1 ✡ And after these things, when Artaxerxes the king of the Persians reigned, came Esdras the son of Azaraias, the son of Zechrias, the son of Helkias, the son of Salem, 2 the son of Sadduk, the son of Ahitob, the son of Amarias, the son of Ozias,* the son of Memeroth, the son of Zaraias, the son of Savias, the son of Boccas, the son of Abisne, the son of Phinees, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the chief priest. 3 This Esdras went up from Babylon, as being a ready scribe in the law of Moses, that was given by the God of Israel. 4 And the king did him honor: for he found grace in his sight in all his requests. 5 There went up with him also certain of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and Levites, and holy singers, and gatekeepers, and† temple servants, to Jerusalem, 6 in the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes, in the fifth month, this was the king’s seventh year; for they went from Babylon on the new moon of the first month, and came to Jerusalem, according to the prosperous journey which the Lord gave them‡ for his sake. 7 For Esdras had very great skill, so that he omitted nothing of the law and commandments of the Lord, but taught all Israel the ordinances and judgments.
8 Now the commission, which was written from Artaxerxes the king, came to Esdras the priest and reader of the law of the Lord, whereof this that follows is a copy; 9 King Artaxerxes to Esdras the priest and reader of the law of the Lord, greeting: 10 Having determined to deal graciously, I have given order, that such of the nation of the Jews, and of the priests and Levites,§ and of those within our realm, as are willing and desirous, should go with you to Jerusalem. 11 As many therefore as have a mind thereto, let them depart with you, as it has seemed good both to me and my seven friends the counselors; 12 that they may look to the affairs of Judea and Jerusalem, agreeably to that which is in the law of the Lord, 13 and carry the gifts to the Lord of Israel to Jerusalem, which I and my friends have vowed; and that all the gold and silver that can be found in the country of Babylonia for the Lord in Jerusalem, 14 with that also which is given of the people for the temple of the Lord their God that is at Jerusalem, be collected: even the gold and silver for bullocks, rams, and lambs, and things thereto appertaining; 15 to the end that they may offer sacrifices to the Lord upon the altar of the Lord their God, which is in Jerusalem. 16 And whatever you and your kindred are minded to do with gold and silver, that perform, according to the will of your God. 17 And the holy vessels of the Lord, which are given you for the use of the temple of your God, which is in Jerusalem: 18 and whatever thing else you shall remember for the use of the temple of your God, you shall give it out of the king’s treasury. 19 And I king Artaxerxes have also commanded the keepers of the treasures in Syria and Phoenicia, that whatever Esdras the priest and reader of the law of the Most High God shall send for, they should give it him with all diligence, 20 to the sum of a hundred talents of silver, likewise also of wheat even to a hundred* measures, and a hundred firkins† of wine, and‡ salt in abundance. 21 Let all things be performed after the law of God diligently to the most high God, that wrath come not upon the kingdom of the king and his sons. 22 I command you also, that no tax, nor any other imposition, be laid upon any of the priests, or Levites, or holy singers, or gatekeepers, or temple servants, or any that have employment in this temple, and that no man have authority to impose anything upon them. 23 And you, Esdras, according to the wisdom of God ordain judges and justices, that they may judge in all Syria and Phoenicia all those that know the law of your God; and those that know it not you shall teach. 24 And whoever shall transgress the law of your God, and of the king, shall be punished diligently, whether it be by death, or other punishment, by penalty of money, or by§ imprisonment.
25 Then said Esdras the scribe, Blessed be the only Lord, the God of my fathers, who has put these things into the heart of the king, to glorify his house that is in Jerusalem: 26 and has honored me in the sight of the king, and his counselors, and all his friends and nobles. 27 Therefore was I encouraged by the help of the Lord my God, and gathered together out of Israel men to go up with me. 28 And these are the chief according to their families and the several divisions thereof, that went up with me from Babylon in the reign of king Artaxerxes: 29 of the sons of Phinees, Gerson: of the sons of Ithamar, Gamael: of the sons of David,* Attus†the son of Sechenias: 30 of the sons of Phoros, Zacharais; and with him were counted a hundred and fifty men: 31 of the sons of Phaath Moab, Eliaonias the son of‡ Zaraias, and with him two hundred men: 32 § of the sons of Zathoes, Sechenias the son of Jezelus, and with him* three hundred men: of the sons ofAdin, Obeth the son of Jonathan, and with him two hundred and fifty men: 33 of the sons of Elam, Jesias son of Athaliah. Gotholias, and with him seventy men: 34 of the sons of Saphatias, Zebadiah. Zaraias son of Michael, and with him threescore and ten men: 35 of the sons of Joab, Obadiah.Abadias son of Jehiel. Jezelus, and with him two hundred and twelve men: 36 †of the sons of Banias, Salimoth son of Josaphias, and with him a hundred and threescore men: 37 of the sons of Babi, Zacharias son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight men: 38 of the sons of Azgad. Astath, Joannes son of HakkatanAkatan, and with him a hundred and ten men: 39 of the sons of Adonikam, the last, and these are the names of them, Eliphalat, Jeuel, and Shemaiah. Samaias, and with them seventy men: 40 of the sons of Bigvai. Bago, Uthi the son of Istalcurus, and with him seventy men.
41 And I gathered them together to the river called Theras; and there we pitched our tents three days, and I surveyed them. 42 But when I had found there none of the priests and Levites,43 then sent I to Eleazar, and Ariel Iduel, and Maasmas, 44 and Elnathan, and Samaias, and Jarib Joribus, Nathan, Ennatan, Zacharias, and Mosollamus, principal men and men of understanding. 45 And I bade those who they should go to Iddo Loddeus the captain, who was in the place of Casiphia, the treasury: 46 and commanded them that they should speak to Loddeus, and to his kindred, and to the treasurers in that place, to send us such men as might execute the priests’ office in the house of our Lord.47 And by the mighty hand of our Lord they brought to us‡ men of understanding of the sons of§ Mooli the son of Levi, the son of Israel,*Asebebias, and his sons, and his kindred, who were eighteen, 48 and† Asebias, and Annuus, and Osaias his brother, of the sons of Chanuneus, and their sons were twenty men; 49 and of the temple-servants whom David and the principal men had appointed for the servants of the Levites, two hundred and twenty temple-servants, the catalogue of all their names was showed. 50 And there I vowed a fast for the young men before our Lord, to desire of him a prosperous journey both for us and for our children and cattle that were with us: 51 for I was ashamed to ask of the king footmen, and horsemen, and conduct for protection against our adversaries. 52 For we had said to the king, that the power of our Lord would be with those who seek him, to support them in all ways. 53 And again we implored our lord as touching these things, and found him favorable to us. 54 Then I separated twelve men of the chiefs of the priests,‡ Eserebias, and Assamias, and ten men of their kindred with them: 55 and I weighed them the silver, and the gold, and the holy vessels of the house of our Lord, which the king, and his counselors, and the nobles, and all Israel, had given. 56 And when I had weighed it, I delivered to them six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels of a hundred talents, and a hundred talents of gold, 57 and twenty golden vessels, and twelve vessels of brass, even of fine brass, glittering like gold. 58 And I said to them, Both you° are holy to the Lord,§ and the vessels are holy, and the gold and the silver are a vow to the Lord, the Lord of our fathers.59 Watch you°, and keep them till you° deliver them to the chiefs of the priests and Levites, and to the principal men of the families of Israel, in Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of our Lord.60 So the priests and the Levites, who received the silver and the gold and the vessels which were in Jerusalem, brought them into the temple of the Lord.
61 And from the river Theras we departed the twelfth day of the first month, until we came to Jerusalem, by the mighty hand of our Lord which was upon us: and the Lord delivered us from assault by the way, from every enemy, and so we came to Jerusalem. 62 And when we had been there three days, the silver and gold was weighed and delivered in the house of our Lord on the fourth day to* Marmoth the priest the son of† Urias. 63 And with him was Eleazar the son of Phinees, and with them were Josabdus the son of Jesus and‡ Moeth the son of Sabannus, the Levites: all was delivered them by number and weight. 64 And all the weight of them was written up the same hour. 65 Moreover those who were come out of the captivity offered sacrifices to the Lord, the God of Israel, even twelve bullocks for all Israel, fourscore and sixteen rams, 66 threescore and twelve lambs, goats for a peace offering, twelve; all of them a sacrifice to the Lord. 67 And they delivered the king’s commandments to the king’s stewards, and to the governors of Coelesyria and Phoenicia; and they honored the people and the temple of the Lord.
68 Now when these things were done, the principal men came to me, and said, 69 The nation of Israel, and the princes, and the priests and the Levites, have not put away from them the strange people of the land,§ nor the uncleannesses of the Gentiles, to wit, of the Canaanites, Hittites, Pherezites, Jebusites, and the Moabites, Egyptians, and Edomites. 70 For both they and their sons have married with their daughters, and the holy seed is mixed with the strange people of the land; and from the beginning of this matter the rulers and the nobles have been partakers of this iniquity. 71 And as soon as I had heard these things, I tore my clothes, and my holy garment, and plucked the hair from off my head and beard, and sat me down sad and full of heaviness. 72 So all those who were moved at the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, assembled to me, while I mourned for the iniquity: but I sat still full of heaviness until the evening sacrifice. 73 Then rising up from the fast with my clothes and my holy garment tore, and bowing my knees, and stretching forth my hands to the Lord, 74 I said, O Lord, I am ashamed and confounded before your face; 75 for our sins are multiplied above our heads, and our errors have reached up to heaven,76 ever since the time of our fathers; and we are in great sin, even to this day.77 And for our sins and our fathers’ we with our kindred and our kings and our priests were given up to the kings of the earth, to the sword, and to captivity, and for a prey with shame, to this day.78 And now in some measure has mercy been showed to us from you, O Lord, that there should be left us a root and a name in the place of your sanctuary;79 and to discover to us a light in the house of the Lord our God, and to give us food in the time of our servitude.80 Yes, when we were in bondage, we were not forsaken of our Lord; but he made us gracious before the kings of Persia, so that they gave us food, 81 and glorified the temple of our Lord, and raised up the desolate Sion, to give us a sure dwelling in Jewry and Jerusalem.82 And now, O Lord, what shall we say, having these things? For we have transgressed your commandments, which you gave by the hand of your servants the prophets, saying, 83 That the land, which you° enter into to possess as a heritage, is a land polluted with the pollutions of the strangers of the land, and they have filled it with their uncleanness. 84 Therefore now shall you° not join your daughters to their sons, neither shall you° take their daughters to your sons. 85 Neither shall you° seek to have peace with them forever, that you° may be strong, and eat the good things of the land, and that you° may leave it for an inheritance to your children for evermore. 86 And all that is befallen is done to us for our wicked works and great sins: for you, O Lord, did make our sins light, 87 and did give to us such a root: but we have turned back again to transgress your law, in mingling ourselves with the uncleanness of the heathen of the land.88 * You was not angry with us to destroy us, till you had left us neither root, seed, nor name. 89 O Lord of Israel, you are true: for we are left a root this day. 90 Behold, now are we before you in our iniquities, for we can’t stand any longer before you by reason of these things.
91 ✡ And as Esdras in his prayer made his confession, weeping, and lying flat upon the ground before the temple, there gathered to him from Jerusalem a very great throng of men and women and children: for there was great weeping among the multitude. 92 Then Jechonias the son of Jeelus, one of the sons of Israel, called out, and said, O Esdras, we have sinned against the Lord God, we have married strange women of the heathen of the land, and now is all Israel† aloft. 93 Let’s make an oath to the Lord herein, that we will put away all our wives, which we have taken of the strangers, with their children, 94 like as seems good to you, and to as many as do obey the Law of the Lord. 95 Arise, and put in execution: for to you does this matter appertain, and we will be with you to do valiantly. 96 So Esdras arose, and took an oath of the chief of the priests and Levites of all Israel to do after these things; and so they sware.