Ezra 7Expanded Bible (EXB)
Ezra Comes to Jerusalem
7 After these things, during the rule of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra came up [C Ezra’s coming is not actually stated until v. 6] from Babylon [C if this refers to Artaxerxes I, then chapter seven takes place around 458 bc, about fifty-eight years after chapter six, but some date the events differently] as the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the ·high [chief] priest. 6 This Ezra came ·to Jerusalem [L up] from Babylon. He was a ·teacher and knew well [scribe skilled/well versed in] the ·Teachings [Law; L Torah] of Moses that had been given by the Lord, the God of Israel. Ezra received everything he asked for from the king, because the [L hand of the] Lord his God was ·helping [on] him. 7 In the seventh year of King Artaxerxes more ·Israelites [sons/people of Israel] came to Jerusalem. Among them were priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and Temple servants.
8 Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of Artaxerxes’ seventh year as king. 9 Ezra had left Babylon on the first day of the first month [C April 8], and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month [C August 4], because [the good/gracious hand of] God was ·helping [on] him. 10 Ezra had ·worked hard [dedicated/devoted himself; L set his heart] to ·know [study] and ·obey [practice; do; observe] the ·Teachings [Law; L Torah] of the Lord and to teach his rules and commands to the Israelites.
Artaxerxes’ Letter to Ezra
11 King Artaxerxes had given a ·letter [document] to Ezra, a priest and ·teacher [scribe] ·who taught about [learned in] the commands and laws the Lord gave Israel. This is a copy of the ·letter [document]:
12 From Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a ·teacher [scribe] of the Law of the God of heaven.
13 Now I ·give [issue] this ·order [decree]: Any Israelite in my kingdom who wishes may go with you to Jerusalem, including priests and Levites. 14 Ezra, you are ·sent [authorized] by the king and ·the [his] seven ·advisors [counselors] to ·ask [inquire] concerning Judah and Jerusalem in regards to the Law of your God [C whether they were obeying it], which ·you are carrying with you [L is in your hand]. 15 Also take with you the silver and gold that the king and his ·advisors [counselors] have ·given [offered] freely to the God of Israel, ·whose Temple is [whose dwelling is; who lives] in Jerusalem. 16 Also take the silver and gold you ·receive [collect; obtain] from the ·area [province] of Babylon. Take the ·voluntary [freewill] offerings the Israelites and their priests have given as gifts for the ·Temple [L house] of your God in Jerusalem. 17 With this money be sure to buy bulls, ·male sheep [rams], and lambs, and the appropriate grain offerings and ·drink offerings [liquid offerings; libations]. Then ·sacrifice [offer] them on the altar in the ·Temple [L house] of your God in Jerusalem.
18 You and your ·fellow Jews [colleagues; L brothers] may ·spend [use] the silver and gold ·left over [remaining] as you want ·and as God wishes [in keeping/accordance with God’s will]. 19 ·Take [Deliver] to the God of Jerusalem all the ·utensils [articles; vessels] for ·worship [service] in the ·Temple [L house] of your God. 20 Use the royal treasury to ·pay for [provide; supply] anything else you need for the ·Temple [L house] of your God.
21 Now I, King Artaxerxes, ·give this order [issue this decree] to all the ·men in charge of the treasury [treasurers] of Trans-Euphrates [C provinces west of the Euphrates River]: Give [L diligently to] Ezra, a priest and ·a teacher [the scribe] of the Law of the God of heaven, whatever he asks for. 22 Give him up to ·seventy-five hundred pounds [L one hundred talents] of silver, ·six hundred bushels [L one hundred kors] of wheat, ·six hundred gallons [L one hundred baths] of wine, and ·six hundred gallons [L one hundred baths] of olive oil. And give him ·as much salt as he wants [unlimited salt]. 23 ·Carefully [L Zealously] give him whatever the God of heaven ·wants [demands; commands] for the ·Temple [L house] of the God of heaven. ·We do not want God to [L Why should God …?] be angry with the [the kingdom/empire of the] king and his sons. 24 Remember, you ·must not [have no authority to] make these people pay taxes of any kind: priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Temple servants, and other workers in this ·Temple [L house] of God.
25 And you, Ezra, ·use [in accordance with] the wisdom you have from your God ·to choose [appoint] judges and lawmakers to ·rule [govern; arbitrate for] the ·Jews [people] of Trans-Euphrates [C provinces west of the Euphrates River]. They know the laws of your God, and you may teach anyone who does not know them. 26 Whoever does not ·obey [observe] the law of your God or of the king must be ·punished [judged quickly/immediately]. He will be killed, or ·sent away [banished], or have his property ·taken away [confiscated], or ·be put in jail [imprisoned].
27 ·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord, the God of our ·ancestors [fathers]. He ·caused the king [L put in the king’s heart] to want to ·honor [beautify; adorn; glorify] the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord in Jerusalem. 28 The Lord has shown me [C Ezra], his ·love [loyalty] ·in the presence of [before] the king, ·those who advise the king [his counselors/advisers], and ·the royal officers [his mighty nobles/officials]. Because the Lord my God was helping me, I ·had courage [was strengthened], and I gathered the ·leaders [L heads of the fathers] of Israel to ·return [L go up] with me.
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