1. 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,
2. The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3. The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4. The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5. The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:
6. This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a skilled 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.
7. And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9. For upon the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
10. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.
11. Now this is the copy of the letter that 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.
12. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and so forth.
13. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, who are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14. For as you are sent by the king, and by his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand;
15. And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
16. And all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
17. That you may buy promptly with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18. And whatsoever shall seem good to you, and to your brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do according to the will of your God.
19. The articles also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem.
20. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to provide, provide it out of the king’s treasure house.
21. 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 promptly,
22. Unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred cors of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
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?
24. Also we inform you, that concerning any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
25. And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach them that know them not.
26. And whosoever will not do the law of your 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.
27. Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:
28. And has extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counselors, 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 leading men to go up with me.