Ezra 8:15-32 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
15 I gathered them at the river[a] that flows to Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I searched among the people and priests, but found no Levites there. 16 Then I summoned the leaders: Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, as well as the teachers Joiarib and Elnathan. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the leader at Casiphia, with a message for[b] him and his brothers, the temple servants at Casiphia, that they should bring us ministers for the house of our God. 18 Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they brought us Sherebiah—a man of insight from the descendants of Mahli, a descendant of Levi son of Israel—along with his sons and brothers, 18 men, 19 plus Hashabiah, along with Jeshaiah, from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and their sons, 20 men. 20 There were also 220 of the temple servants, who had been appointed by David and the leaders for the work of the Levites. All were identified by name.
Preparing to Return
21 I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River,[c] so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions. 22 I did this because I was ashamed to ask the king for infantry and cavalry to protect us from enemies during the journey, since we had told him, “The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek Him, but His great anger is against all who abandon Him.” 23 So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and He granted our request.
24 I selected 12 of the leading priests, along with Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and 10 of their brothers. 25 I weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the articles—the contribution for the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his leaders, and all the Israelites who were present had offered. 26 I weighed out to them 24 tons[d] of silver, silver articles weighing 7,500 pounds,[e] 7,500 pounds[f] of gold, 27 20 gold bowls worth 1,000 gold coins,[g] and two articles of fine gleaming bronze, as valuable as gold. 28 Then I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, and the articles are holy. The silver and gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers. 29 Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in the chambers of the Lord’s house before the leading priests, Levites, and heads of the Israelite families in Jerusalem.” 30 So the priests and Levites took charge of the silver, the gold, and the articles that had been weighed out, to bring them to the house of our God in Jerusalem.
Arrival in Jerusalem
31 We set out from the Ahava River[h] on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem. We were strengthened by our God,[i] and He protected us from the power of the enemy and from ambush along the way. 32 So we arrived at Jerusalem and rested there for three days.