1 Ezra 1:1-2:11
1 Josiah kept the Passover to his Lord in Jerusalem. He sacrificed the paschal lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He then placed the priests in the Lord’s temple according to their divisions, clothed in their vestments. 3 He told the Levites, Israel’s servants in the temple, to sanctify themselves to the Lord and to place the holy ark of the Lord in the house that King Solomon, son of David, had built. For he said, “No longer will you carry the ark upon your shoulders. 4 Now serve the Lord your God, and heal His people Israel. Prepare yourselves according to your families and tribes, according to the writing of King David of Israel and the magnificence of Solomon his son. 5 Stand in the temple in your proper order before your brothers, the children of Israel, and according to the office of your paternal families, the Levites. 6 Sacrifice the paschal lamb, prepare the sacrifices for your brothers, and keep the Passover according to the Lord’s commandment given to Moses.”
7 Josiah gave thirty thousand lambs and kids and three thousand calves to the people who were present. These were given from the king’s possessions to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites, as he promised. 8 Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the overseers of the temple, gave the priests two thousand six hundred sheep and three hundred calves for Passover. 9 Jeconiah, Shemaiah, and Nathanael his brother, and Hashabiah, Ochiel, and Joram, high-ranking officers, gave the Levites five thousand sheep and seven hundred calves for Passover.
10 This is what happened. The priests and Levites stood in their proper order before the people, 11 holding the unleavened bread according to the tribes 12 and the governors of their paternal families, to present the offering to the Lord, as was written in the Book of Moses. This was done in the morning. 13 They roasted the paschal lamb with fire, as was fitting, and the sacrifices were boiled in copper pots and pans, providing a fragrant aroma. They were then carried out to all the people.
14 After this was done, they prepared the paschal lamb for themselves and for the priests their brothers, the sons of Aaron. For the priests offered the fat until late and the Levites prepared it for themselves and for the priests, their brothers, the sons of Aaron. 15 The temple singers, the sons of Asaph, were also in their proper place according to their appointed order made by David, along with Asaph, Zechariah, and Eddinus, who belonged to the king’s entourage. Moreover the gatekeepers from each gate were not to leave their posts, for their brothers, the Levites, prepared the paschal lamb for them.
16 So the things concerning the sacrifices were completed on that day. They kept the Passover and offered sacrifices on the altar of the Lord according to the command of King Josiah. 17 Thus the children of Israel who were present at that time kept Passover, as well as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for seven days. 18 From the times of Samuel the prophet, there was no Passover kept in Israel such as this. 19 No king in Israel ever kept such a Passover as Josiah did, along with the Levites, the Jews and all Israel who were present and living in Jerusalem. 20 This Passover was kept in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign. 21 These works of Josiah were upright before the Lord, for his heart was full of godliness.
22 The events that took place in the days of Josiah were recorded long ago. They concerned those who sinned and acted impiously against the Lord, even more so than any nation and kingdom. For they grieved Him extremely, so the words of the Lord came against Israel.
23 Then after these acts of Josiah took place, Pharaoh the king of Egypt went to make war at Carchemish on the River Euphrates. So Josiah went out to encounter him. 24 Then the king of Egypt sent word to him, saying, “What do we have to do with each other, O king of Judea? 25 I was not sent against you by the Lord God, for my war is at the Euphrates. The Lord is now with me, and the Lord is hastening me onward! Therefore withdraw from me, and do not be in opposition to the Lord.”
Josiah’s Reign Is Ended
26 Josiah, however, did not turn back his chariot, but tried to fight against him. Thus he did not heed the words of Jeremiah the prophet from the mouth of the Lord. 27 Rather, he engaged Pharaoh in battle on the plain of Megiddo, and his commanders came down against King Josiah. 28 Then the king told his servants, “Remove me from the fight, for I am badly wounded.” Thus his servants immediately withdrew him from the line of battle. 29 They mounted him on his second chariot and brought him back to Jerusalem, where he died. So they buried him in the tomb of his forefathers.
30 They mourned over Josiah throughout all Judea. Jeremiah the prophet also sang a lamentation on Josiah’s behalf. Even to this day, the chief men and the women make lamentations for him, for it came to pass that this was to be done perpetually throughout the entire nation of Israel. 31 These things are recorded in the book of the histories of the Judean kings. Now everything Josiah did—his glory, his understanding in the law of the Lord, both his prior accomplishments and things now related—are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Jerusalem Falls to Babylon
32 The men of the nation took Jeconiah the son of Josiah to succeed Josiah as king. He was twenty-three years old. 33 He reigned for three months in both Judah and Jerusalem. Then the king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem 34 and made the people pay a fine of one hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. 35 The king of Egypt then appointed Jehoiakim his brother as king of Judah and Jerusalem. 36 Jehoiakim put the people of high status in prison, then arrested his brother Zarius and brought him up from Egypt.
37 Now Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judea and Jerusalem, but he did evil before the Lord. 38 So Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came up against him, bound him with a copper chain, and led him away by force to Babylon. 39 Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the Lord’s holy vessels and carried them away and placed them in his temple in Babylon. 40 Now the things written about Jehoiakim, his uncleanness and ungodliness, are described in the chronicles of the kings.
41 Then his son Jehoiachin reigned in his place, for he was appointed king when he was eighteen years old. 42 He reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem and did evil before the Lord. 43 After a year, Nebuchadnezzar sent and deported him to Babylon, together with the holy vessels of the Lord. 44 Then he appointed Zedekiah king of Judea and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old and he reigned for eleven years. 45 He also did evil before the Lord and did not respect the words from the mouth of the Lord spoken to him by Jeremiah the prophet. 46 Although King Nebuchadnezzar made him swear in the Lord’s name, he swore falsely and revolted. He became stiff-necked, hardened his heart, and transgressed the laws of the Lord God of Israel. 47 Even the chief leaders of the people and the priests acted in many ungodly and lawless ways, surpassing all the uncleanness of all the nations. They even defiled the Lord’s temple which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.
48 Now the God of their fathers sent to call them back through His angel so as to spare them and His dwelling place. 49 But they ridiculed His messengers, and whenever the Lord spoke, they mocked His prophets until He became furious with His people because of their impious acts. So He gave the command to bring the kings of the Chaldeans against them. 50 They killed their young men by the sword round about their holy temple. They spared neither young man nor virgin, neither old man nor child, for He handed over all into their hands. 51 They took all the large and small holy vessels of the Lord, the ark of the Lord, and the king’s possessions, and carried them off to Babylon. 52 They burned the Lord’s house, broke down the walls of Jerusalem, and set the towers on fire. 53 They made all its glorious things to be worthless and led away the survivors to Babylon with the sword.
54 They became servants of the king and his heirs until the Persians began to reign, in fulfillment of the Lord’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah, 55 which said, “Until the land has enjoyed its Sabbaths, it shall keep its Sabbath the entire time of its desolation until the fulfillment of seventy years.”
Decree of Cyrus
1 When Cyrus was reigning over the Persians in his first year, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of the Persians for the completion of the Lord’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah. So he made a written proclamation in all his kingdom, saying, 2 “Thus says Cyrus the king of the Persians: Israel’s Lord, the Lord Most High, revealed and indicated to me, the king of the inhabited world, that I should build a house for Him at Jerusalem in Judea. 3 Therefore, if any of you are from His nation, may the Lord be with you, and when you go up to Jerusalem in Judea, may you build the house of the Lord of Israel. He is the Lord who dwells in Jerusalem. 4 Therefore, let as many as are living around you in various places help you with gifts of gold and silver, with horses and cattle, as well as with other things added as votive offerings for the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem.”
5 Then the chiefs of the families of Judah and of the tribe of Benjamin, and the priests and Levites, and everyone whose spirit the Lord stirred up stepped forth to go up to build the Lord’s house in Jerusalem. 6 Those round about whose hearts were stirred helped them with everything: with silver and gold, with horses and cattle, and with a very great number of votive offerings.
7 King Cyrus also brought forth the sacred vessels of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar had carried out from Jerusalem and placed in his temple of idols. 8 Cyrus, king of the Persians, brought these out and handed them over to Mithridates, his treasurer. He, in turn, gave them to Sheshbazzar, the chief leader of Judea. 9 The number of these was as follows: one thousand gold cups, one thousand silver cups, twenty-nine silver censers, 10 thirty gold bowls, two thousand four hundred and ten silver bowls, and one thousand other vessels. 11 All the gold and silver vessels handed over totaled five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine. All these, together with the returning captives, were brought back to Jerusalem by Sheshbazzar.
1 An ode of ascents.
Remember David, O Lord,
And all his meekness,
2 How he swore to the Lord,
How he vowed to the God of Jacob,
3 “I shall not enter my dwelling,
I shall not recline on my bed,
4 I shall not close my eyes in sleep
Nor my eyelids for dozing,
Nor give any rest to my temples,
5 Until I find a place for the Lord,
A tabernacle for the God of Jacob.”
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
We found it in the plains of the wood;
7 Let us enter into His tabernacles;
Let us worship at the place where His feet stood.
8 Arise, O Lord, into Your rest,
You and the ark of Your holiness;
9 Your priests shall clothe themselves in righteousness;
Your saints shall greatly rejoice.
10 For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away from the face of Your anointed.
11 The Lord swore to David this truth, and He shall not reject it,
“I shall set upon your throne one from the fruit of your loins.
12 If your sons keep My covenant
And these testimonies I shall teach them,
Then their sons shall sit upon your throne forever.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He chose her for His dwelling:
14 “This is My place of rest unto ages of ages;
Here I shall dwell, for I have chosen her.
15 Blessing, I shall bless her provision;
I shall satisfy her poor with bread;
16 And I shall clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall rejoice exceedingly with great joy;
17 There I shall cause to spring up a horn for David;
There I prepared a lamp for my anointed;
18 His enemies I shall clothe with shame;
Upon him shall My sanctification flourish.”
16 A hungry lion and a thirsty wolf
Is he who, being poor, tyrannizes over poor people.
17 A king in need of revenues is a great oppressor,
But he who hates unrighteousness shall live a long time.
18 He who becomes surety for a man charged with murder
Shall be a fugitive and unsafe.
19 Instruct your son, and he shall love you;
And he shall give honor to your soul,
Lest he follow a lawless people.
20 He who walks righteously shall be helped,
But he who walks in crooked ways shall be entangled therein.
5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”
8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,
9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.
The King on a Cross
(Matt. 27:32–56; Mark 15:21–41; Luke 23:26–49)
17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,
18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” ’ ”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.
24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”
Therefore the soldiers did these things.