Ezra 1

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.

Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.

This was the inventory:

gold dishes30
silver dishes1,000
silver pans29
gold bowls30
matching silver bowls410
other articles1,000

In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Read More of Ezra 1

Ezra 2:1-67

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town, in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of the people of Israel:

the descendants of Parosh2,172
of Shephatiah372
of Arah775
of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab)2,812
of Elam1,254
of Zattu945
of Zakkai760
of Bani642
of Bebai623
of Azgad1,222
of Adonikam666
of Bigvai2,056
of Adin454
of Ater (through Hezekiah)98
of Bezai323
of Jorah112
of Hashum223
of Gibbar95
the men of Bethlehem123
of Netophah56
of Anathoth128
of Azmaveth42
of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth743
of Ramah and Geba621
of Mikmash122
of Bethel and Ai223
of Nebo52
of Magbish156
of the other Elam1,254
of Harim320
of Lod, Hadid and Ono725
of Jericho345
of Senaah3,630

The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua)973
of Immer1,052
of Pashhur1,247
of Harim1,017

The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (of the line of Hodaviah)74

The musicians:

the descendants of Asaph128

The gatekeepers of the temple:

the descendants of
Shallum, Ater, Talmon,
Akkub, Hatita and Shobai139

The temple servants:

the descendants of
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
Keros, Siaha, Padon,
Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
Hagab, Shalmai, Hanan,
Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,
Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
Neziah and Hatipha

The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
Shephatiah, Hattil,
Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Ami
The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon392

The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:

The descendants of
Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda652

And from among the priests:

The descendants of
Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name).

These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

The whole company numbered 42,360, besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 200 male and female singers. They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

Read More of Ezra 2