1In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:
2 Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. 3Any of those among you who are of his peoplemay their God be with them!are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israelhe is the God who is in Jerusalem; 4and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill-offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.
5 The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Leviteseveryone whose spirit God had stirredgot ready to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6All their neighbours aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. 7King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives,* twenty-nine; 10gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred and ten; other vessels, one thousand; 11the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.
2Now these were the people of the province who came from those captive exiles whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia; they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, all to their own towns. 2They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
The number of the Israelite people: 3the descendants of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. 4Of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. 5Of Arah, seven hundred and seventy-five. 6Of Pahath-moab, namely the descendants of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve. 7Of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 8Of Zattu, nine hundred and forty-five. 9Of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. 10Of Bani, six hundred and forty-two. 11Of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-three. 12Of Azgad, one thousand two hundred and twenty-two. 13Of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-six. 14Of Bigvai, two thousand and fifty-six. 15Of Adin, four hundred and fifty-four. 16Of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 17Of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-three. 18Of Jorah, one hundred and twelve. 19Of Hashum, two hundred and twenty-three. 20Of Gibbar, ninety-five. 21Of Bethlehem, one hundred and twenty-three. 22The people of Netophah, fifty-six. 23Of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight. 24The descendants of Azmaveth, forty-two. 25Of Kiriatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 26Of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 27The people of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two. 28Of Bethel and Ai, two hundred and twenty-three. 29The descendants of Nebo, fifty-two. 30Of Magbish, one hundred and fifty-six. 31Of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. 32Of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 33Of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-five. 34Of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 35Of Senaah, three thousand six hundred and thirty.
36 The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 37Of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two. 38Of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven. 39Of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.
40 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the descendants of Hodaviah, seventy-four. 41The singers: the descendants of Asaph, one hundred and twenty-eight. 42The descendants of the gatekeepers: of Shallum, of Ater, of Talmon, of Akkub, of Hatita, and of Shobai, in all one hundred and thirty-nine.
43 The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, 44Keros, Siaha, Padon, 45Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub, 46Hagab, Shamlai, Hanan, 47Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, 48Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, 49Uzza, Paseah, Besai, 50Asnah, Meunim, Nephisim, 51Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, 52Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, 53Barkos, Sisera, Temah, 54Neziah, and Hatipha.
55 The descendants of Solomons servants: Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda, 56Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel, 57Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.
58 All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomons servants were three hundred and ninety-two.
59 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their families or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 60the descendants of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two. 61Also, of the descendants of the priests: the descendants of Habaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai (who had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name). 62These looked for their entries in the genealogical records, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean; 63the governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food, until there should be a priest to consult Urim and Thummim.
64 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 65besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred male and female singers. 66They had seven hundred and thirty-six horses, two hundred and forty-five mules, 67four hundred and thirty-five camels, and six thousand seven hundred and twenty donkeys.
68 As soon as they came to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of families made freewill-offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. 69According to their resources they gave to the building fund sixty-one thousand darics of gold, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priestly robes.
70 The priests, the Levites, and some of the people lived in Jerusalem and its vicinity;* and the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants lived in their towns, and all Israel in their towns.
3When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt-offerings on it, as prescribed in the law of Moses the man of God. 3They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighbouring peoples, and they offered burnt-offerings upon it to the Lord, morning and evening. 4And they kept the festival of booths,* as prescribed, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number according to the ordinance, as required for each day, 5and after that the regular burnt-offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the sacred festivals of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill-offering to the Lord. 6From 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. 7So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia.
8 In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their people, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upwards, to have the oversight of the work on the house of the Lord. 9And Jeshua with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah* along with the sons of Henadad, the Levites, their sons and kin, together took charge of the workers in the house of God.
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel;
11and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,
For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever towards Israel.
And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the peoples weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.
1 How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life for evermore.
8Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that all of us possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him.
4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that no idol in the world really exists, and that there is no God but one. 5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earthas in fact there are many gods and many lords 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
8Food will not bring us close to God.* We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak.
10For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols?
11So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed.*
12But when you thus sin against members of your family,* and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
13Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling,* I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them* to fall.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011