In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the word of the LORD spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The LORD put it into the mind of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and [to put it] in writing:
This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: "The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah.
Whoever is among His people, may his God be with him, and may he go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.
Let every survivor, wherever he lives, be assisted by the men of that region with silver, gold, goods, and livestock, along with a freewill offering for the house of God in Jerusalem."
So the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites-- everyone God had motivated-- prepared to go up and rebuild the LORD's house in Jerusalem.
All their neighbors supported them with silver articles, gold, goods, livestock, and valuables, in addition to all that was given as a freewill offering.
King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the LORD's house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and had placed in the house of his gods.
King Cyrus of Persia had them brought out under the supervision of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
This was the inventory: 30 gold basins, 1,000 silver basins, 29 silver knives,
30 gold bowls, 410 various silver bowls, and 1,000 other articles.
The gold and silver articles totaled 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought all of them when the exiles went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
These now are the people of the province who came from those captive exiles King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had deported to Babylon. Each of them returned to his hometown Jerusalem and Judah.
They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah. The number of the Israelite men [included]:
Parosh's descendants 2,172
Shephatiah's descendants 372
Pahath-moab's descendants: Jeshua's and Joab's descendants 2,812
Elam's descendants 1,254
Zattu's descendants 945
Zaccai's descendants 760
Bani's descendants 642
Bebai's descendants 623
Azgad's descendants 1,222
Adonikam's descendants 666
Bigvai's descendants 2,056
Adin's descendants 454
Ater's descendants: Hezekiah's 98
Bezai's descendants 323
Jorah's descendants 112
Hashum's descendants 223
Gibbar's descendants 95
Bethlehem's people 123
Kiriatharim's, Chephirah's, and Beeroth's people 743
Ramah's and Geba's people 621
Bethel's and Ai's men 223
the other Elam's people 1,254
Lod's, Hadid's, and Ono's people 725
The priests [included]: Jedaiah's descendants of the house of Jeshua 973
Immer's descendants 1,052
Pashhur's descendants 1,247
and Harim's descendants 1,017
The Levites [included]: Jeshua's and Kadmiel's descendants from Hodaviah's descendants 74
The singers [included]: Asaph's descendants 128
The gatekeepers' descendants [included]: Shallum's descendants, Ater's descendants, Talmon's descendants, Akkub's descendants, Hatita's descendants, Shobai's descendants, in all 139
The temple servants [included]: Ziha's descendants, Hasupha's descendants, Tabbaoth's descendants,
Keros's descendants, Siaha's descendants, Padon's descendants,
Lebanah's descendants, Hagabah's descendants, Akkub's descendants,
Hagab's descendants, Shalmai's descendants, Hanan's descendants,
Giddel's descendants, Gahar's descendants, Reaiah's descendants,
Rezin's descendants, Nekoda's descendants, Gazzam's descendants,
Uzza's descendants, Paseah's descendants, Besai's descendants,
Asnah's descendants, Meunim's descendants, Nephusim's descendants,
Bakbuk's descendants, Hakupha's descendants, Harhur's descendants,
Bazluth's descendants, Mehida's descendants, Harsha's descendants,
Barkos's descendants, Sisera's descendants, Temah's descendants,
Neziah's descendants, and Hatipha's descendants.
The descendants of Solomon's servants [included]: Sotai's descendants, Hassophereth's descendants, Peruda's descendants,
Jaalah's descendants, Darkon's descendants, Giddel's descendants,
Shephatiah's descendants, Hattil's descendants, Pochereth-hazzebaim's descendants, and Ami's descendants.
All the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon's servants 392
The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer but were unable to prove that their families and ancestry were Israelite:
Delaiah's descendants, Tobiah's descendants, Nekoda's descendants 652
and from the descendants of the priests: the descendants of Habaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, the descendants of Barzillai-- who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name.
These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood.
The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.
The whole combined assembly numbered 42,360
not including their 7,337 male and female slaves, and their 200 male and female singers.
They had 736 horses, 245 mules,
435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
After they arrived at the LORD's house in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders gave freewill offerings for the house of God in order to have it rebuilt on its [original] site.
Based on what they could give, they gave 61,000 gold coins, 6,250 pounds of silver, and 100 priestly garments to the treasury for the project.
The priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, and some of the people settled in their towns, and [the rest of] Israel [settled] in their towns.
By the seventh month, the Israelites had settled in their towns, and the people gathered together in Jerusalem.
Jeshua son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests along with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his brothers began to build the altar of Israel's God in order to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.
They set up the altar on its foundation and offered burnt offerings for the morning and evening on it to the LORD even though they feared the surrounding peoples.
They celebrated the Festival of Booths as prescribed, and [offered] burnt offerings each day, based on the number specified by ordinance for each festival day.
After that, [they offered] the regular burnt offering and the offerings for the beginning of each monthand for all the LORD's appointed holy occasions, as well as the freewill offerings brought to the LORD.
On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, even though the foundation of the LORD's temple had not [yet] been laid.
They gave money to the stonecutters and artisans, and [gave] food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so they could bring cedar wood from Lebanon to Joppa by sea, according to the authorization [given] them by King Cyrus of Persia.
In the second month of the second year after they arrived at God's house in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers, including the priests, the Levites, and all who had returned to Jerusalem from the captivity, began [to build]. They appointed the Levites who were 20 years old or more to supervise the work on the LORD's house.
Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah and of Henadad, with their sons and brothers, the Levites, joined together to supervise those working on the house of God.
When the builders had laid the foundation of the LORD's temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the LORD, as King David of Israel had instructed.
They sang with praise and thanksgiving to the LORD: "For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever." Then all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD because the foundation of the LORD's house had been laid.
But many of the older priests, Levites, and family leaders, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this house, but many [others] shouted joyfully.
The people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shouting from that of the weeping, because the people were shouting so loudly. And the sound was heard far away.