EZRA, OR ESDRAS.
- In the first year of Cyrus, king of the Persians, that
the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremias might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of the Per-
2 sians, and he caused proclamation to be made by word of mouth, and in writing, throughout all his kingdom, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of the Persians, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and hath watched over me, that I should build a house for him in Jerusa-
3 lem, which is in Judea. Whoever is among you of all his people, .his God be with him; and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judea, and build the house of the God of Israel. He who is at Jerusalem is very God. Therefore in regard to every
4 one in every place, who is left, let the men of the place where he dwelleth assist him with silver and gold, and furniture and cattle, together with a free will offering for the house of God, which is at Jerusalem.
5 Thereupon the heads of the patriarchal families of Juda and Benjamin arose with the priests and the Levites, even all whose spirit God stirred up, to go and rebuild the house of the Lord
6 in Jerusalem. And all who were around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with furniture and with cattle, and with presents, exclusive of free will offer-
7 ings. Moreover Cyrus brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nabuchodonosar had taken from Jerusalem,
8 and deposited in the house of his God. These which were under the care of Mithridates the treasurer, Cyrus, king of the Persians, caused to be brought out and counted to Sasabasar,
9 the chief of Juda; and this was the number of them; thirty goblets of gold, and a thousand goblets of silver, vessels of
10 an unusual form twenty nine, golden cups, thirty; and silver plated cups, four hundred and ten, and other vessels, a thou-
11 sand. All the vessels of gold and silver, all that came up with Sasabasar from the captivity from Babylon to Jerusalem, were five thousand four hundred.
- Now these were the children of the province who came up from the captivity—from the distant abode to which Nabuchodonosar king of Babylon had sent .them away to Baby- Ion, and who returned to Jerusalem and Juda, every chief to his city.
2 The number of the people of Israel who came with Zoroba- bel, Jesus, Nehemias, Saraias, Reelias, Mordecai, Balasan, Masphar, Baguai, Ream, Baana, the head men.
3 The children of Phares, two thousand one hundred and seventy two.
4 The children of Saphatia, three hundred and seventy two.
5 The children of Ares, seven hundred and seventy five.
6 The children of Phaath Moab, descendants of Jesus and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
7 The children of Ailam, one thousand two hundred and fifty four.
8 ‘ The children of Zatthua, nine hundred and forty five.
9 The children of Zakchu, seven hundred and sixty.
10 The children of Banni, six hundred and forty two.
11 The children of Babai, six hundred and twenty three.
12 The children of Asgad, a thousand two hundred and twenty two.
13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty six.
14 The children of Bague, two thousand and fifty six.
15 The children of Addin, four hundred and fifty four.
16 The children of Ater, descendants of Ezekias, ninety eight.
17 The children of Bassou, three hundred and twenty three.
18 -The children of Jora, a hundred and twelve.
19 The children of Asurri, two hundred and twenty three.
20 The children of Gaber, ninety five.
21 The children of Bethlaem, a hundred and twenty three.
22 The children of Netopha, fifty six.
23 The children of Anathoth, a hundred and twenty eight.
24 The children of Azmoth, forty three.
25 The children of Kariathiarim, Chaphira and Beroth, seven hundred and forty three.
26 The children of Rama and Gabaa, six hundred and twenty orie.
27 The men of Machmas, a hundred and twenty two.
28 The men of Baithel and Aia, four hundred and twenty three.
29 The children of Nabu, fifty two.
30 The children of Magebes, a hundred and fifty six.
31 The children of Elamar, a thousand two hundred and fifty four.
32 The children of Elam, three Hundred and twenty.
33 The children of Lodadi and Ono, seven hundred and twenty five.
34 The children of Jericho, three hundred and forty five.
35 The children of Senaa, three thousand six hundred and thirty.
36 And of the Priests,
The children of Jedua of the house of Jesus, nine hundred and seventy three:
37 The children of Emmer, a thousand and fifty two:
38 The children of Phassur, a thousand two hundred and forty seven:
39 The children of Erem, a thousand and seven.
40 And of the Levites,
The children of Jesu and Kadmiel, descendants of Oduia, seventy four:
41 The musicians. The children of Asaph, a hundred and twenty eight:
42 The keepers of the Gates. The Sellumites, the Aterites, the Telmonites, the Akubites, the Atitaites, the Sobaites, all these were a hundred and thirty nine:
43 The Nathinims, namely, the Southias’, the Asuphas’, the
44 Tabaoths’, the Kades’, the Siaas’, the Phadons’, the Labanos’, 46 the Agabas’, the Akubs’, the Agabs’, the Selamis’, the Anans’, 48 the Geddels’, the Gaars’, the Raias’, the Rasorts’, the Neko- 50 das’, the Gasems’, the Ados’, the Phases’, the Basis’, the Ase-
nas’, the Moounims’, the Nephusims’, the Bakbilks’, the Aku- 52 phas’, the Arurs’, the Basaloths’, the Maoudas’, the Areas’,
54 the Barkos’, the Sisaras’, the Themas’, the Nasthics’, the Ata-
55 phas’; The children of Solomon’s servants—the Sotais’, the
56 Sepheras’, the Phaduras’, the Jehelas’, the Darkons’, the Ge- dels’, the Saphatias’, the Atils’, the Phacheraths’, the Aseboe- ims’, the Hemeis’, all the Nathinims including the AbdeseU mas’, were three hundred and ninety two.
59 And these were they who came up from Thelmelech, Thelaresa, Cherub, Edan, Emmer, but could not shew the house of their family, nor their seed, whether they were of Is. rael—the children of Dalaia, the children of fiua, the children of Tobiu, the children of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty two.
61 And of the children of the priests—the children of Labeia, tfce children of Akkus, the children of Berzellai, who took to wife one of the daughters of Berzellai the Galaadite, and was
62 called by their name—These sought their register among the Methoesim, but were not found. Though they were related to the priesthood, yet the Athersastha ordered them not to eat of the most holy meats until there should arise a priest with the Manifestation and the Truth.
64 The whole congregation, together, amounted to forty two thousand three hundred and sixty, exclusive of their ttien ser-
vants and maid servants, amounting to seven thousand three hundred and thirty seven. And among them were two hundred 66 choristers of both sexes. Their horses were seven hundred and thirty six; their mules two hundred and forty five; their camels four hundred and thirty five; their asses six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
68 Now some of the chiefs of families when they came to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, offered free will offerings for
69 the house of God, to raise it on its foundations. According to their ability they contributed to the treasure for the work, sixty one thousand mnas of pure gold, and five thousand mnas of
70 silver, and a hundred garments for the priests. Though the priests and the Levites, and some of the people, and the musicians, and the keepers of the gates, and the Nathinims, settled in their cities, and all the chiefs of Israel in their cities, yet
III. when the seventh month was come, the Israelites who were in their cities, even the whole people, like one man, assents’ bled at Jerusalem. And Jesus the son of Josedek with his brethren the priests, and Zorobabel the son of Salathiel with his brethren, arose and rebuilt the altar of the God of Israel, that they might offer thereon whole burnt offerings according to
3 what is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And when they had erected the altar on its basis, because it was done with a dread upon them, on account of the neighbouring people, the whole burnt offering for die morning, and also for
4 the evening, was offered up thereon to the Lord. But when they had celebrated the festival of tabernacles, according to what was written, and offered the whole burnt offering day by day
5 in number as prescribed, the set number for every day—after this they offered the continual burnt offerings in due course, and those for the new moons, and for all the festivals dedicated to the Lord, and for every one who offered a free will offering to the Lord.
6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer whole burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of
7 the house of the Lord was not laid; but they had given money to the stone cutters and carpenters, and meat and drink and oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians, to bring cedar timber from Li- banus to the sea of Joppa, according to the permission granted
8 them by Cyrus king of the Persians. And in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Jesus the son of Josedek with the rest of their brethren, the priests, and the Levites, and all who came from the captivity to Jerusalem, made a beginning.
Now they had appointed the Levites from twenty years old
9 and upwards over them, who did the works in the house of the Lord, so there were over the workmen employed at the house of the Lord, Jesus with his sons and brethren, Kadmiel with his sons, the sons of Juda, the sons of Enadad, their sons and
10 their brethren the Levites. And while they were laying the foundations of the house of the Lord, the priests attended in their robes, with trumpets, and the Levites, the Asaphites, with cym-
11 bals, to praise the Lord in the manner prescribed by David king of Israel, and they raised their responsive strains, in the song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord For it is good; for to everlasting his mercy endureth for Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, to praise the Lord, at laying the
12 foundation of the house of the Lord. But many of the priests and Levites, and the old chiefs of families, who with their eyes had seen the former house on its foundations, and now saw this, wept aloud, while the people were shouting for joy
13 to swell die song ; so that the people could not distinguish the shouts of joy from the sound of the people’s wailing.
- Because the people shouted with a loud shout, therefore the noise was heard at a great distance; and when they who afflicted Juda and Benjamin heard that the children of the cap. tivity were building a house for the Lord God of Israel, they
2 came to Zorobabel and to the chiefs of the families, and said, Let us build widi you, for we, like you, seek our God, and we sacrifice to him, from the days of Asaradan, king of Assur,
3 who brought us here. But Zorobabel and Jesus, and the other chiefs of the families of Israel, said to them, It is not allowable for us, and you, to build a house to our God, for we ourselves assembling together are to build for the Lord our God, as
4 Cyrus the king of the Persians hath commanded us. Upon this the people of the land began to weaken the hands of the
5 people of Juda, and they impeded their building, and coun-
sellers were hired to frustrate th«ir design, all the days of Cy-
0 rus king of the Persians, and even to the reign of Darius king
of Persia. ,
In the reign of Assuerus, even in the beginning of his reign,
they wrote a letter against the inhabitants of Juda and Jerpsa-
7 lem. And in the days of Arthasastha, Tabeel in concert with Mithridates, and the rest of his fellow servants, wrote to Arthasastha king of the Persians—the collector of the tribute
8 drew up a writing in Syriack ; and Reum Baltam and Samp- sa the secretary, wrote a translation of it, as their joint letter
9 against Jerusalem, to Arthasastha the king saying, This hath been agreed on by Reum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary; and the rest of our fellow servants, the Deinaians, Apharsa- thachaians, Tarphalaians, Apharsaians, Archuaians, Babylo-
10 mans, Susanachaians, Davaians, and the rest of the nations, whom the great and the honourable Assenaphar transplanted, and settled in the cities of Somoron, and the rest of the
11 country on this side the river. This was the purport of the letter which they sent to him, .. .. ….
To Arthasastha the king, thy servants, the men beyond the river: ….
12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from thee to us, have come to Jerusalem, that rebellious and wicked city, and are rebuilding it. The walls of it are repaired,
13 and they have reared up the foundations of it. Now therefore b« it known to the king, that if this city be rebuilt, and the
walls thereof completed, no tribute will be paid to thee, nor
14 will they do homage. Now as this is injurious to kings, and it is not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour, we have there-
15 fore sent to inform the king, that he may examine the book of the records of thy fathers, by which thou wilt find, and know that this is a rebellious city, ,and hurtful to kings and countries, and that there are asylums for slaves in the midst of it, from time immemorial, for which cause this city was
16 laid waste. We therefore certify the king, that if this city
17 be rebuilt, and the wall thereof reared up, there will be no peace for thee. To which he replied.
The king, to Reum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary, and to the rest of their fellow servants, who dwell in Samaria and
18 the rest beyond the river, greeting, and saith, The collector of the tribute, whom you sent to us, hath been called before
19 me, and I gave orders and we have examined and found, that this city from time immemorial hath set itself up against kings
20 and that there are seditions in it, and asylums for slaves; and that there have been mighty kings in Jerusalem, who have exercised dominion over the whole country beyond the river;
21 and that great tribute, and tolls have been paid to them. Now therefore give orders to stop those men; for that city must
22 not be built any more. See that you merit praise in executing this, lest peradventure the desolation be fitted up to the prejudice of kings.
23 When king Arthasastha’s collector of tribute had read this in the presence of Reum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary, and his fellow servants, they marched in haste to Jerusalem, and through Juda, and with horsemen and an army caused
24 them to stop. So a stop was put to the work of the house of God in Jerusalem, and it continued stopped till the second year of the reign of Darius, king of the Persians.
- When Aggaius the prophet and Zacharias the son of Addo prophesied against the Jews who were in Juda and Jeru-
2 salem—in the name of the God of Israel against them; then arose Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Jesus son of Josedek, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem;
3 and with them were the prophets of God helping them. At that time Thanthani the chief governor on this side the river, and Satharbouzani, and their fellow servants, came to them and spoke to them in terms to this effect, Who hath ordered you to build this house, and renew this theatrical entertainment?
4 And they said to them, What are the names of the men who
5 are building this city? Now the eyes of God were on the captivity of Juda, so that they did not cause them to stop until die
6 matter was laid before Darius. So there was sent to the col- lector of the tribute, touching this affair, the substance of a letter, which Thanthani the chief governor on this bank of the river, and Satharbouzani, and their fellow servants the Aphar- sachaians who were on this bank of the river, should send to
7 king Darius. They sent to him a verbal message, and by him the following letter was written:
VOL. II. M m
8 To Darius the Icing, all peace. Be it known to the king, that we went to the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which they are building with choice stones. Timbers are actually laid in the walls, and the work is going on fast and
9 prospereth in their hands; We then questioned the elders and said to them, Who hath given you orders to build this house,
10 and renew this theatrical entertainment? We then asked their names that we might acquaint thee, that we might transmit to
11 thee in writing the names of their principal men. Thereupon they answered us to this effect saying, We are the servants of the God of the heaven and the earth, and we are rebuilding his
12 house which was built many years ago. A great king of Israel actually built it and fitted it up for them; but when our fathers provoked to wrath the God of heaven, he delivered them into the hands of Nabuchodonosar king of Babylon the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and removed the people to Babylon.
13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made
14 a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt: and the vessels of gold and silver belonging to this house of God which Nabuchodonosar had taken from this house in Jerusalem and put in the king’s temple, these Cyrus the king caused to be
15 brought out of the king’s temple and gave them to Sabanasar the treasurer who was over the treasure, and said to him, Take all these vessels and go and deposit them in the house at Jeru-
16 salem, in their places. At that time Sabanasar himself came and laid the foundation of this house of God at Jerusalem; and from that time till now it hath been a building, and is not yet
17 finished. Now therefore if it seemeth good to the king, let search be made in the treasury of the king of Babylon, that thou mayst know whether a decree hath been made by Cyrus the king, to rebuild this house of God at Jerusalem: and let the king, when informed touching this matter, send to us.
- Thereupon Darius the king passed a decree, He hath caused search to be made in the libraries where the royal trea-
2 sure is kept at Babylon, and there hath been found in the city, in the royal palace, a roll, in which is written this memoran-
3 dum, In the first year of king Cyrus, Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the holy house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, and the place where they offer sacrifices. Moreover he hath fixed the dimensions, the length sixty cubits and
4 the breadth sixty cubits. And there are to be tliree strong stories of stone and one of wood; and the expence is to be defray –
5 ed out of the king’s house: And let the vessels of the house of God, both of silver and gold, which Nabuchodonosar took out of the house in Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be given, and go back to the temple at Jerusalem, to. the place where they
6 were deposited in the house of God. Now therefore you governors beyond the river, Satharbouzani, and you their fellow servants the Apharsachaians, who are beyond the river, keep
7 at a distance from that place. Let the work of the house of God alone. Let the rulers of the Jews, and the elders of the Jews
8 build the house of God in its place. Furthermore, by me a decree is made in regard to what you may do for the elders of the Jews, that the house of God may be built. Out of the king’s substance, the tributes beyond the river, let the expence be carefully paid to those men, that they may not be forced to stop;
9 and whatever they may stand in need of, such as young bulls and rams and lambs for whole burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine and oil, according to the order of the
10 priests at Jerusalem—let whatever they ask be given them day by day, that they may offer continually to the God of heaven sweet smelling sacrifices, and pray for the life of the king and
11 his sons. Moreover by me a decree is made, that if any man counteract this mandate, a beam be taken from his house, and that he being suspended, be executed thereon, and his house
12 confiscated. And may the God whose name dwelleth there, destroy every king and people who shall stretch forth their hands to alter or destroy the house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have passed the decree. Let it be strictly observed.
13 Upon this Thanthani the chief governor on this side the river, and Satharbouzani and his fellow servants conformed
14 strictly to what Darius the king sent. And the elders of the Jews and the Levites went on with die building by the prophesying of Aggaius the prophet, and Zacharias the son of Addo, and they rebuilt and fitted it up again by the decree of the God of Israel, and by the decree of Cyrus and Darius, and Ariha-
15 sasdia, kings of Persia; and having finished the house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of
16 king Darius, the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication
17 of the house of God with joy, and offered forthe dedication of the house of God, a hundred young bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve he goats, for a sin offering, for all
18 Israel, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their courses, and the Levites in their divisions over the service of God at Jerusalem, according to
19 the writing of the book of Moses. And on the fourteenth day of the first month, the children of the captivity kept the pass-
20 over. For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves till all were pure. And the Levites killed the paschal lambs for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren, the
21 priests, and for themselves. So the children of Israel who were of the captivity, and every one who had separated himself from the impurity of the nations of the land and had come to them to
22 seek the Lord God of Israel, ate the passover, and kept the festival of unleavened bread seven days, with joy; for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assur to them, to strengthen their hands in the works of the house of the God of Israel.
VII. Now after these things in the reign of Arthasastha, king of the Persians, came up Esdras, son of Saraias, son of Azaraias, son of Chelkias, son of Selum, son of Sadduk, son of Achitob, son of Samaria, son of Esria, son of Mareoth, son of Zaraia, son of Ozias, son of Bokki, son of Abisue, son of Phineas, son
6 of Eleazar, son of Aaron, the first priest. This Esdras who came up from Babylon, was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which
7 the Lord the God of Israel had given to Israel. And when the king gave him leave, because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him in all that he sought, there came up to Jerusalem some of the children of Israel, and some of the priests, and some of the Levites, namely, the musicians and the keepers of the gates and the Nathinims in the seventh year of Arthasastha, the king;
8 and they arrived at Jerusalem in the fifth month of the said
9 seventh year of the king. For on the first day of the first month he settled his journey up from Babylon, and on the first day
10 of the fifth month they arrived at Jerusalem. For the good hand of his God was upon him, because Esdras had set his heart to seek the law, and to do and to teach in Israel the statutes and the judgments.
11 – Now this is the copy of the decree which Arthasastha gave to Esdras the priest, the scribe of the book of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel.
12 : Arthasastha king of kings, to Esdras, scribe of the law of the Lord, the God of heaven. “Let thy requests be granted.
13 This is my answer. By me a decree is made, That every one of the people of Israel in my kingdom, and of the priests, and Levites, who is of his own free will minded to go to Jerusa-
14 lem, is sent on behalf of the king, and the seven counsellors, to go with thee to guard to Judea, even to Jerusalem, by the law of their God, which is in thy hand, for the house of the
15 Lord, the silver and the gold, which the king and the counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, who dwelleth in Jerusalem, and all the silver and the gold which thou canst
16 procure in all the country of Babylon, with the free will offerings of the people and the priests who make free will offerings to the house of God which is at Jerusalem; enroll thou there-
17 fore in this book every one who freely cometh to thee. The bulls, rams and lambs, with their sacrifices and their libations—these thou shall offer on the altar of the house of your
18 God in Jerusalem. And if it seemeth good to thee and thy brethren, to do any thing with the rest of the silver and the
19 gold, do it as it shall please your God; but the vessels which are given thee for the service of the house of God, deliver up
20 in the presence of God in Jerusalem. And whatsoever more may be wanted for the house of thy God, which thou mayst think ought to be given, give that out of the king’s treasure
21 houses and on my behalf. I Arthasaslha the king, have given an order on all the treasuries which are beyond the river, that whatever Esdras the priest and scribe of the God of heaven
22 shall require of you, be done with all readiness to the amount of a hundred talents of silver, and to the amount of a hundred cores of wheat, and to the amount of a hundred bats of wine, and a hundred bats of oil, and salt without limitation.
23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done. Take heed that no one offer any insult to the house of the God of heaven, lest there be wrath against the realm of
24 the king and his sons. Moreover, in respect to all the priests and the Levites, the musicians, the keepers of the gates, the Nathinims, and those employed in the service of the house of God, this hath been notified to you, Take no toll of them. -Thou shalt have no authority to exercise dominion over them.
25 And thoii Esdras! as the wisdom of God is in thy hand, appoint scribes and judges, that they may administer justice to all the people beyond the river, to all such as know the law of thy God, and to such as know it not you shall make it
26 known. And whoever will not readily perform the law of God, and the law of the king, upon him let judgment be passed, whether it be to death or to correction, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.”
27 Blessed be the Lord the God of our fathers who thus put
28 it in the king’s heart to glorify the-house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, and who gave me favour in the eyes of the king and his counsellors, and of all the officers of the king who were high in office. As for me, I strengthened myself, as the good hand of God was upon me, and assembled from among Israel chiefs to go up with me.
VIII. Now these are the heads of families, the leaders
who came up with me in the reign of Arthasastha king of
2 Babylon. Of the children of Phineas, Gerson: of the chil-
3 dren of Ithamar, Daniel: of the children of David, Attus : of the children of Sachania, even of the children of Phoros,
4 Zacharias, and with him a band of a hundred and fifty: and of the children of Phaath-moab, Eliana, son of Saraia, and
5 with him two hundred males: and of the children of Zathoes, Sechenias, son of Aziel, and with him three hundred males:
6 ftjid of the children of Adin, Obeth, son of Jonathan, and
7 with him fifty males: and of the children of Elarn, Isais, son
8 of Athelia, and with him seventy males : and of the children of Saphatia, Zabadias, son of Michael, and with him eighty
9 males: and of the children of Joab, Abadia, son of Jeiel, and
10 with him two hundred and eighteen males: and of the children of Baani, Selimuth, son of Josephia, and with him a
11 hundred and sixty males : and of the children of Babi, Zacha-
12 rias son of Babi, and with him twenty eight males: and of the children of Asgad, Joanan son of Akkatan, and with him
13 a hundred and ten males: and of the children of Adonikam, the under chiefs, and these were their names, Eliphalat, Jeel and
14 Samaia, and with them sixty males : and of the sons of Bagui.
15 On thai and Zab ud, and with them seventy males. And when I had assembled them at the river which runneth to Evi, we encamped there three days. And I inquired amongthe people and amongthe priests, and not finding any of the sons of Levi there, I sent for
16 Eleazar, Ariel, Semeiaand AlonamandJariband Elnatham,and
17 Nathan and ZachariasandMessollam and Joarim and Elnathanr and despatched these men of understanding to the chiefs at Money of the place, and put words in their mouth to speak to the brethren of the Athinims at Money of the place,
18 that they might bring us choristers for the house of our God. So they came to us, as the good hand of our God was over us, chief Sachon of the children of Mooli son of Levi, son of Israel. Indeed his sons and brethren, being
19 eighteen, came instantly, and brought Asebias and Isaia of the
20 sons of Merari: his brethren and his sons were twenty; and of the Nathanims, whom David and the chiefs gave for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nathanims were all
21 assembled by names. Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Avue, that we might humble ourselves in the presence of our God, and inquire of him the straight road for us, and our children, and all our substance; for I was ashamed to ask of
22 the king a band of soldiers and horsemen, to protect us from enemies on the way; for we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is over all them for good, who seek him ; and his power and his wrath is against all them who forsake him.
23 So we fasted and besought our God for this, and he hearkened
24 to us. Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the priests, Sa-
25 raia and Asabaia, and with them ten of their brethren, and I weighed out to them the silver and the gold, and the vessels which were dedicated to the house of our God, which the king and his counsellors, and his chiefs, and all the Israelites there,
26 had dedicated—I weighed into their hands six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and a hundred vessels of silver and a hun-
27 dred talents of gold, and twenty gilt cups, worth about a thousand drachms, and vessels of fine burnished brass, precious as
28 gold, and said to them, You are holy to the Lord, and these
vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are free will offer-
29 ings to the Lord God of our fathers. Watch and keep them, until you weigh them before the chiefs of the priests and the- Levites, and the chiefs of the families in Jerusalem, into the
30 tabernacles of the house of the Lord. And when the priests and the Levites had taken the weight of the silver and the gold,
31 and the vessels to carry them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God, we removed from the river Avue, on the twelfth of the
32 first month, to come to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was with us, and delivered us from the hand of enemies, and
33 of such as lay in wait on the way. And when we came to Jerusalem, and had rested three days, we, on the fourth day, delivered the silver and gold and vessels, in the house of our God, into the hand of Merimoth, son of Ouria the priest, when there was with him, Eleazar son of Phineas, and with them Jozabad,
34 son of Jesus, and Noadia, son of Banaia, the Levites, all by number and by weight, and the whole weight was taken down
35 in writing. At that time, they who came from the captivity, the children of them who had been carried away, offered as whole burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve young bulls for all Israel, ninety six rams, seventy seven lambs, twelve
36 goats, for a sin offering. All these were whole burnt offerings to the Lord. Then they gave the king’s decree to the king’s lieutenants and governors beyond the river, and they paid due respect to the people and to the house of God.
- When these things were done, the chiefs came to me and said, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the neighbouring tribes. In their abominations, theEthites, the Pherezites, the Jebu- sites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Moserites, and
2 the Amorites, are the same with the Chananites. For they have taken some of their daughters for themselves, and their sons; and the holy seed is mingled with the tribes of the neighbouring regions. And the hand of the chiefs is principally con-
3 cerned in this transgression. And when I heard this I rent my garments, and started up and tore the hair of .my head and my
-4 beard. Then I sat down mourning. And there assembled to me every one who, in the defection of the captivity, continued to follow the word of the God of Israel: but as for me, I con-
.5 tinued sitting disconsolate, till the evening sacrifice. And at the evening sacrifice I arose from my humiliation—having rent my garments, I rose up, and fell upon my knees, and
. 6 spreading forth my hands to the Lord God, I said :—O Lord, I blush, and am ashamed to lift up, O my God, my face to thee; because our iniquities are multiplied over our head, and
7 our transgressions are heaped up to heaven. From the days of our fathers we are in great transgression, even to this day.
‘ And for our iniquities, we and our kings and our children,
* have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the nations,
to the sword and to captivity, and to spoiling, and to confusion
8 of face, as at this day. Now, though our God hath had com- :. passion on us, so as to suffer a remnant of us to escape, and to
give us a fixture in the place of his sanctuary, that he may enlighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage ;—
9 Though we are slaves, the Lord our God hath not quite forsaken . . us, but hath extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of
Persia, to give us a reviving, by their raising up the house of our God, and repairing the desolations thereof, and giving us
10 an enclosure in Juda and Jerusalem. What must we say, O our God? After this we have forsaken the commandments which thou gavest us by the ministry of thy servants, the pro-
11 phets, saying, The land which you are going to possess, is a land subject to change by the removal of the people of the nations for their abominations, widi the filth of which they
12 have filled it from one end to the other; now therefore, give not your daughters to their sons, nor take any of their daughters for your sons; nor shall you seek their peace or their welfare forever, that you may be strong, and eat the good things of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.
13 Now after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for this our great transgression; though there is no God like our God; though thou hast blotted out our iniquities and given us deli-
14 verance; yet we have returned to break thy commandments, and to intermarry with the people of these regio’ns. Be not provoked against us to our utter destruction, so that not a rem-
15 nant may escape. O Lord God of Israel, thou art gracious; for a remnant of us have escaped, as at this day. Behold we.
vot. u. tin
are before thee in our transgressions, though there is no standing before thee for this.
- Now when Esdras had prayed and made publick confession, weeping and praying before the house of God, there assembled to him a very great congregation, men, women and
2 youths. Because the people wept and made loud lamentation, therefore Sechenias, son of Jeel, of the children of Elam, addressing Esdras, said, We have broken covenant with our God
* and have taken strange wives of the people of the land; but still
3 there is hope in Israel concerning this. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God, to put away all these wives and those born of them as thou shalt advise. Arise, and cause them to tremble at the commandments of our God, and let
4 what the law requireth be done. Arise, for the matter resteth with thee, and we are with thee. Take courage and proceed
5 to action. Upon this, Esdras arose and exacted an oath of the chiefs, the priests and Levites, and all Israel, that they would
6 conform to this determination. And when they had taken the oath, Esdras went from the house of God to the treasury office of Joanan, son of Elisab. Though he went there, he neither ate bread nor drank water, for he mourned for the transgression of
7 the captivity. And they issued a proclamation through Juda and Jerusalem, to all the children of the captivity to assemble at Je-
8 rusalem, and that whoever did not come within three days, according to the order of the chiefs and the elders, all his substance should be anathematised, and he himself should be excommuni-
9 catedfrom the congregation of the captivity. Accordingly all the men of Juda and Benjamin, assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was now the ninth month. On the twentieth of this month all the people sat in the street of the house of God, because of their consternation at the decree, and because
10 of the weather. And Esdras the priest arose, and said to them, You have broken covenant and taken strange wives to add
11 to the transgression of Israel; now therefore, give praise to the Lord God of our fathers, and do what is well-pleasing in liis sight, and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and
12 from your strange wives. In reply to which, all the congrega- t tion said, We take upon us the performance of this great thing
13 which thou hast spoken; but the people are numerous and the weather stormy, so that we cannot stand out of doors, and this is not a work of one or two days; for we have multiplied trans-
14 gression in this respect. Let our chiefs, we pray thee, attend; and let all those in our cities who have taken strange wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders of each respective city, and the judges, that they may turn away from us the fierce anger of our God for this matter.
15 Besides Jonathan son of Asael, and Josias son of Thekoe, there were with me in this business, Mesollam and Sabbathai
16 the Levite who assisted them. And this was the manner in which the children of the captivity acted. There were set apart Es- dras the priest, and head men of families for every house, and all who were named were to return on the first day of the tenth
17 month, to make strict inquiry into this matter. And when they had finished with all the men who had taken strange wives, having continued the examination to the first day of
18 the first month, there were found of the sons of the priests,
19 who had taken strange wives—of the sons of Jesus son of Jo- sedek these brethren of his, Maasia and Eliezer and Jarib and Gadalia, and they gave their hand to put away their wives,
20 and offered a trespass ram of the flock, for their transgres-
21 sion: and of the sons of Emmer, Anani and Zabdia: and of the sons of Eram, Masael and Elia and Samaia and Jeel and
22 Ozia: and of the sons of Phasur, Elionai, Maasia and Ismael
23 and Nathaniel and Josabad and Elasa. And of the Levites, Jo-
24 zabad and Samu and Kolia, the same is Kolitas, and Phetheia and Juda and Eliezer: and of the musicians, Elisab: and of the
25 keepers of the gates, Solmen and Telmen and Oduth. And of Israel—of the sons of Phoros, Ramia and Azia, and Mel-
26 chia and Meamin, Eleazar and Asabia and Banaia: and of the sons of Elam; Matthania, and Zacharia and Jaiel and Ab-
27 dia and Jarimoth and Elia : and of the sons of Zathua, Eli-
28 onai, Elisub, Matthanai and Armoth and Zabad and Oziza : and of the sons of Babei; Joanan, Anania and Zabu and Thali;
29 and of the sons of Banui; Mosollam, Melluch, Adaias, Jasub
30 and Saluia and Remoth : and of the sons of Phaath Moab, Edne and Chalel and Bania and Maasia, Matthania, Beseleel
31 and Banui and Manasse : and of the sons of Eram ; Eliezer, 33 Jesia, Melchia, Samaias, Semeon, Benjamin, Baluch, Samaria: and of the sons of Asem; Metthania, Matthatha, Zadab,
34 EHphalet, Jerami, Manasse, Semei: and of the sons of Bani;
Moodia, Amram, Ouel, Banaia, Badaia, Chelkia, Ovuania,
37 Marimoth, Eliasiph, Matthania, Matthanai: and the sons of
38 Banui, and the sons of Semei had done so, namely, Selemia and Nathan and Adia, Machadnabu, Sesei, Sariu, Ezriel and Selemia and Samaria and Sellum, Amaria, Joseph: and of the
43 sons of Nabu ; Jael, Matthanias, Zabad, Zebennes, Jadai and
44 Joel and Banaia. All these had taken strange wives and had children by them.