Add parallel Print Page Options

The Decree of Darius

Then Darius the king issued a decree and a search was made in the house of records, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. At Ecbatana, in the provincial palace of the Medes, a scroll was found, and in it the following record was written:

“In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God at Jerusalem:

“Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations of it be strongly laid, to a height of sixty cubits,[a] and a width of sixty cubits. Let it consist of three rows of great stones and a row of new timber, and let the expenses be paid from the king’s treasury. Also, let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought back to their places in the temple in Jerusalem. Put them in the house of God.

“Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-Bozenai, along with your colleagues, the officials who are in the province Beyond the River, stay far away from there. Let the work of this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place.

“Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you shall do for the elders of these Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God:

“The cost is to be paid to these men, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. Whatever they need—whether young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings to the God of heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests in Jerusalem—let it be given them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven, as well as pray for the life of the king and of his sons.

11 “Also, I have issued a decree that whoever shall violate this word, the timber will be pulled down from his house and arranged so that he may be hanged on it. Thus shall his house be made a dunghill for this. 12 May the God who has caused His name to dwell there overthrow all kings and people who stretch forth their hand to violate or destroy this house of God in Jerusalem.

“I, Darius, have issued the decree; so let it be done diligently.”

Completion and Dedication of the Temple

13 In compliance, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-Bozenai, and their companions speedily accomplished what Darius the king had decreed. 14 The rebuilding by the elders of the Jews prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built, and finished it, according to the decree of the God of Israel and according to the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 This temple was finished on the third day of the month Adar during the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

16 The children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the descendants of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 At the dedication of this house of God, they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and as a sin offering for all Israel, they offered twelve goats (according to the number of the tribes of Israel). 18 They appointed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their orders for the service of God in Jerusalem, as it had been written in the Book of Moses.

The Passover

19 The children of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 Because the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together, all of them were pure. So, they slaughtered the Passover lambs for all the descendants of the captivity, both for their brothers the priests and for themselves. 21 Then they ate together, both the children of Israel who had come out of captivity and all those who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the nations of the land, in order to seek the Lord God of Israel. 22 With joy they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days because the Lord had made them joyful. He had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them and strengthened their hands in the work on the house of God, who is the God of Israel.


  1. Ezra 6:3 About 90 feet, or 27 meters.