1. Then, on the order of King Darius, search was made in the archives deposited in the treasuries in Babylon

2. and a scroll was found in the fortress of Ecbatana, which ran as follows: 'Memorandum.

3. 'In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued this order: "Temple of God in Jerusalem. "The Temple is to be rebuilt as a place of offering sacrifice and its foundations retained. Its height is to be sixty cubits, its width sixty cubits,

4. with three layers of large stones and one layer of timber. The cost is to be met by the royal treasury.

5. Furthermore, the gold and silver articles belonging to the Temple of God which Nebuchadnezzar took from the Temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon are to be given back and returned to the temple in Jerusalem, each to its proper place, and deposited in the Temple of God."

6. 'Hence, Tattenai governor of Transeuphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and your associates, the officials of Transeuphrates, keep away from there!

7. Leave the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews alone, to get on with their work on that Temple of God; they are permitted to rebuild that Temple of God on that site.

8. And herewith are my instructions as to how you will assist these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that Temple of God: the cost is to be paid in full to these men from the royal revenue, that is, from the taxes of Transeuphrates, and without interruption.

9. And whatever is required -- young bulls, rams, lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, oil, as the priests in Jerusalem request -- is to be given them day by day without fail,

10. so that they may offer sacrifices acceptable to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.

11. Furthermore I have issued an instruction that if anyone disobeys this order, a beam is to be torn from his house, he is to be impaled on it and his house is to be reduced to a rubbish-heap for his offence;

12. and may the God who has caused his name to live there overthrow the king of any people who dares to defy this and destroy that Temple of God in Jerusalem! I, Darius, have issued this order. Let it be punctiliously obeyed!'

13. Tattenai governor of Transeuphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and their associates punctiliously obeyed the instructions sent by King Darius;

14. and the elders of the Jews made good progress over their building, thanks to the prophetic activity of the prophet Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo, completing the reconstruction in accordance with the command of the God of Israel and the order of Cyrus and of Darius.

15. This Temple was completed on the twenty-third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

16. The Israelites -- the priests, the Levites and the remainder of the exiles -- joyfully celebrated the dedication of this Temple of God;

17. for the dedication of this Temple of God they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel.

18. Then they installed the priests in their orders and the Levites in their positions for the ministry of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as prescribed in the Book of Moses.

19. The exiles celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

20. The Levites, as one man, had purified themselves; all were pure, so they sacrificed the Passover for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves.

21. So the Israelites who had returned from exile and all those who had renounced the filthy practices of the people of the country to join them in resorting to Yahweh, God of Israel, ate the Passover.

22. For seven days they joyfully celebrated the feast of Unleavened Bread, for Yahweh had given them cause to rejoice, having moved the heart of the king of Assyria in their favour to support them in their work on the Temple of God, the God of Israel.



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