Ezra 8

The Exiles who Returned with Ezra

1 These are the family heads and genealogical records of those who returned with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes: 2 from the descendants of Phinehas, Gershom; from the descendants of Ithamar, Daniel; from the descendants of David, Hattush 3 of the descendants of Shechaniah; from the descendants of Parosh, Zechariah, and with him [were] registered 150 men; 4 from the descendants of Pahath-Moab, Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men; 5 from the descendants [of Zattu] ,
Some LXX manuscripts; Hebrew does not include of Zattu
Shechaniah son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men;
6 from the descendants of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men; 7 from the descendants of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men; 8 from the descendants of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him 80 men; 9 from the descendants of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men; 10 from the descendants [of Bani] ,
Some LXX manuscripts; Hebrew does not include of Bani
Shelomith son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men;
11 from the descendants of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him 28 men; 12 from the descendants of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men; 13 from the later descendants of Adonikam, these [were] their names: Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men; 14 and from the descendants of Bigvai, Uthai, and Zaccur, and with them 70 men.

Ezra Sends for the Levites

15 Now I assembled [these exiles] at the canal that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And when I searched among the people and priests, I 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. 17And I sent them to Iddo, the leader at Casiphia, with a message for him and his kinsmen, the temple servants at Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And since the gracious hand of our God was upon us, they brought us Sherebiah— a man of insight from the descendants of Mahli son of Levi, the son of Israel— along with his sons and brothers, 18 men; 19 also Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah, from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and their sons, 20 men. 20 [They also brought] 220 of the temple servants. ( David and the officials had appointed the temple servants to assist the Levites. ) All of them were designated by name.

Fasting for Protection

21 And there by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for an [escort of] soldiers and horsemen to protect us from our enemies on the road, 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 forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He granted our request.

Priests to Guard the Offerings

24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests, together with Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers, 25and I weighed out to them the contribution of silver and gold and the articles that the king, his counselors, his leaders, and all the Israelites there had offered for the house of our God. 26 I weighed out into their hands 650 talents
That is, about 24.5 tons or 22.2 metric tons
of silver, silver articles [weighing] 100 talents,
That is, about 3.76 tons or 3.42 metric tons
100 talents of gold,
2720 gold bowls worth 1,000 darics,
That is, about 18.7 pounds or 8.4 kilograms
and two articles of fine polished bronze, as precious as gold.
28 Then I told them, “You are holy to the LORD, and these articles [are] holy. The silver and gold are a freewill offering to the LORD, the God of your fathers. 29 Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in the chambers of the house of the LORD in Jerusalem before the leading priests, Levites, and heads of the Israelite families.” 30 So the priests and Levites took charge of the silver and gold and sacred articles that had been weighed out to be taken to the house of our God in Jerusalem. 31 On the twelfth day of the first month, we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem, and the hand of our God was upon us to protect us from the hands of the enemies and bandits along the way.

Arrival in Jerusalem

32 So we arrived at Jerusalem and rested there for three days. 33 On the fourth day, in the house of our God, we weighed out the silver and gold and sacred articles into the hand of Meremoth son of Uriah, the priest. Eleazar son of Phinehas was with him, along with the Levites Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. 34 Everything was verified by number and weight, and the total weight was recorded at that time. 35 Then the exiles who had returned from captivity sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel: 12 bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, 77 lambs, and a sin offering of 12 male goats. All [this was] a burnt offering to the LORD. 36 They also delivered the king’s edicts to the royal satraps
A satrap was a Persian official
and governors of the region west of the Euphrates,
Hebrew the River
who proceeded to assist the people and the house of God.
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