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Cyrus Helps the Captives Return

In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia [C 539 bc], the Lord ·caused [L stirred up the spirit of] Cyrus to send an announcement to his whole kingdom and to put it in writing. This happened so the Lord’s ·message [prophecy; L word] ·spoken by [L by the mouth of] Jeremiah would ·come true [be fulfilled]. He wrote:

This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

The Lord, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me, and he has ·appointed [instructed; charged] me to build a ·Temple [L house] for him at Jerusalem in Judah. May God be with all ·of [among] you who are his people. You ·are free to [may] go to Jerusalem in Judah and ·build [or rebuild] the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, the God of Israel, [L he is the God] who is in Jerusalem. Those who ·stay behind [L survive], ·wherever they live [in those places; C referring to the Jews remaining in exile, to the Jewish remnant who remained in Israel during the exile, or to their non-Jewish neighbors], ·should [must] ·support [help; assist; provide for] those who want to go. Give them silver and gold, ·supplies [goods] and ·cattle [livestock], and ·special gifts [voluntary/freewill offerings] for the ·Temple [L house] of God in Jerusalem.

Then the ·family [clan] leaders of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites ·got ready [L arose] to go to Jerusalem—everyone ·God had caused to want [L whose spirit/heart/mind God had stirred] to go to Jerusalem to ·build [or rebuild] the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. All their neighbors ·helped them [encouraged/assisted/aided them; L strengthened their hands], giving them things made of silver and gold, along with ·supplies [goods], ·cattle [livestock], valuable gifts, and ·special gifts [voluntary/freewill offerings]. Also, King Cyrus brought out the ·bowls and pans [L articles] that belonged in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had ·taken [carried away] from Jerusalem and put in the ·temple [L house] of his own ·god [gods; Dan. 1:2; 5:1–4]. Cyrus king of Persia had Mithredath the treasurer bring them and count them out ·for [to] Sheshbazzar, the ·prince [leader of the exiles] of Judah.

He listed thirty gold dishes, one thousand silver dishes, twenty-nine ·pans [or knives; or utensils], 10 thirty gold bowls, four hundred ten matching silver bowls, and one thousand other pieces.

11 There was a total of fifty-four hundred ·pieces [articles; vessels] of gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these things along when the ·captives [exiles] went from Babylon to Jerusalem.

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