The Proclamation of Cyrus
1In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
2"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
The Exiles Return
2Now these were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town. 2They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
The number of the men of the people of Israel: 3the sons of Parosh, 2,172. 4The sons of Shephatiah, 372. 5The sons of Arah, 775. 6The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,812. 7The sons of Elam, 1,254. 8The sons of Zattu, 945. 9The sons of Zaccai, 760. 10The sons of Bani, 642. 11The sons of Bebai, 623. 12The sons of Azgad, 1,222. 13The sons of Adonikam, 666. 14The sons of Bigvai, 2,056. 15The sons of Adin, 454. 16The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 17The sons of Bezai, 323. 18The sons of Jorah, 112. 19The sons of Hashum, 223. 20The sons of Gibbar, 95. 21The sons of Bethlehem, 123. 22The men of Netophah, 56. 23The men of Anathoth, 128. 24The sons of Azmaveth, 42. 25The sons of Kiriath-arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 26The sons of Ramah and Geba, 621. 27The men of Michmas, 122. 28The men of Bethel and Ai, 223. 29The sons of Nebo, 52. 30The sons of Magbish, 156. 31The sons of the other Elam, 1,254. 32The sons of Harim, 320. 33The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 725. 34The sons of Jericho, 345. 35The sons of Senaah, 3,630.
36The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, 973. 37The sons of Immer, 1,052. 38The sons of Pashhur, 1,247. 39The sons of Harim, 1,017.
40The Levites: the sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodaviah, 74. 41The singers: the sons of Asaph, 128. 42The sons of the gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, in all 139.
43The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 44the sons of Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, 45the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub, 46the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shamlai, the sons of Hanan, 47the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, 48the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, 49the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, 50the sons of Asnah, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephisim, 51the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 52the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 53the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 54the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha.
55The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Hassophereth, the sons of Peruda, 56the sons of Jaalah, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 57the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, and the sons of Ami.
58All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants were 392.
59The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their fathers' houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 60the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, 652. 61Also, of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, and the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name). 62These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 63The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food, until there should be a priest to consult Urim and Thummim.
64The whole assembly together was 42,360, 65besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337, and they had 200 male and female singers. 66Their horses were 736, their mules were 245, 67their camels were 435, and their donkeys were 6,720.
68Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. 69According to their ability they gave to the treasury of the work 61,000 daricsA daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams of gold, 5,000 minasA mina was about 1 1/4 pounds or 0.6 kilogram of silver, and 100 priests' garments.
70Now the priests, the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants lived in their towns, and all the rest of IsraelHebrew all Israel in their towns.
Rebuilding the Altar
3When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem. 2Then arose Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel with his kinsmen, and they built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3They set the altar in its place, for fear was on them because of the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, burnt offerings morning and evening. 4And they kept the Feast of Booths, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the rule, as each day required, 5and after that the regular burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord. 6From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. 7So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
Rebuilding the Temple
8Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to supervise the work of the house of the Lord. 9And Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.
10And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,
"For he is good,for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel."
And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.
Adversaries Oppose the Rebuilding
4Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, 2they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here."
3But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, "You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us."
4Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build 5and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Rebuilding Begins Anew
5Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
3At the same time Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: "Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?" 4TheySeptuagint, Syriac; Aramaic We also asked them this: "What are the names of the men who are building this building?" 5But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report should reach Darius and then an answer be returned by letter concerning it.
Tattenai's Letter to King Darius
6This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the governors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. 7They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: "To Darius the king, all peace. 8Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. 9Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: 'Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?' 10We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders.Aramaic of the men at their heads
11And this was their reply to us: 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12But because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia.
A Vision of a Golden Lampstand
4And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. 2And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. 3And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." 4And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 6Then he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
7Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!'"
8Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9"The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
"These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth." 11Then I said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" 12And a second time I answered and said to him, "What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oilHebrew lacks oil is poured out?" 13He said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 14Then he said, "These are the two anointed onesHebrew two sons of new oil who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org