8 These are the names and genealogies of the leaders who accompanied me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
2-14 From the clan of Phinehas—Gershom;
From the clan of Ithamar—Daniel;
From the subclan of David of the clan of Shecaniah—Hattush;
From the clan of Parosh—Zechariah, and 150 other men;
From the clan of Pahath-moab—Eliehoenai (son of Zerahiah), and 200 other men;
From the clan of Shecaniah—the son of Jahaziel, and 300 other men;
From the clan of Adin—Ebed (son of Jonathan), and 50 other men;
From the clan of Elam—Jeshaiah (son of Athaliah), and 70 other men;
From the clan of Shephatiah—Zebadiah (son of Michael), and 80 other men;
From the clan of Joab—Obadiah (son of Jehiel), and 218 other men;
From the clan of Bani—Shelomith (son of Josiphiah), and 160 other men;
From the clan of Bebai—Zechariah (son of Bebai), and 28 other men;
From the clan of Azgad—Johanan (son of Hakkatan), and 110 other men;
From the clan of Adonikam—Eliphelet, Jeuel, Shemaiah, and 60 other men (they arrived at a later time);
From the clan of Bigvai—Uthai, Zaccur, and 70 other men.
15 We assembled at the Ahava River and camped there for three days while I went over the lists of the people and the priests who had arrived; and I found that not one Levite had volunteered! 16 So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, the Levite leaders; I also sent for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were very wise men. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the leader of the Jews at Casiphia, to ask him and his brothers and the Temple attendants to send us priests for the Temple of God at Jerusalem. 18 And God was good! He sent us an outstanding man named Sherebiah, along with eighteen of his sons and brothers; he was a very astute man and a descendant of Mahli, the son of Levi and grandson of Israel. 19 God also sent Hashabiah; and Jeshaiah (the son of Merari), with twenty of his sons and brothers; 20 and 220 Temple attendants. (The Temple attendants were assistants to the Levites—a job classification of Temple employees first instituted by King David.) These 220 men were all listed by name.
21 Then I declared a fast while we were at the Ahava River so that we would humble ourselves before our God; and we prayed that he would give us a good journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and cavalry to accompany us and protect us from the enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king that our God would protect all those who worshiped him, and that disaster could come only to those who had forsaken him! 23 So we fasted and begged God to take care of us. And he did.
24 I appointed twelve leaders of the priests—Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten other priests— 25 to be in charge of transporting the silver, gold, the gold bowls, and the other items that the king and his council and the leaders and people of Israel had presented to the Temple of God. 26-27 I weighed the money as I gave it to them and found it to total $1,300,000 in silver; $200,000 in silver utensils; many millions in gold; and twenty gold bowls worth a total of $100,000. There were also two beautiful pieces of brass that were as precious as gold. 28 I consecrated these men to the Lord and then consecrated the treasures—the equipment and money and bowls that had been given as freewill offerings to the Lord God of our fathers.
29 “Guard these treasures well!” I told them; “present them without a penny lost to the priests and the Levite leaders and the elders of Israel at Jerusalem, where they are to be placed in the treasury of the Temple.”
30 So the priests and the Levites accepted the responsibility of taking them to God’s Temple in Jerusalem. 31 We broke camp at the Ahava River at the end of March[a] and started off to Jerusalem; and God protected us and saved us from enemies and bandits along the way. 32 So at last we arrived safely at Jerusalem.
33 On the fourth day after our arrival, the silver, gold, and other valuables were weighed in the Temple by Meremoth (the son of Uriah the priest), Eleazar (son of Phinehas), Jozabad (son of Jeshua), and Noadiah (son of Binnui)—all of whom were Levites. 34 A receipt was given for each item, and the weight of the gold and silver was noted.
35 Then everyone in our party sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel—twelve oxen for the nation of Israel; ninety-six rams; seventy-seven lambs; and twelve goats as a sin offering. 36 The king’s decrees were delivered to his lieutenants and the governors of all the provinces west of the Euphrates River, and of course they then cooperated in the rebuilding of the Temple of God.
- Ezra 8:31 the end of March, or “the twelfth day of the first month” of the Hebrew calendar.