Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra
the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of
Aaron the chief priest:
Ezra was a descendant of Aaron.
This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of
Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all
his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and
the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto
Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year
of the king.
Ezra came to Jerusalem from Babylon.
He was a scribe in the law of Moses.
For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon,
and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to
the good hand of his God upon him.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it,
and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
The good hand of God was upon him.
Artaxerxes's letter to Ezra
Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra
the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of
the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
12Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of
the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
This is a copy of the letter that Artaxerxes (king of kings) [1
] gave to Ezra, the priest and scribe:
I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests
and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to
Jerusalem, go with thee.
Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to
enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God
which is in thine hand;
Any and all Israelites in my kingdom may return to Jerusalem.
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have
freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of
Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests,
offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
Take all the silver and gold that you can find in my kingdom to give to the priests who are building
God's house in Jerusalem.
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with
their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the
altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
Use my gold and silver to buy bullocks, rams, and lambs for meat and drink offerings to your God in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with
the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.
Take as much of my silver and gold as you like.
Use it however your god wants.
The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy
God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou
shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.
Take any vessels that might be used for your god.
And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers
which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of
the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
I, Artaxerxes, decree that whatever Ezra wants, Ezra gets.
Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat,
and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt
without prescribing how much.
Give him 100 talents of silver, 100 measures of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and any amount of salt
that he wants.
23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done
for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against
the realm of the king and his sons?
Give the god of heaven whatever he wants.
Because I don't want him to be angry with me and my sons.
24Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites,
singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not
be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
And don't tax any of the priests, Levites, singers, porters, or ministers of God's house. 
And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set
magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the
river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know
And you Ezra, teach everyone God's law.
And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let
judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to
banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
Punish those who disobey with death, exile, or imprisonment.
Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as
this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in
And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and
before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of
the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men
to go up with me.
So with God's hand upon me, I (Ezra) led the people back to Jerusalem.