New International Reader's Version

Ezra 8

The Family Leaders Who Returned to Jerusalem With Ezra

1Many family leaders came up to Jerusalem with me from Babylon. So did others who were listed with them. It was during the time when Artaxerxes was king. Here is a list of those who came.

Gershom came from the family line of Phinehas.

Daniel came from the family line of Ithamar.

Hattush came from the family line of David. Hattush also belonged to the family of Shekaniah.

Zechariah came from the family line of Parosh. The total number of men who were listed with him was 150.

Eliehoenai came from the family line of Pahath-Moab. Eliehoenai was the son of Zerahiah. The total number of men with him was 200.

Shekaniah came from the family line of Zattu. Shekaniah was the son of Jahaziel. The total number of men with him was 300.

Ebed came from the family line of Adin. Ebed was the son of Jonathan. The total number of men with him was 50.

Jeshaiah came from the family line of Elam. Jeshaiah was the son of Athaliah. The total number of men with him was 70.

Zebadiah came from the family line of Shephatiah. Zebadiah was the son of Michael. The total number of men with him was 80.

Obadiah came from the family line of Joab. Obadiah was the son of Jehiel. The total number of men with him was 218.

10 Shelomith came from the family line of Bani. Shelomith was the son of Josiphiah. The total number of men with him was 160.

11 Zechariah came from the family line of Bebai. Zechariah was the son of Bebai. The total number of men with him was 28.

12 Johanan came from the family line of Azgad. Johanan was the son of Hakkatan. The total number of men with him was 110.

13 Eliphelet, Jeuel and Shemaiah came from the family line of Adonikam. Some members of their family had gone up to Jerusalem before them. The total number of men with them was 60.

14 Uthai and Zakkur came from the family line of Bigvai. The total number of men with them was 70.

Ezra Leads Many Jews Back to Jerusalem

15 I gathered the people together at the canal that flows toward Ahava. We camped there for three days. I looked for Levites among the people and priests. But I didn’t find any. 16 So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan and Jarib. I also sent for Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam. All of them were leaders. And I sent for Joiarib and Elnathan. They were very well educated. 17 I ordered all those men to go to Iddo. He was the leader in Kasiphia. He and his Levite relatives were temple servants there. I told my men what to say to them. I wanted Iddo and his Levite relatives to bring some attendants to us for the house of our God. 18 God was gracious to us and helped us. So they brought us Sherebiah, a very capable man. He came from the family line of Mahli. Mahli was the son of Levi. Levi was a son of Israel. They also brought us Sherebiah’s sons and brothers. The total number of men was 18. 19 And they brought Hashabiah and his brothers and nephews. They brought them together with Jeshaiah. He came from the family line of Merari. The total number of men was 20. 20 They also brought 220 of the temple servants. That was a special group David and his officials had established. They were supposed to help the Levites. All of them were listed by name.

21 By the canal that flows toward Ahava, I announced a fast. I told the people not to eat any food. In that way, we made ourselves humble in God’s sight. We prayed that he would give us and our children a safe journey. We asked him to keep safe everything we owned. 22 I was ashamed to ask King Artaxerxes for soldiers and horsemen. They could have kept us safe from enemies on the road. But we had told the king that our God would keep us safe. We had said, “Our God is gracious and helps everyone who looks to him. But he becomes very angry with anyone who deserts him.” 23 So we didn’t eat anything. We prayed to our God about all these matters. And he answered our prayers.

24 Then I set apart 12 of the leading priests. They were Sherebiah, Hashabiah and ten of their relatives. 25 I weighed out to them the offering of silver and gold and other things. They had been given for the house of our God. The king, his advisers and officials, and all the Israelites who were there had given them. 26 I weighed out 24 tons of silver and gave it to those men. I weighed out almost four tons of silver things. I weighed out almost four tons of gold. 27 I weighed out 20 gold bowls. They weighed 19 pounds. I also weighed out two fine objects. The bronze they were made out of was highly polished. They were as priceless as gold.

28 I said to those men, “You are set apart to the Lord. So are these things. The silver and gold were offered to the Lord by those who chose to give them. He is the God of your people. 29 Guard all these things carefully until you weigh them out. Weigh them in the special rooms of the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. Do this in front of the leading priests and the Levites. Make sure the family leaders of Israel are watching.” 30 Then the priests and Levites received the silver and gold and sacred objects. All of them had been weighed out. They were going to be taken to the house of our God in Jerusalem.

31 On the 12th day of the first month we started out. We left the canal that flows toward Ahava. And we headed for Jerusalem. Our God helped us. He kept us safe from enemies and robbers along the way. 32 So we arrived in Jerusalem. There we rested for three days.

33 On the fourth day we weighed out the silver and gold. We also weighed out the sacred objects. We weighed everything in the house of our God. We handed all of it over to Meremoth the priest. He was the son of Uriah. Eleazar, Jozabad and Noadiah were with him. Eleazar was the son of Phinehas. Jozabad was the son of Jeshua. Noadiah was the son of Binnui. Jozabad and Noadiah were Levites. 34 Everything was listed by number and weight. And the total weight was recorded at that time.

35 Then the people sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel. They had returned from Babylon. They offered 12 bulls for the whole nation of Israel. They offered 96 rams and 77 male lambs. All of that was a burnt offering to the Lord. They sacrificed 12 male goats as a sin offering. 36 They also handed over the king’s orders. They gave them to the royal officials and governors who ruled over the land west of the Euphrates River. Then those men helped the people. They also did many things for the house of God.