2 Ezra 6:15-8:30
15 Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. 16 Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 They assigned the priests to their divisions and the Levites to their divisions over the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.
19 And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were ritually clean. And they slaughtered the Passover lambs for all the descendants of the captivity, for their brothers the priests, and for themselves. 21 Then the children of Israel who had returned from the captivity ate together with all who had separated themselves from the filth of the nations of the land in order to seek the Lord God of Israel. 22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Ezra Arrives in Jerusalem
1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6 this Ezra came up from Babylon, and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him. 7 Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. 8 They came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was the seventh year of the king. 9 On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, since the good hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
The Favorable Decree of Artaxerxes
11 This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the Lord and of His statutes to Israel:
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings,
To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven: Perfect peace, and so forth. 13 I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem may go with you. 14 And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God which is in your hand; 15 and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem; 16 and whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for the house of their God in Jerusalem— 17 now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18 And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of your God. 19 Also the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, pay for it from the king’s treasury. 21 And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the region beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, may require of you, let it be done diligently, 22 up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribed limit. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it diligently be done for the house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tax, tribute, or custom on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God. 25 And you, Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are in the region beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach those who do not know them. 26 Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be death, or banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.
27 Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, 28 and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes.
So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.
Families Who Returned from Exile
1 These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, the leaders who went up with me in the reign of Artaxerxes the king of Babylon: 2 of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush; 3 of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, and a group of one hundred fifty men with him; 4 of the sons of Pahath-Moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males; 5 of the sons of Zathoe, Shechaniah, the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males; 6 of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males; 7 of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males; 8 of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him eighty males; 9 of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred eighteen males; 10 of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah, and with him one hundred sixty males; 11 of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him seventy-eight males; 12 of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him one hundred ten males; 13 of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these—Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah—and with them sixty males; 14 also of the sons of Bigvai and Uthai, and with him seventy males.
15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there for three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, and also to Joiarib and Elnathan, men of understanding. 17 And I gave them a command for Iddo the chief man at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say to Iddo and his brethren the Nethinim at the place Casiphia—that they should bring us servants for the house of our God. 18 And as the hand of our God was good upon us, they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and brothers, eighteen men; 19 and Hashabiah, and Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and his sons, twenty; 20 and from the temple servants of the Levites, whom David and the leaders had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred twenty temple servants. All of them were designated by name.
Ezra Proclaims a Fast
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and for our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
Gifts for the Temple
24 And I separated twelve of the leaders of the priests—Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them— 25 and weighed out to them the silver, gold, and the articles, the first fruits of the house of our God, which the king, his counselors, his princes, and all Israel who were present had offered. 26 I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, silver articles weighing one hundred talents, one hundred talents of gold, 27 twenty gold basins worth a thousand drachmas, and two vessels of fine polished bronze, precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord; the articles are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers. 29 Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the leaders of the priests and the Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel in Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord.” 30 So the priests and the Levites received the silver and the gold and the articles by weight, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.
13 For You possess my heart, O Lord;
You took hold of me from my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You,
For I am fearfully and wondrously made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And my soul knows this very well.
15 My bone you made in secret was not hidden from You.
And my substance was in the lowest parts of the earth;
16 Your eyes saw me when I was unformed,
And all men shall be written in Your book;
They shall be formed day by day,
When as yet there were none among them.
17 Your friends, O God, became very honorable to me;
Their principalities became very strong;
18 I shall count them,
And they shall be multiplied more than the sand;
I awakened, and I am still with You.
19 If You should slay sinners, O God,
You would turn aside from me, O men of blood.
20 For You will say regarding their reasoning,
“They shall receive your cities in vain.”
21 Have I not hated those who hate You, O Lord?
And was I not wasting away because of Your enemies?
22 I hated them with perfect hatred;
They became my enemies.
23 Test me, O God, and know my heart;
Examine me, and know my paths,
24 And see if there is a lawless way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
1 My son, fear my words,
And when you receive them, repent;
The man says these things to those who believe in God, then I cease speaking;
2 For I am the most lacking of all men in discernment,
And the discernment of men is not in me;
3 God gives me wisdom,
And I know holy things.
4 Who ascends into heaven and descends?
Who gathers the winds in His bosom?
Who wraps up the water in a garment?
Who rules over all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is the name of His children,
That you might acknowledge it?
5 All the words of God are tried in fire,
And He defends those who fear Him.
1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them,
2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Addressing the Sanhedrin
5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes,
6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:
9 “If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,
10 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11 “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The Name of Jesus Forbidden
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17 “But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.
22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.