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64 The number of the men of the people of Israel. The whole congregation together was forty and twr thousand three hundred and threescore.

LESSON CXXI. Ezra, CHAP. V. 2 Then rose up Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem : and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

3 At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shether-boznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them. Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?

4 Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building ? But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius; and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king.

7 They sent a letter unto him wherein was written thus : Unto Darius the king, all peace. Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

9 Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls? We asked their names also to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.

11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and

build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set

up:

12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.

14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them unto the people of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor :

15 And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in this place.

16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

17 Now, therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

LESSON CXXII. EZRA, CHAP. VI. Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at

out of the then be rest Jerusalem, God.

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Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the
Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:

3 In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid ; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;

4 With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber; and let the expences be given out of the king's house ; And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.

6 Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence : Let the work of this house of God alone : let the governor of the Jews, and the elders of the Jews, build this house of God in his place.

8 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God ; that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expences be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.

9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt-offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them, day by day, without fail :

10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons. Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.

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12 And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter and destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree: let it be done with speed.

13 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shethar-boznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.

14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered, through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah, the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes kings of Persia.

15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.

LESSON CXXIII. Ezra, CHAP. VII. 6 Now, after these things, Ezra went up from Babylon: and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.

7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

8. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up

from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him,

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

And Artaxerxes (which is Ahasuerus) made a decree, that all the people of Israel that were in his realm might go up to Jerusalem with Ezra, and take with them silver and gold for the building of the temple and the vessels that were given to then, for the house of God.

Then Ezra said, Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes : and I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

LESSON CXXIV. Nehemiah, CHAP. I. 11.

And it came to pass, eleven years after this, as Nehemiah the king's cup-bearer was in Shushan, the palace, that Hanani, one of his brethren and others, came to him, and he asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jesusalem.

3 And they said unto him, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach : the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire by our enemies.

4 And it came to pass, when he heard these words,

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