He wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are really on my side and are willing to obey me, 1 then take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” 2 Now the king had seventy sons, and the prominent 3 men of the city were raising them.
It read: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The Lord God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem 1 in Judah. May the Lord your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there!” 2
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.