1. After this, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, came from Babylon. He was a descendant of Azariah, Hilkiah,

2. Shallum, Zadik, Ahitub,

3. Amariah, Azariah, Meraioth,

4. Zerahiah, Uzzi, Bukki,

5. Abishua, Phinehas, Eleazar, and Aaron, the high priest.

6. This Ezra, well-educated in the law given to Moses by Yahweh, the God of Israel, went up from Babylon, and as the hand of Yahweh, his God, was upon him, the king granted him all he asked.

7. Many children of Israel, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants, also came to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

8. Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king.

9. He had left Babylon on the first day of the first month, and arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the good hand of his God was upon him.

10. Ezra had indeed dedicated himself with all his heart in putting into action the Law of Yahweh and teaching his commandments and precepts to Israel.

11. Here is the copy of the letter given by King Artaxerxes to Ezra, priest and scribe, learned in the commandments and laws Yahweh has given to Israel.

12. "Artaxerxes, King of kings, to Ezra, priest and teacher, learned in the Law of the God of heaven, peace.

13. I have given orders so that all the Israelites who are in my kingdom and are ready to go with you to Jerusalem may leave with their priests and Levites.

14. As for you, you shall go as the representative of the king and of his seven counselors to see to it that the Law of God which is in your hands is observed in Judah and Jerusalem,

15. and to bring there the gold and silver which the king and his counselors have generously offered to the God of Israel, whose House is in Jerusalem.

16. You shall also bring all the silver and gold you can gather in Babylon with the voluntary offerings of the people and the priests for the House of God in Jerusalem.

17. With this money, take care to buy young bulls, rams, lambs, and everything needed for the grain offerings and the libations, which you shall offer upon the altar of the House of your God in Jerusalem.

18. Do whatever seems best to you and your brothers with the rest of the silver and gold, according to the will of your God.

19. Place before God in Jerusalem the vessels given to you for the service of the House of your God,

20. and take from the treasuries of the king whatever is needed to pay for other expenses for the House of your God.

21. I, King Artaxerxes, command all the treasurers in the region at the other side of the River to do exactly all that Ezra, priest and scribe, learned in the Law of the God of heaven, may ask of them,

22. giving him up to a hundred talents of silver, a hundred sacks of wheat, a hundred measures of wine and a hundred measures of oil; salt shall be given him without measure.

23. Everything commanded by the God of heaven should be done with great care for the House of the God of heaven in order that his wrath may not come upon the kingdom, the king and his sons.

24. We also make it known that taxes, contributions or toll duties cannot be collected from any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, ministers and servants of this House of God.

25. And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God, appoint judges and magistrates to administer justice to all the people at the other side of the River, to all who know the Law of your God; and teach it to those who do not know it.

26. Whoever will not fulfill the Law of your God and the law of the king shall be severely punished with death, banishment, fine or imprisonment."

27. Blessed be Yahweh, the God of our fathers, who inspired the king with this will to exalt and glorify the House of Yahweh in Jerusalem,

28. and who let me win the favor of the king, of his counselors and of all his important officers. For my part, I took courage, since the hand of Yahweh my God was with me, and I gathered together the leaders of Israel to go up with me.

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