1. These, with their genealogies, were the heads of families who set out from Babylon with me in the reign of King Artaxerxes:
2. Of the sons of Phinehas: Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar: Daniel; of the sons of David: Hattush
3. son of Shechaniah; of the sons of Parosh: Zechariah, and with him a hundred and fifty males officially registered;
4. of the sons of Pahath-Moab: Elioenai son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males;
5. of the sons of Zattu: Shechaniah son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males;
6. of the sons of Adin: Ebed son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males;
7. of the sons of Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males;
8. of the sons of Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him eighty males;
9. of the sons of Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males;
10. of the sons of Bani: Shelomith son of Josiphiah, and with him a hundred and sixty males;
11. of the sons of Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males;
12. of the sons of Azgad: Johanan son of Hakkatan, and with him a hundred and ten males;
13. of the sons of Adonikam: the younger sons, whose names are: Eliphelet, Jeiel and Shemaiah, and with them sixty males;
14. and of the sons of Bigvai: Uthai son of Zabud, and with him seventy males.
15. I assembled them near the canal which runs to Ahava, where we camped for three days. I noticed laymen and priests, but I could not discover any Levites there.
16. I then sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, judicious men,
17. and sent them to Iddo, the leading man of a place called Casiphia; I told them what they were to say to Iddo and his kinsmen, living at the place called Casiphia, that is, to provide us with people to serve the Temple of our God.
18. And because the hand of God was good to us, they sent us a wise man of the sons of Mahli son of Levi, son of Israel, a certain Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen: eighteen men;
19. also Hashabiah and with him his brother Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari with his kinsmen and sons: twenty men;
20. and two hundred and twenty temple slaves -- descendants of the temple slaves whom David and the princes had assigned to serve the Levites -- all of them designated by name.
21. There, beside the Ahava Canal, I then proclaimed a fast, to humble ourselves before our God and to pray to him for a successful journey for us, our dependants and all our belongings.
22. For I should have been ashamed to ask the king for a company of cavalry to protect us from hostile people on our road, as we had already said to the king, 'The hand of our God is over all who seek him for their protection, but his mighty retribution befalls all those who forsake him.'
23. So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and he heard us.
24. I next chose twelve of the leading priests, and also Sherebiah and Hashabiah with ten of their kinsmen.
25. To them I weighed out the silver, the gold and the utensils, the contributions which the king, his counsellors, his notables and all the Israelites there present had made for the Temple of our God.
26. To them I weighed out and handed over six hundred and fifty talents of silver, one hundred utensils of silver valued at two talents, one hundred talents of gold,
27. twenty golden bowls valued at a thousand darics and two utensils of fine burnished copper as precious as gold.
28. I said to them, 'You are consecrated to Yahweh; these utensils are consecrated too; the silver and gold are a voluntary offering to Yahweh, God of your ancestors.
29. Guard them carefully until you weigh them out to the leading priests, the Levites, and the heads of families of Israel in Jerusalem in the rooms of the Temple of Yahweh.'
30. The priests and Levites then took charge of the silver, the gold and the utensils thus weighed, to bring them to Jerusalem to the Temple of our God.
31. On the twelfth day of the first month we left the Ahava Canal to make our way to Jerusalem; the hand of our God was over us and protected us from enemies and surprise attacks on our way.
32. When we arrived in Jerusalem, we rested for three days.
33. On the fourth day the silver, the gold and the utensils were weighed in the Temple of our God and handed over to the priest Meremoth son of Uriah and, with him, Eleazar son of Phinehas; with them were the Levites Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui.
34. By number and weight all was there. The total weight was recorded at the same time.
35. When the exiles arrived from their captivity, they offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel -- twelve bulls on behalf of all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-two lambs, and as a sin offering twelve he-goats: the whole of this as a burnt offering to Yahweh.
36. They also delivered the king's instructions to the king's satraps and the governors of Transeuphrates, who then supported the people and the Temple of God.