1. After these events, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah,
2. son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,
3. son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth,
4. son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki,
5. son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of the chief priest Aaron-
6. this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a scribe versed in the Law of Moses, which Yahweh, God of Israel, had given. The king gave him everything that he asked for, since the hand of Yahweh his God was over him.
7. A number of Israelites, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers and temple slaves went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of the reign of King Artaxerxes.
8. Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king's reign;
9. for he had ordered the departure from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, since the kindly hand of his God was over him.
10. For Ezra had devoted himself to studying the Law of Yahweh so as to put into practice and teach its statutes and rulings.
11. This is the text of the document which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra, the priest-scribe, a student of matters pertaining to Yahweh's commandments and statutes relating to Israel:
12. 'Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, Secretary of the Law of the God of heaven: greetings!
13. 'Now here are my orders. All members of the people of Israel in my kingdom, including their priests and Levites, who freely choose to go to Jerusalem, may go with you,
14. for you are being sent by the king and his seven counsellors to investigate how the Law of your God, in which you are expert, is being applied in Judah and Jerusalem,
15. and to transport the silver and gold which the king and his counsellors have voluntarily offered to the God of Israel who resides in Jerusalem,
16. as well as all the silver and gold which you receive throughout the province of Babylon and the voluntary offerings freely contributed by the people and the priests for the Temple of their God in Jerusalem.
17. 'This money you will punctiliously use for the purchase of bulls, rams, lambs and the materials for the oblations and libations which go with them, offering these on the altar of the Temple of your God in Jerusalem,
18. and using the remainder of the silver and gold in accordance with the will of your God as you and your brothers may think fit.
19. 'You will deliver the articles which have been given you for the ministry of the Temple of your God, to the God of Jerusalem,
20. and whatever else is needed and you are obliged to supply for the Temple of your God, you will supply from the royal treasury.
21. 'I, King Artaxerxes, have issued the following instruction to all the treasurers of Transeuphrates: Whatever the priest Ezra, Secretary of the Law of the God of heaven, may request of you is to be punctiliously complied with:
22. up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kor of wheat, one hundred bat of wine, one hundred bat of oil, and unlimited salt.
23. Whatever the God of heaven demands for the Temple of the God of heaven must be diligently provided; why should retribution come on the realm of the king and of his sons?
24. You are further informed that it is against the law to impose tribute, tax or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple slaves or other servants of this temple of God.
25. 'And you, Ezra, by virtue of the wisdom of your God, which you possess, are to appoint magistrates and scribes to administer justice for the whole people of Transeuphrates, that is, for all who know the Law of your God; and you are to teach it to those who do not know it.
26. And on anyone who will not comply with the Law of your God and the Law of the king let sentence be swiftly executed, whether it be death, banishment, fine or imprisonment.'
27. Blessed be Yahweh, God of our ancestors, who moved the king's heart in this way to restore the beauty of the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem,
28. won for me the faithful love of the king, his counsellors and all the most powerful of the king's officials! Taking heart since the hand of Yahweh my God was over me, I assembled those Israelite heads of families who were to go with me.