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1 Esdras


Josiah Celebrates the Passover

1Josiah kept the passover to his Lord in Jerusalem; he killed the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month, 2having placed the priests according to their divisions, arrayed in their vestments, in the temple of the Lord. 3He told the Levites, the temple servants of Israel, that they should sanctify themselves to the Lord and put the holy ark of the Lord in the house that King Solomon, son of David, had built; 4and he said, ‘You need no longer carry it on your shoulders. Now worship the Lord your God and serve his people Israel; prepare yourselves by your families and kindred, 5in accordance with the directions of King David of Israel and the magnificence of his son Solomon. Stand in order in the temple according to the groupings of the ancestral houses of you Levites, who minister before your kindred the people of Israel, 6and kill the passover lamb and prepare the sacrifices for your kindred, and keep the passover according to the commandment of the Lord that was given to Moses.’

7 To the people who were present Josiah gave thirty thousand lambs and kids, and three thousand calves; these were given from the king’s possessions, as he promised, to the people and the priests and Levites. 8Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel,* the chief officers of the temple, gave to the priests for the passover two thousand six hundred sheep and three hundred calves. 9And Jeconiah and Shemaiah and his brother Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Ochiel and Joram, captains over thousands, gave the Levites for the passover five thousand sheep and seven hundred calves.

10 This is what took place. The priests and the Levites, having the unleavened bread, stood in proper order, according to kindred 11and the grouping of the ancestral houses, before the people to make the offering to the Lord as it is written in the book of Moses; this they did in the morning. 12They roasted the passover lamb with fire, as required; and they boiled the sacrifices in bronze pots and cauldrons, with a pleasing odour, 13and carried them to all the people. Afterwards they prepared the passover for themselves and for their kindred the priests, the sons of Aaron, 14because the priests were offering the fat until nightfall; so the Levites prepared it for themselves and for their kindred the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15The temple singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place according to the arrangement made by David, and also Asaph, Zechariah, and Eddinus, who represented the king. 16The gatekeepers were at each gate; no one needed to interrupt his daily duties, for their kindred the Levites prepared the passover for them.

17 So the things that had to do with the sacrifices to the Lord were accomplished that day: the passover was kept 18and the sacrifices were offered on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. 19And the people of Israel who were present at that time kept the passover and the festival of unleavened bread for seven days. 20No passover like it had been kept in Israel since the times of the prophet Samuel; 21none of the kings of Israel had kept such a passover as was kept by Josiah and the priests and Levites and the people of Judah and all of Israel who were living in Jerusalem. 22In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this passover was kept.

The End of Josiah’s Reign

23 And the deeds of Josiah were upright in the sight of the Lord, for his heart was full of godliness. 24In ancient times the events of his reign have been recorded—concerning those who sinned and acted wickedly towards the Lord beyond any other people or kingdom, and how they grieved the Lord* deeply, so that the words of the Lord fell upon Israel.

25 After all these acts of Josiah, it happened that Pharaoh, king of Egypt, went to make war at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out against him. 26And the king of Egypt sent word to him saying, ‘What have we to do with each other, O king of Judea? 27I was not sent against you by the Lord God, for my war is at the Euphrates. And now the Lord is with me! The Lord is with me, urging me on! Stand aside, and do not oppose the Lord.’

28 Josiah, however, did not turn back to his chariot, but tried to fight with him, and did not heed the words of the prophet Jeremiah from the mouth of the Lord. 29He joined battle with him in the plain of Megiddo, and the commanders came down against King Josiah. 30The king said to his servants, ‘Take me away from the battle, for I am very weak.’ And immediately his servants took him out of the line of battle. 31He got into his second chariot; and after he was brought back to Jerusalem he died, and was buried in the tomb of his ancestors.

32 In all Judea they mourned for Josiah. The prophet Jeremiah lamented for Josiah, and the principal men, with the women,* have made lamentation for him to this day; it was ordained that this should always be done throughout the whole nation of Israel. 33These things are written in the book of the histories of the kings of Judea; and every one of the acts of Josiah, and his splendour, and his understanding of the law of the Lord, and the things that he had done before, and these that are now told, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

The Last Kings of Judah

34 The men of the nation took Jeconiah* son of Josiah, who was twenty-three years old, and made him king in succession to his father Josiah. 35He reigned for three months in Judah and Jerusalem. Then the king of Egypt deposed him from reigning in Jerusalem, 36and fined the nation one hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. 37The king of Egypt made his brother Jehoiakim king of Judea and Jerusalem. 38Jehoiakim put the nobles in prison, and seized his brother Zarius and brought him back from Egypt.

39 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign in Judea and Jerusalem; he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 40King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against him; he bound him with a chain of bronze and took him away to Babylon. 41Nebuchadnezzar also took some holy vessels of the Lord, and carried them away, and stored them in his temple in Babylon. 42But the things that are reported about Jehoiakim,* and his uncleanness and impiety, are written in the annals of the kings.

43 His son Jehoiachin* became king in his place; when he was made king he was eighteen years old, 44and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 45A year later Nebuchadnezzar sent and removed him to Babylon, with the holy vessels of the Lord, 46and made Zedekiah king of Judea and Jerusalem.

The Fall of Jerusalem

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old, and he reigned for eleven years. 47He also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not heed the words that were spoken by the prophet Jeremiah from the mouth of the Lord. 48Although King Nebuchadnezzar had made him swear by the name of the Lord, he broke his oath and rebelled; he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart and transgressed the laws of the Lord, the God of Israel. 49Even the leaders of the people and of the priests committed many acts of sacrilege and lawlessness beyond all the unclean deeds of all the nations, and polluted the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem—the temple that God had made holy. 50The God of their ancestors sent his messenger to call them back, because he wished to spare them and his dwelling-place. 51But they mocked his messengers, and whenever the Lord spoke, they scoffed at his prophets, 52until in his anger against his people because of their ungodly acts he gave command to bring against them the kings of the Chaldeans. 53These killed their young men with the sword around their holy temple, and did not spare young man or young woman,* old man or child, for he gave them all into their hands. 54They took all the holy vessels of the Lord, great and small, the treasure-chests of the Lord, and the royal stores, and carried them away to Babylon. 55They burned the house of the Lord, broke down the walls of Jerusalem, burned their towers with fire, 56and utterly destroyed all its glorious things. The survivors he led away to Babylon with the sword, 57and they were servants to him and to his sons until the Persians began to reign, in fulfilment of the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, 58saying, ‘Until the land has enjoyed its sabbaths, it shall keep sabbath all the time of its desolation until the completion of seventy years.’

Cyrus Permits the Exiles to Return

2In the first year of Cyrus as king of the Persians, so that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished— 2the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of the Persians, and he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

3 ‘Thus says Cyrus king of the Persians: The Lord of Israel, the Lord Most High, has made me king of the world, 4and he has commanded me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judea. 5If any of you, therefore, are of his people, may your Lord be with you; go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and build the house of the Lord of Israel—he is the Lord who dwells in Jerusalem— 6and let each of you, wherever you may live, be helped by the people of your place with gold and silver, 7with gifts and with horses and cattle, besides the other things added as votive offerings for the temple of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.’

8 Then arose the heads of families of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, and all whose spirit the Lord had stirred to go up to build the house in Jerusalem for the Lord; 9their neighbours helped them with everything, with silver and gold, with horses and cattle, and with a very great number of votive offerings from many whose hearts were stirred.

10 King Cyrus also brought out the holy vessels of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and stored in his temple of idols. 11When King Cyrus of the Persians brought these out, he gave them to Mithridates, his treasurer, 12and by him they were given to Sheshbazzar,* the governor of Judea. 13The number of these was: one thousand gold cups, one thousand silver cups, twenty-nine silver censers, thirty gold bowls, two thousand four hundred and ten silver bowls, and one thousand other vessels. 14All the vessels were handed over, gold and silver, five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine, 15and they were carried back by Sheshbazzar with the returning exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Opposition to Rebuilding Jerusalem

16 In the time of King Artaxerxes of the Persians, Bishlam, Mithridates, Tabeel, Rehum, Beltethmus, the scribe Shimshai, and the rest of their associates, living in Samaria and other places, wrote him the following letter, against those who were living in Judea and Jerusalem:

17 ‘To King Artaxerxes our lord, your servants the recorder Rehum and the scribe Shimshai and the other members of their council, and the judges in Coelesyria and Phoenicia: 18Let it now be known to our lord the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem and are building that rebellious and wicked city, repairing its market-places and walls and laying the foundations for a temple. 19Now if this city is built and the walls finished, they will not only refuse to pay tribute but will even resist kings. 20Since the building of the temple is now going on, we think it best not to neglect such a matter, 21but to speak to our lord the king, in order that, if it seems good to you, search may be made in the records of your ancestors. 22You will find in the annals what has been written about them, and will learn that this city was rebellious, troubling both kings and other cities, 23and that the Jews were rebels and kept setting up blockades in it from of old. That is why this city was laid waste. 24Therefore we now make known to you, O lord and king, that if this city is built and its walls finished, you will no longer have access to Coelesyria and Phoenicia.’

25 Then the king, in reply to the recorder Rehum, Beltethmus, the scribe Shimshai, and the others associated with them and living in Samaria and Syria and Phoenicia, wrote as follows:

26 ‘I have read the letter that you sent me. So I ordered search to be made, and it has been found that this city from of old has fought against kings, 27that the people in it were given to rebellion and war, and that mighty and cruel kings ruled in Jerusalem and exacted tribute from Coelesyria and Phoenicia. 28Therefore I have now issued orders to prevent these people from building the city and to take care that nothing more be done 29and that such wicked proceedings go no further to the annoyance of kings.’

30 Then, when the letter from King Artaxerxes was read, Rehum and the scribe Shimshai and their associates went quickly to Jerusalem, with cavalry and a large number of armed troops, and began to hinder the builders. And the building of the temple in Jerusalem stopped until the second year of the reign of King Darius of the Persians.

The Debate of the Three Bodyguards

3Now King Darius gave a great banquet for all that were under him, all that were born in his house, and all the nobles of Media and Persia, 2and all the satraps and generals and governors that were under him in the hundred and twenty-seven satrapies from India to Ethiopia. 3They ate and drank, and when they were satisfied they went away, and King Darius went to his bedroom; he went to sleep, but woke up again.

4 Then the three young men of the bodyguard, who kept guard over the person of the king, said to one another, 5‘Let each of us state what one thing is strongest; and to the one whose statement seems wisest, King Darius will give rich gifts and great honours of victory. 6He shall be clothed in purple, and drink from gold cups, and sleep on a gold bed,* and have a chariot with gold bridles, and a turban of fine linen, and a necklace around his neck; 7and because of his wisdom he shall sit next to Darius and shall be called Kinsman of Darius.’

8 Then each wrote his own statement, and they sealed them and put them under the pillow of King Darius, 9and said, ‘When the king wakes, they will give him the writing; and to the one whose statement the king and the three nobles of Persia judge to be wisest the victory shall be given according to what is written.’ 10The first wrote, ‘Wine is strongest.’ 11The second wrote, ‘The king is strongest.’ 12The third wrote, ‘Women are strongest, but above all things truth is victor.’*

13 When the king awoke, they took the writing and gave it to him, and he read it. 14Then he sent and summoned all the nobles of Persia and Media and the satraps and generals and governors and prefects, 15and he took his seat in the council chamber, and the writing was read in their presence. 16He said, ‘Call the young men, and they shall explain their statements.’ So they were summoned, and came in. 17They said to them, ‘Explain to us what you have written.’

The Speech about Wine

Then the first, who had spoken of the strength of wine, began and said: 18‘Gentlemen, how is wine the strongest? It leads astray the minds of all who drink it. 19It makes equal the mind of the king and the orphan, of the slave and the free, of the poor and the rich. 20It turns every thought to feasting and mirth, and forgets all sorrow and debt. 21It makes all hearts feel rich, forgets kings and satraps, and makes everyone talk in millions.* 22When people drink they forget to be friendly with friends and kindred, and before long they draw their swords. 23And when they recover from the wine, they do not remember what they have done. 24Gentlemen, is not wine the strongest, since it forces people to do these things?’ When he had said this, he stopped speaking.

The Speech about the King

4Then the second, who had spoken of the strength of the king, began to speak: 2‘Gentlemen, are not men strongest, who rule over land and sea and all that is in them? 3But the king is stronger; he is their lord and master, and whatever he says to them they obey. 4If he tells them to make war on one another, they do it; and if he sends them out against the enemy, they go, and conquer mountains, walls, and towers. 5They kill and are killed, and do not disobey the king’s command; if they win the victory, they bring everything to the king—whatever spoil they take and everything else. 6Likewise those who do not serve in the army or make war but till the soil; whenever they sow and reap, they bring some to the king; and they compel one another to pay taxes to the king. 7And yet he is only one man! If he tells them to kill, they kill; if he tells them to release, they release; 8if he tells them to attack, they attack; if he tells them to lay waste, they lay waste; if he tells them to build, they build; 9if he tells them to cut down, they cut down; if he tells them to plant, they plant. 10All his people and his armies obey him. Furthermore, he reclines, he eats and drinks and sleeps, 11but they keep watch around him, and no one may go away to attend to his own affairs, nor do they disobey him. 12Gentlemen, why is not the king the strongest, since he is to be obeyed in this fashion?’ And he stopped speaking.

The Speech about Women

13 Then the third, who had spoken of women and truth (and this was Zerubbabel), began to speak: 14‘Gentlemen, is not the king great, and are not men many, and is not wine strong? Who is it, then, that rules them, or has the mastery over them? Is it not women? 15Women gave birth to the king and to every people that rules over sea and land. 16From women they came; and women brought up the very men who plant the vineyards from which comes wine. 17Women make men’s clothes; they bring men glory; men cannot exist without women. 18If men gather gold and silver or any other beautiful thing, and then see a woman lovely in appearance and beauty, 19they let all those things go, and gape at her, and with open mouths stare at her, and all prefer her to gold or silver or any other beautiful thing. 20A man leaves his own father, who brought him up, and his own country, and clings to his wife. 21With his wife he ends his days, with no thought of his father or his mother or his country. 22Therefore you must realize that women rule over you!

‘Do you not labour and toil, and bring everything and give it to women? 23A man takes his sword, and goes out to travel and rob and steal and to sail the sea and rivers; 24he faces lions, and he walks in darkness, and when he steals and robs and plunders, he brings it back to the woman he loves. 25A man loves his wife more than his father or his mother. 26Many men have lost their minds because of women, and have become slaves because of them. 27Many have perished, or stumbled, or sinned because of women. 28And now do you not believe me?

‘Is not the king great in his power? Do not all lands fear to touch him? 29Yet I have seen him with Apame, the king’s concubine, the daughter of the illustrious Bartacus; she would sit at the king’s right hand 30and take the crown from the king’s head and put it on her own, and slap the king with her left hand. 31At this the king would gaze at her with mouth agape. If she smiles at him, he laughs; if she loses her temper with him, he flatters her, so that she may be reconciled to him. 32Gentlemen, why are not women strong, since they do such things?’

The Speech about Truth

33 Then the king and the nobles looked at one another; and he began to speak about truth: 34‘Gentlemen, are not women strong? The earth is vast, and heaven is high, and the sun is swift in its course, for it makes the circuit of the heavens and returns to its place in one day. 35Is not the one who does these things great? But truth is great, and stronger than all things. 36The whole earth calls upon truth, and heaven blesses it. All God’s works* quake and tremble, and with him there is nothing unrighteous. 37Wine is unrighteous, the king is unrighteous, women are unrighteous, all human beings are unrighteous, all their works are unrighteous, and all such things. There is no truth in them and in their unrighteousness they will perish. 38But truth endures and is strong for ever, and lives and prevails for ever and ever. 39With it there is no partiality or preference, but it does what is righteous instead of anything that is unrighteous or wicked. Everyone approves its deeds, 40and there is nothing unrighteous in its judgement. To it belongs the strength and the kingship and the power and the majesty of all the ages. Blessed be the God of truth!’ 41When he stopped speaking, all the people shouted and said, ‘Great is truth, and strongest of all!’

Zerubbabel’s Reward

42 Then the king said to him, ‘Ask what you wish, even beyond what is written, and we will give it to you, for you have been found to be the wisest. You shall sit next to me, and be called my Kinsman.’ 43Then he said to the king, ‘Remember the vow that you made on the day when you became king, to build Jerusalem, 44and to send back all the vessels that were taken from Jerusalem, which Cyrus set apart when he began* to destroy Babylon, and vowed to send them back there. 45You also vowed to build the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was laid waste by the Chaldeans. 46And now, O lord the king, this is what I ask and request of you, and this befits your greatness. I pray therefore that you fulfil the vow whose fulfilment you vowed to the King of heaven with your own lips.’

47 Then King Darius got up and kissed him, and wrote letters for him to all the treasurers and governors and generals and satraps, that they should give safe conduct to him and to all who were going up with him to build Jerusalem. 48And he wrote letters to all the governors in Coelesyria and Phoenicia and to those in Lebanon, to bring cedar timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem, and to help him build the city. 49He wrote in behalf of all the Jews who were going up from his kingdom to Judea, in the interest of their freedom, that no officer or satrap or governor or treasurer should forcibly enter their doors; 50that all the country that they would occupy should be theirs without tribute; that the Idumeans should give up the villages of the Jews that they held; 51that twenty talents a year should be given for the building of the temple until it was completed, 52and an additional ten talents a year for burnt-offerings to be offered on the altar every day, in accordance with the commandment to make seventeen offerings; 53and that all who came from Babylonia to build the city should have their freedom, they and their children and all the priests who came. 54He wrote also concerning their support and the priests’ vestments in which* they were to minister. 55He wrote that the support for the Levites should be provided until the day when the temple would be finished and Jerusalem built. 56He wrote that land and wages should be provided for all who guarded the city. 57And he sent back from Babylon all the vessels that Cyrus had set apart; everything that Cyrus had ordered to be done, he also commanded to be done and to be sent to Jerusalem.

Zerubbabel’s Prayer

58 When the young man went out, he lifted up his face to heaven towards Jerusalem, and praised the King of heaven, saying, 59‘From you comes the victory; from you comes wisdom, and yours is the glory. I am your servant. 60Blessed are you, who have given me wisdom; I give you thanks, O Lord of our ancestors.’

61 So he took the letters, and went to Babylon and told this to all his kindred. 62And they praised the God of their ancestors, because he had given them release and permission 63to go up and build Jerusalem and the temple that is called by his name; and they feasted, with music and rejoicing, for seven days.

List of the Returning Exiles

5After this the heads of ancestral houses were chosen to go up, according to their tribes, with their wives and sons and daughters, and their male and female servants, and their livestock. 2And Darius sent with them a thousand cavalry to take them back to Jerusalem in safety, with the music of drums and flutes; 3all their kindred were making merry. And he made them go up with them.

4 These are the names of the men who went up, according to their ancestral houses in the tribes, over their groups: 5the priests, the descendants of Phinehas son of Aaron; Jeshua son of Jozadak son of Seraiah and Joakim son of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, of the house of David, of the lineage of Phares, of the tribe of Judah, 6who spoke wise words before King Darius of the Persians, in the second year of his reign, in the month of Nisan, the first month.

7 These are the Judeans who came up out of their sojourn in exile, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away to Babylon 8and who returned to Jerusalem and the rest of Judea, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel and Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Resaiah, Eneneus, Mordecai, Beelsarus, Aspharasus, Reeliah, Rehum, and Baanah, their leaders.

9 The number of those of the nation and their leaders: the descendants of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. The descendants of Shephatiah, four hundred and seventy-two. 10The descendants of Arah, seven hundred and fifty-six. 11The descendants of Pahath-moab, of the descendants of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve. 12The descendants of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four. The descendants of Zattu, nine hundred and forty-five. The descendants of Chorbe, seven hundred and five. The descendants of Bani, six hundred and forty-eight. 13The descendants of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-three. The descendants of Azgad, one thousand three hundred and twenty-two. 14The descendants of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven. The descendants of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-six. The descendants of Adin, four hundred and fifty-four. 15The descendants of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, ninety-two. The descendants of Kilan and Azetas, sixty-seven. The descendants of Azaru, four hundred and thirty-two. 16The descendants of Annias, one hundred and one. The descendants of Arom. The descendants of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-three. The descendants of Arsiphurith, one hundred and twelve. 17The descendants of Baiterus, three thousand and five. The descendants of Bethlomon, one hundred and twenty-three. 18Those from Netophah, fifty-five. Those from Anathoth, one hundred and fifty-eight. Those from Bethasmoth, forty-two. 19Those from Kiriatharim, twenty-five. Those from Chephirah and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 20The Chadiasans and Ammidians, four hundred and twenty-two. Those from Kirama and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 21Those from Macalon, one hundred and twenty-two. Those from Betolio, fifty-two. The descendants of Niphish, one hundred and fifty-six. 22The descendants of the other Calamolalus and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-five. The descendants of Jerechus, three hundred and forty-five. 23The descendants of Senaah, three thousand three hundred and thirty.

24 The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah son of Jeshua, of the descendants of Anasib, nine hundred and seventy-two. The descendants of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two. 25The descendants of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven. The descendants of Charme, one thousand and seventeen.

26 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel and Bannas and Sudias, seventy-four. 27The temple singers: the descendants of Asaph, one hundred and twenty-eight. 28The gatekeepers: the descendants of Shallum, the descendants of Ater, the descendants of Talmon, the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Hatita, the descendants of Shobai, in all one hundred and thirty-nine.

29 The temple servants: the descendants of Esau, the descendants of Hasupha, the descendants of Tabbaoth, the descendants of Keros, the descendants of Sua, the descendants of Padon, the descendants of Lebanah, the descendants of Hagabah, 30the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Uthai, the descendants of Ketab, the descendants of Hagab, the descendants of Subai, the descendants of Hana, the descendants of Cathua, the descendants of Geddur, 31the descendants of Jairus, the descendants of Daisan, the descendants of Noeba, the descendants of Chezib, the descendants of Gazera, the descendants of Uzza, the descendants of Phinoe, the descendants of Hasrah, the descendants of Basthai, the descendants of Asnah, the descendants of Maani, the descendants of Nephisim, the descendants of Acuph,* the descendants of Hakupha, the descendants of Asur, the descendants of Pharakim, the descendants of Bazluth, 32the descendants of Mehida, the descendants of Cutha, the descendants of Charea, the descendants of Barkos, the descendants of Serar, the descendants of Temah, the descendants of Neziah, the descendants of Hatipha.

33 The descendants of Solomon’s servants: the descendants of Assaphioth, the descendants of Peruda, the descendants of Jaalah, the descendants of Lozon, the descendants of Isdael, the descendants of Shephatiah, 34the descendants of Agia, the descendants of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the descendants of Sarothie, the descendants of Masiah, the descendants of Gas, the descendants of Addus, the descendants of Subas, the descendants of Apherra, the descendants of Barodis, the descendants of Shaphat, the descendants of Allon.

35 All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants were three hundred and seventy-two.

36 The following are those who came up from Tel-melah and Tel-harsha, under the leadership of Cherub, Addan, and Immer, 37though they could not prove by their ancestral houses or lineage that they belonged to Israel: the descendants of Delaiah son of Tobiah, and the descendants of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two.

38 Of the priests the following had assumed the priesthood but were not found registered: the descendants of Habaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Jaddus who had married Agia, one of the daughters of Barzillai, and was called by his name. 39When a search was made in the register and the genealogy of these men was not found, they were excluded from serving as priests. 40And Nehemiah and Attharias* told them not to share in the holy things until a high priest should appear wearing Urim and Thummim.*

41 All those of Israel, twelve or more years of age, besides male and female servants, were forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty; 42their male and female servants were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; there were two hundred and forty-five musicians and singers. 43There were four hundred and thirty-five camels, and seven thousand and thirty-six horses, two hundred and forty-five mules, and five thousand five hundred and twenty-five donkeys.

44 Some of the heads of families, when they came to the temple of God that is in Jerusalem, vowed that, to the best of their ability, they would erect the house on its site, 45and that they would give to the sacred treasury for the work a thousand minas of gold, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests’ vestments.

46 The priests, the Levites, and some of the people* settled in Jerusalem and its vicinity; and the temple singers, the gatekeepers, and all Israel in their towns.

Worship Begins Again

47 When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were all in their own homes, they gathered with a single purpose in the square before the first gate towards the east. 48Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow-priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, with his kinsmen, took their places and prepared the altar of the God of Israel, 49to offer burnt-offerings upon it, in accordance with the directions in the book of Moses the man of God.

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