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Ezra 6:2-5

6:2 A scroll was found in the citadel 1  of Ecbatana which is in the province of Media, and it was inscribed as follows:

“Memorandum: 6:3 In the first year of his reign, 2  King Cyrus gave orders concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: 3  ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are offered. Let its foundations be set in place. 4  Its height is to be ninety feet and its width ninety 5  feet, 6  6:4 with three layers of large stones 7  and one 8  layer of timber. The expense is to be subsidized 9  by the royal treasury. 10  6:5 Furthermore let the gold and silver vessels of the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar brought from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon, be returned and brought to their proper place in the temple in Jerusalem. Let them be deposited in the temple of God.’

1 tc The translation reads בִירְתָא (birta’, citadel”) rather than the reading בְּבִירְתָא (bÿvireta’, “in the citadel”) found in the MT. The MT probably experienced dittography here.

2 tn Aram “In the first year of Cyrus the king.”

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 tn Aram “raised”; or perhaps “retained” (so NASB; cf. NLT), referring to the original foundations of Solomon’s temple.

5 tc The Syriac Peshitta reads “twenty cubits” here, a measurement probably derived from dimensions given elsewhere for Solomon’s temple. According to 1 Kgs 6:2 the dimensions of the Solomonic temple were as follows: length, 60 cubits; width, 20 cubits; height, 30 cubits. Since one would expect the dimensions cited in Ezra 6:3 to correspond to those of Solomon’s temple, it is odd that no dimension for length is provided. The Syriac has apparently harmonized the width dimension provided here (“twenty cubits”) to that given in 1 Kgs 6:2.

6 tn Aram “Its height sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits.” The standard cubit in the OT is assumed by most authorities to be about eighteen inches (45 cm) long.

7 tn Aram “stones of rolling.”

8 tc The translation follows the LXX reading חַד (khad, “one”) rather than the MT חֲדַת (khadat, “new”). If the MT reading “new” is understood to mean freshly cut timber that has not yet been seasoned it would seem to be an odd choice for construction material.

9 tn Aram “let be given.”

10 tn Aram “house.”

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