As preface, this is a really pointless book. It contains a couple of letters, which all say the same thing and some sort of magic way out of Babylon.
And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, so that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might he fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also in writing, saying, So says Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? Let his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah God of Israel (He is God) which is in Jerusalem. And whoever remains in any place where he resides, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold and with goods and with animals, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
God needs a house…and money. Why does god need money?
And the chiefs of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, and all whose spirit God had raised, rose up to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. And all those who were around them made their hands strong with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, and with precious things, besides all being willingly offered. And Cyrus the king brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought out of Jerusalem and had put them in the house of his gods. Even those Cyrus king of Persia brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this is the number of them: thirty platters of gold, a thousand platters of silver, twenty-nine knives, thirty basins of gold, four hundred and ten silver basins of a second kind, and a thousand other vessels. All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Holy shit that is a lot of gold and silver.
And these are the sons of the province who went up out of the captivity, of those who had been exiled, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled to Babylon. And these came again to Jerusalem and Judah, each one to his city. These are the ones who came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. This is the number of the men of the people of the sons of Israel: The sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two. The sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. The sons of Arah, seven hundred and seventy-five. The sons of Pahath-moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve. The sons of Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. The sons of Zattu, nine hundred and forty-five. The sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. The sons of Bani, six hundred and forty-two. The sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-three. The sons of Azgad, a thousand two hundred and twenty-two. The sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-six. The sons of Bigvai, two thousand and fifty-six. The sons of Adin, four hundred and fifty-four. The sons of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. The sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-three. The sons of Jorah, a hundred and twelve. The sons of Hashum, two hundred and twenty-three. The sons of Gibbar, ninety-five. The sons of Bethlehem, a hundred and twenty-three. The men of Netophah, fifty-six. The men of Anathoth, a hundred and twenty-eight. The sons of Azmaveth, forty-two. The sons of Kirjath-arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth seven hundred and forty-three. The sons of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty-two. The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred and twenty-three. The men of Nebo, fifty-two. The men of Magbish, a hundred and fifty-six. The sons of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred and fifty-four. The sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The sons of Lod, Hadid and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-five. The sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. The sons of Senaah, three thousand, six hundred and thirty.
Reminds me of numbers. Stupid passage.
The priests: The sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. The sons of Immer, a thousand and fifty-two. The sons of Pashur, a thousand two hundred and forty-seven. The sons of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. The Levites: The sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the sons of Hodaviah seventy-four. The singers: The sons of Asaph, a hundred and twenty-eight. The sons of the gatekeepers: The sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, a hundred and thirty-nine. The temple-slaves: The sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, the sons of Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shalmai, the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, the sons of Asnah, the sons of Mehunim, the sons of Nephusim, the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Thamah, the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha. The sons of Solomon’s servants: The sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Peruda, the sons of Jaalah, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim, the sons of Ami. All the temple-slaves, and the sons of Solomon’s servants three hundred and ninety-two. And these were they who went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, but they could not show their father’s house and their seed, whether they were of Israel: the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two. And of the sons of the priests, the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Koz, the sons of Barzillai (who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name). These looked for their register among those who were counted by genealogy, but they were not found. Therefore they were polluted from the priesthood. And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
None of this matters.
The whole congregation together was forty-two thousand, three hundred and sixty, besides their servants and their maids, seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven. And among them were two hundred singing men and singing women. Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules, two hundred and forty-five, their camels, four hundred and thirty-five, their asses six thousand seven hundred and twenty. And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in its place. They gave according to their ability to the treasure of the work, sixty one thousand drachmas of gold, and five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priest’s garments. And the priests, and the Levites, and many of the people, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the temple slaves, lived in their cities. And all Israel in their cities.
Like reading a receipt.
And when the seventh month had come, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves as one man to Jerusalem. And Jeshua the son of Jozadak stood up, and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brothers. And they built the altar of the God of Israel in order to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar on its bases, for fear was on them because of the people of those countries. And they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, burnt offerings both morning and evening. And they kept the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required. And afterward they offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were set apart, and of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the LORD. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not laid. They gave silver also to the masons and to the carpenters. And they gave meat and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and to the people of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
Burnt offerings…day and night.
And in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all they who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began. And they chose the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. And Jeshua stood up together with his sons and his brothers, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, to set forward the workmen in the house of God the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brothers the Levites. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their robes with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to David king of Israel. And they sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, because He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, ancient men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice. And many shouted aloud for joy so that the people could not tell the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people. For the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
New house of the Lord.
And when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the sons of the captivity built the temple to the LORD God of Israel, then they came to Zerubbabel and to the chief of the fathers, and said to them, Let us build with you, for we seek your God, even as you. And we have sacrificed to him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said to them, You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God. But we ourselves together will build to the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building. And they hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
I just don’t buy this instant conversion of Persia.
And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of their companions, wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. And the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this way. Then Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the judges, and the emissaries, the consuls, the officials, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest of the province Beyond the River, and now, this is the copy of the letter which they sent to him, to Artaxerxes the king. Your servants the men of the province Beyond the River, and so now, let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have come to Jerusalem, and are building the rebellious and the evil city, and have set up its walls, and have joined the foundations. And let it be known to the king that if this city is built and the walls set up, then they will not pay toll, taxes, or custom, and you shall endanger the revenue of the kings. And because we have eaten the salt of the palace, and it was not right for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore we have sent and notified the king, so that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers, and you shall find in the book of the records, and shall know that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have rebelled in it in the past, for which cause that city was destroyed. We notify the king that if this city is built and the walls of it set up, then you shall have no portion Beyond the River.
Yeah yeah, Beyond the River, whatever the fuck that means.
The message the king sent to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and to the rest Beyond the River, Peace! And now, the letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me. And I commanded, and search has been made, and it is found that this city has lifted up itself against kings in the past, and rebellion and revolt have been made in it. There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all Beyond the River. And toll, taxes, and custom was paid to them. Now make a decree to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built until the decree shall be given from me. And take heed that you do not fail to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? And when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they hurried to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them stop by force and power. Then the work of the house of God at Jerusalem ceased. So it ceased to the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Taxes and rebuilt the temple.
Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem. And with them were the prophets of God helping them.
At the same time Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-boznai, and their companions, came to them and said this to them Who has commanded you to build this house and to make this wall? So then we said to them: What are the names of the men who are building this building? But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, so that they could not cause them to stop until the matter came to Darius, and answer by letter concerning this had been returned. The copy of the letter which Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions, the officials Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king: They sent a letter to him, in which this was written, To Darius the king, all peace: Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones, and timber is being laid in the walls, and this work goes on fast and is blessed in their hands. Then we asked those elders and said this to them, Who commanded you to build this house and to make these walls? We also asked their names in order to notify you so that we might write the names of the men who are the chief of them. and they returned this answer to us, saying, We are the servants of the God of Heaven and earth. And we build the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up. But after our fathers had provoked the God of Heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away to Babylon. But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, king Cyrus gave an order to build this house of God. And also the vessels of gold and silver from the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. And he said to him, Take these vessels and go. Carry them into the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in His place. Then the same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And since that time even until now it has been building, but is not finished. And therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house there at Babylon, whether it is so that a decree was given from Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem. And let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
Quoting a letter.
Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the scrolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that was in the province of the Medes, a scroll. And in it was a record written thus: In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem. Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations of it be strongly laid. The height of it shall be sixty cubits, and the breadth of it shall be sixty cubits, with three rows of great stones and a row of new timber. And let the expenses be given out of the king’s house. And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple at Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be given back and brought again to the temple which is at Jerusalem, to their place, and place them in the house of God. And Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-boznai, and your companions, the officials Beyond the River, keep away from there. Let the work of this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place. Also I make a decree as to what you shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God, that at once expense be given to these men from the king’s goods, from the tax Beyond the River, so that they may not have to stop. And that which they have need of, both young bulls and rams and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of Heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the choice of the priests at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail, so that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors to the God of Heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons. Also I have made a decree that whoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house and be set up, and let him be hanged on it. And let his house be made a dunghill for this. And may the God who has caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people who shall put their hand to alter or to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree. Let it be done with speed.
Quoting a letter.
Then Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-boznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. And the elders of the Jews built, and they were blessed through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it according to the command of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the sons of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the sons of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy. And they offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs. And for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their sections, and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God which is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses. And the sons of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth of the first month. For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them pure. And they slaughtered the passover lamb for all the sons of the captivity, and for their brothers the priests, and for themselves. And the sons of Israel ate, all who had come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves to them from the uncleanness of the nations of the land, in order to seek the LORD God of Israel. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy. For the LORD had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to make their hands strong in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Wow, this is boring.
And after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest, this Ezra went up from Babylon. And he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. And the king granted him all he asked, according to the hand of the LORD his God on him. And there went up some of the sons of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the temple slaves, to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king. For on the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God on him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and judgments in Israel.
Teach rules. Whoop tee do.
And this is the copy of the letter which king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the scribe, a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of His statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of Heaven, perfect peace, and now: From me was made a decree that everyone of the people of Israel, and their priests and Levites in my kingdom, who desire of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with you; since you have been sent by the king, and by his seven counselors to ask about Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God in your hand; and to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose house is in Jerusalem, and all the silver and gold which you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the free will offering of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem. Before all of this, you shall diligently buy with this money, bulls, rams, lambs, with their food offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. And whatever shall seem good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do that after the will of your God. Also the vessels which are given you for the service of the house of your God, deliver them before the God of Jerusalem. And whatever more shall be needful for the house of God, which you shall have need to give, give it out of the king’s treasure house. And I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who are Beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of Heaven, shall ask of you, it shall be done exactly, to a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without saying. Whatever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it be carefully done for the house of the God of Heaven for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also, we notify you, that in regard to any of the priests and the Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple slaves, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, taxes, or custom on them. And now, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, set officers and judges who may judge all the people who are Beyond the River, all who know the laws of your God; and teach them who do not know. And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it is to death, or to exile, or to confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.
I hope I didn’t do a copy and paste error here.
Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was made strong as the hand of the LORD my God was on me, and I gathered out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
I’ll check when I put this online.
These are now the chief of their fathers, and the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. From the sons of Phinehas; Gershom. From the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. From the sons of David, Hattush. From the sons of Shechaniah, from the sons of Parosh, Zechariah. And with him were counted by genealogy of the males a hundred and fifty. From the sons of Pahath-moab, Eli-hoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males. From the sons of Shechaniah, the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males. From the sons also of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males. And from the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males. And from the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him eighty males. From the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males. And from the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah, and with him a hundred and sixty males. And from the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty eight males. And from the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him a hundred and ten males. And from the last sons of Adonikam, these: Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them sixty males. From the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males. And I gathered them to the river which runs to Ahava. And we stayed there in tents three days. And I looked over the people and the priests, and did not find there any of the sons of Levi. Then I sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding. And I sent them with command to Iddo the chief of the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say to Iddo, to his brothers the temple slaves, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. And by the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of understanding, from the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen; and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah from the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty; also of the temple slaves whom David and the rulers had chosen for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty temple slaves. All of them were called by name.
List of names, who cares?
Then I called a fast there at the river Ahava, so that we might humble ourselves before our God, in order to seek from Him a right way for us and for our little ones, and for all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask of the king troops and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is on all those who seek Him for good, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him. So we fasted and prayed to our God for good. And He was pleased to hear us.
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them. And I weighed to them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, the offering of the house of our God, which the king and his counselors and his lords, and all Israel who were there, had offered. And I weighed into their hands six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels of a hundred talents, of gold a hundred talents and twenty basins of gold of a thousand drams, and two vessels of fine copper as desirable as gold. And I said to them, You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy. And the silver and the gold are a free-will offering to the LORD God of your fathers. Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and the chief of the fathers of Israel at Jerusalem in the rooms of the house of the LORD. So the priests and the Levites took the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.
Copy error? Or just the Bible?
And we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was on us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and from ambushers by the way. And we came to Jerusalem and stayed there three days. And on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest. And with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites. They were weighed by number and by weight of every one. And all the weight was written at that time. The sons of those who had been exiled, who had come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve young bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve he-goats for a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the LORD. And they delivered the king’s orders to the king’s lieutenants and to the governors of the province Beyond the River. And they helped the people and the house of God.
And at the end of these things, the rulers came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands. But they are doing according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons. So the holy seed has mixed themselves with the people of those lands. Yes, the hand of the leaders and overseers has been chief in this sin. And when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down stricken dumb. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel was gathered to me, because of the sin of those who had been exiled. And I remained dumb until the evening sacrifice.
Torn clothes and hair pulled out.
And at the evening sacrifice I rose up from my affliction. And tearing my garment and my mantle, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. And I said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God. For our iniquities have increased over our heads, and our guiltiness has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers we have been in a great sin until this day. And for our iniquities we, our kings, our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to shame of face, as it is this day. And now for a little time grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape and to give us a nail in His holy place, so that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a little life in our bondage. For we were slaves, yet our God has not left us in our bondage, but has given mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us some life, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its waste, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments which You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, The land into which you go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to the other with their uncleanness. And now do not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth forever, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your sons forever. And after all that has come on us for our evil deeds and for our great sin, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such an escape as this, should we again break Your commandments and join hands with the people of these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had crushed us, until there is no remnant nor survivor? O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous. For we are left a remnant that has escaped, as today. Behold, we are before You in our sins, for we cannot stand before You because of this.
They escaped, thrilling.
And when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there gathered to him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children, for the people wept with a great weeping. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, answered and said to Ezra, We have sinned against our God and have taken strange women from the people of the land. Yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. And now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the women, and such as have been born of them, according to the counsel of the Lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. And let it be done according to the Law. Arise, for this matter belongs to you. We also will be with you. Be of good courage and act. Then Ezra arose and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear that they should do according to this word. And they swore.
More boring Levite talk.
Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God and went into the room of Johanan the son of Eliashib. And he went there, and he ate no bread nor drank water. For he mourned because of the sin of those who had been exiled. And they made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the sons of the captivity, to gather themselves to Jerusalem, and that who ever would not come within three days, according to the advice of the rulers and the elders, all he owned would be lost, and he himself separated from the congregation of the exiles. Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves to Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month. And all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain. And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have sinned, and have taken strange women to increase the sin of Israel. And now confess to the LORD God of your fathers, and do His pleasure. And separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange women. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As you have said, so we must do. But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside. And the work is not of one or two days. For we who have sinned in this thing are many. And let our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all those who have taken strange women in our cities, come at a set time, and with them the elders of every city and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter has turned from us.
God turns away.
Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah made a stand against this. And Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them. And the sons of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain heads of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by names, were separated. And they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. And they made an end with all the men who had taken strange women by the first day of the first month. And among the sons of the priests, these were found who had taken strange women: From the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers were Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah. And they gave their hands that they would put away their women. And being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their sin. And from the sons of Immer were Hanani and Zebadiah. And from the sons of Harim were Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah. And from the sons of Pashur were Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah. And from the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (the same is Kelita,) Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. And from the singers: Eliashib; and from the gatekeepers, Shallum and Telem and Uri. And from Israel: From the sons of Parosh, Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah and Benaiah. And from the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah. And from the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza. And from the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai. And from the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth. And from the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel. and Binnui, and Manasseh. And from the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah. From the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei. From the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel, Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau, and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei, and Shelemiah, Nathan, and Adaiah, Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, Joseph. From the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah. All these had taken strange women. And many of them had women by whom they had sons.
Endless list of names. This was a thankfully short book the Bible and pretty damn pointless. I will have to make sure there are no copy and paste errors.