Ezra 1-2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Cyrus Lets the Jews Return Home
1 Years ago the Lord sent Jeremiah with a message about a promise[a] for the people of Israel. Then in the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia,[b] the Lord kept his promise by having Cyrus send this official message to all parts of his kingdom:
2-3 I am King Cyrus of Persia.
The Lord God of heaven, who is also the God of Israel, has made me the ruler of all nations on earth. And he has chosen me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. The Lord God will watch over and encourage any of his people who want to go back to Jerusalem and help build the temple.
4 Everyone else must provide what is needed. They must give money, supplies, and animals, as well as gifts for rebuilding God’s temple.
5 Many people felt that the Lord God wanted them to help rebuild his temple, and they made plans to go to Jerusalem. Among them were priests, Levites, and leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. 6 The others helped by giving silver articles, gold, personal possessions, cattle, and other valuable gifts, as well as offerings for the temple.
7 King Cyrus gave back the things that Nebuchadnezzar[c] had taken from the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem and had put in the temple of his own gods. 8 Cyrus placed Mithredath, his chief treasurer, in charge of these things. Mithredath counted them and gave a list to Sheshbazzar, the governor of Judah. 9-10 Included among them were: 30 large gold dishes; 1,000 large silver dishes; 29 other dishes;[d] 30 gold bowls; 410 silver bowls; and 1,000 other articles.
11 Altogether, there were 5,400 gold and silver dishes, bowls, and other articles. Sheshbazzar took them with him when he and the others returned to Jerusalem from Babylonia.
A List of People Who Returned from Exile
2 King Nebuchadnezzar[e] of Babylonia had captured many of the people of Judah and had taken them as prisoners to Babylonia. Now they were on their way back to Jerusalem and to their own towns everywhere in Judah.
2-20 Zerubbabel, Joshua,[f] Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah were in charge of the ones who were coming back. And here is a list of how many returned from each family group: 2,172 from the family of Parosh; 372 from the family of Shephatiah; 775 from the family of Arah; 2,812 descendants of Jeshua and Joab[g] from the family of Pahath Moab; 1,254 from the family of Elam; 945 from the family of Zattu; 760 from the family of Zaccai; 642 from the family of Bani; 623 from the family of Bebai; 1,222 from the family of Azgad; 666 from the family of Adonikam; 2,056 from the family of Bigvai; 454 from the family of Adin; 98 from the family of Ater, also known as Hezekiah; 323 from the family of Bezai; 112 from the family of Jorah; 223 from the family of Hashum; and 95 from the family of Gibbar.
21-35 Here is how many people returned whose ancestors had come from the following towns: 123 from Bethlehem; 56 from Netophah; 128 from Anathoth; 42 from Azmaveth; 743 from Kiriatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth; 621 from Ramah and Geba; 122 from Michmas; 223 from Bethel and Ai; 52 from Nebo; 156 from Magbish; 1,254 from the other Elam; 320 from Harim; 725 from Lod, Hadid, and Ono; 345 from Jericho; and 3,630 from Senaah.
36-39 Here is a list of how many returned from each family of priests: 973 descendants of Jeshua from the family of Jedaiah; 1,052 from the family of Immer; 1,247 from the family of Pashhur; and 1,017 from the family of Harim.
40-42 And here is a list of how many returned from the families of Levites: 74 descendants of Hodaviah from the families of Jeshua and Kadmiel; 128 descendants of Asaph from the temple musicians; and 139 descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai from the temple guards.
43-54 Here is a list of the families of temple workers whose descendants returned: Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, Keros, Siaha, Padon, Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub, Hagab, Shamlai, Hanan, Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, Besai, Asnah, Meunim, Nephisim, Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, Barkos, Sisera, Temah, Neziah, and Hatipha.
55-57 Here is a list of Solomon’s servants whose descendants returned: Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda, Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel, Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Ami.
58 A total of 392 descendants of temple workers and of Solomon’s servants returned.
59-60 There were 652 who returned from the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, though they could not prove that they were Israelites. They had lived in the Babylonian towns of Tel-Melah, Tel-Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer.
61-62 The families of Habaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai could not prove that they were priests. The ancestor of the family of Barzillai had married the daughter of Barzillai from Gilead and had taken his wife’s family name. But the records of these three families could not be found, and none of them were allowed to serve as priests. 63 In fact, the governor[h] told them, “You cannot eat the food offered to God until we find out if you really are priests.”
64-67 There were 42,360 who returned, in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 musicians, both women and men. They brought with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
68 When the people came to where the Lord’s temple had been in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders gave gifts so it could be rebuilt in the same place. 69 They gave all they could, and it came to a total of 1,030 pounds of gold, 5,740 pounds of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.
70 Everyone returned to the towns from which their families had come, including the priests, the Levites, the musicians, the temple guards, and the workers.[i]
John 19:23-42 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
23 After the soldiers had nailed Jesus to the cross, they divided up his clothes into four parts, one for each of them. But his outer garment was made from a single piece of cloth, and it did not have any seams. 24 The soldiers said to each other, “Let’s not rip it apart. We will gamble to see who gets it.” This happened so that the Scriptures would come true, which say,
“They divided up my clothes
The soldiers then did what they had decided.
25 Jesus' mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too.[a] 26 When Jesus saw his mother and his favorite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.
The Death of Jesus
28 Jesus knew that he had now finished his work. And in order to make the Scriptures come true, he said, “I am thirsty!” 29 A jar of cheap wine was there. Someone then soaked a sponge with the wine and held it up to Jesus' mouth on the stem of a hyssop plant. 30 After Jesus drank the wine, he said, “Everything is done!” He bowed his head and died.
A Spear Is Stuck in Jesus' Side
31 The next day would be both a Sabbath and the Passover. It was a special day for the Jewish people,[b] and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses during that day. So they asked Pilate to break the men’s legs[c] and take their bodies down. 32 The soldiers first broke the legs of the other two men who were nailed there. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, and they did not break his legs.
34 One of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus' side, and blood and water came out. 35 We know this is true, because it was told by someone who saw it happen. Now you can have faith too. 36 All this happened so that the Scriptures would come true, which say, “No bone of his body will be broken” 37 and, “They will see the one in whose side they stuck a spear.”
Jesus Is Buried
38 Joseph from Arimathea was one of Jesus' disciples. He had kept it secret though, because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. But now he asked Pilate to let him have Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission, and Joseph took it down from the cross.
39 Nicodemus also came with about seventy-five pounds of spices made from myrrh and aloes. This was the same Nicodemus who had visited Jesus one night.[d] 40 The two men wrapped the body in a linen cloth, together with the spices, which was how the Jewish people buried their dead. 41 In the place where Jesus had been nailed to a cross, there was a garden with a tomb that had never been used. 42 The tomb was nearby, and since it was the time to prepare for the Sabbath, they were in a hurry to put Jesus' body there.
Click the button below to continue.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.