Ezra 6 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Order of Darius
6 So King Darius ·gave an order [issued a decree] to search the ·records [archives] kept in the treasury in Babylon. 2 A scroll was found in Ecbatana, ·the capital city [or a fortress in the province] of Media [C a major component of the Persian empire in the Zagros mountains, south of the Caspian Sea]. This is what was written on it:
3 King Cyrus ·gave an order [issued a decree] about the ·Temple [L house] of God in Jerusalem in the first year he was king [1:2–4]. This was the order:
“Let the ·Temple [L house] be rebuilt as a place to ·present [offer] sacrifices. Let its foundations be ·laid [or retained]; it should be ·ninety feet [L 60 cubits] high and ·ninety feet [L 60 cubits] wide. 4 It must have three layers of large stones ·and then one [for every] layer of timbers. The costs should be paid from the king’s treasury. 5 The gold and silver ·utensils [articles; vessels] from the ·Temple [L house] of God should be returned and put back in their places. Nebuchadnezzar took them from the Temple in Jerusalem and brought them to Babylon [Dan. 1:1–3], but they are to be put back in the ·Temple [L house] of God in Jerusalem.”
6 Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates [C provinces west of the Euphrates River], Shethar-Bozenai, and ·all the officers of that area [their colleagues and officials of the Trans-Euphrates], stay away from there. 7 ·Do not bother [L Leave alone] the work on that ·Temple [L house] of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this ·Temple [L house] where it was before.
8 Also, I ·order you [issue a decree] to do this for those elders of the Jews who are ·building [rebuilding] this ·Temple [L house] of God: The cost of the building is to be fully paid from the royal treasury, from ·taxes [tribute] collected from Trans-Euphrates. Do this ·so the work will not stop [or without delay]. 9 Give those people anything they need—young bulls, ·male sheep [rams], or lambs for burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] to the God of heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, or olive oil. Give the priests in Jerusalem anything they ·ask for [require] every day without fail. 10 Then they may offer sacrifices ·pleasing [acceptable] to the God of heaven, and they may pray for the ·life [or welfare] of the king and his ·sons [family].
11 Also, I ·give this order [issue this decree]: If anyone ·changes [defies; violates] this ·order [decree], a wood beam is to be pulled from his house and ·driven through his body [or he will be hanged from/flogged on it]. Because of his crime, make his house a ·pile of ruins [or rubbish heap; dung hill]. 12 God has ·chosen Jerusalem as the place he is to be worshiped [L caused his name to reside there]. May he punish any king or ·person [or nation; L people] who ·tries [L reaches out his hand] to ·change [defy; violate] this ·order [decree] and destroy this ·Temple [L house] of God.
I, Darius, have ·given this order [issued this decree]. Let it be ·obeyed quickly and carefully [carried out with all diligence].
Completion of the Temple
13 So, Tattenai, the governor of Trans-Euphrates [C provinces west of the Euphrates River], Shethar-Bozenai, and their ·fellow workers [colleagues] carried out King Darius’ ·order [decree] ·quickly and carefully [with all diligence]. 14 The Jewish elders continued to build and ·were successful [prospered] because of the ·preaching [prophesying] of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a ·descendant [son; 5:1] of Iddo [C see the biblical books named for them]. They finished building the ·Temple [L house] as the God of Israel had commanded and as kings Cyrus [C ruled 559–529 bc, though 539 bc was the first year of his reign over the empire that included Babylon], Darius [C ruled 522–486 bc], and Artaxerxes of Persia [C ruled 485–465 bc] had ·ordered [decreed]. 15 The ·Temple [L house] was finished on the third day of the month of Adar [C March 12] in the sixth year Darius was king.
16 Then the people of Israel celebrated and ·gave [dedicated] the ·Temple [L house] to God to honor him. Everybody was happy: the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the ·Jews who had returned from captivity [exiles; L sons/people of the exile]. 17 They ·gave [dedicated] the ·Temple [L house] to God by offering a hundred bulls, two hundred ·male sheep [rams], and four hundred lambs as sacrifices. And as an ·offering to forgive the sins of [sin offering for or purification offering for; Lev. 4:3] all Israel, they offered twelve male goats, ·one goat for each tribe in [corresponding to the number of tribes of] Israel. 18 Then they ·put [installed; divided; appointed] the priests and the Levites into their ·separate groups [various divisions] to serve God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.
The Passover Is Celebrated
19 The ·Jews who returned from captivity [L sons/people of the exile] ·celebrated [observed] the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month [C April 21; Ex. 12:1–30, 43–51; Lev. 23:4–8; Num. 28:16–25; Deut. 16:1–18]. 20 The priests and Levites had ·made themselves clean [purified themselves]. Then the Levites ·killed [slaughtered; sacrified] the Passover lambs for all the ·people who had returned from captivity [exiles], for their ·relatives the [or fellow; L brothers the] priests, and for themselves. 21 So all the ·people [sons] of Israel who returned from ·captivity [exile] ·ate the Passover lamb [L ate]. So did the people who had ·given up the unclean ways of their non-Jewish neighbors [separated themselves from the impurity/pollution of the nations] in order to ·worship [seek] the Lord, the God of Israel. 22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Ex. 12:17–20; 34:18]. The Lord had made them ·happy [rejoice] by ·changing the mind [turning the heart] of the king of Assyria [C a deliberate anachronism, since Assyria had fallen earlier in 612 bc] so that he helped them in the work on the ·Temple [L house] of the God of Israel.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the Believer's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.