1 And after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king of Persia, Ezra the son of Serayah, the son of Azaryah, the son of Chilkiyah,
2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Achitub,
3 The son of Amaryah, the son of Azaryah, the son of Merayoth,
4 The son of Zerachyah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:
6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a practised expounder in the law of Moses, which the Lord the God of Israel hath given; and the king gave him, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him, all his request.
7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the templeservants, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of king Artaxerxes.
8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9 For on the first day of the first month was the commencement of the expedition from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
10 For Ezra had directed his heart to inquire in the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter which king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the expounder of the law, the expounder of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes for Israel.
12 Artaxerxes, the king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, the expounder of the law of the God of heaven, the perfect, and so forth.
13 By me is the order given, that every one who is freely willing in my kingdom out of the people of Israel, and their priests and Levites, to go up to Jerusalem, may go up with thee:
14 Forasmuch as thou art sent on the part of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to make inquiry concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thy hand;
15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem.
16 And all freewill offerings of silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offerings which the people and the priests offer willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem.
17 Therefore mayest thou buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meatofferings and their drinkofferings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do according to the will of your God.
19 And the vessels which have been given unto thee for the service of the house of thy God, deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
20 And the remainder that will yet be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to procure, procure out of the Kings treasurehouse.
21 And by me, me King Artaxerxes, is the order given unto all the treasurers who are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the expounder of the law of the God of heaven, may demand of you, shall be done speedily.
22 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 salt without prescribing it.
23 Whatsoever is ordered by the God of heaven shall be carefully done for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons?
24 And to you make we it known, that on any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and templeservants, or ministers of this house of God, no one shall be empowered to impose any tax, tribute, or toll.
25 And thou, Ezra, according to the wisdom of thy God which is in thy hand, appoint judges and magistrates, who are to judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and make ye them known to those that know them not.
26 And if there be any one who will not execute the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let justice be speedily executed upon him, whether it be unto death or to banishment, or to a fine on goods, or to imprisonment.
27 Blessed be the Lord the God of our fathers, who hath put the like of this in the heart of the king, to glorify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem;
28 And who hath extended kindness unto me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the mighty princes of the king: and I strengthened myself according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel principal men to go up with me.