Old Testament in a year – Day 348

Ezra 7: 1 - 9: 15

1Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6this Ezra went up from Babylon. He was a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the LORD his God’s hand on him. 7Some of the children of Israel, including some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God on him. 10For Ezra had set his heart to seek the LORD’s law, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11Now this is the copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the LORD’s commandments, and of his statutes to Israel:
12Artaxerxes, king of kings,
To Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the perfect God of heaven.
Now 13I make a decree that all those of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my realm, who intend of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with you. 14Because you are sent by the king and his seven counsellors to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand, 15and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16and all the silver and gold that you will find in all the province of Babylon, with the free will offering of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem. 17Therefore you shall with all diligence buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do that according to the will of your God. 19The vessels that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20Whatever more will be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to give, give it out of the king’s treasure house.
21I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, it shall be done with all diligence, 22up to one hundred talents of silver, and to one hundred cors of wheat, and to one hundred baths of wine, and to one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24Also we inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or labourers of this house of God.
25You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are beyond the River, who all know the laws of your God; and teach him who doesn’t know them. 26Whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgement be executed on him with all diligence, whether it is to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the LORD’s house which is in Jerusalem; 28and has extended loving kindness to me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. I was strengthened according to the LORD my God’s hand on me, and I gathered together chief men out of Israel to go up with me.
1Now these are the heads of their fathers’ households, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king:
2Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom.
Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel.
Of the sons of David, Hattush.
3Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were listed by genealogy of the males one hundred and fifty.
4Of the sons of Pahathmoab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males.
5Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males.
6Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males.
7Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males.
8Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him eighty males.
9Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
10Of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him one hundred and sixty males.
11Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty-eight males.
12Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him one hundred and ten males.
13Of the sons of Adonikam, who were the last, their names are: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males.
14Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males.
15I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days. Then I looked around at the people and the priests, and found there were none of the sons of Levi. 16Then I sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, for Elnathan, for Jarib, for Elnathan, for Nathan, for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib and for Elnathan, who were teachers. 17I sent them out to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo and his brothers the temple servants at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. 18According to the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen; 19and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty; 20and of the temple servants, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty temple servants. All of them were mentioned by name.
21Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a straight way for us, for our little ones, and for all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him.” 23So we fasted and begged our God for this, and he granted our request.
24Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the priests, even Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them, 25and weighed to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, his counsellors, his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered. 26I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, one hundred talents of silver vessels, one hundred talents of gold, 27twenty bowls of gold weighing one thousand darics, and two vessels of fine bright bronze, precious as gold. 28I said to them, “You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy. The silver and the gold are a free will offering to the LORD, the God of your fathers. 29Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and the princes of the fathers’ households of Israel at Jerusalem, in the rooms of the LORD’s house.”
30So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver, the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.
31Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the bandits by the way. 32We came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days. 33On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them were Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, the Levites. 34Everything was counted and weighed; and all the weight was written at that time.
35The children of the captivity, who had come out of exile, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the LORD. 36They delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s local governors and to the governors beyond the River. So they supported the people and God’s house.
1Now when these things were done, the princes came near to me, saying, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, following their abominations, even those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Yes, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this trespass.”
3When I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled the hair out of my head and of my beard, and sat down confounded. 4Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel were assembled to me because of the trespass of the exiles; and I sat confounded until the evening offering.
5At the evening offering I rose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn; and I fell on my knees, and spread out my hands to the LORD my God; 6and I said, “My God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have increased over our head, and our guiltiness has grown up to the heavens. 7Since the days of our fathers we have been exceedingly guilty to this day; and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. 8Now for a little moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a stake in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and revive us a little in our bondage. 9For we are bondservants; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10“Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land to which you go to possess is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness. 12Now therefore don’t give your daughters to their sons. Don’t take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’
13“After all that has come on us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant, 14shall we again break your commandments, and join ourselves with the peoples that do these abominations? Wouldn’t you be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant, nor any to escape? 15LORD, the God of Israel, you are righteous; for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guiltiness; for no one can stand before you because of this.”
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