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Zerubbabel’s Reward

42 Then the king said to him, “Ask what you wish, even beyond what is written, and we will give it to you, for you have been found to be the wisest. You shall sit next to me, and be called my Kinsman.” 43Then he said to the king, “Remember the vow that you made on the day when you became king, to build Jerusalem, 44and to send back all the vessels that were taken from Jerusalem, which Cyrus set apart when he began to destroy Babylon, and vowed to send them back there. 45You also vowed to build the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was laid waste by the Chaldeans. 46And now, O lord the king, this is what I ask and request of you, and this befits your greatness. I pray therefore that you fulfill the vow whose fulfillment you vowed to the King of heaven with your own lips.”

47 Then King Darius got up and kissed him, and wrote letters for him to all the treasurers and governors and generals and satraps, that they should give safe conduct to him and to all who were going up with him to build Jerusalem. 48And he wrote letters to all the governors in Coelesyria and Phoenicia and to those in Lebanon, to bring cedar timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem, and to help him build the city. 49He wrote in behalf of all the Jews who were going up from his kingdom to Judea, in the interest of their freedom, that no officer or satrap or governor or treasurer should forcibly enter their doors; 50that all the country that they would occupy should be theirs without tribute; that the Idumeans should give up the villages of the Jews that they held; 51that twenty talents a year should be given for the building of the temple until it was completed, 52and an additional ten talents a year for burnt offerings to be offered on the altar every day, in accordance with the commandment to make seventeen offerings; 53and that all who came from Babylonia to build the city should have their freedom, they and their children and all the priests who came. 54He wrote also concerning their support and the priests’ vestments in which they were to minister. 55He wrote that the support for the Levites should be provided until the day when the temple would be finished and Jerusalem built. 56He wrote that land and wages should be provided for all who guarded the city. 57And he sent back from Babylon all the vessels that Cyrus had set apart; everything that Cyrus had ordered to be done, he also commanded to be done and to be sent to Jerusalem.

Zerubbabel’s Prayer

58 When the young man went out, he lifted up his face to heaven toward Jerusalem, and praised the King of heaven, saying, 59“From you comes the victory; from you comes wisdom, and yours is the glory. I am your servant. 60Blessed are you, who have given me wisdom; I give you thanks, O Lord of our ancestors.”

61 So he took the letters, and went to Babylon and told this to all his kindred. 62And they praised the God of their ancestors, because he had given them release and permission 63to go up and build Jerusalem and the temple that is called by his name; and they feasted, with music and rejoicing, for seven days.


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The commentary does not cover 1 Esdras 4:42-63.




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