Then all the men of Israel began coming to the king. They asked the king, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, sneak the king away and help the king and his household cross the Jordan – and not only him but all of David’s men as well?”
Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak 1 and his priestly colleagues 2 and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his colleagues 3 started to build 4 the altar of the God of Israel so they could offer burnt offerings on it as required by 5 the law of Moses the man of God.
I gave instructions 1 that Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a certain Levite named Pedaiah be put in charge of 2 the storerooms, and that Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, be their assistant, 3 for they were regarded as trustworthy. It was then their responsibility to oversee the distribution to their colleagues. 4
Those who were closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These men were the seven officials of Persia and Media who saw the king on a regular basis 1 and had the most prominent offices 2 in the kingdom.
You will be broken, 1 O nations; you will be shattered! 2 Pay attention, all you distant lands of the earth! Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered! Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered! 3
But you and your sons with you are responsible for your priestly duties, for everything at the altar and within the curtain. And you must serve. I give you the priesthood as a gift for service; but the unauthorized person who approaches must be put to death.”
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, 1 and the guards 2 to bring out of the Lord’s temple all the items that were used in the worship of 3 Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. 4 The king 5 burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces 6 of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 7
From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five 1 of the king’s advisers 2 who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 3 for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city.
In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact 1 with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri.
But the former governors who preceded me had burdened the people and had taken food and wine from them, in addition to 1 forty shekels of silver. Their associates were also domineering over the people. But I did not behave in this way, due to my fear of God.
From the city he took an official who was in charge of the soldiers, seven of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 1 for military service, and sixty citizens who were discovered in the middle of the city.
I also wanted to know 1 the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes 2 and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 3
But this knowledge is not shared by all. And some, by being accustomed to idols in former times, eat this food as an idol sacrifice, and their conscience, because it is weak, is defiled.
In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, 1 in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work, 2 along with the rest of their associates, 3 the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed 4 the Levites who were at least twenty years old 5 to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple.
After some years have passed, they 1 will form an alliance. Then the daughter 2 of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, 3 nor will he continue 4 in his strength. 5 She, together with the one who brought her, her child, 6 and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time. 7