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Family Heads Who Returned With Ezra

These were the heads of their families[a] and the register of those returnees from Babylonia who came up with me in the reign of King Artaxerxes: From the descendants[b] of Phinehas: Gershom. From the descendants[c] of Ithamar: Daniel. From the descendants[d] of David: Hattush. From the descendants[e] of Shecaniah, from the descendants[f] of Parosh: Zechariah and with him one hundred and fifty registered males. From the descendants[g] of Pahath-Moab: Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah and with him two hundred males. From the descendants[h] of Zattu:[i] Shecaniah son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males. From the descendants[j] of Adin: Ebed son of Jehonathan, and with him fifty males. From the descendants[k] of Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males. From the descendants[l] of Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him eighty males. From the descendants[m] of Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 From the descendants[n] of Bani:[o] Shelomith son of Josiphiah, and with him one hundred and sixty males. 11 From the descendants[p] of Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males. 12 From the descendants[q] of Azgad: Jehohanan son of Haqqatan, and with him one hundred and ten males. 13 From the descendants[r] of Adonikam, those who came last, these were their names: Eliphelet, Jeiel, Shemaiah, and with them sixty males. 14 From the descendants[s] of Bigvai: Uthai son of Zabud,[t] and with him seventy males.

Servants for the Temple are Gathered

15 I gathered them by the river that goes to Ahava and we camped there for three days. And I looked at the people and the priests, I found no one there from the sons of Levi. 16 And I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were family heads, and for Jehoiarib and Elnathan who were wise. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the head of the place called Casiphia, and I placed in their mouths what words to say to Iddo and his brothers the temple servants in Casiphia, to send to us ministers for the house of our God. 18 With the good hand of our God before us, they brought us a man of understanding from the sons of Mahli, son of Levi, son of Israel—Sherebiah and his sons and brothers, eighteen in total. 19 Also Hashabiah and with him Jeshaiah, the sons of Merari, with his brothers and their sons, twenty in total. 20 And from the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set up to serve the Levites, two hundred and twenty in total. All of them were registered by name.

Ezra Proclaims a Fast

21 I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava to humble ourselves before our God in order to seek from him a safe journey for us, our children, and our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for troops and horses to protect us from enemies on the way because we said to the king, “the hand of our God is favorable to all who seek him, but his strength and anger are against all who forsake them.” 23 So we fasted and sought our God for this and he responded to our prayer.

The Priests’ Gift for the Temple

24 I set apart twelve of the official priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them. 25 Then I weighed out to them silver and gold and the vessels, the offering of the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his commanders, and all of Israel who was present offered. 26 I weighed out into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, one hundred vessels of silver, one hundred talents of gold, 27 twenty gold bowls worth one thousand darics, and two vessels of good polished bronze as precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, “You are holy to Yahweh and the vessels are holy. The silver and gold are a freewill offering to Yahweh, God of your ancestors.[u] 29 Guard and look after them until you weigh them before the chief priests, the Levites, and the heads of the families[v] of Israel in Jerusalem, in the chamber of the house of Yahweh.” 30 So the priests and Levites took over the weighed silver, gold, and the vessels to bring to Jerusalem for the house of our God.

Return to Jerusalem

31 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the river of Ahava to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushing on the way. 32 We came to Jerusalem and remained there three days. 33 On the fourth day, the silver, gold, and vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of priest Meremoth, the son of Uriah, and with him Eleazar son of Phinehas. With them were the Levites, Jehozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. 34 The amount and weight of all the weighed items was recorded at that time.

35 The exiles that returned from captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel; twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve goats as a sin offering. All was a burnt offering to Yahweh. 36 They delivered the customs of the king to the king’s satraps and to the governor of the province Beyond the River. And they supported the people of the house of God.


  1. Ezra 8:1 Literally “fathers”
  2. Ezra 8:2 Or “sons”
  3. Ezra 8:2 Or “sons”
  4. Ezra 8:2 Or “sons”
  5. Ezra 8:3 Or “sons”
  6. Ezra 8:3 Or “sons”
  7. Ezra 8:4 Or “sons”
  8. Ezra 8:5 Or “sons”
  9. Ezra 8:5 Commentators and translators agree that there is a name missing from the Masoretic text. Zattu has been restored from the LXX
  10. Ezra 8:6 Or “sons”
  11. Ezra 8:7 Or “sons”
  12. Ezra 8:8 Or “sons”
  13. Ezra 8:9 Or “sons”
  14. Ezra 8:10 Or “sons”
  15. Ezra 8:10 Commentators and translators agree that there is a name missing from the Masoretic text. Bani has been restored from the LXX
  16. Ezra 8:11 Or “sons”
  17. Ezra 8:12 Or “sons”
  18. Ezra 8:13 Or “sons”
  19. Ezra 8:14 Or “sons”
  20. Ezra 8:14 Or “and Zabud”
  21. Ezra 8:28 Or “fathers”
  22. Ezra 8:29 Literally “fathers”