1 Forsothe aftir these wordis Esdras, the sone of Saraie, sone of Azarie, sone of Helchie,
2 sone of Sellum, sone of Sadoch, sone of Achitob,
3 sone of Amarie, sone of Azarie,
4 sone of Maraioth, sone of Saraie, sone of Ozi,
5 sone of Bocci, sone of Abisue, sone of Phynees, sone of Eleazar, sone of Aaron, preest at the bigynnyng, was in the rewme of Artaxerses, king of Persis; thilke Esdras stiede fro Babiloyne,
6 and he was a swift writere in the lawe of Moises, which the Lord God of Israel yaf; and the kyng yaf to hym al his axyng, by the goode hoond of his Lord God on hym.
7 And there stieden of the sones of Israel, and of the sones of preestis, and of the sones of dekenes, and of the syngeris, and of the porteris, and of Nathyneis, `in to Jerusalem in the seuenthe yeer of Artaxerses, kyng.
8 And thei camen in to Jerusalem in the fyuethe monethe; thilke is the seuenthe of the kyng.
9 For in the firste dai of the firste monethe he bigan to stie fro Babiloyne, and in the firste dai of the fyuethe monethe he cam in to Jerusalem, bi the good hond of his God on hym. Forsothe
10 Esdras made redi his herte to enquere the lawe of the Lord, and to do, and teche in Israel the comaundement and doom.
11 Sotheli this is the saumpler of the pistle of the comaundement, which the kyng Artaxerses yaf to Esdras, preest, writere lerud in the wordis and comaundementis of the Lord, and in hise cerymonyes in Israel.
12 Artaxerses, kyng of kyngis, desirith helthe to Esdras, the preest, moost wijs writere of the lawe of God of heuene.
13 It is demyd of me, that whom euer it plesith in my rewme of the puple of Israel, and of hise preestis, and dekenes, to go in to Jerusalem, go he with thee.
14 For thou art sent fro the face of the kyng and of hise seuene counseleris, that thou visite Judee and Jerusalem in the lawe of thi God, which is in thin hond;
15 and that thou bere siluer and gold, which the kyng and hise counseleris han offrid bi fre wille to God of Israel, whos tabernacle is in Jerusalem.
16 And take thou freli al siluer and gold, which euer thou fyndist in al the prouynce of Babiloyne, and the puple wole offre, and of preestis that offriden bi fre wille to the hows of her God, which is in Jerusalem;
17 and bie thou bisili of this monei calues, rammes, lambren, and sacrifices, and moiste sacrifices of tho; and offre thou tho on the auter of the temple of youre God, which temple is in Jerusalem.
18 But also if ony thing plesith to thee, and to thi britheren, for to do of the residue siluer and gold, do ye bi the wille of youre God;
19 also bitake thou in the siyt of God in Jerusalem the vessels, that ben youun in to the seruyce of the hows of thi God.
20 But also thou schalt yyue of the tresouris of the kyng, and of the comyn arke, `ethir purse, and of me `othere thingis, that ben nedeful in the hows of thi God, as myche euere as is nedeful, that thou spende.
21 Y Artaxerses, kyng, haue ordeyned, and demyd to alle the keperis of the comyn arke, that ben biyende the flood, that what euer thing Esdras, the preest, writere of the lawe of God of heuene, axith of you, ye yyue with out tariyng,
22 `til to an hundrid talentis of siluer, and to an hundrid `mesuris clepid chorus of wheete, and til an hundrid mesuris clepid bathus of wyn, and `til to an hundrid `mesuris clepid bathus of oile, salt forsothe without mesure.
23 Al thing that perteyneth to the custom, `ethir religioun, of God of heuene, be youun diligentli in the hows of God of heuene, lest perauenture he be wrooth ayens the rewme of the kyng and of hise sones.
24 Also we make knowun to you of alle the preestis, and dekenes, syngeris, and porteris, and Nathyneis, and mynystris of the hows of this God, `that ye han not power to put on hem tol, and tribute, and costis for keperis of the lond.
25 Forsothe thou, Esdras, bi the wisdom of thi God, which is in thin hond, ordeyne iugis and gouernouris, that thei deme to the puple, which is biyende the flood, that is, to hem that kunnen the lawe of thi God, and the lawe of the kyng; but also teche ye freli vnkunnynge men.
26 And ech man, that doth not the lawe of thi God, and the lawe of the kyng diligentli, doom schal be of hym, ethir in to the deeth, ethir in to exilyng, ethir in to condempnyng of his catel, ethir certis in to prisoun. And Esdras, the writere, seide, Blissid be the Lord God of oure fadris,
27 that yaf this thing in the herte of the kyng, that he schulde glorifie the hows of the Lord,
28 which is in Jerusalem, and bowide his mercy in to me bifor the kyng, and hise counseleris, and bifore alle the myyti princes of the kyng. And Y was coumfortid bi the hond of `my Lord God, that was in me, and Y gederide of the sones of Israel princes, that stieden with me.