International Standard Version
King Darius Verifies the Decree
1Then King Darius issued an order to search the Hall of Records where the Babylonian archives were stored. 2The following was found written on a scroll in Ecbatana at the summera palace of the province of Media:
3DATE: First year of Cyrus the King
FROM: King Cyrus
SUBJECT: The Temple of God in Jerusalem
Let the Temple be rebuilt where they offered sacrifices. Let the foundations thereof be laid with a height of 60 cubitsb and a width of 60 cubits,c 4constructedd with three layers of foundatione stone interlaced with a row of new timber, the expenses for which are to be paid from the king’s treasury.
5Furthermore, let the gold and silver utensils from the Temple of God (that Nebuchadnezzar took from the Temple in Jerusalem and carried off to Babylon) be brought back to the Temple at Jerusalem and restored to their respective places in the Temple of God.
King Darius Confirms the Decree
Stay away from there!
7Leave the work on this Temple of God alone!
Let the Jewish governor and the Jewish leaders build this Temple of God on its site.
8Furthermore, I hereby decree what you are to do for the Jewish leaders who are building this Temple of God: you are to pay the expenses of these men out of the king’s assets from taxes collectedg beyond the River so that they are not hindered.
9And be sure that you don’t fail to provide their daily needs—including young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of Heaven, along with wheat, salt, wine, and oil, as the priests in Jerusalem tell you— 10so they may approach the God of Heaven with fragrant sacrifices and pray for the life of this king and his sons.
11I hereby also decree that whoever shall alter the wording of this edict, let his residence be torn down for timber to build a gallows,h hangi him on it, and turn his home into an outhouse. 12And may the God who causes his Name to rest there destroy any king or people who might attemptj to destroy this Temple of God in Jerusalem.
I, Darius, have issued this decree. Let it be carried out quickly.
13Because of what King Darius had mandated, Tattenai, the Trans-Euphrates Governor, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues carried out his orders quickly.
Progress and Completion
14And so the Jewish leaders continued their building, and prospered because of the prophecies of Haggai the prophet and Iddo’s son Zechariah. They completed the rebuilding in accordance with the commandment from the God of Israel and the edicts of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, king of Persia. 15The Temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar during the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
16The Israelis—the priests, the descendants of Levi, and the other related descendants who had returned from captivity—celebrated with joy at the dedication of the Temple of God. 17At the dedication offering of the Temple of God, they presented 100 bulls, 200 rams, and 400 lambs, along with a sin offering of twelve male goats for the entire nation of Israel according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18Furthermore, they established the priests in their divisions and the descendants of Levi in their positions for the service of God conducted at Jerusalem, as is proscribed in the Book of Moses.
The First Post-Captivity Passover
19k The former exilesl observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month 20because the priests and descendants of Levi had purified themselves together—all of them were pure—and they killed the Passover lambm for every former exile,n for their relatives the priests, and for themselves.
21So the Israelis who had returned from captivity ate the Passover with all who had consecrated themselves from the uncleanness of the nations of the land in order to seek the LORD God of Israel. 22Then they observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, because the LORD had made them glad, turning the heart of the king of Assyria toward them and strengthening them for their work on the Temple of God, the God of Israel.
a 6:2 The Aram. lacks summer
b 6:3 i.e. about 90 feet; a cubit was about eighteen inches
c 6:3 i.e. about 90 feet; a cubit was about eighteen inches
d 6:4 The Aram. lacks constructed
e 6:4 Lit. heavy
f 6:6 The Aram. lacks Euphrates
g 6:8 The Aram. lacks collected
h 6:11 The Aram. lacks a gallows
i 6:11 Or impale
j 6:12 Lit. shall put their hand out
k 6:19 At this point, the text of MT reverts to Heb.
l 6:19 Lit. The sons of the captivity
m 6:20 The Heb. lacks lamb
n 6:20 Lit. for all of the sons of the captivity