Ezra 8

1These are the names of the family leaders and the other people that came with me ˻(Ezra)˼ to Jerusalem from Babylon. We came to Jerusalem during the rule of King Artaxerxes. Here is the list of names: 2From the descendants of Phinehas, was Gershom; from the descendants of Ithamar, was Daniel; from the descendants of David, was Hattush; 3from the descendants of Shecaniah, were the descendants of Parosh, Zechariah, and 150 other men; 4from the descendants of Pahath Moab, were Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, and 200 other men; 5from the descendants of Zattu, were Shecaniah son of Jahaziel, and 300 other men; 6from the descendants of Adin, were Ebed son of Jonathan, and 50 other men; 7from the descendants of Elam, were Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and 70 other men; 8from the descendants of Shephatiah, were Zebadiah son of Michael, and 80 other men; 9from the descendants of Joab, were Obadiah son of Jehiel, and 218 other men; 10from the descendants of Bani, were Shelomith son of Josiphiah, and 160 other men; 11from the descendants of Bebai, were Zechariah son of Bebai, and 28 other men; 12from the descendants of Azgad, were Johanan son of Hakkatan, and 110 other men; 13from the last of the descendants of Adonikam were Eliphelet, Jeuel, Shemaiah, and 60 other men; 14from the descendants of Bigvai, were Uthai, Zaccur, and 70 other men. 15I, ˻(Ezra)˼ called all those people to meet together at the river that flows toward Ahava. We camped at that place for three days. I learned there were priests in that group, but there were no Levites. 16So I called these leaders: Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And I called Joiarib and Elnathan. (These men were teachers.) 17I sent those men to Iddo. Iddo is the leader at the town of Casiphia. I told those men what to say to Iddo and his relatives. His relatives are the temple workers in Casiphia. I sent those men to Iddo so that Iddo might send us workers to serve in God’s temple. 18Because God was with us, Iddo’s relatives sent these men to us: Sherebiah, a wise man from the descendants of Mahli (Mahli was one of Levi’s sons. Levi was one of Israel’s sons. They also sent his sons and brothers. In all there were 18 men from that family.); 19Hashabiah and Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari (They also sent their brothers and nephews. In all there were 20 men from that family.); 20220 of the temple workers (Their ancestors were the people David and the important officials had chosen to help the Levites. The names of all those men were written on the list.). 21There near the Ahava River, I ˻(Ezra)˼ announced that we all should fast. We should fast to make ourselves humble before our God. We wanted to ask God for a safe trip for ourselves, our children, and for all the things we owned. 22I was embarrassed to ask King Artaxerxes for soldiers and horsemen to protect us as we traveled. There were enemies on the road. The reason I was embarrassed to ask for protection was because of what we had told the king. We had said to King Artaxerxes, “Our God is with every person that trusts him. But God is very angry with every person that turns away from him.” 23So we fasted and prayed to our God about our trip. He answered our prayers. 24Then I chose twelve of the priests that were leaders. I chose Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers. 25I weighed the silver, gold, and the other things that were given for God’s temple. I gave those things to the twelve priests I had chosen. King Artaxerxes, his advisers, his important officials, and all the people of Israel in Babylon gave those things for God’s temple. 26I weighed all these things. There were 25 tons of silver. There were also 3,3/4 tons of silver dishes and things. There were 3,3/4 tons of gold. 27And I gave them 20 gold bowls. The bowls weighed about 19 pounds. And I gave them two beautiful dishes made from polished bronze that were as valuable as gold. 28Then I said to those twelve priests: “You and these things are holy to the Lord. People gave this silver and gold to the Lord, the God of your ancestors. 29So guard these things carefully. You are responsible for them until you give them to the temple leaders in Jerusalem. You will give them to the leading Levites and the family leaders of Israel. They will weigh those things and put them in the rooms of the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. 30So the priests and Levites accepted the silver, gold, and special things that Ezra had weighed and given to them. They were told to take those things to God’s temple in Jerusalem. 31On the twelfth day of the first month we left the Ahava River and started toward Jerusalem. God was with us, and he protected us from enemies and robbers along the way. 32Then we arrived in Jerusalem. We rested there for three days. 33On the fourth day, we went to the temple and weighed the silver, gold, and special things. We gave those things to Meremoth son of Uriah the priest. Eleazar son of Phinehas was with Meremoth. And the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui, were with them also. 34We counted and weighed everything. Then we wrote down the total weight at that time. 35Then the Jewish people that came back from captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel. They offered twelve bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, 77 male lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord. 36Then those people gave the letter from King Artaxerxes to the royal satraps ˻(leaders)˼ and to the governors of the area west of the Euphrates River. Then those leaders gave their support to the people of Israel and to the temple.

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