Ezra 6 New Life Version (NLV)
Cyrus’ Book Found
6 Then King Darius had men look through the books which were kept in Babylon. 2 And in Ecbatana, the most important city in the land of Media, a book was found in which was written: 3 “In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king said that this was to be done about the house of God at Jerusalem: ‘Let the house of God, the place where burnt gifts are given in worship, be built again with a good base. It should be sixteen times taller than a man, and as wide as thirty long steps. 4 There should be three very large stones laid on the top of each other, and then one large piece of wood laid. Let it be paid for from the king’s money. 5 Let the gold and silver objects which Nebuchadnezzar took from the house of God in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon be returned to their places in the house of God in Jerusalem. You must put them in the house of God.’
6 “So now, Tattenai, leader over the land on the other side of the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your friends who are leaders in the lands on the other side of the River, stay away from there. 7 Leave this work on the house of God alone. Let the leaders of the Jews build this house of God again where it stood before. 8 Also, I am making it known what you are to do for these leaders of Judah for the building of this house of God. All of it is to be paid for from the king’s money out of the taxes from the lands on the other side of the River. And waste no time to get it to them. 9 Be sure to give them each day whatever is needed, young bulls, rams and lambs for a burnt gift to the God of heaven, and grain, salt, wine, and oil for pouring. 10 This is so they may give pleasing gifts in worship to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 I here make it known that if anyone does not do what I say, a piece of wood will be taken from his house and he will be nailed on it. And his house will become a place to gather waste. 12 May the God Who has caused His name to be there take away the power of any king or people who will try to change what I have said, so as to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have told this to you. Let it be done with much care.”
The House of God Is Set Apart for Use
13 Then Tattenai, the leader over the land on the other side of the River, and Shethar-bozenai and their friends obeyed the words of the king with much care, just as King Darius had told them. 14 The leaders of the Jews did well in building, through the words spoken by Haggai the man who spoke for God and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished building as they had been told to do by the God of Israel, and by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 The house of God was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the rule of King Darius.
16 The people of Israel, the religious leaders, the Levites, and the rest of the people who returned from Babylon, set apart this house of God with joy. 17 To set apart this house of God they gave 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs. For a sin gift for all Israel they gave twelve male goats, one for each number of the families of Israel. 18 Then they put the religious leaders and the Levites into groups by the work they were to do for God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
19 The people who had returned from Babylon kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 For the religious leaders and the Levites had made themselves holy together. All of them were clean. Then they killed the Passover lamb for all the people, for their brothers the religious leaders, and for themselves. 21 It was eaten by the people of Israel who returned from Babylon and all those who had separated themselves from the sin of the nations of the land to join them and to look for the Lord God of Israel. 22 They kept the Special Supper of Bread Without Yeast for seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them very happy. He had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to give them strength in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.