Ezra 7

Ezra Journeys from Babylon to Jerusalem

1 a  Now after these things, in the reign of b  Artaxerxes king of Persia, there went up Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest. 6This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a c  scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the  Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all
Lit his request
he requested e  because the hand of the  Lord his God was upon him.
7 f  Some of the sons of Israel and some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

8He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9For on the first of the first month
Lit was the foundation
he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem h  because the good hand of his God was upon him.
10For Ezra had set his heart to
Lit seek
study the law of the  Lord and to practice it, and j  to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

King’s Decree on Behalf of Ezra

11Now this is the copy of the decree which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe
Lit the scribe of
learned in the words of the commandments of the  Lord and His statutes to Israel:
Ch 7:12-26 is in Aram
Artaxerxes m  king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now
13 n  I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14Forasmuch as you are sent
Lit from before
by the king and his p  seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,
15and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel q  whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16with r  all the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along s  with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who t  offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; 17with this money, therefore, you shall diligently buy bulls, rams and lambs u  with their grain offerings and their drink offerings and v  offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God. 19Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. 20The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may have occasion to provide, w  provide for it from the royal treasury.

21I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the
I.e. Euphrates River, and so throughout the ch
River, that whatever Ezra the priest, y  the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently,
22even up to 100 talents of silver, 100
I.e. One kor equals approx ten bu
kors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt
Lit without prescription
as needed.
23Whatever is
Lit from the decree of
commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, ac  so that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.
24We also inform you that ad  it is not allowed to
Lit throw on them
impose tax, tribute or toll af  on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.

25You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, ag  appoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may ah  teach anyone who is ignorant of them. 26 ai  Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for
Lit rooting out
banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”

The King’s Kindness

27Blessed be the  Lord, the God of our fathers ak  who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the  Lord which is in Jerusalem, 28and al  has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to am  the hand of the  Lord my God upon me, and I gathered
Lit heads
leading men from Israel to go up with me.
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