Now 1 let the king be aware that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and odious city. 2 They are completing its walls and repairing its foundations.
Then Ezra got up from in front of the temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he stayed 1 there, he did not eat food or drink water, for he was in mourning over the infidelity of the exiles.
I said to the king, “If the king is so inclined, let him give me letters for the governors of Trans-Euphrates 1 that will enable me to travel safely until I reach Judah,
My God placed it on my heart to gather the leaders, 1 the officials, and the ordinary people so they could be enrolled on the basis of genealogy. I found the genealogical records 2 of those who had formerly returned. Here is what I found written in that record: 3
The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all the rest of Israel lived in their cities.When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites 1 were settled in their cities, 2
Its abundant produce goes to the kings you have placed over us due to our sins. They rule over our bodies and our livestock as they see fit, 1 and we are in great distress!
We also accept responsibility, as is written in the law, for bringing the firstborn of our sons and our cattle and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks to the temple of our God, to the priests who are ministering in the temple of our God.
The Israelites and the Levites will bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil to the storerooms where the utensils of the sanctuary are kept, and where the priests who minister stay, along with the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the temple of our God.”
Isn’t this the way your ancestors 1 acted, causing our God to bring on them and on this city all this misfortune? And now you are causing even more wrath on Israel, profaning the Sabbath like this!”
It so happened that when the king’s edict and his law became known 1 many young women were taken to Susa the citadel to be placed under the authority of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the royal palace 2 to be under the authority of Hegai, who was overseeing the women.
Esther replied, “If the king is so inclined, let the Jews who are in Susa be permitted to act tomorrow also according to today’s law, and let them hang the ten sons of Haman on the gallows.”
For the music director; according to the machalath style; 2 a well-written song 3 by David. Fools say to themselves, 4 “There is no God.” 5 They sin and commit evil deeds; 6 none of them does what is right. 7
The days of our lives add up to seventy years, 1 or eighty, if one is especially strong. 2 But even one’s best years are marred by trouble and oppression. 3 Yes, 4 they pass quickly 5 and we fly away. 6