1. Now after these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes, the king of the Persians, 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, priest from the beginning,

6. this same Ezra, ascended from Babylon; and he was a proficient scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God gave to Israel. And the king granted to him his every petition. For the hand of the Lord, his God, was over him.

7. And some from the sons of Israel, and from the sons of the priests, and from the sons of the Levites, and from the singing men, and from the gatekeepers, and from the temple servants ascended to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of king Artaxerxes.

8. And they arrived at Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the same seventh year of the king.

9. For on the first day of the first month, he began to ascend from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month, he arrived at Jerusalem. For the good hand of his God was over him.

10. For Ezra prepared his heart, so that he might search the law of the Lord, and so that he might keep and teach precept and judgment in Israel.

11. Now this is a copy of the letter of the edict, which king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra, the priest, a scribe well-taught in the words and precepts of the Lord and in his ceremonies in Israel:

12. “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra, the priest, a very learned scribe of the law of the God of heaven: a greeting.

13. It has been decreed by me, that whosoever wishes, among the people of Israel and their priests and Levites within my kingdom, to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.

14. For you have been sent from the face of the king and his seven counselors, so that you may visit Judea and Jerusalem by the law of your God, which is in your hand,

15. and so that you may carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose tabernacle is in Jerusalem.

16. And all the silver and gold, as much as you will find in the entire province of Babylon, and which the people will wish to offer, and which some of the priests will offer freely to the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem,

17. accept it freely. And with this money, carefully purchase calves, rams, lambs, and their sacrifices and libations, and offer these upon the altar of the temple of your God, which is in Jerusalem.

18. But also, whatever it will please you and your brothers to do with the remainder of the silver and gold, do so in accord with the will of your God.

19. Likewise, the vessels that have been given to you for the ministry of the house of your God, deliver these to the sight of God in Jerusalem.

20. Then, whatever more will be needed for the house of your God, as much as is necessary for you to spend, it shall be given from the treasury, and from the king’s finances,

21. and by me. I, king Artaxerxes, have appointed and decreed to all the keepers of the public treasury, those who are beyond the river, that whatever Ezra, the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall ask of you, you shall provide it without delay,

22. even 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 truly salt without measure.

23. All that pertains to the rite of the God of heaven, let it be distributed scrupulously to the house of the God of heaven, lest perhaps he may become angry against the kingdom of the king and his sons.

24. Likewise, we would make known to you, about all the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the temple servants, and the ministers of the house of this God, that you have no authority to impose tax, or tribute, or duty upon them.

25. But as for you, Ezra, in accord with the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand, appoint judges and magistrates, so that they may judge the entire people, which is beyond the river, especially so that they may know the law of your God, but also so as to teach the ignorant freely.

26. And any one who will not diligently keep the law of your God, and the law of the king, judgment shall be upon him, either to death, or to exile, or to the confiscation of his goods, or certainly to prison.”

27. Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who has put this into the heart of the king, so that he may glorify the house of the Lord, which is in Jerusalem.

28. For he has turned his mercy toward me in the sight of the king, and his counselors, and all the powerful leaders of the king. And so, having been strengthened by the hand of the Lord, my God, which was upon me, I gathered together some of the leaders of Israel, those who were to go up with me.

“Que Maria seja toda a razão da sua existência e o guie ao porto seguro da eterna salvação. Que Ela lhe sirva de doce modelo e inspiração na virtude da santa humildade.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina