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1Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, there went up Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah,2son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,3son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth,4son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki,5son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest.6This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.7Some of the sons of Israel and some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.9For on the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, because the good hand of his God was upon him.10For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11Now this is the copy of the decree which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, learned in the words of the commandments of the LORD and His statutes to Israel:12“Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now13I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.14“Forasmuch as you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,15and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,16with all the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem;17with this money, therefore, you shall diligently buy bulls, rams and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings and offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.18“Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God.19“Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.20“The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may have occasion to provide, provide for it from the royal treasury.
21“I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently,22even up to 100 talents of silver, 100 kors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt as needed.23“Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, so that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons.24“We also inform you that it is not allowed to impose tax, tribute or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.
25“You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may teach anyone who is ignorant of them.26“Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”
27Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,28and has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to the hand of the LORD my God upon me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
1Now these are the heads of their fathers’ households and the genealogical enrollment of those who went up with me from Babylon in the reign of King Artaxerxes:2of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush;3of the sons of Shecaniah who was of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah and with him 150 males who were in the genealogical list;4of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah and 200 males with him;5of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel and 300 males with him;6and of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan and 50 males with him;7and of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah and 70 males with him;8and of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael and 80 males with him;9of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel and 218 males with him;10and of the sons of Bani, Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah and 160 males with him;11and of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai and 28 males with him;12and of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan and 110 males with him;13and of the sons of Adonikam, the last ones, these being their names, Eliphelet, Jeuel and Shemaiah, and 60 males with them;14and of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud, and 70 males with them.
15Now I assembled them at the river that runs to Ahava, where we camped for three days; and when I observed the people and the priests, I did not find any Levites there.16So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, teachers.17I sent them to Iddo the leading man at the place Casiphia; and I told them what to say to Iddo and his brothers, the temple servants at the place Casiphia, that is, to bring ministers to us for the house of our God.18According to the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of insight of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, and his sons and brothers, 18 men;19and Hashabiah and Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his brothers and their sons, 20 men;20and 220 of the temple servants, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, all of them designated by name.
1Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.3But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.4For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.5Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
6Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.7For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.9For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.10We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.11To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;12and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.15For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.16Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.17For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.18Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.20For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.21What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
28Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by righteousness.
29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.
30Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.