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The Bible in Living English
7 And after these events, in the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, ʽEzra the son of Serajah the son of ʽAzariah the son of Hilkijah 2 the son of Shallum the son of Sadok the son of Ahitub 3 the son of Amariah the son of ʽAzariah the son of Merajoth 4 the son of Zerahiah the son of ʽUzzi the son of Bukki 5 the son of Abishuaʽ the son of Pinehas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the first priest— 6* he, ʽEzra, came up from Babylon; and he was an expert scribe in Moses’s code which Israel’s God Jehovah gave; and the king had given him, in accordance with Jehovah’s hand upon him, everything that he had requested; and there came up to Jerusalem 7 some of the sons of Israel and some of the priests and the Levites and the singers and the gatemen and the temple servants, in the year seven of King Artaxerxes. 8* And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month; that is the year seven of King Artaxerxes. 9* For on the first of the first month he began the arrangements for the journey up from Babylon, and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem in accordance with God’s good hand upon him. 10 For ʽEzra had firmly made up his mind to devote himself to Jehovah’s code and to do and to teach in Jerusalem what was correct and lawful. 11 And this is a copy of the note King Artaxerxes gave to Priest ʽEzra the scribe, scribe of the words of Jehovah’s commandments and rules for Israel: 12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Priest ʽEzra, scribe of the law of the God of heaven, etc., ss. 13* It is hereby ordered that anyone in my kingdom of the people of Israel and of its priests and Levites who volunteers to go to Jerusalem with you shall go, 14* inasmuch as you are sent from the king and his seven counselors to examine into conditions about Judah and at Jerusalem from the point of view of the law of your God which you have in your hand, 15 and to bring silver and gold which the king and his counselors have donated to the God of Israel whose abode is in Jerusalem, 16 and all silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, with the donations of the people and the priests who donate for the house of their God at Jerusalem. 17 In consideration of this you are to buy carefully with this money bulls, rams, lambs, and their grain-offerings and libations, and offer them on the altar of the God of heaven at Jerusalem; 18 and what it seems good to you and your brothers to do with the remainder of the silver and gold in accordance with the pleasure of your God you are to do. 19 And deliver before the God of Jerusalem the vessels that are given you for the service of the house of God. 20 And the rest of the needs of the house of your God which it shall fall to you to provide you shall provide out of the royal treasury. 21 And all subtreasurers in Trans-Euphrates are hereby ordered by me Artaxerxes, the king, that everything that Priest ʽEzra the scribe of the law of the God of heaven asks you for be done thoroughly 22* to the extent of a hundred talents of silver and of a thousand bushels of wheat and of eight hundred gallons of wine and of eight hundred gallons of oil, and salt at discretion. 23 Let everything the God of heaven orders be done precisely for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be anger against the empire of the king and of his sons? 24 And take notice that it is not permissible to impose taxes, levies, or tributes on any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, and attendants of this house of God. 25 And you, ʽEzra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God which you have in your hand, are to appoint judges and magistrates who are to judge all the people in Trans-Euphrates, everybody who knows the laws of your God; and him who does not know you are to enlighten. 26 And on anyone who does not live up to your God’s law and the king’s law let sentence be duly executed, whether for death or for excommunication or for fine or for imprisonment.” 27 Blessed be our fathers’ God Jehovah who put such a thing as this into the king’s heart, to give a magnificent status to Jehovah’s house at Jerusalem, 28 and gave the king and his counselors and all his powerful generals a friendly disposition toward me! And I took courage from the hand of my God Jehovah resting on me, and gathered heads out of Israel to go up with me.