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)

16 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication(W) of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered(X) a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering[b] for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they installed the priests in their divisions(Y) and the Levites in their groups(Z) for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.(AA)

The Passover

19 On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover.(AB) 20 The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered(AC) the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their relatives the priests and for themselves. 21 So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves(AD) from the unclean practices(AE) of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord,(AF) the God of Israel. 22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread,(AG) because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude(AH) of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 6:3 That is, about 90 feet or about 27 meters
  2. Ezra 6:17 Or purification offering
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Bible Gateway Recommends

NIV Adventure Bible, Hardcover, Jacketed
NIV Adventure Bible, Hardcover, Jacketed
Retail: $29.99
Our Price: $15.99
Save: $14.00 (47%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort  Print
NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort Print
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $29.99
Save: $20.00 (40%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
NIV Super-Giant Print Reference Bible--soft leather-look, brown
NIV Super-Giant Print Reference Bible--soft leather-look, brown
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $23.99
Save: $16.00 (40%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
NIV, The Jesus Bible, Hardcover
NIV, The Jesus Bible, Hardcover
Retail: $44.99
Our Price: $24.49
Save: $20.50 (46%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $4.99
Save: $3.00 (38%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors