Rebuilding the Altar

(A)When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. Then arose Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and (B)Zerubbabel the son of (C)Shealtiel with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, (D)as it is written in the Law of Moses the (E)man of God. They set the altar in its place, (F)for fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands, and (G)they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, burnt offerings morning and evening. (H)And they kept the Feast of Booths, (I)as it is written, (J)and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the rule, as each day required, and after that the regular burnt (K)offerings, the offerings at the new moon (L)and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, (M)and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians (N)to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, (O)according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Rebuilding the Temple

Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, (P)Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and (Q)Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They (R)appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to (S)supervise the work of the house of the Lord. And (T)Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together (U)supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the (V)sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, (W)according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

(X)“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, (Y)old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Adversaries Oppose the Rebuilding

Now when (Z)the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever (AA)since the days of (AB)Esarhaddon king of Assyria (AC)who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, (AD)“You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, (AE)as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”

Then (AF)the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

And in the reign of (AG)Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

The Letter to King Artaxerxes

In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and (AH)Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written (AI)in Aramaic and translated.[a] Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the (AJ)judges, the (AK)governors, the officials, the Persians, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the (AL)Elamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble (AM)Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River. 11 (This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) “To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now 12 be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are (AN)finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay (AO)tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired. 14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace[b] and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, 15 in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste. 16 We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”

The King Orders the Work to Cease

17 The king sent an answer: “To Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now 18 the letter that you sent to us has been (AP)plainly read before me. 19 And I made a decree, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city from of old has risen against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. 20 And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, (AQ)who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom (AR)tribute, custom, and toll were paid. 21 Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me. 22 And take care not to be slack in this matter. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?”

23 Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. 24 Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 4:7 Hebrew written in Aramaic and translated in Aramaic, indicating that 4:8–6:18 is in Aramaic; another interpretation is The letter was written in the Aramaic script and set forth in the Aramaic language
  2. Ezra 4:14 Aramaic because the salt of the palace is our salt

Overcoming the World

(A)Everyone who believes that (B)Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and (C)everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (D)By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For (E)this is the love of God, that we (F)keep his commandments. And (G)his commandments are not burdensome. For (H)everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—(I)our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes (J)that Jesus is the Son of God?

Testimony Concerning the Son of God

This is he who came (K)by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And (L)the Spirit is the one who testifies, because (M)the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. (N)If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God (O)that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God (P)has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God (Q)has made him a liar, (R)because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us (S)eternal life, and (T)this life is in his Son. 12 (U)Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

That You May Know

13 I write (V)these things to you who (W)believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is (X)the confidence that we have toward him, that (Y)if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and (Z)God[a] will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. (AA)There is sin that leads to death; (AB)I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 (AC)All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that (AD)everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but (AE)he who was born of God (AF)protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are from God, and (AG)the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and (AH)has given us understanding, so that we may know (AI)him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and (AJ)eternal life. 21 Little children, (AK)keep yourselves from idols.

Footnotes

  1. 1 John 5:16 Greek he

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