Darius Finds Cyrus’ Decree

Then King Darius issued a decree, and a (A)search was conducted in the [a]archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. And in [b]Ecbatana, in the fortress which is (B)in the province of Media, a scroll was found; and the following was written in it: “Memorandum— (C)In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: ‘Concerning the house of God in Jerusalem, let the [c]temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt, and let [d]its foundations be repaired, its height being [e]sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, (D)with three layers of large stones and [f]one layer of timber. And the cost is to be paid from the [g]royal treasury. Also (E)the gold and silver utensils of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned and [h]brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God.’

“Now as for you, (F)Tattenai, governor of the province beyond the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and [i]your colleagues, the officials of the provinces beyond the River, [j]stay away from there. Leave that work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild that house of God on its site. Furthermore, (G)I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of that house of God: the full cost is to be paid to those people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the Euphrates River, and that without interruption. And whatever is needed, bulls, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine, and anointing oil, as the priests in Jerusalem order, it is to be given to them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and (H)pray for the lives of the king and his sons. 11 And I issued a decree that (I)any person who violates this decree, a timber shall be pulled out of his house and he shall be impaled on it; and (J)his house shall be turned into a refuse heap on account of this. 12 May the God who (K)has caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who [k]attempts to [l]change it, so as to destroy that house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued this decree; it is to be carried out with all diligence!”

The Temple Completed and Dedicated

13 Then (L)Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues carried out the decree with all diligence, just as King Darius had [m]ordered. 14 And (M)the elders of the Jews [n]were successful in building through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And [o]they finished building following the command of the God of Israel and the decree (N)of Cyrus, (O)Darius, and (P)Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 Now this [p]temple was completed [q]on the third day of the (Q)month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

16 And the sons of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the [r]exiles, (R)celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 They offered for the dedication of this temple of God a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel (S)twelve male goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 Then they appointed the priests to (T)their divisions and the Levites in (U)their sections for the service of God in Jerusalem, (V)as it is written in the Book of Moses.

The Passover Held

19 (W)The exiles held the Passover on (X)the fourteenth of the first month. 20 (Y)For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were pure. Then (Z)they slaughtered the Passover lambs for all the exiles, both for their brothers the priests and for themselves. 21 And the sons of Israel who returned from exile and (AA)all those who had separated themselves from (AB)the impurity of the nations of the land to join them, to seek the Lord God of Israel, ate the Passover. 22 And (AC)they held the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, because the Lord had made them happy, and (AD)had turned the heart of (AE)the king of Assyria toward them to [s]encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 6:1 Lit house of the books
  2. Ezra 6:2 Aram Achmetha
  3. Ezra 6:3 Lit house
  4. Ezra 6:3 Or perhaps offerings by fire be offered
  5. Ezra 6:3 About 90 ft. or 27 m
  6. Ezra 6:4 As in LXX; Aram a layer of new timber
  7. Ezra 6:4 Lit king’s house
  8. Ezra 6:5 Lit go
  9. Ezra 6:6 Aram their
  10. Ezra 6:6 Lit be distant
  11. Ezra 6:12 Lit sends his hand
  12. Ezra 6:12 Or violate
  13. Ezra 6:13 Lit sent
  14. Ezra 6:14 Lit were building and succeeding
  15. Ezra 6:14 Lit built and finished
  16. Ezra 6:15 Lit house
  17. Ezra 6:15 Lit until
  18. Ezra 6:16 Lit sons of the exile
  19. Ezra 6:22 Lit strengthen their hands