Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
Now the seventh month drew near and the Israelites were in the cities, so the people gathered as one in Jerusalem. And Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his brothers the priests stood up, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers built the altar of the God of Israel, in order to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God. They set up the altar on its foundations, because they were in terror because of the peoples of the lands. And they offered burnt offerings on it for Yahweh, burnt offerings for the morning and the evening. And they kept the feast of booths, as it is written, and offered burnt offerings day by day in number according to the ordinance as described for each day. After this, they presented the daily sacrifice of burnt offerings, the offerings for the New Moon Festival, and for all of the appointed times consecrated for Yahweh and for all who gave a freewill offering to Yahweh. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh. But the temple of Yahweh was not yet founded. So they gave money to the stone craftsmen and skilled craftsmen, and food, drink, and olive oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the authorization over them of Cyrus king of Persia.
In the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jehozadak began their work, and the remainder of their brothers the priests and the Levites and all who came from the captivity to Jerusalem. They appointed the Levites from twenty years and older to direct the work of the house of Yahweh. And Jeshua with his sons and brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons—the sons of Judah—together directed the workers in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers the Levites.
And the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Yahweh, and the priests in their apparel with the trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with the cymbals, were positioned to praise Yahweh, as described by King David of Israel. And they sang responsively, with praising and thanksgiving to Yahweh saying, "For he is good, for his loyal love is everlasting for Israel."
And all of the people responded with a great shout of joyful acclaim in praise to Yahweh because the house of Yahweh was laid. But many of the elderly priests, Levites, and heads of the families who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house, but many shouted aloud with joy. No person could distinguish the sound of joyful acclaim from the sound of people weeping, for the people shouted with great joyful acclaim and the sound was heard from afar.
Now the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple for Yahweh the God of Israel. And they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of the families, and they said to them, "Let us build with you. Like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him from the days of Esarhaddon the king of Assyria who brought us up here. But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel said to them, "It is not for you but for us to build a house for our God. For we ourselves alone will build it for Yahweh the God of Israel, just as Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us."
Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed officials against them to frustrate their plan for all the days of Cyrus king of Persia until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
In the reign of Ahasuerus, at the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated from Aramaic. Rehum the royal officer and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows (then Rehum the royal officer, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the judges, the envoys, the officials, the Persians, the Erechs, the Babylonians, the Susians (that is the Elamites) and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and the rest of the province Beyond the River) and now this is the copy of the letter which they sent to him:
"To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River. And now, be it known to the king that the Jews who have come up from near you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are building the rebellious and wicked city. They are finishing the wall and repairing the foundation. Now be it known to the king that if this city is built and the walls are finished, they will not pay tribute and toll, and the royal revenue will be reduced. Now since we eat the salt of the palace and the dishonor of the king is not proper for us to see, we send and make this known to the king, so that it may be investigated in the book of records of your ancestors. You will find in the book of records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and they have rebelled in its midst from ancient times. Because of that this city was destroyed. We make known to the king that if this city is built and the walls are finished, you will have nothing in the province Beyond the River."
The king sent a reply: "To Rehum the royal officer, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and the rest of the province Beyond the River, greetings. And now the letter that you sent to us has been translated and read before me. And I issued a decree, and they searched and found that this city from ancient days revolted against kings, and rebellion and sedition has been made in it. Mighty kings have ruled over Jerusalem, governing all the province Beyond the River, to whom tribute, duty, and tax has been given. So now, issue forth a decree that these men stop and this city not be built, until a decree is issued from me. And be careful not to be negligent on this matter. Why should damage grow to hurt kings?"
Then when a copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their associates they returned in a hurry to Jerusalem against the Jews and they stopped them by force and power. Then the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped, and was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
It is good to give thanks to Yahweh,
and to sing praise concerning your name, O Most High;
to declare in the morning your loyal love
and your faithfulness in the night,
on the ten string, and on the harp,
with a melody on the lyre.
For you, O Yahweh, have made me glad by your work;
by the deeds of your hands I sing for joy.
How great are your deeds, O Yahweh;
how very deep are your thoughts.
The brutish man does not know,
and the fool cannot understand this.
When the wicked flourish like grass
and all the workers of evil blossom,
it is so they can be destroyed forever.
But you are on high forever, O Yahweh.
For behold, your enemies, O Yahweh,
for behold, your enemies will perish.
All the workers of evil will be scattered.
But you have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;
you have anointed me with fresh oil.
And so my eye looks on my enemies.
My ears hear those evildoers who rise up against me.
The righteous will flourish like the date palm.
They will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of Yahweh,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still prosper in old age.
They will be fat and luxuriant,
to declare that Yahweh is upright.
He is my rock, and there is no injustice in him.
1 John 1
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched, concerning the word of life— and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was revealed to us— what we have seen and heard, we announce to you also, in order that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write, in order that our joy may be complete.
And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.