Cyrus Helps the Jews to Return to Jerusalem
1It was the first year of the rule of Cyrus. He was king of Persia. The Lord inspired him to send a message all through his kingdom. It happened so that what the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah would come true. The message was written down. It said,
2“Cyrus, the king of Persia, says,
“ ‘The Lord is the God of heaven. He has given me all the kingdoms on earth. He has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem and build the Lord’s temple. He is the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. And may their God be with them. 4The people still left alive in every place must bring gifts to the people going. They must provide silver and gold to the people going up to Jerusalem. The people must bring goods and livestock. They should also bring any offerings they choose to. All those gifts will be for God’s temple in Jerusalem.’ ”
5Then everyone God had inspired prepared to go. They wanted to go up to Jerusalem and build the Lord’s temple there. They included the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin. They also included the priests and Levites. 6All their neighbors helped them. They gave them silver and gold objects. They gave them goods and livestock. And they gave them gifts of great value. All those things were added to the other offerings the people chose to give.
7King Cyrus also brought out the objects that belonged to the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar had carried them off from Jerusalem. He had put them in the temple of his own god. 8Cyrus, the king of Persia, told Mithredath to bring them out. Mithredath was in charge of the temple treasures. He counted those objects. Then he gave them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.
9Here is a list of the objects.
There were 30 gold dishes.
There were 1,000 silver dishes.
There were 29 silver pans.
10There were 30 gold bowls.
There were 410 matching silver bowls.
There were 1,000 other objects.
11The total number of gold and silver objects was 5,400.
Sheshbazzar brought all of these back with him to Jerusalem. So Sheshbazzar and the Jews who had been forced to leave Judah came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return
1In 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:
2“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. 3Any 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. 4And 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.’ ”
5Then 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. 6All 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.
7Moreover, 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.1:7 Or gods 8Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
9This was the inventory:
11In 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.