1Now after these things, when Artaxerxes was king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
2The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:
6This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a scribe, expert in the law of Moses which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given: and the king, moved by the Lord his God, gave him whatever he made request for.
7And some of the children of Israel went up, with some of the priests and the Levites and the music-makers and the door-keepers and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king’s rule.
9For, starting his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, he came to Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, by the good help of his God.
10For Ezra had given his mind to learning the law of the Lord and doing it, and to teaching his rules and decisions in Israel.
11Now this is a copy of the letter which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra, the priest and the scribe, who put into writing the words of the orders of the Lord, and of his rules for Israel:
12Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, scribe of the law of the God of heaven, all peace;
13And now it is my order that all those of the people of Israel, and their priests and Levites in my kingdom, who are ready and have a desire to go to Jerusalem, are to go with you.
14Because you are sent by the king and his seven wise men, to get knowledge about Judah and Jerusalem, as you are ordered by the law of your God which is in your hand;
15And to take with you the silver and gold freely offered by the king and his wise men to the God of Israel, whose Temple is in Jerusalem,
16As well as all the silver and gold which you get from the land of Babylon, together with the offering of the people and of the priests, freely given for the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem:
17So with this money get with care oxen, sheep, and lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, to be offered on the altar of the house of your God, which is in Jerusalem.
18And whatever seems right to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, that do, as may be pleasing to your God.
19And the vessels which have been given to you for the uses of the house of your God, you are to give to the God of Jerusalem.
20And whatever more is needed for the house of your God, and which you may have to give, take it from the king’s store-house.
21And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, now give orders to all keepers of the king’s money across the river, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may have need of from you, is to be done with all care,
22Up to a hundred talents of silver, a hundred measures of grain, a hundred measures of wine, and a hundred measures of oil, and salt without measure.
23Whatever is ordered by the God of heaven, let it be done completely for the house of the God of heaven; so that there may not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.
24In addition, we make it clear to you, that it will be against the law to put any tax or payment in goods or forced payment on any of the priests or Levites, the music-makers, door-keepers, Nethinim, or any servants of this house of God.
25And you, Ezra, by the wisdom of your God which is in you, are to put rulers and judges to have authority over all the people across the river who have knowledge of the laws of your God; and you are to give teaching to him who has no knowledge of them.
26And if anyone does not keep the law of your God and the law of the king, take care that punishment is given to him, by death or by driving him from his country or by taking away his goods or by putting him in prison.
27Praise be to the Lord, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing into the heart of the king, to make fair the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem;
28And has given mercy to me before the king and his government and before all the king’s great captains. And I was made strong by the hand of the Lord my God which was on me, and I got together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
1Now these are the heads of families who were listed of those who went up with me from Babylon, when Artaxerxes was king.
2Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush;
3Of the sons of Shecaniah; of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were listed a hundred and fifty males.
4Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai, the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males.
5Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males.
6And of the sons of Adin, Ebed, the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males.
7And of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah; the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males.
8And of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah, the son of Michael; and with him eighty males.
9Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah, the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
10And of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him a hundred and sixty males.
11And of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah, the son of Bebai; and with him twenty-eight males.
12And of the sons of Azgad, Johanan, the son of Hakkatan; and with him a hundred and ten males.
13And of the sons of Adonikam, the last, whose names were Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males.
14And of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males.
15And I made them come together by the river flowing to Ahava; and we were there in tents for three days: and after viewing the people and the priests I saw that no sons of Levi were there.
16Then I sent for Eliezer and Ariel and Shemaiah and Elnathan Jarib and Elnathan and Nathan and Zechariah and Meshullam, all responsible men; and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were wise men.
17And I sent them to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and gave them orders what to say to Iddo and his brothers the Nethinim at the place Casiphia, so that they might come back to us with men to do the work of the house of our God.
18And by the help of our God they got for us Ish-sechel, one of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah with his sons and brothers, eighteen;
19And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty;
20And of the Nethinim, to whom David and the captains had given the work of helping the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim, all of them specially named.
21Then I gave orders for a time of going without food, there by the river Ahava, so that we might make ourselves low before our God in prayer, requesting from him a straight way for us and for our little ones and for all our substance.
22For I would not, for shame, make request to the king for a band of armed men and horsemen to give us help against those who might make attacks on us on the way: for we had said to the king, The hand of our God is on his servants for good, but his power and his wrath are against all those who are turned away from him.
23So we went without food, requesting our God for this: and his ear was open to our prayer.
24So I put on one side twelve of the chiefs of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them,
25And gave to them by weight the silver and the gold and the vessels, all the offering for the house of our God which the king and his wise men and his captains and all Israel there present had given:
26Measuring into their hands six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels, a hundred talents’ weight, and a hundred talents of gold,
27And twenty gold basins, of a thousand darics, and two vessels of the best bright brass, equal in value to gold.
28And I said to them, You are holy to the Lord and the vessels are holy: and the silver and the gold are an offering freely given to the Lord, the God of your fathers.
29Take care of them and keep them, till you put them on the scales before the chiefs of the priests and the Levites and the chiefs of the families of Israel, in Jerusalem, in the rooms of the house of the Lord.
30So the priests and the Levites took the weight of silver and gold and the vessels, to take them to Jerusalem into the house of our God.
31Then we went away from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was on us, and he gave us salvation from our haters and those who were waiting to make an attack on us by the way.
32And we came to Jerusalem and were there for three days.
33And on the fourth day, the silver and the gold and the vessels were measured out by weight in the house of our God into the hands of Meremoth, the son of Uriah, the priest; and with him was Eleazar, the son of Phinehas; and with them were Jozabad, the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah, the son of Binnui, the Levites;
34All was handed over by number and by weight: and the weight was put on record at that time.
35And those who had been prisoners, who had come back from a strange land, made burned offerings to the God of Israel, twelve oxen for all Israel, ninety-six male sheep, seventy-seven lambs, twelve he-goats for a sin-offering: all this was a burned offering to the Lord.
36And they gave the king’s orders to the king’s captains and the rulers across the river, and they gave the people and the house of God the help which was needed.
1O God, in whose hands is punishment, O God of punishment, let your shining face be seen.
2Be lifted up, O judge of the earth; let their reward come to the men of pride.
3How long will sinners, O Lord, how long will sinners have joy over us?
4Words of pride come from their lips; all the workers of evil say great things of themselves.
5Your people are crushed by them, O Lord, your heritage is troubled,
6They put to death the widow and the guest, they take the lives of children who have no father;
7And they say, Jah will not see it, the God of Jacob will not give thought to it.
8Give your mind to my words, you who are without wisdom among the people; you foolish men, when will you be wise?
9Has he by whom your ears were planted no hearing? or is he blind by whom your eyes were formed?
10He who is the judge of the nations, will he not give men the reward of their acts, even he who gives knowledge to man?
11The Lord has knowledge of the thoughts of man, for they are only a breath.
12Happy is the man who is guided by you, O Jah, and to whom you give teaching out of your law;
13So that you may give him rest from the days of evil, till a hole is made ready for the destruction of the sinners.
14The Lord will not give up his people, or take away his support from his heritage;
15But decisions will again be made in righteousness; and they will be kept by all whose hearts are true.
16Who will give me help against the sinners? and who will be my support against the workers of evil?
17If the Lord had not been my helper, my soul would quickly have gone down into death.
18If I say, My foot is slipping; your mercy, O Lord, is my support.
19Among all my troubled thoughts, your comforts are the delight of my soul.
20What part with you has the seat of sin, which makes evil into a law?
21They are banded together against the soul of the upright, to give decisions against those who have done no wrong.
22But the Lord is my safe resting-place; my God is the Rock where I am safe.
23And he has made their evil designs come back on themselves, cutting them off in their sin; the Lord our God will put an end to them.
3 John 1-10
1I, a ruler in the church, send word to the well loved Gaius, for whom I have true love.
2My loved one, it is my prayer that you may do well in all things, and be healthy in body, even as your soul does well.
3For it gave me great joy when some of the brothers came and gave witness that you had the true faith and were walking in the true way.
4I have no greater joy than to have news that my children are walking in the true way.
5My loved one, you are doing a good work in being kind to those brothers who come from other places;
6Who have given witness to the church of your love for them: and you will do well to send them on their way well cared for, as is right for servants of God:
7For they went out for love of the Name, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
8So it is right for us to take in such men as guests, so that we may take our part in the work of the true faith.
9I sent a letter to the church, but Diotrephes, whose desire is ever to have the first place among them, will not have us there.
10So if I come, I will keep in mind the things he does, talking against us with evil words: and as if this was not enough, he does not take the brothers into his house, and those who are ready to take them in, he keeps from doing so, putting them out of the church if they do.