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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Ezra 6:1-22

6*  Then King Darius gave orders and they searched in the storage library in Babylon, 2*  and there was found at Ecbatana, in the palace in the province of Media, a certain roll, and a memorandum thus written in it: 3*  “In the year one of King Cyrus, King Cyrus gave orders—House of God at Jerusalem: let the house be rebuilt as a place where they sacrifice sacrifices and present fire-offerings, its height ninety feet and its breadth ninety feet, 4  three courses of heavy stone and one course of timber; and let the expenses be paid out of the royal estate; 5*  and also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God which Nebucadnessar took out of the temple at Jerusalem and brought to Babylon be given back and taken to the temple at Jerusalem, to its site, and you shall place them in the house of God.” 6**  “Now, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and your fellow-colonists the Apharsekites in Trans-Euphrates, keep away from there; 7  let alone the work on that house of God; let the governor of the Judahites and the elders of the Judahites build that house of God on its site. 8**  And it is hereby ordered that you cooperate with those elders of the Judahites for building that house of God, and out of the royal funds of the taxes of Trans-Euphrates let the expenses be thoroughly paid to those men that there may be no failure of what they need. 9  And let steers and rams and lambs for burnt-offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil as the priests at Jerusalem may say, be given to them day by day without negligence, 10  that they may offer genial offerings to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and of his sons. 11**  And it is hereby ordered that any man who authorizes any action inconsistent with this rescript shall have a timber torn out of his house and be impaled erect upon it, and his house shall be made a garbage-dump for this. 12*  And the God who has installed his name there shall overthrow any king or nation that puts forth a hand to act otherwise, to damage that house of God at Jerusalem. I Darius give the order; let it be done thoroughly.” 13*  Then Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and their fellow-colonists, inasmuch as Darius had sent word, did thus thoroughly; 14*  and the elders of the Judahites did the building and had good success by the prophesying of the prophet Haggai and Zecariah the son of ʽIddo. And they did the building and completed it, at the order of the God of Israel and of Cyrus and Darius and King Artaxerxes of Persia. 15**  And they kept at work on this house till the twenty-third day of the month of Adar; that is the year six of the reign of King Darius. 16  And the sons of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the returned deportees, held the dedication services of this house of God with festivity, 17  and offered for the dedication of this house of God a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve goats, to the number of the tribes of Israel, for a sin-offering for all Israel; 18  and they set the priests by courses and the Levites by sections for the divine service at Jerusalem as is written in the book of Moses. 19  And the returned deportees kept the passover on the fourteenth of the first month. 20*  For the priests and Levites had purified themselves as one man, they were all of them clean, and they killed the passover for all the returned deportees and for their brothers the priests and for themselves; 21  and the sons of Israel who had come back from the deportation ate, and all who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the local heathens to join them in devotion to Israel’s God Jehovah. 22  And they kept the feast of matzoth seven days with festivity, because Jehovah had gladdened them and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, Israel’s God.

Footnotes

6:1 (last part) Susp.
6:2 Or and this written in it: “Memorandum: In
6:3 Codd. sacrifices, and its foundations carrying, its height
6:5 (last half) Susp.
6:6, 6:13 Conj. Vishtanai, governor
6:6, 6:13 Or colleagues
6:8, 6:11 Lit. And orders are given from me that
6:8-9 Codd. to those men without fail. And let what they need, and steers
6:11 Lit. who changes this rescript
6:11 (garbage-dump) Unc.
6:12 Lit. a hand to change, to damage
6:13 Conj. his fellow-colonists
6:14 Conj. and Darius. And they kept
6:15 Var. the third day
6:15 Conj. that words have been left out in the latter part of the verse
6:20 Conj. For the Levites had Conj.* For the priests had purified themselves, and the Levites were all of them clean like one man and killed