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and to bring silver and gold which the king and his advisers have freely contributed to the God of Israel, who resides in Jerusalem,
For the dedication of this temple of God they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve male goats for the sin of all Israel, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son 1 of Iddo 2 prophesied concerning the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem 3 in the name of the God of Israel who was over them.
The people 1 of Israel – the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the exiles 2 – observed the dedication of this temple of God with joy.
I have now issued a decree 1 that anyone in my kingdom from the people of Israel – even the priests and Levites – who wishes to do so may go up with you to Jerusalem. 2
They responded to us in the following way: ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth. We are rebuilding the temple which was previously built many years ago. A great king 1 of Israel built it and completed it.
The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time 1 Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia.