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During the first year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy[a] by giving King Cyrus the desire to send this proclamation throughout his empire (he also put it into the permanent records of the realm):

“Cyrus, king of Persia, hereby announces that Jehovah, the God of heaven who gave me my vast empire, has now given me the responsibility of building him a Temple in Jerusalem, in the land of Judah. All Jews throughout the kingdom may now return to Jerusalem to rebuild this Temple of Jehovah, who is the God of Israel and of Jerusalem. May his blessings rest upon you. Those Jews[b] who do not go should contribute toward the expenses of those who do and also supply them with clothing, transportation, supplies for the journey, and a freewill offering for the Temple.”

Then God gave a great desire to the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and to the priests and Levites, to return to Jerusalem at once to rebuild the Temple. And all the Jewish exiles* who chose to remain in Persia gave them whatever assistance they could, as well as gifts for the Temple.

King Cyrus himself donated the gold bowls and other valuable items, which King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple at Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his own gods. He instructed Mithredath, the treasurer of Persia, to present these gifts to Sheshbazzar, the leader of the exiles returning to Judah.

9-10 The items Cyrus donated included: 1,000 gold trays, 1,000 silver trays, 29 censers, 30 bowls of solid gold, 2,410 silver bowls (of various designs), 1,000 miscellaneous items. 11 In all there were 5,469 gold and silver items turned over to Sheshbazzar to take back to Jerusalem.


  1. Ezra 1:1 the Lord fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy (see Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10), i.e., the prediction that the Jews would remain in captivity in Babylon for seventy years.
  2. Ezra 1:4 Those Jews, implied; also in v. 6.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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