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II. The return of the captivity under the priestly leadership of Ezra 7:1—10:44
A. The return of the captivity under Ezra 7:1—8:36
1. The beginning of the return through the request of Ezra to the king 7:1-10
Ezra 7 :1 7:1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king of Persia, 1Ezra the son of aSeraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
Ezra 7 :2 7:2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
Ezra 7 :3 7:3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
Ezra 7 :4 7:4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
Ezra 7 :5 7:5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest;
Ezra 7 :6 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a ascribe skilled in the law of Moses, which Jehovah the God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his 1request according to the 2bhand of Jehovah his God upon him.
Ezra 7 :7 7:7 Some of the achildren of Israel and some of the bpriests, and the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers and the ctemple servants also went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of dArtaxerxes the king.
Ezra 7 :8 7:8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king;
Ezra 7 :9 7:9 For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem according to the good ahand of his God upon him.
Ezra 7 :10 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah and to do it and to teach His 1statutes and ordinances in Israel.
2. The decree of Artaxerxes the king of Persia to Ezra 7:11-28
Ezra 7 :11 7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of the commandments of Jehovah and of His statutes for Israel:
Ezra 7 :12 7:12 1Artaxerxes, the king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now
Ezra 7 :13 7:13 I make a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who offer themselves willingly to go to Jerusalem may go with you.
Ezra 7 :14 7:14 Inasmuch as you have been sent by the king and his aseven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand,
Ezra 7 :15 7:15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have offered willingly to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,
Ezra 7 :16 7:16 As well as all the silver and gold that you shall find in the whole province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, who offered willingly for the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem;
Ezra 7 :17 7:17 With this money therefore you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings; and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God, which is in Jerusalem.
Ezra 7 :18 7:18 And whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, you may do according to the will of your God.
Ezra 7 :19 7:19 And the vessels that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.
Ezra 7 :20 7:20 And the rest of the needs for the house of your God, which you have occasion to provide, you may provide for it out of the king’s treasure house.
Ezra 7 :21 7:21 And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who are in the province beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, it shall be done with all diligence,
Ezra 7 :22 7:22 Up to one hundred talents of silver and up to one hundred cors of wheat and up to one hundred baths of wine and up to one hundred baths of oil and salt without prescribing how much.
Ezra 7 :23 7:23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven. For why should wrath come upon the kingdom of the king and his sons?
Ezra 7 :24 7:24 We also inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, taxes, or tolls upon any of the priests and Levites, the singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or servants of this house of God.
Ezra 7 :25 7:25 And you, Ezra, according to the awisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, all those who know the laws of your God; and teach anyone who does not know them.
Ezra 7 :26 7:26 And everyone who will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him with all diligence, whether to death or to banishment or to confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.
Ezra 7 :27 7:27 Blessed be Jehovah, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this into the king’s aheart, to beautify the house of Jehovah, which is in Jerusalem,
Ezra 7 :28 7:28 And has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the mighty officers of the king. And I was strengthened according to the ahand of Jehovah my God upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel leading men to go up with me.
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