Ezra 3-5 Darby’s Translation

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The Restoration of Worship

3 1  And when the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem. 2  Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer up burnt-offerings on it, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3  And they set the altar on its base; for fear was upon them because of the people of the countries; and they offered up burnt-offerings on it to Jehovah, the morning and evening burnt-offerings. 4  And they held the feast of tabernacles as it is written, and [offered] daily burnt-offerings by number, according to the ordinance, as the duty of every day required; 5  and afterwards the continual burnt-offering, and those of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of Jehovah that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a voluntary offering to Jehovah. 6  From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer up burnt-offerings to Jehovah. But the foundation of the temple of Jehovah was not [yet] laid. 7  And they gave money to the masons and to the carpenters; and meat and drink and oil to the Zidonians and to the Tyrians, to bring cedar-trees from Lebanon to the sea at Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

The Rebuilding of the Temple Begun

8  And in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem; and they appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to superintend the work of the house of Jehovah. 9  And Jeshua stood up, his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, as one [man], to superintend the workmen in the house of God; [also] the sons of Henadad, their sons and their brethren, the Levites. 10  And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Jehovah, they set the priests in their apparel, with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise Jehovah according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11  And they sang alternately together in praising and giving thanks to Jehovah: For he is good, for his loving-kindness [endureth] for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout to the praise of Jehovah, because the foundation of the house of Jehovah was laid. 12  But many of the priests and Levites and chief fathers, the ancient men that had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice, [when] the foundation of this house was laid in their sight; and many shouted aloud for joy. 13  And the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a great shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

The Adversaries Stop the Work

4 1  And the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building the temple to Jehovah the God of Israel; 2  and they came to Zerubbabel and to the chief fathers, and said to them, We would build with you; for we seek your God, as ye; and we have sacrificed to him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither. 3  But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the chief fathers of Israel said to them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God, but we alone will build to Jehovah the God of Israel, as king Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us. 4  And the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building; 5  and they hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

6  And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 7  And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in Aramaic, and interpreted in Aramaic. 8  Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king after this sort: 9  Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites, 10  and the rest of the peoples whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over and settled in the cities of Samaria, and the rest [of the country] on this side the river, and so forth. 11  This is the copy of the letter that they sent to him: To Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men on this side the river, and so forth. 12  Be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from thee unto us have come to Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and they complete the walls and join up the foundations. 13  Be it known therefore unto the king, that, if this city be built and the walls be completed, they will not pay tribute, tax, and toll, and in the end it will bring damage to the kings. 14  Now, since we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not right for us to see the king's injury, therefore have we sent and informed the king; 15  that search may be made in the book of the annals of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the annals and know that this city is a rebellious city, which has done damage to kings and provinces, and that they have raised sedition within the same of old time, for which cause this city was destroyed. 16  We inform the king that if this city be built and its walls be completed, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

17  The king sent an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and the other places beyond the river: Peace, and so forth. 18  The letter that ye sent to us has been read before me distinctly. 19  And I gave orders, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city of old time has made insurrection against the kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been raised therein. 20  And there have been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all beyond the river; and tribute, tax, and toll were paid to them. 21  Now give order to make these men to cease, and that this city be not built, until the order shall be given from me; 22  and take heed that ye fail not to do this: why should harm grow to the damage of the kings? 23  As soon as the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them cease by force and power. 24  Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

The Temple Rebuilt

5 1  Now the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem; in the name of the God of Israel [did they prophesy] to them. 2  Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, who helped them.

3  At that time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and their companions, and said thus to them: Who gave you orders to build this house and to complete this wall? 4  And they said to them after this manner: What are the names of the men that build this building? 5  But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they did not make them cease till the matter came to Darius; and then they returned answer by letter concerning it. 6  The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, who were on this side the river, sent to Darius the king. 7  They sent a report to him in which was written thus: To Darius the king, all peace! 8  Be it known to the king that we went into the province of Judah, to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work is being carried on with diligence, and prospers in their hand. 9  Then asked we those elders: thus we said to them, Who gave you orders to build this house and to complete this wall? 10  We asked their names also, to inform thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them. 11  And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of the heavens and the earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago; and a great king of Israel built and completed it. 12  But after that our fathers had provoked the God of the heavens to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, and he destroyed this house, and carried the people away unto Babylon. 13  But in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, king Cyrus gave orders to build this house of God. 14  And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was at Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, those did king Cyrus take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one Sheshbazzar by name, whom he had appointed governor. 15  And he said to him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is at Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in its place. 16  Then came the same Sheshbazzar, [and] laid the foundation of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and since that time even until now has it been in building, and it is not completed. 17  And now, if it seem good to the king, let search be made in the king's treasure-house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that orders were given by king Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

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