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Return from Exile

(Category 11 of 16)

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CHAPTER 4 References

1 aEzra 4:7–9
2 a2 Kin.
17:24; 19:37;
Ezra 4:10
3 aNeh. 2:20
bEzra 1:1–4
4 aEzra 3:3
5 aEzra 5:5;
7 aEzra 7:1, 7,
21 b2 Kin.
18:26 1Or in

Resistance to Rebuilding the Temple


1 Now when athe 1adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the LORD God of Israel,
2 they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers’ houses, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do; and we have sacrificed to Him asince the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”
3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel said to them, a“You may do nothing with us to build a 1house for our God; but we alone will build to the LORD God of Israel, as bKing Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”
4 Then athe people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building,
5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of aDarius king of Persia.

Rebuilding of Jerusalem Opposed

6 In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
7 In the days of aArtaxerxes also, 1Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabel, and the rest of their companions wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the letter was written in bAramaic script, and translated into the Aramaic language.

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EZRA 4:8

8 1Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes in this fashion:

9 1From Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions— representatives of athe Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the people of Persia and Erech and Babylon and 2Shushan, the Dehavites, the Elamites,
10 aand the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapper took captive and settled in the cities of Samaria and the remainder beyond 1the River—band2 so forth.

11 (This is a copy of the letter that they sent him)

To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the men of the region beyond the River, 1and so forth:

12 Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem, and are building the arebellious and evil city, and are finishing its bwalls and repairing the foundations.
13 Let it now be known to the king that, if this city is built and the walls completed, they will not pay atax, tribute, or custom, and the king’s treasury will be diminished.
14 Now because we receive support from the palace, it was not proper for us to see the king’s dishonor; therefore we have sent and informed the king,
15 that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. And you will find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces, and that they have incited sedition within the city in former times, for which cause this city was destroyed.
16 We inform the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the result will be that you will have no dominion beyond the River.

17 The king sent an answer:

To Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and to the remainder beyond the River:

Peace, 1and so forth.

8 1The original
of Ezra 4:8
through 6:18
is Aramaic.
9 a2 Kin.
17:30, 31 1Lit.
Then 2Or
10 a2 Kin.
17:24; Ezra
4:1 bEzra 4:11,
17; 7:12 1The
2Lit. and now
11 1Lit. and
12 a2 Chr.
36:13 bEzra
5:3, 9
13 aEzra 4:20;
17 1Lit. and
19 1Lit. by me
a decree has
been put
20 a1 Kin. 4:21;
1 Chr. 18:3;
Ps. 72:8 bGen.
15:18; Josh.
21 1put forth a

CHAPTER 5 References

1 aHag. 1:1
bZech. 1:1
2 aEzra 3:2;
Hag. 1:12
bEzra 6:14;
Hag. 2:4
1 Chr. 6:14
3 aEzra 5:6;
6:6 bEzra 1:3;
5:9 1The
2Lit. house
4 aEzra 5:10
5 a2 Chr. 16:9;
Ezra 7:6, 28;
Ps. 33:18
bEzra 6:6
6 aEzra 4:7–10

18 The letter which you sent to us has been clearly read before me.
19 And 1I gave the command, and a search has been made, and it was found that this city in former times has revolted against kings, and rebellion and sedition have been fostered in it.
20 There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have aruled over all the region bbeyond the River; and tax, tribute, and custom were paid to them.
21 Now 1give the command to make these men cease, that this city may not be built until the command is given by me.
22 Take heed now that you do not fail to do this.Why should damage increase to the hurt of the kings?

23 Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews, and by force of arms made them cease.
24 Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Restoration of the Temple Resumed


1 Then the prophet aHaggai and bZechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them.
2 So aZerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of 1Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and bthe prophets of God were with them, helping them.
3 At the same time aTattenai the governor of the region beyond 1the River and Shethar-Boznai and their companions came to them and spoke thus to them: b“Who has commanded you to build this 2temple and finish this wall?”
4 aThen, accordingly, we told them the names of the men who were constructing this building.
5 But athe eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius. Then a bwritten answer was returned concerning this matter.
6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai sent:

The governor of the region beyond the River, and Shethar- Boznai, aand his companions,

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the Persians who were in the region beyond the River, to Darius the king.

7 (They sent a letter to him, in which was written thus)

To Darius the king:

All peace.

8 Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the 1temple of the great God, which is being built with 2heavy stones, and timber is being laid in the walls; and this work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.
9 Then we asked those elders, and spoke thus to them: a“Who commanded you to build this temple and to finish these walls?”
10 We also asked them their names to inform you, that we might write the names of the men who were chief among them.
11 And thus they returned us an answer, saying: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the 1temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built aand completed.
12 “But abecause our fathers provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of bNebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and ccarried the people away to Babylon.
13 “However, in the first year of aCyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to build this 1house of God.
14 “Also, athe gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple that was in Jerusalem and carried into the temple of Babylon—those King Cyrus took from the temple of Babylon, and they were given to bone named Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor.
15 “And he said to him, ‘Take these articles; go, carry them to the temple site that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its former site.’
16 “Then the same Sheshbazzar came and alaid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem; but from that time even until now it has been under construction, and bit is not finished.”

8 1Lit. house
2Lit. stones of
rolling, stones
too heavy to
be carried
9 aEzra 5:3, 4
11 a1 Kin. 6:1,
38 1Lit. house
12 a2 Chr.
34:25; 36:16,
17 b2 Kin.
24:2; 25:8–11;
2 Chr. 36:17;
Jer. 52:12–15
cJer. 13:19
13 aEzra 1:1
14 aEzra 1:7, 8;
6:5; Dan. 5:2
bHag. 1:14;
2:2, 21
16 aEzra
3:8–10; Hag.
2:18 bEzra
17 aEzra 6:1, 2

CHAPTER 6 References

1 aEzra 5:17
1Lit. house of
the scrolls
2 a2 Kin. 17:6
Ecbatana, the
ancient capital
of Media
3 aEzra 1:1;
4 a1 Kin. 6:36
bEzra 3:7
5 aEzra 1:7, 8;
6 aEzra 5:3, 6
8 1Temple

EZRA 6:9

17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, alet a search be made in the king’s treasure house, which is there in Babylon, whether it is so that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send us his pleasure concerning this matter.

The Decree of Darius


1 Then King Darius issued a decree, aand a search was made in the 1archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon.
2 And at 1Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of aMedia, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written thus:

3 In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a adecree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: “Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they offered sacrifices; and let the foundations of it be firmly laid, its height sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits,
4 awith three rows of heavy stones and one row of new timber. Let the bexpenses be paid from the king’s treasury.
5 Also let athe gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and taken back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to its place; and deposit them in the house of God”—
6 aNow therefore, Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, and Shethar-Boznai, and your companions the Persians who are beyond the River, keep yourselves far from there.
7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site.
8 Moreover I issue a decree as to what you shall do for the elders of these Jews, for the building of this 1house of God: Let the cost be paid at the king’s expense from taxes on the region beyond the River; this is to be given immediately to these men, so that they are not hindered.
9 And whatever they need— young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the request of the priests who are

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EZRA 6:10

in Jerusalem—let it be given them day by day without fail,
10 athat they may offer sacrifices of sweet aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
11 Also I issue a decree that whoever alters this edict, let a timber be pulled from his house and erected, and let him be hanged on it; aand let his house be made a refuse heap because of this.
12 And may the God who causes His aname to dwell there destroy any king or people who put their hand to alter it, or to destroy this 1house of God which is in Jerusalem. I Darius issue a decree; let it be done diligently.

The Temple Completed and Dedicated

13 Then Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, Shethar- Boznai, and their companions diligently did according to what King Darius had sent.
14 aSo the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the 1command of bCyrus, cDarius, and dArtaxerxes king of Persia.
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 athe dedication of this 1house of God with joy.
17 And they aoffered 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 adivisions and the Levites to their bdivisions, over the service of God in Jerusalem, cas it is written in the Book of Moses.

The Passover Celebrated

19 1And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover aon the fourteenth day of the first month.
20 For the priests and the Levites had apurified themselves; all of them were ritually clean. And they bslaughtered the Passover lambs for all the descendants of the captivity, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21 Then the children of Israel who had returned from the captivity ate

10 aEzra 7:23;
[Jer. 29:7;
1 Tim. 2:1, 2] 11 aDan. 2:5;
12 aDeut. 12:5,
11; 1 Kin. 9:3
14 aEzra 5:1, 2
bEzra 1:1;
5:13; 6:3 cEzra
4:24; 6:12
dEzra 7:1, 11;
Neh. 2:1
16 a1 Kin. 8:63;
2 Chr. 7:5
17 aEzra 8:35
18 a1 Chr. 24:1;
2 Chr. 35:5
b1 Chr. 23:6
cNum. 3:6; 8:9
19 aEx. 12:6
1The Hebrew
resumes in
Ezra 6:19 and
through 7:11.
20 a2 Chr.
29:34; 30:15
b2 Chr. 35:11
21 aEzra 9:11
22 aEx. 12:15;
13:6, 7; 2 Chr.
30:21; 35:17
bEzra 7:27;
[Prov. 21:1] c2 Kin. 23:29;
2 Chr. 33:11;
Ezra 1:1; 6:1

CHAPTER 7 References

1 aNeh. 2:1
b1 Chr. 6:14
cJer. 52:24
d2 Chr. 35:8
6 aEzra 7:11,
12, 21 bEzra
7:9, 28; 8:22
7 aEzra 8:1–14
bEzra 8:15
cEzra 2:43;
9 aEzra 7:6;
Neh. 2:8, 18
10 aPs. 119:45
bDeut. 33:10;
Ezra 7:6, 25;
Neh. 8:1–8;
[Mal. 2:7] 1Study
12 aEzek. 26:7;
Dan. 2:37
bEzra 4:10
1The original
language of
Ezra 7:12–26
is Aramaic.
2Lit. and now
14 aEsth. 1:14
1from before

together with all who had separated themselves from the afilth1 of the nations of the land in order to seek the LORD God of Israel.
22 And they kept the aFeast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the LORD made them joyful, and bturned the heart cof the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

The Arrival of Ezra


1 Now after these things, in the reign of aArtaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the bson of Seraiah, cthe son of Azariah, the son of dHilkiah,
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 aa skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, baccording to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
7 aSome of the children of Israel, the priests, bthe Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and cthe Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8 And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in 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, aaccording to the good hand of his God upon him.
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to aseek1 the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to bteach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

The Letter of Artaxerxes to Ezra

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 1Artaxerxes, aking of kings,

To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven:

Perfect peace, band2 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 1by the king and his aseven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the

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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, awhose dwelling is in Jerusalem;
16 aand 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 bfreely offered for the 1house of their God in Jerusalem—
17 now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their agrain offerings and their drink offerings, and boffer 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 1is commanded by the God of heaven, let it diligently be done for the 2house 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, aset 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 bteach those who do not know them.
26 Whoever will not observe the

15 a2 Chr. 6:2;
Ezra 6:12; Ps.
16 aEzra 8:25
b1 Chr. 29:6, 9
17 aNum.
15:4–13 bDeut.
23 1Lit. is from
the decree
25 aEx. 18:21,
22; Deut.
16:18 b2 Chr.
17:7; Ezra
7:10; [Mal.
2:7; Col. 1:28] 26 1Lit. rooting
27 a1 Chr.
29:10 bEzra
6:22; [Prov.
21:1] 1The
resumes in
Ezra 7:27.
28 aEzra 9:9
bEzra 5:5; 7:6,
9; 8:18

law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be death, or 1banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.

27 aBlessed1 be the LORD God of our fathers, bwho 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 ahas extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as bthe hand of the LORD my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.

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God the Refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song afor Alamoth.

1 GOD is our arefuge and strength, bA1 very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the 1midst of the sea;
3 aThough its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

4 There is a ariver whose streams shall make glad the bcity of God, The holy place of the 1tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is ain the midst of her, she shall not be 1moved; God shall help her, just 2at the break of dawn.

PSALM 46 References

title a1 Chr.
1 aPs. 62:7, 8
b[Deut. 4:7;
Ps. 145:18] 1An abundantly
2 1Lit. heart
3 a[Ps. 93:3, 4] 4 a[Ezek.
47:1–12] bPs.
48:1, 8; Is.
5 a[Deut.
23:14; Is.
12:6]; Ezek.
43:7; Hos.
11:9; [Joel
2:27; Zeph.
3:15; Zech.
2:5, 10, 11;
8:3] 1shaken
2Lit. at the
turning of the
6 aPs. 2:1, 2
7 aNum. 14:9;
2 Chr. 13:12
9 aIs. 2:4 bPs.
76:3 cEzek.
10 a[Is. 2:11,

6 aThe nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The aLORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 aHe makes wars cease to the end of the earth; bHe breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; cHe burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God; aI will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah




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