Ezra Cyrus Helps the Jews Build the Lord’s Temple 1 1It was the first year of the rule of Cyrus. He was king of Persia. The Lord stirred him up to send a message all through his kingdom. It happened so that what the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah would come true. The message was written down. It said, 2“Cyrus, the king of Persia, says, “ ‘The Lord is the God of heaven. He has given me all of the kingdoms on earth. He has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3“ ‘Any one of his people among you can go up to Jerusalem. And may your God be with you. You can build the Lord’s temple. He is the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4“ ‘The people who are still left alive in every place must bring him gifts. They must provide him with silver and gold. They must bring goods and livestock. They should also bring any offerings they choose to. All of those gifts will be for God’s temple in Jerusalem.’ ” 5Then everyone God had stirred up got ready to go. They wanted to go up to Jerusalem and build the Lord’s temple there. They included the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin. They also included the priests and Levites. 6All of their neighbors helped them. They gave them silver and gold articles. They gave them goods and livestock. And they gave them gifts of great value. All of those things were added to the other offerings the people chose to give. 7King Cyrus also brought out the articles that belonged to the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar had carried them off from Jerusalem. He had put them in the temple of his own god. 8Cyrus, the king of Persia, told Mithredath to bring them out. Mithredath was in charge of the temple treasures. He counted the articles. Then he gave them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9Here is a list of the articles. There were 30 gold dishes. There were 1,000 silver dishes. There were 29 silver pans. 10There were 30 gold bowls. There were 410 matching silver bowls. There were 1,000 other articles. 11The total number of gold and silver articles was 5,400. Sheshbazzar took all of them with him to Jerusalem. He brought them along when the Jews who had been forced to leave Judah came back from Babylon.
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