1. Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the priest the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
2. The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3. The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4. The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5. The son of Abishua, the son of Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest—
6. This Ezra went up from Babylon. And he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. And the king granted him all he asked, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
7. And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the temple servants, to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king.
9. Now on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him,
10. For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11. And this is the copy of the letter which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of His statutes to Israel:
12. “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. Now at this time,
13. I make a decree that everyone of the people of Israel, and their priests and Levites in my kingdom, who desire of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with you;
15. And to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
16. And all the silver and gold which you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the free will offering of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem,
17. Now therefore, you shall diligently buy with this money bulls, rams, lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and shall offer them upon the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem.
18. And whatever shall seem good to you and to your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, you may do according to the will of your God.
19. Also the vessels which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver them before the God of Jerusalem.
20. And whatever more shall be neededfor the house of your God, which you shall have need to give, give it out of the king’s treasure house.
21. And I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it shall be done with all diligence,
22. To a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without limit.
23. Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be carefully done for the house of the God of heaven, for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24. Also, we notify you, that in regard to any of the priests and the Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, taxes, or tribute on them.
25. And now you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are beyond the River, all who know the laws of your God; and you teach them who do not know.
26. And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it is to death, or to exile, or to confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.”
27. Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this into the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,
28. And has extended mercy unto me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was made strong as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
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