Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and in Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak set out and began to build the house of God that is in Jerusalem. And with them the prophets of God were helping them.
At the same time Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai, and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: "Who issued you all a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?" Then we asked them this: "What are the names of the men who are building this building?" And the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report came to Darius, and then answer was received.
The copy of the letter that Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and his associates the envoys who were in the province Beyond the River sent to Darius the king. They sent to him the report in which was written as follows: "To Darius the king, all peace. May it be known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, the house of the great God. It is being built with stone blocks and timber is being put in the walls. This work is being done with diligence and is making progress in their hands. Then we asked those elders and said this to them, ‘Who issued forth to you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ We also asked them their names to make them known to you, that we might write down the name of their leaders. And this is the answer they returned to us: ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are building the house that was built formerly many years ago, which a great king of Israel had built and finished. But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. But in the first year of King Cyrus of Babylon’s reign he issued forth a decree to build this house of God. Also, the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took away from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple in Babylonia, King Cyrus removed them from the temple in Babylonia and they were given to Sheshbazzar, whom he appointed governor. He said to him, ‘Take these vessels. Go put them in the temple in Jerusalem and let the house of God be built on its site.’ Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God in Jerusalem. And from that time until now it is being built, but not yet finished.’ And now, if it seems good for the king, let it be investigated in the house of the treasury of the king in Babylonia to see if a decree was issued forth from King Cyrus to build this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send to us his desire on this matter."
Then King Darius issued forth a decree, and they searched the house of the treasury of scrolls being stored in Babylonia. But it was in Ecbatana in the province of Media, in the citadel, that a certain scroll had written on it, "A record. In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued forth a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem. Let the house be built, the place where sacrifices are offered and let its foundations be raised. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, with three layers of great stones and a layer of timber. Let the new expenses be paid from the house of the king. Also, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylonia, be returned and brought to the temple in Jerusalem to its place. Put them in the house of God."
"Now then, Tattenai governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your associates, the envoys who are in the province Beyond the River—keep far away from there. Leave this work of the house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site. And I issue forth a decree for what you should do for these elders of the Jews to build this house of God. The full expense will be paid to these men from the riches of the king from the taxes of the province Beyond the River, without delay. Whatever may be needed—young bulls, young rams, sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil for the priests in Jerusalem—let it be given to them day by day with no negligence, that they may offer incense offerings to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children. Furthermore, I issue forth a decree that if any person violates this decree, let a beam be pulled out from his house and let him be impaled on it. And let his house be made a pile of rubble on account of this. May the God who has set his name there overthrow any king or people who sets his hand to alter or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, issue forth a decree. Let it be done with diligence."
Then Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates consequently did with diligence what Darius the king ordered. So the elders of the Jews were building and prospering, through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished building by the command of the God of Israel and by the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia. This house was completed on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
And the Israelites, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. And they offered during the dedication of this house of God one hundred young bulls, two hundred young rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve male goats as a sin offering for Israel according to the number of the tribes of Israel. Then they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their sections for the work of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
On the fourteenth day of the first month the returned exiles observed the Passover feast. For the priests and Levites together had consecrated themselves; all of them were clean. And they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice for all of the returned exiles, for their brothers the priests, and for themselves. The Israelites who returned from the exile and all those who separated themselves from the uncleanness of the nations of the earth to seek Yahweh the God of Israel, ate. With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread for seven days, because Yahweh had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them in order to help them with the work of their hands on the house of the God of Israel.
Come, let us sing for joy to Yahweh;
let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
with songs let us shout joyfully to him.
For Yahweh is the great God,
and the great king over all gods,
in whose hand are the unexplored places of the earth,
and the heights of the mountains are his,
to whom belongs the sea that he made,
and the dry land that his hands formed.
Come in, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before Yahweh, our maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture
and the sheep of his hand.
Today if you will hear his voice:
"Do not harden your heart as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
when your ancestors tried me.
They put me to the test,
even though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation,
and said, ‘They are a people whose heart wanders.
And my ways they do not know.’
Therefore I swore in my anger,
‘They shall surely not enter into my rest.’"
3 John 1
The elder, to Gaius the beloved, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray you may prosper concerning everything and be healthy, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced exceedingly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than this: that I hear my children are walking in the truth.
Dear friend, you act faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers, even though they are strangers. They have testified to your love before the church; you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out on behalf of the name, accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we become fellow workers with the truth.
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who wants to be first among them, does not acknowledge us. Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to the deeds he is doing, disparaging us with evil words. And not being content with these, he does not receive the brothers himself, and he hinders those wanting to do so and throws them out of the church. Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.
Demetrius has been testified to by all, even by the truth itself. And we also testify to him, and you know that our testimony is true.
I have many things to write to you, but I do not want to write to you by means of ink and pen. But I hope to see you right away, and to speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.