24 Then work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

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24 Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius(A) king of Persia.

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Darius Finds Cyrus’s Decree

Then King Darius issued a decree, and (A)search was made in the [a]archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. In [b]Ecbatana in the fortress, which is (B)in the province of Media, a scroll was found and there was written in it as follows: “Memorandum— (C)In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: ‘Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the [c]temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be [d]retained, its height being 60 cubits and its width 60 cubits; (D)with three layers of huge stones and [e]one layer of timbers. And let the cost be paid from the [f]royal treasury. Also let (E)the gold and silver utensils of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and [g]brought to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; and you shall put them in the house of God.’

“Now therefore, (F)Tattenai, governor of the province beyond the [h]River, Shethar-bozenai and [i]your colleagues, the officials of the provinces beyond the [j]River, [k]keep away from there. Leave this work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, (G)I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay. Whatever is needed, both young bulls, rams, and lambs for a burnt offering to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and anointing oil, as the priests in Jerusalem request, it is to be given to them daily without fail, 10 that they may offer [l]acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and (H)pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 And I issued a decree that (I)any man who violates this edict, a timber shall be drawn from his house and he shall be impaled on it and (J)his house shall be made a refuse heap on account of this. 12 May the God who (K)has caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who [m]attempts to change it, so as to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued this decree, let it be carried out with all diligence!”

The Temple Completed and Dedicated

13 Then (L)Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues carried out the decree with all diligence, just as King Darius had sent. 14 And (M)the elders of the Jews [n]were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And [o]they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decree (N)of Cyrus, (O)Darius, and (P)Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 This [p]temple was completed [q]on the third day of the (Q)month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 6:1 Lit house of the books
  2. Ezra 6:2 Aram Achmetha
  3. Ezra 6:3 Lit house
  4. Ezra 6:3 Or fixed, laid
  5. Ezra 6:4 So Gr; Aram a layer of new timber
  6. Ezra 6:4 Lit king’s house
  7. Ezra 6:5 Lit go
  8. Ezra 6:6 I.e. Euphrates River, and so throughout the ch
  9. Ezra 6:6 Aram their
  10. Ezra 6:6 I.e. Euphrates River, and so throughout the ch
  11. Ezra 6:6 Lit be distant
  12. Ezra 6:10 Lit pleasing; or sweet-smelling sacrifices
  13. Ezra 6:12 Lit sends his hand
  14. Ezra 6:14 Lit were building and succeeding
  15. Ezra 6:14 Lit built and finished
  16. Ezra 6:15 Lit house
  17. Ezra 6:15 Lit until

The Decree of Darius

King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives(A) stored in the treasury at Babylon. A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it:

Memorandum:

In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem:

Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid.(B) It is to be sixty cubits[a] high and sixty cubits wide, with three courses(C) of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury.(D) Also, the gold(E) and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.(F)

Now then, Tattenai,(G) governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai(H) and you other officials of that province, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.

Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:

Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury,(I) from the revenues(J) of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings(K) to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.(L)

11 Furthermore, I decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled(M) on it. And for this crime their house is to be made a pile of rubble.(N) 12 May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there,(O) overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.

I Darius(P) have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.

Completion and Dedication of the Temple

13 Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates(Q) carried it out with diligence. 14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching(R) of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus,(S) Darius(T) and Artaxerxes,(U) kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.(V)

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 6:3 That is, about 90 feet or about 27 meters

Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered

And it came about in the month Nisan, (A)in the twentieth year of King (B)Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and (C)I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? (D)This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “(E)Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad (F)when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” (G)So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and (H)I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me (I)for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s (J)forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of (K)the fortress which is by the [a]temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because (L)the good hand of my God was on me.

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Footnotes

  1. Nehemiah 2:8 Lit house

Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,(A) when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever!(B) Why should my face not look sad when the city(C) where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?(D)

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Then the king(E), with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates,(F) so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel(G) by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me,(H) the king granted my requests.(I)

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Builders of the Walls

Then (A)Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built (B)the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and (C)hung its doors. They consecrated [a]the wall to (D)the Tower of the Hundred and (E)the Tower of Hananel.

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Footnotes

  1. Nehemiah 3:1 Lit it

Builders of the Wall

Eliashib(A) the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt(B) the Sheep Gate.(C) They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.(D)

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