening. (H)And they kept the Feast of Booths, (I)as it is written, (J)and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the rule, as each day required, and after that the regular burnt (K)offerings, the offerings at the new moon (L)and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, (M)and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians (N)to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, (O)according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Rebuilding the Temple

Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, (P)Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and (Q)Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They (R)appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to (S)supervise the work of the house of the Lord. And (T)Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together (U)supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the (V)sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, (W)according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

(X)“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, (Y)old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Adversaries Oppose the Rebuilding

Now when (Z)the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever (AA)since the days of (AB)Esarhaddon king of Assyria (AC)who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, (AD)“You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, (AE)as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”

Then (AF)the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

And in the reign of (AG)Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

The Letter to King Artaxerxes

In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and (AH)Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written (AI)in Aramaic and translated.[a] Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the (AJ)judges, the (AK)governors, the officials, the Persians, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the (AL)Elamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble (AM)Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River. 11 (This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) “To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now 12 be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are (AN)finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay (AO)tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired. 14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace[b] and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, 15 in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste. 16 We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”

The King Orders the Work to Cease

17 The king sent an answer: “To Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now 18 the letter that you sent to us has been (AP)plainly read before me. 19 And I made a decree, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city from of old has risen against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. 20 And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, (AQ)who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom (AR)tribute, custom, and toll were paid. 21 Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me. 22 And take care not to be slack in this matter. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?”

23 Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease.


  1. Ezra 4:7 Hebrew written in Aramaic and translated in Aramaic, indicating that 4:8–6:18 is in Aramaic; another interpretation is The letter was written in the Aramaic script and set forth in the Aramaic language
  2. Ezra 4:14 Aramaic because the salt of the palace is our salt

Wisdom from the Spirit

Yet among (A)the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not (B)a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, (C)who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, (D)which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of (E)the rulers of this age understood this, for (F)if they had, they would not have crucified (G)the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

(H)“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has (I)prepared (J)for those who love him”—

10 these things (K)God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even (L)the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts (M)except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now (N)we have received not (O)the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this (P)in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, (Q)interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.[a]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are (R)folly to him, and (S)he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The (T)spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 (U)“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But (V)we have the mind of Christ.

Divisions in the Church

But I, brothers,[b] could not address you as (W)spiritual people, but as (X)people of the flesh, as (Y)infants in Christ. (Z)I fed you with milk, not solid food, for (AA)you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is (AB)jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For (AC)when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” (AD)are you not being merely human?


  1. 1 Corinthians 2:13 Or interpreting spiritual truths in spiritual language, or comparing spiritual things with spiritual
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:1 Or brothers and sisters

The Lord Is My Strength and My Shield

Of David.

28 To you, O Lord, I call;
    (A)my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you (B)be silent to me,
    I become like those who (C)go down to the pit.
(D)Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
    when I cry to you for help,
when I (E)lift up my hands
    (F)toward your most holy sanctuary.[a]

Do not (G)drag me off with the wicked,
    with the workers of evil,
(H)who speak peace with their neighbors
    while evil is in their hearts.
(I)Give to them according to their work
    and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
    (J)render them their due reward.
Because they (K)do not regard the works of the Lord
    or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord!
    For he has (L)heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and (M)my shield;
    in him my heart (N)trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my (O)song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;[b]
    he is (P)the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless (Q)your heritage!
    (R)Be their shepherd and (S)carry them forever.

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  1. Psalm 28:2 Hebrew your innermost sanctuary
  2. Psalm 28:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts is their strength

24 A man's (A)steps are from the Lord;
    how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only (B)after making vows.

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