- ¶ THEN Darius the king issued a decree, and search was made in the scrolls that were in the house of treasure there in Babylon.
- And there was found in the city of Akhmathan, which is in the province of Media, a scroll, and in the scroll was written:
- In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made a decree, and commanded that the house of God which is in Jerusalem shall be rebuilt in the place where they offered sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid;
its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth twenty cubits,
- With three rows of great stones and doors of new timber: and let the expenses be paid out of the king’s house;
- And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought again to the temple which is in Jerusalem, every one to its place, and you shall store them in the house of God.
- Now therefore, let Tatnai, governor beyond the River, and Ashtanbozan and their companions the governors who are beyond the River keep away from there;
- Let the work of the house of God alone: let the Jews and the Jewish exiles build the house of God in its place.
- Moreover the decree is issued by me;
why then do you quarrel with the Jews of the captivity and hinder them from building the house of God?
From that which is of the king’s wealth and of the tribute beyond the River forthwith shall the expenses be paid to these men, that they may not be hindered from working.
- And whatever they wish to have, give it to them, and do not fail them anything, both young bullocks and rams and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the ordinance of the priests who are at Jerusalem;
let it be brought to them day by day without fail,
- That they may offer sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the king and his sons.
- Also I have made a decree that whosoever shall alter this ordinance, let a beam be pulled down from his house, and they shall make it a cross for him and they shall crucify him upon it;
and let his house be made a dunghill for this.
- And the God whose name we have found to be there, there shall he dwell, and any king or people who shall stretch out his hand to alter this decree or to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem, I Darius have made a decree that he shall speedily perish.
- ¶ Then Tatnai, the governor on this side the River.
Ashtanbozan and their companions did speedily according to the decree Darius the king had sent.
- And the exiles of the Jews did the work, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.
And they builded and finished it according to the commandment of the God of Israel and according to the commandment of Cyrus and Darius and Artakhshisht king of Persia.
- And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar (March), which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
- And the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the children of Judah celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
- And they offered at the dedication of this house of God one hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs;
and twelve he-goats for a sin offering for all Israel, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
- And they set the priests in their ministrations and the Levites in their ministrations over the service of the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
as it is written in the book of the law of Moses.
- And the exiles celebrated the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
- For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together, all of them were pure, and they killed the lambs on the passover day for all the people of the captivity and for their brethren the priests and for themselves.
- And the children of Israel who had come up from the captivity of Babylon, all such who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the Gentiles of the land to pray before the LORD God of Israel, did eat.
- And they celebrated the feast of the unleavened bread seven days with joy;
for the LORD had made them joyful and turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of the LORD God of Israel.