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The Temple Is Finally Dedicated

13 Then Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues acted accordingly—with precision, just as Darius the king had given instructions.[a] 14 The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time[b] Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 They finished this temple on the third day of the month Adar, which is the sixth[c] year of the reign of King Darius.

16 The people[d] of Israel—the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the exiles[e]—observed the dedication of this temple of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this temple of God they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and 12 male goats for the sin of all Israel, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 They appointed the priests by their divisions and the Levites by their divisions over the worship of God at Jerusalem, in accord with[f] the book of Moses. 19 [g] The exiles[h] observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 The priests and the Levites had purified themselves, every last one,[i] and they all were ceremonially pure. They sacrificed the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their colleagues[j] the priests, and for themselves. 21 The Israelites who were returning from the exile ate it, along with all those who had joined them[k] in separating themselves from the uncleanness of the nations of the land to seek the Lord God of Israel. 22 They observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, for the Lord had given them joy and had changed the opinion[l] of the king of Assyria[m] toward them so that he assisted them[n] in the work on the temple of God, the God of Israel.

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  1. Ezra 6:13 tn Aram “sent.”
  2. Ezra 6:14 tn Aram “in” or “by,” in the sense of accompaniment.
  3. Ezra 6:15 sn The sixth year of the reign of Darius would be ca. 516 b.c.
  4. Ezra 6:16 tn Aram “sons of.”
  5. Ezra 6:16 tn Aram “sons of the exile.”
  6. Ezra 6:18 tn Aram “according to the writing of.”
  7. Ezra 6:19 sn At this point the language of the book reverts from Aramaic (4:8-6:18) back to Hebrew. Aramaic will again be used in Ezra 7:12-26.
  8. Ezra 6:19 tn Heb “the sons of the exile.” So also in v. 20.
  9. Ezra 6:20 tn Heb “as one.” The expression is best understood as referring to the unity shown by the religious leaders in preparing themselves for the observance of Passover. On the meaning of the Hebrew phrase see DCH 1:182 s.v. אֶחָד 3b. See also HALOT 30 s.v. אֶחָד 5.
  10. Ezra 6:20 tn Heb “brothers.”
  11. Ezra 6:21 tn Heb “who had separated from the uncleanness of the nations of the land to them.”
  12. Ezra 6:22 tn Heb “heart.”
  13. Ezra 6:22 sn The expression “king of Assyria” is anachronistic, since Assyria fell in 612 b.c., long before the events of this chapter. Perhaps the expression is intended subtly to contrast earlier kings of Assyria who were hostile toward Israel with this Persian king who showed them favor.
  14. Ezra 6:22 tn Heb “to strengthen their hands.”