Ezra 7New Life Version (NLV)
Ezra Comes to Jerusalem
7 Now after this, during the rule of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra went up from Babylon. Ezra was the son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2 son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3 son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4 son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5 son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the head religious leader. 6 This Ezra went up from Babylon. He was a writer who knew well the Law of Moses which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king gave him everything he asked for, because the Lord his God was good to him. 7 Some of the sons of Israel and some of the religious leaders, the Levites, the singers, the gate-keepers and the servants of the house of God went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. 8 Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month in the seventh year of the king. 9 He left Babylon on the first day of the first month, and came to Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, because the good hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to learn the Law of the Lord, to live by it, and to teach His Laws in Israel.
11 This is what was written in the letter which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the religious leader, the writer, who had much learning in the Laws of the Lord and His Laws for Israel: 12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the religious leader, the writer who knows the Law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now 13 I let it be known that if there are any people of Israel, religious leaders or Levites in my nation who are willing to go to Jerusalem, they may go with you. 14 For you are sent by the king and his seven men of wisdom to see if the Law of your God which is in your hand is being obeyed in Judah and Jerusalem. 15 Take the silver and gold which the king and his men of wisdom have given because they wanted to give to the God of Israel, Whose house is in Jerusalem. 16 Take this with all the silver and gold you will find in the whole land of Babylon. And take the gifts of the people and of the religious leaders, who have given because they have wanted to for the house of their God in Jerusalem. 17 With this money, buy bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain gifts and their drink gifts. And give them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18 Whatever you and your brothers think is best to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, if it is the will of your God. 19 Also take to the God of Jerusalem all the objects given to you for the work of the house of your God. 20 Whatever else is needed for the house of your God, you may take it from the king’s store-house. 21 I, King Artaxerxes, here make this known to all those who take care of the money in the lands on the other side of the River. You should be ready and willing to give Ezra, the religious leader and writer who knows the Law of the God of heaven, whatever he needs. 22 Give silver weighing up to as much as 100 men, and as much as 1,000 baskets of grain, 1,100 jars of wine, 1,100 jars of oil, and as much salt as is needed. 23 Whatever is wanted by the God of heaven, let it be done in full for the house of the God of heaven. Or else He might be angry with the nation of the king and his sons. 24 We also let you know that it is not allowed to take any taxes from any of the religious leaders, Levites, singers, door-keepers, or servants of this house of God. 25 And you, Ezra, use the wisdom of your God which is in your hand to choose leaders and judges. They are to judge all the people in the land on the other side of the River, all those who know the Laws of your God. You may teach anyone who does not know them. 26 Whoever will not obey the Law of your God and the law of the king, let his punishment be hard. Put him to death, or send him out of the land, or take what he has, or put him in prison.”
Ezra Gives Praise to God
27 Honor and thanks be to the Lord, the God of our fathers, Who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to make the house of the Lord in Jerusalem beautiful. 28 He has shown loving-kindness to me in front of the king and his wise men, and in front of all the king’s powerful leaders. I was given strength, because the hand of the Lord my God was upon me. And I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.