7:13. It is decreed by me, that all they of the people of Israel, and of the priests and of the Levites in my realm, that are minded to go into Jerusalem, should go with thee.
7:14. For thou art sent from before the king, and his seven counsellors, to visit Judea and Jerusalem according to the law of thy God, which is in thy hand.
7:15. And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose tabernacle is in Jerusalem.
7:16. And all the silver and gold that thou shalt find in all the province of Babylon, and that the people is willing to offer, and that the priests shall offer of their own accord to the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem,
7:17. Take freely, and buy diligently with this money, calves, rams, lambs, with the sacrifices and libations of them, and offer them upon the altar of the temple of your God, that is in Jerusalem.
7:18. And if it seem good to thee, and to thy brethren to do any thing with the rest of the silver and gold, do it according to the will of your God.
7:19. The vessels also, that are given thee for the sacrifice of the house of thy God, deliver thou in the sight of God in Jerusalem.
7:20. And whatsoever more there shall be need of for the house of thy God, how much soever thou shalt have occasion to spend, it shall be given out of the treasury, and the king's exchequer, and by me.
7:21. I Artaxerxes the king have ordered and decreed to all the keepers of the public chest, that are beyond the river, that whatsoever Esdras the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, you give it without delay,
7:22. Unto a hundred talents of silver, and unto a hundred cores of wheat, and unto a hundred bates of wine, and unto a hundred bates of oil, and salt without measure.
7:23. All that belongeth to the rites of the God of heaven, let it be given diligently in the house of the God of heaven: lest his wrath should be enkindled against the realm of the king, and of his sons.
7:24. We give you also to understand concerning all the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nathinites, and ministers of the house of this God, that you have no authority to impose toll or tribute, or custom upon them.
7:25. And thou Esdras according to the wisdom of thy God, which is in thy hand, appoint judges and magistrates, that may judge all the people, that is beyond the river, that is, for them who know the law of thy God, yea and the ignorant teach ye freely.
7:26. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king diligently, judgment shall be executed upon him, either unto death, or unto banishment, or to the confiscation of goods, or at least to prison.
7:27. Blessed be the Lord the God of our fathers, who hath put this in the king's heart, to glorify the house of the Lord, which is in Jerusalem,
7:28. And hath inclined his mercy toward me before the king and his counsellors, and all the mighty princes of the king: and I being strengthened by the hand of the Lord my God, which was upon me, gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
1 Esdras Chapter 8
The companions of Esdras. The fast which he appointed. They bring the holy vessels into the temple.
8:1. Now these are the chief of families, and the genealogy of them, who came up with me from Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
8:2. Of the sons of Phinees, Gersom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattus.
8:3. Of the sons of Sechenias, the son of Pharos, Zacharias, and with him were numbered a hundred and fifty men.
8:4. Of the sons of Phahath Moab, Eleoenai the son of Zareha, and with him two hundred men.
8:5. Of the sons of Sechenias, the son of Ezechiel, and with him three hundred men.
8:6. Of the sons of Adan, Abed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty men.
8:7. Of the sons of Alam, Isaias the son of Athalias, and with him seventy men.
8:8. Of the sons of Saphatia: Zebodia the son of Michael, and with him eighty men.
8:9. Of the sons of Joab, Obedia the son of Jahiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen men.
8:10. Of the sons of Selomith, the son of Josphia, and with him a hundred and sixty men.
8:11. Of the sons of Bebai, Zacharias the son of Bebai: and with him eight and twenty men.
8:12. Of the sons of Azgad, Joanan the son of Eccetan, and with him a hundred and ten men.
8:13. Of the sons of Adonicam, who were the last: and these are their names: Eliphelet, and Jehiel, and Samaias, and with them sixty men.
8:14. Of the sons of Begui, Uthai and Zachur, and with them seventy men.
8:15. And I gathered them together to the river, which runneth down to Ahava, and we stayed there three days: and I sought among the people and among the priests for the sons of Levi, and found none there.
8:16. So I sent Eliezer, and Ariel, and Semeias, and Elnathan, and Jarib, and another Elnathan, and Nathan, and Zacharias, and Mosollam, chief men: and Joiarib, and Elnathan, wise men.
8:17. And I sent them to Eddo, who is chief in the place of Chasphia, and I put in their mouth the words that they should speak to Eddo, and his brethren the Nathinites in the place of Chasphia, that they should bring us ministers of the house of our God.
8:18. And by the good hand of our God upon us, they brought us a most learned man of the sons of Moholi the son of Levi the son of Israel, and Sarabias and his sons, and his brethren eighteen,
8:19. And Hasabias, and with him Isaias of the sons of Merari, and his brethren, and his sons twenty.
8:20. And of the Nathinites, whom David, and the princes gave for the service of the Levites, Nathinites two hundred and twenty: all these were called by their names.
8:21. And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.
And I proclaimed a fast... It is not enough to part from Babylon, that is, figuratively from sin, but we must also do works of penance; and therefore Esdras here proclaimed an extraordinary fast to those that were come from captivity. This shews that fasting was commanded and practised from the earliest times.
8:22. For I was ashamed to ask the king for aid and for horsemen, to defend us from the enemy in the way: because we had said to the king: The hand of our God is upon all them that seek him in goodness: and his power and strength, and wrath upon all them that forsake him.
8:23. And we fasted, and besought our God for this: and it fell out prosperously unto us.
8:24. And I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sarabias, and Hasabias, and with them ten of their brethren,
8:25. And I weighed unto them the silver and gold, and the vessels consecrated for the house of our God, which the king and his counsellors, and his princes, and all Israel, that were found had offered.
8:26. And I weighed to their hands six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and a hundred vessels of silver, and a hundred talents of gold,
8:27. And twenty cups of gold, of a thousand solids, and two vessels of the best shining brass, beautiful as gold.
8:28. And I said to them: You are the holy ones of the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and gold, that is freely offered to the Lord the God of our fathers.
8:29. Watch ye and keep them, till you deliver them by weight before the chief of the priests, and of the Levites, and the heads of the families of Israel in Jerusalem, into the treasure of the house of the Lord.
8:30. And the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver and gold, and the vessels, to carry them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.
8:31. Then we set forward from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.