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 Josiah kept the passover to his Lord in
Jerusalem; he killed the passover lamb on the fourteenth
day of the first month,
 having placed the priests according to their
divisions, arrayed in their garments, in the temple of
 And he told the Levites, the temple servants
of Israel, that they should sanctify themselves to the
Lord and put the holy ark of the Lord in the house which
Solomon the king, the son of David, had built;
 and he said, "You need no longer carry
it upon your shoulders. Now worship the Lord your God
and serve his people Israel; and prepare yourselves by
your families and kindred,
 in accordance with the directions of David
king of Israel and the magnificence of Solomon his son.
Stand in order in the temple according to the groupings
of the fathers' houses of you Levites, who minister
before your brethren the people of Israel,
 and kill the passover lamb and prepare the
sacrifices for your brethren, and keep the passover
according to the commandment of the Lord which was given
 And Josiah gave to the people who were
present thirty thousand lambs and kids, and three
thousand calves; these were given from the king's
possessions, as he promised, to the people and the
priests and Levites.
 And Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief
officers of the temple, gave to the priests for the
passover two thousand six hundred sheep and three
 And Jeconiah and Shemaiah and Nethanel his
brother, and Hashabiah and Ochiel and Joram, captains
over thousands, gave the Levites for the passover five
thousand sheep and seven hundred calves.
 And this is what took place. The priests and
the Levites, properly arrayed and having the unleavened
bread, stood according to kindred
 and the grouping of the fathers' houses,
before the people, to make the offering to the Lord as
it is written in the book of Moses; this they did in the
 They roasted the passover lamb with fire, as
required; and they boiled the sacrifices in brass pots
and caldrons, with a pleasing odor,
 and carried them to all the people.
Afterward they prepared the passover for themselves and
for their brethren the priests, the sons of Aaron,
 because the priests were offering the fat
until night; so the Levites prepared it for themselves
and for their brethren the priests, the sons of Aaron.
 And the temple singers, the sons of Asaph,
were in their place according to the arrangement made by
David, and also Asaph, Zechariah, and Eddinus, who
represented the king.
 The gatekeepers were at each gate; no one
needed to depart from his duties, for their brethren the
Levites prepared the passover for them.
 So the things that had to do with the
sacrifices to the Lord were accomplished that day: the
passover was kept
 and the sacrifices were offered on the altar
of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah.
 And the people of Israel who were present at
that time kept the passover and the feast of unleavened
bread seven days.
 No passover like it had been kept in Israel
since the times of Samuel the prophet;
 none of the kings of Israel had kept such a
passover as was kept by Josiah and the priests and
Levites and the men of Judah and all of Israel who were
dwelling in Jerusalem.
 In the eighteenth year of the reign of
Josiah this passover was kept.
 And the deeds of Josiah were upright in the
sight of the Lord, for his heart was full of godliness.
 The events of his reign have been recorded
in the past, concerning those who sinned and acted
wickedly toward the Lord beyond any other people or
kingdom, and how they grieved the Lord deeply, so that
the words of the Lord rose up against Israel.
 After all these acts of Josiah, it happened
that Pharaoh, king of Egypt, went to make war at
Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out against
 And the king of Egypt sent word to him
saying, "What have we to do with each other, king
 I was not sent against you by the Lord God,
for my war is at the Euphrates. And now the Lord is with
me! The Lord is with me, urging me on! Stand aside, and
do not oppose the Lord."
 But Josiah did not turn back to his chariot,
but tried to fight with him, and did not heed the words
of Jeremiah the prophet from the mouth of the Lord.
 He joined battle with him in the plain of
Megiddo, and the commanders came down against King
 And the king said to his servants,
"Take me away from the battle, for I am very
weak." And immediately his servants took him out of
the line of battle.
 And he got into his second chariot; and
after he was brought back to Jerusalem he died, and was
buried in the tomb of his fathers.
 And in all Judea they mourned for Josiah.
Jeremiah the prophet lamented for Josiah, and the
principal men, with the women, have made lamentation for
him to this day; it was ordained that this should always
be done throughout the whole nation of Israel.
 These things are written in the book of the
histories of the kings of Judea; and every one of the
acts of Josiah, and his splendor, and his understanding
of the law of the Lord, and the things that he had done
before and these that are now told, are recorded in the
book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
 And the men of the nation took Jeconiah the
son of Josiah, who was twenty-three years old, and made
him king in succession to Josiah his father.
 And he reigned three months in Judah and
Jerusalem. Then the king of Egypt deposed him from
reigning in Jerusalem,
 and fined the nation a hundred talents of
silver and a talent of gold.
 And the king of Egypt made Jehoiakim his
brother king of Judea and Jerusalem.
 Jehoiakim put the nobles in prison, and
seized his brother Zarius and brought him up out of
 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he
began to reign in Judea and Jerusalem, and he did what
was evil in the sight of the Lord.
 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up
against him, and bound him with a chain of brass and
took him away to Babylon.
 Nebuchadnezzar also took some holy vessels
of the Lord, and carried them away, and stored them in
his temple in Babylon.
 But the things that are reported about
Jehoiakim and his uncleanness and impiety are written in
the chronicles of the kings.
 Jehoiachin his son became king in his stead;
when he was made king he was eighteen years old,
 and he reigned three months and ten days in
Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the
 So after a year Nebuchadnezzar sent and
removed him to Babylon, with the holy vessels of the
 and made Zedekiah king of Judea and
Jerusalem. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old, and he
reigned eleven years.
 He also did what was evil in the sight of
the Lord, and did not heed the words that were spoken by
Jeremiah the prophet from the mouth of the Lord.
 And though King Nebuchadnezzar had made him
swear by the name of the Lord, he broke his oath and
rebelled; and he stiffened his neck and hardened his
heart and transgressed the laws of the Lord, the God of
 Even the leaders of the people and of the
priests committed many acts of sacrilege and lawlessness
beyond all the unclean deeds of all the nations, and
polluted the temple of the Lord which had been hallowed
 So the God of their fathers sent by his
messenger to call them back, because he would have
spared them and his dwelling place.
 But they mocked his messengers, and whenever
the Lord spoke, they scoffed at his prophets,
 until in his anger against his people
because of their ungodly acts he gave command to bring
against them the kings of the Chaldeans.
 These slew their young men with the sword
around their holy temple, and did not spare young man or
virgin, old man or child, for he gave them all into
 And all the holy vessels of the Lord, great
and small, and the treasure chests of the Lord, and the
royal stores, they took and carried away to Babylon.
 And they burned the house of the Lord and
broke down the walls of Jerusalem and burned their
towers with fire,
 and utterly destroyed all its glorious
things. The survivors he led away to Babylon with the
 and they were servants to him and to his
sons until the Persians began to reign, in fulfilment of
the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah:
 "Until the land has enjoyed its
sabbaths, it shall keep sabbath all the time of its
desolation until the completion of seventy years."
 In the first year of Cyrus as king of the
Persians, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of
Jeremiah might be accomplished,
 the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king
of the Persians, and he made a proclamation throughout
all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
 "Thus says Cyrus king of the Persians:
The Lord of Israel, the Lord Most High, has made me king
of the world,
 and he has commanded me to build him a house
at Jerusalem, which is in Judea.
 If any one of you, therefore, is of his
people, may his Lord be with him, and let him go up to
Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and build the house of the
Lord of Israel -- he is the Lord who dwells in
 and let each man, wherever he may live, be
helped by the men of his place with gold and silver,
 with gifts and with horses and cattle,
besides the other things added as votive offerings for
the temple of the Lord which is in Jerusalem."
 Then arose the heads of families of the
tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the
Levites, and all whose spirit the Lord had stirred to go
up to build the house in Jerusalem for the Lord;
 and their neighbors helped them with
everything, with silver and gold, with horses and
cattle, and with a very great number of votive offerings
from many whose hearts were stirred.
 Cyrus the king also brought out the holy
vessels of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar had carried
away from Jerusalem and stored in his temple of idols.
 When Cyrus king of the Perians brought these
out, he gave them to Mithridates his treasurer,
 and by him they were given to Sheshbazzar
the governor of Judea.
 The number of these was: a thousand gold
cups, a thousand silver cups, twenty-nine silver
censers, thirty gold bowls, two thousand four hundred
and ten silver bowls, and a thousand other vessels.
 All the vessels were handed over, gold and
silver, five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine,
 and they were carried back by Sheshbazzar
with the returning exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem.
 But in the time of Artaxerxes king of the
Persians, Bishlam, Mithridates, Tabeel, Rehum,
Beltethmus, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their
associates, living in Samaria and other places, wrote
him the following letter, against those who were living
in Judea and Jerusalem:
 "To King Artaxerxes our lord, Your
servants Rehum the recorder and Shimshai the scribe and
the other judges of their council in Coelesyria and
 Now be it known to our lord the king that
the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to
Jerusalem and are building that rebellious and wicked
city, repairing its market places and walls and laying
the foundations for a temple.
 Now if this city is built and the walls
finished, they will not only refuse to pay tribute but
will even resist kings.
 And since the building of the temple is now
going on, we think it best not to neglect such a matter,
 but to speak to our lord the king, in order
that, if it seems good to you, search may be made in the
records of your fathers.
 You will find in the chronicles what has
been written about them, and will learn that this city
was rebellious, troubling both kings and other cities,
 and that the Jews were rebels and kept
setting up blockades in it from of old. That is why this
city was laid waste.
 Therefore we now make known to you, O lord
and king, that if this city is built and its walls
finished, you will no longer have access to Coelesyria
 Then the king, in reply to Rehum the
recorder and Beltethmus and Shimshai the scribe and the
others associated with them and living in Samaria and
Syria and Phoenicia, wrote as follows:
 "I have read the letter which you sent
me. So I ordered search to be made, and it has been
found that this city from of old has fought against
 and that the men in it were given to
rebellion and war, and that mighty and cruel kings ruled
in Jerusalem and exacted tribute from Coelesyria and
 Therefore I have now issued orders to
prevent these men from building the city and to take
care that nothing more be done
 and that such wicked proceedings go no
further to the annoyance of kings."
 Then, when the letter from King Artaxerxes
was read, Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their
associates went in haste to Jerusalem, with horsemen and
a multitude in battle array, and began to hinder the
builders. And the building of the temple in Jerusalem
ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king
of the Persians.
 Now King Darius gave a great banquet for all
that were under him and all that were born in his house
and all the nobles of Media and Persia
 and all the satraps and generals and
governors that were under him in the hundred and
twenty-seven satrapies from India to Ethiopia.
 They ate and drank, and when they were
satisfied they departed; and Darius the king went to his
bedroom, and went to sleep, and then awoke.
 Then the three young men of the bodyguard,
who kept guard over the person of the king, said to one
 "Let each of us state what one thing is
strongest; and to him whose statement seems wisest,
Darius the king will give rich gifts and great honors of
 He shall be clothed in purple, and drink from
gold cups, and sleep on a gold bed, and have a chariot
with gold bridles, and a turban of fine linen, and a
necklace about his neck;
 and because of his wisdom he shall sit next
to Darius and shall be called kinsman of Darius."
 Then each wrote his own statement, and they
sealed them and put them under the pillow of Darius the
 and said, "When the king wakes, they
will give him the writing; and to the one whose
statement the king and the three nobles of Persia judge
to be wisest the victory shall be given according to
what is written."
 The first wrote, "Wine is
 The second wrote, "The king is
 The third wrote, "Women are strongest,
but truth is victor over all things."
 When the king awoke, they took the writing
and gave it to him, and he read it.
 Then he sent and summoned all the nobles of
Persia and Media and the satraps and generals and
governors and prefects,
 and he took his seat in the council chamber,
and the writing was read in their presence.
 And he said, "Call the young men, and
they shall explain their statements." So they were
summoned, and came in.
 And they said to them, "Explain to us
what you have written." Then the first, who had
spoken of the strength of wine, began and said:
 "Gentlemen, how is wine the strongest?
It leads astray the minds of all who drink it.
 It makes equal the mind of the king and the
orphan, of the slave and the free, of the poor and the
 It turns every thought to feasting and
mirth, and forgets all sorrow and debt.
 It makes all hearts feel rich, forgets kings
and satraps, and makes every one talk in millions.
 When men drink they forget to be friendly
with friends and brothers, and before long they draw
 And when they recover from the wine, they do
not remember what they have done.
 Gentlemen, is not wine the strongest, since
it forces men to do these things?" When he had said
this, he stopped speaking.
 Then the second, who had spoken of the
strength of the king, began to speak:
 "Gentlemen, are not men strongest, who
rule over land and sea and all that is in them?
 But the king is stronger; he is their lord
and master, and whatever he says to them they obey.
 If he tells them to make war on one another,
they do it; and if he sends them out against the enemy,
they go, and conquer mountains, walls, and towers.
 They kill and are killed, and do not disobey
the king's command; if they win the victory, they bring
everything to the king -- whatever spoil they take and
 Likewise those who do not serve in the army
or make war but till the soil, whenever they sow, reap
the harvest and bring some to the king; and they compel
one another to pay taxes to the king.
 And yet he is only one man! If he tells them
to kill, they kill; if he tells them to release, they
 if he tells them to attack, they attack; if
he tells them to lay waste, they lay waste; if he tells
them to build, they build;
 if he tells them to cut down, they cut down;
if he tells them to plant, they plant.
 All his people and his armies obey him.
Moreover, he reclines, he eats and drinks and sleeps,
 but they keep watch around him and no one
may go away to attend to his own affairs, nor do they
 Gentlemen, why is not the king the
strongest, since he is to be obeyed in this
fashion?" And he stopped speaking.
 Then the third, that is Zerubbabel, who had
spoken of women and truth, began to speak:
 Gentlemen, is not the king great, and are
not men many, and is not wine strong? Who then is their
master, or who is their lord? Is it not women?
 Women gave birth to the king and to every
people that rules over sea and land.
 From women they came; and women brought up
the very men who plant the vineyards from which comes
 Women make men's clothes; they bring men
glory; men cannot exist without women.
 If men gather gold and silver or any other
beautiful thing, and then see a woman lovely in
appearance and beauty,
 they let all those things go, and gape at
her, and with open mouths stare at her, and all prefer
her to gold or silver or any other beautiful thing.
 A man leaves his own father, who brought him
up, and his own country, and cleaves to his wife.
 With his wife he ends his days, with no
thought of his father or his mother or his country.
 Hence you must realize that women rule over
you! "Do you not labor and toil, and bring
everything and give it to women?
 A man takes his sword, and goes out to
travel and rob and steal and to sail the sea and rivers;
 he faces lions, and he walks in darkness,
and when he steals and robs and plunders, he brings it
back to the woman he loves.
 A man loves his wife more than his father or
 Many men have lost their minds because of
women, and have become slaves because of them.
 Many have perished, or stumbled, or sinned,
because of women.
 And now do you not believe me? "Is not
the king great in his power? Do not all lands fear to
 Yet I have seen him with Apame, the king's
concubine, the daughter of the illustrious Bartacus; she
would sit at the king's right hand
 and take the crown from the king's head and
put it on her own, and slap the king with her left hand.
 At this the king would gaze at her with
mouth agape. If she smiles at him, he laughs; if she
loses her temper with him, he flatters her, that she may
be reconciled to him.
 Gentlemen, why are not women strong, since
they do such things?"
 Then the king and the nobles looked at one
another; and he began to speak about truth:
 "Gentlemen, are not women strong? The
earth is vast, and heaven is high, and the sun is swift
in its course, for it makes the circuit of the heavens
and returns to its place in one day.
 Is he not great who does these things? But
truth is great, and stronger than all things.
 The whole earth calls upon truth, and heaven
blesses her. All God's works quake and tremble, and with
him there is nothing unrighteous.
 Wine is unrighteous, the king is
unrighteous, women are unrighteous, all the sons of men
are unrighteous, all their works are unrighteous, and
all such things. There is no truth in them and in their
unrighteousness they will perish.
 But truth endures and is strong for ever,
and lives and prevails for ever and ever.
 With her there is no partiality or
preference, but she does what is righteous instead of
anything that is unrighteous or wicked. All men approve
 and there is nothing unrighteous in her
judgment. To her belongs the strength and the kingship
and the power and the majesty of all the ages. Blessed
be the God of truth!"
 He ceased speaking; then all the people
shouted, and said, "Great is truth, and strongest
 Then the king said to him, "Ask what
you wish, even beyond what is written, and we will give
it to you, for you have been found to be the wisest. And
you shall sit next to me, and be called my
 Then he said to the king, "Remember the
vow which you made to build Jerusalem, in the day when
you became king,
 and to send back all the vessels that were
taken from Jerusalem, which Cyrus set apart when he
began to destroy Babylon, and vowed to send them back
 You also vowed to build the temple, which
the Edomites burned when Judea was laid waste by the
 And now, O lord the king, this is what I ask
and request of you, and this befits your greatness. I
pray therefore that you fulfil the vow whose fulfilment
you vowed to the King of heaven with your own
 Then Darius the king rose, and kissed him,
and wrote letters for him to all the treasurers and
governors and generals and satraps, that they should
give escort to him and all who were going up with him to
 And he wrote letters to all the governors in
Coelesyria and Phoenicia and to those in Lebanon, to
bring cedar timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem, and to
help him build the city.
 And he wrote for all the Jews who were going
up from his kingdom to Judea, in the interest of their
freedom, that no officer or satrap or governor or
treasurer should forcibly enter their doors;
 that all the country which they would occupy
should be theirs without tribute; that the Idumeans
should give up the villages of the Jews which they held;
 that twenty talents a year should be given
for the building of the temple until it was completed,
 and an additional ten talents a year for
burnt offerings to be offered on the altar every day, in
accordance with the commandment to make seventeen
 and that all who came from Babylonia to
build the city should have their freedom, they and their
children and all the priests who came.
 He wrote also concerning their support and
the priests' garments in which they were to minister.
 He wrote that the support for the Levites
should be provided until the day when the temple should
be finished and Jerusalem built.
 He wrote that land and wages should be
provided for all who guarded the city.
 And he sent back from Babylon all the
vessels which Cyrus had set apart; everything that Cyrus
had ordered to be done, he also commanded to be done and
to be sent to Jerusalem.
 When the young man went out, he lifted up
his face to heaven toward Jerusalem, and praised the
King of heaven, saying,
 "From thee is the victory; from thee is
wisdom, and thine is the glory. I am thy servant.
 Blessed art thou, who hast given me wisdom;
I give thee thanks, O Lord of our fathers."
 So he took the letters, and went to Babylon
and told this to all his brethren.
 And they praised the God of their fathers,
because he had given them release and permission
 to go up and build Jerusalem and the temple
which is called by his name; and they feasted, with
music and rejoicing, for seven days.
 After this the heads of fathers' houses were
chosen to go up, according to their tribes, with their
wives and sons and daughters, and their menservants and
maidservants, and their cattle.
 And Darius sent with them a thousand horsemen
to take them back to Jerusalem in safety, with the music
of drums and flutes;
 and all their brethren were making merry. And
he made them go up with them.
 These are the names of the men who went up,
according to their fathers' houses in the tribes, over
 the priests, the sons of Phinehas, son of
Aaron; Jeshua the son of Jozadak, son of Seraiah, and
Joakim the son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, of the
house of David, of the lineage of Phares, of the tribe
 who spoke wise words before Darius the king
of the Persians, in the second year of his reign, in the
month of Nisan, the first month.
 These are the men of Judea who came up out of
their sojourn in captivity, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon had carried away to Babylon
 and who returned to Jerusalem and the rest of
Judea, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel
and Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Resaiah, Bigvai,
Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Reeliah, Rehum, and Baanah,
 The number of the men of the nation and their
leaders: the sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred
and seventy-two. The sons of Shephatiah, four hundred
 The sons of Arah, seven hundred and
 The sons of Pahathmoab, of the sons of
Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
 The sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred
and fifty-four. The sons of Zattu, nine hundred and
forty-five. The sons of Chorbe, seven hundred and five.
The sons of Bani, six hundred and forty-eight.
 The sons of Bebai, six hundred and
twenty-three. The sons of Azgad, one thousand three
hundred and twenty-two.
 The sons of Adonikam, six hundred and
sixty-seven. The sons of Bigvai, two thousand and
sixty-six. The sons of Adin, four hundred and
 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah,
ninety-two. The sons of Kilan and Azetas, sixty-seven.
The sons of Azaru, four hundred and thirty-two.
 The sons of Annias, one hundred and one. The
sons of Arom. The sons of Bezai, three hundred and
twenty-three. The sons of Jorah, one hundred and twelve.
 The sons of Baiterus, three thousand and
five. The sons of Bethlehem, one hundred and
 The men of Netophah, fifty-five. The men of
Anathoth, one hundred and fifty-eight. The men of
 The men of Kiriatharim, twenty-five. The men
of Chephirah and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three.
 The Chadiasans and Ammidians, four hundred
and twenty-two. The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred
 The men of Michmas, one hundred and
twenty-two. The men of Bethel, fifty-two. The sons of
Magbish, one hundred and fifty-six.
 The sons of the other Elam and Ono, seven
hundred and twenty-five. The sons of Jericho, three
hundred and forty-five.
 The sons of Senaah, three thousand three
hundred and thirty.
 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah the son of
Jeshua, of the sons of Anasib, nine hundred and
seventy-two. The sons of Immer, one thousand and
 The sons of Pashhur, one thousand two
hundred and forty-seven. The sons of Harim, one thousand
 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel
and Bannas and Sudias, seventy-four.
 The temple singers: the sons of Asaph, one
hundred and twenty-eight.
 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the
sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the
sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, in all one hundred
 The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the
sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, the sons of
Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, the sons of
Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah,
 the sons of Akkub, the sons of Uthai, the
sons of Ketab, the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shamlai,
the sons of Hana, the sons of Cathua, the sons of Gahar,
 The sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the
sons of Nekoda, the sons of Chezib, the sons of Gazzam,
the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of
Hasrah, the sons of Besai, the sons of Asnah, the sons
of the Meunites, the sons of Nephisim, the sons of
Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Asur, the sons
of Pharakim, the sons of Bazluth,
 the sons of Mehida, the sons of Cutha, the
sons of Charea, the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera,
the sons of Temah, the sons of Neziah, the sons of
 The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of
Hassophereth, the sons of Peruda, the sons of Jaalah,
the sons of Lozon, the sons of Giddel, the sons of
 the sons of Hattil, the sons of
Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Sarothie, the sons of
Masiah, the sons of Gas, the sons of Addus, the sons of
Subas, the sons of Apherra, the sons of Barodis, the
sons of Shaphat, the sons of Ami.
 All the temple servants and the sons of
Solomon's servants were three hundred and seventy-two.
 The following are those who came up from
Telmelah and Telharsha, under the leadership of Cherub,
Addan, and Immer,
 though they could not prove by their
fathers' houses or lineage that they belonged to Israel:
the sons of Delaiah the son of Tobiah, the sons of
Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two.
 Of the priests the following had assumed the
priesthood but were not found registered: the sons of
Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Jaddus who had
married Agia, one of the daughters of Barzillai, and was
called by his name.
 And when the genealogy of these men was
sought in the register and was not found, they were
excluded from serving as priests.
 And Nehemiah and Attharias told them not to
share in the holy things until a high priest should
appear wearing Urim and Thummim.
 All those of Israel, twelve or more years of
age, besides menservants and maidservants, were
forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty;
 their menservants and maidservants were
seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; there
were two hundred and forty-five musicians and singers.
 There were four hundred and thirty-five
camels, and seven thousand and thirty-six horses, two
hundred and forty-five mules, and five thousand five
hundred and twenty-five asses.
 Some of the heads of families, when they
came to the temple of God which is in Jerusalem, vowed
that they would erect the house on its site, to the best
of their ability,
 and that they would give to the sacred
treasury for the work a thousand minas of gold, five
thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests'
 The priests, the Levites, and some of the
people settled in Jerusalem and its vicinity; and the
temple singers, the gatekeepers, and all Israel in their
 When the seventh month came, and the sons of
Israel were each in his own home, they gathered as one
man in the square before the first gate toward the east.
 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak, with his
fellow priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel,
with his kinsmen, took their places and prepared the
altar of the God of Israel,
 to offer burnt offerings upon it, in
accordance with the directions in the book of Moses the
man of God.
 And some joined them from the other peoples
of the land. And they erected the altar in its place,
for all the peoples of the land were hostile to them and
were stronger than they; and they offered sacrifices at
the proper times and burnt offerings to the Lord morning
 They kept the feast of booths, as it is
commanded in the law, and offered the proper sacrifices
 and thereafter the continual offerings and
sacrifices on sabbaths and at new moons and at all the
 And all who had made any vow to God began to
offer sacrifices to God, from the new moon of the
seventh month, though the temple of God was not yet
 And they gave money to the masons and the
carpenters, and food and drink
 and carts to the Sidonians and the Tyrians,
to bring cedar logs from Lebanon and convey them in
rafts to the harbor of Joppa, according to the decree
which they had in writing from Cyrus king of the
 In the second year after their coming to the
temple of God in Jerusalem, in the second month,
Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of
Jozadak made a beginning, together with their brethren
and the Levitical priests and all who had come to
Jerusalem from the captivity;
 and they laid the foundation of the temple
of God on the new moon of the second month in the second
year after they came to Judea and Jerusalem.
 And they appointed the Levites who were
twenty or more years of age to have charge of the work
of the Lord. And Jeshua arose, and his sons and brethren
and Kadmiel his brother and the sons of Jeshua Emadabun
and the sons of Joda son of Iliadun, with their sons and
brethren, all the Levites, as one man pressing forward
the work on the house of God. So the builders built the
temple of the Lord.
 And the priests stood arrayed in their
garments, with musical instruments and trumpets, and the
Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals,
 praising the Lord and blessing him,
according to the directions of David king of Israel;
 and they sang hymns, giving thanks to the
Lord, because his goodness and his glory are for ever
upon all Israel.
 And all the people sounded trumpets and
shouted with a great shout, praising the Lord for the
erection of the house of the Lord.
 Some of the Levitical priests and heads of
fathers' houses, old men who had seen the former house,
came to the building of this one with outcries and loud
 while many came with trumpets and a joyful
 so that the people could not hear the
trumpets because of the weeping of the people. For the
multitude sounded the trumpets loudly, so that the sound
was heard afar;
 and when the enemies of the tribe of Judah
and Benjamin heard it, they came to find out what the
sound of the trumpets meant.
 And they learned that those who had returned
from captivity were building the temple for the Lord God
 So they approached Zerubbabel and Jeshua and
the heads of the fathers' houses and said to them,
"We will build with you.
 For we obey your Lord just as you do and we
have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of
Esarhaddon king of the Assyrians, who brought us
 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the heads of
the fathers' houses in Israel said to them, "You
have nothing to do with us in building the house for the
Lord our God,
 for we alone will build it for the Lord of
Israel, as Cyrus the king of the Persians has commanded
 But the peoples of the land pressed hard
upon those in Judea, cut off their supplies, and
hindered their building;
 and by plots and demagoguery and uprisings
they prevented the completion of the building as long as
King Cyrus lived. And they were kept from building for
two years, until the reign of Darius.
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