1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of
Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief
6 this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses,
which Jehovah the God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request,
according to the hand of Jehovah his God upon him.
7 Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and
the temple slaves came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8 And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the
9 On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first
day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11 This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert
in the words of the commandments of Jehovah, and of His statutes to Israel:
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of
Heaven: Perfect peace, and now:
13 I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my
realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14 And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire
concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your God which is in your
15 and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors
have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem;
16 and whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon,
along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for
the house of their God in Jerusalem;
17 now therefore, be diligent to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their
grain offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your
God in Jerusalem.
18 And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver
and the gold, do it according to the will of your God.
19 Also the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver
in full before the God of Jerusalem.
20 And whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have
occasion to provide, pay for it from the king's treasure house.
21 And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, issue a decree to all the treasurers beyond the River,
that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of Heaven, may require of
you, let it be done diligently,
22 up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of
wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without stipulation.
23 Whatever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it diligently be done for the house
of the God of Heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his
24 Also we inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tax, tribute, or toll upon any of
the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple slaves, or servants of this house of God.
25 And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God in your hand, appoint
magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are beyond the River, all such as
know the Laws of your God; and teach those who do not know them.
26 Whoever will not observe the Law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment
be executed diligently upon him, whether it be death, or banishment, or confiscation of
goods, or imprisonment.
27 Blessed be Jehovah the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this into the
king's heart, to beautify the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem,
28 and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the
king's mighty rulers. So I was encouraged, as the hand of Jehovah my God was upon me;
and I gathered chief men of Israel to go up with me.