Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon.
And a scroll was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, and on it this was written as a record:
In the first year of King Cyrus, King aCyrus
made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: Let the house be built, the place where they offer sacrifices; and let its foundations be raised, its height being sixty cubits, and its width sixty cubits,
With three layers of large stones, and one layer of timber; and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house.
And also let the gold and silver avessels
of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be returned and brought again to the temple which is in Jerusalem, to its place; and you shall put them in the house of God.
Now therefore, Tattenai the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your companions the officials, in the province beyond the River, keep far away from there.
Leave 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 on its site.
Moreover I make a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of the Jews for the building of this house of God: From the property of the king, even the tribute of the province beyond the River, expenses are to be given in full to these men that the work not cease.
And whatever is needed, young bulls and rams and lambs, for burnt offerings to the God of heaven; also wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the priests who are in Jerusalem, let it be given to them day by day without fail,
That they may offer incense to the God of heaven and apray
for the life of the king and his sons.
Also I have made a decree that whoever alters this word, timber shall be pulled out from his house, and he shall be lifted up and impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill on account of this.
And may the God who has caused His aname
to dwell there overthrow any king or people who put forth their hand to alter this or to destroy this house of God, which is in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree; let it be carried out with all diligence.
The completion of the rebuilding of the house of God
Then Tattenai the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, carried out everything with all diligence according to what Darius the king had sent order to do.
And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the aprophesying
of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they bfinished
building according to the command of the God of Israel and according to the decree of cCyrus
the king of Persia.
And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
The dedication of the rebuilt house of God
And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, celebrated the adedication
of this house of God with joy.
And they offered for the dedication of this house of God one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
And they set the priests in their courses and the Levites in their adivisions
for the service of God, which is in Jerusalem, as it is written in the bbook
The keeping of the Passover by the children of the captivity
And the children of the captivity held the Passover on the afourteenth
day of the first month.
For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were pure. Then they slaughtered the apassover
for all the children of the captivity and for their brothers the priests and for themselves.
And the children of Israel who returned from the captivity and all who had separated themselves from the defilement of the nations of the land to join them, to seek Jehovah the God of Israel, ate the passover
And held the aFeast
of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for Jehovah had made them joyful and had turned the bheart
of the 1king
of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.