8:15 I had them assemble 1 at the canal 2 that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I observed that the people and the priests were present, but I found no Levites there. 8:16 So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, 3 Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were teachers. 8:17 I sent them to Iddo, who was the leader in the place called Casiphia. I told them 4 what to say to Iddo and his relatives, 5 who were the temple servants in 6 Casiphia, so they would bring us attendants for the temple of our God.
8:18 Due to the fact that the good hand of our God was on us, they brought us a skilled man, from the descendants of Mahli the son of Levi son of Israel. This man was Sherebiah, 7 who was accompanied by his sons and brothers, 8 18 men, 8:19 and Hashabiah, along with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, with his brothers and their sons, 20 men, 8:20 and some of the temple servants that David and his officials had established for the work of the Levites – 220 of them. They were all designated by name.
8:21 I called for a fast there by the Ahava Canal, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from him a safe journey 9 for us, our children, and all our property. 8:22 I was embarrassed to request soldiers and horsemen from the king to protect us from the enemy 10 along the way, because we had said to the king, “The good hand of our God is on everyone who is seeking him, but his great anger 11 is against everyone who forsakes him.” 8:23 So we fasted and prayed to our God about this, and he answered us.
8:24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests, together with 12 Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers, 13 8:25 and I weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels intended for the temple of our God – items that the king, his advisers, his officials, and all Israel who were present had contributed. 8:26 I weighed out to them 14 650 talents of silver, silver vessels worth 100 talents, 15 100 talents of gold, 8:27 20 gold bowls worth 1,000 darics, and two exquisite vessels of gleaming bronze, as valuable as gold. 8:28 Then I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, just as these vessels are holy. The silver and the gold are a voluntary offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers. 8:29 Be careful with them and protect them, until you weigh them out before the leading priests and the Levites and the family leaders of Israel in Jerusalem, 16 in the storerooms of the temple of the Lord.”
8:31 On the twelfth day of the first month we began traveling from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from our enemy and from bandits 18 along the way. 8:32 So we came to Jerusalem, and we stayed there for three days. 8:33 On the fourth day we weighed out the silver, the gold, and the vessels in the house of our God into the care 19 of Meremoth son of Uriah, the priest, and Eleazar son of Phinehas, who were accompanied by Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui, who were Levites. 8:34 Everything was verified 20 by number and by weight, and the total weight was written down at that time.
8:35 The exiles who were returning from the captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel – twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven male lambs, along with twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord. 8:36 Then they presented the decrees of the king to the king’s satraps and to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, who gave help to the people and to the temple of God.
1 tn Or “I gathered them.”
3 tc The name “Elnathan” occurs twice in this list. Some, assuming an accidental repetition, would include it only once (cf. NAB).
4 tn Heb “I placed in their mouth words.”
5 tc The translation reads with the LXX and Vulgate וְאֶחָיו (vÿ’ekhayv, “and his brethren” = “relatives”; so NCV, NLT) rather than the reading אָחִיו (’akhiyv, “his brother”) of the MT.
6 tn Heb “in the place called.” This phrase has not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.
7 tn Heb “and Sherebiah.” The words “this man was” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
9 tn Heb “a straight way.”
11 tn Heb “his strength and his anger.” The expression is a hendiadys (one concept expressed through two terms).
12 tc The translation reads וַחֲשַׁבְיָה וְשֵׁרֵבְיָה (vÿsherevÿyah vakhashavyah, “and Sherebiah and Hashabiah”) rather than the reading חֲשַׁבְיָה לְשֵׁרֵבְיָה (lÿsherevyah khashavyah, “to Sherebiah Hashabiah”) of the MT.
13 tn Or “relatives”; or “colleagues” (cf. NLT “ten other priests”).
14 tn Heb “upon their hand.”
15 tn Possibly “100 silver vessels worth [?] talents” or “silver vessels weighing 100 talents.”
17 tn Heb “received.”
18 tn Heb “from the hand of the enemy and the one who lies in wait.” Some modern English versions render the latter phrase as “ambushes” (cf. NASB, NRSV).
19 tn Heb “upon the hand of.”
20 tn The words “everything was verified” are not in the Hebrew text but have been supplied in the translation for clarity.