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Ezra Goes Up from Babylon to Jerusalem

(A)Now after these things, in the reign of (B)Artaxerxes king of Persia, there went up Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest. This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a (C)scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all [a]he requested (D)because the hand of Yahweh his God was upon him. (E)And some of the sons of Israel and some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For on the first of the first month [b]he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, (F)because the good hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to [c]study the law of Yahweh and to practice it, and (G)to teach His statute and judgment in Israel.

The King’s Decree on Behalf of Ezra

11 Now this is the copy of the letter which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, [d]learned in the words of the commandments of Yahweh and His statutes to Israel:

12 [e]Artaxerxes, (H)king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now—

13 (I)I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who freely offer to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.

14 Forasmuch as you are sent from before the king and his (J)seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,

15 and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, (K)whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,

16 and (L)all the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along (M)with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who (N)offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem;

17 with this money, therefore, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, (O)with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and (P)bring them near to the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.

18 And whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God.

19 Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.

20 The rest of the needs for the house of your God, which may fall upon you to provide, (Q)provide for it from the royal treasury.

21 “So I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the [f]River, that whatever Ezra the priest, (R)the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may ask of you, it shall be done with all diligence,

22 even up to [g]100 talents of silver, [h]100 kors of wheat, [i]100 baths of wine, [j]100 baths of oil, and salt without written order.

23 Whatever is [k]decreed by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, (S)so that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.

24 We also make known to you that (T)it is not allowed to [l]impose tribute, custom, or toll (U)on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.

25 “And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, (V)appoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and to anyone who does not know the laws, you shall (W)make them known.

26 (X)Whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be done to him with all diligence, whether for death or for [m]banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”

Yahweh Put This in the King’s Heart

27 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of our fathers, (Y)who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem, 28 and (Z)has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to (AA)the hand of Yahweh my God upon me, and I gathered [n]chief men from Israel to go up with me.


  1. Ezra 7:6 Lit his request
  2. Ezra 7:9 Lit was the foundation
  3. Ezra 7:10 Lit seek
  4. Ezra 7:11 Lit the scribe of
  5. Ezra 7:12 Ch 7:12-26 is in Aram
  6. Ezra 7:21 The Euphrates River, so in ch
  7. Ezra 7:22 Approx. 3.75 tons or 3.4 metric tons, a talent was approx. 75 lb. or 34 kg
  8. Ezra 7:22 Approx. 650 bu. or 23 metric tons, a kor was approx. 6.5 bu. or 230 l
  9. Ezra 7:22 Approx. 600 gal. or 2.3 metric tons, a bath was approx. 6 gal. or 23 l
  10. Ezra 7:22 Approx. 600 gal. or 2.3 metric tons, a bath was approx. 6 gal. or 23 l
  11. Ezra 7:23 Lit from the decree of
  12. Ezra 7:24 Lit throw on them
  13. Ezra 7:26 Lit rooting out
  14. Ezra 7:28 Lit heads