Old Testament - Ezra
NOW in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah the prophet might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which city is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house to the LORD the God of Israel, he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold and with goods and with beasts, together with the freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem."
"5 Then rose up the chiefs of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with every one whose spirit God had stirred, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.
AND when the seventh month was come and the children of Israel were in their cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to go up to Jerusalem. 2 Then stood Joshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests and Zerubbabel the son of Shelathiel and his brethren, and they built the altar to the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings upon it as it is written in the law of Moses the prophet of God. 3 And they set the altar upon its bases; for fear was upon them because of the peoples who dwelt in the cities, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the building of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood up in their vestments with trumpets of rams blowing with them, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with large trumpets, to praise the LORD according to the ordinance of David, king of Israel.
13 So that the people could not discern the sound of the trumpets from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people blew trumpets with a loud blast and the noise of weeping was heard afar off."
NOW when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the captivity were building the temple to the LORD God of Israel, 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel and to the chiefs of the fathers and said to them, Let us also build with you; for we seek your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him since the days of Esarhaddom king of Assyria, who brought us up here. 3 But Zerubbabel and Joshua and the rest of the chiefs of the fathers of Israel said to them, You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God; for we ourselves together will build a house to the LORD God of Israel, as Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us. 4 Then the Gentiles of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and terrified them that they should not build.
24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia."
11 And this was the reply they gave us, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and this house that we are rebuilding was built many years ago, and was completed by a king of Israel and his princes. 12 But because our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of the Chaldeans, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Persia. Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt.
6 This Ezra was a leader who went up from Babylon; and he was a scribe learned in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his request, that he might walk as he pleased according to the law of the LORD.
10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of the LORD and to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."
25 And you, Ezra, according to your wisdom which your God has given you, appoint governors and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the River, all such as know the law of your God; and him who does not know it, you shall teach
22 For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers, an army and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is with all of those who seek him for good; but his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him.
NOW when these things were completed, the elders came to me, saying, The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Ammonites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mixed themselves with the people of the lands; and the hand of the elders and the Levites have been first in this iniquity. 3 And when I heard this thing, I tore my garments and my mantle and pulled the hair of my head and of my beard and sat down speechless. 4 Then all those who were diligent concerning the word of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of the exiles, assembled before me; and I sat speechless until the ninth hour."
"5 And at the ninth hour I rose up from my sorrow; and having torn my garments, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands in prayer before the LORD God, 6 And said, O my God, we are ashamed to lift up our faces to thee, our God; for our iniquities are increased over our head and our great sins have reached to the very heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers we have been found in great trespass to this day; because we have committed more sins, both we and our fathers and our kings and our priests; therefore we have been delivered to the sword, to the spoil, to captivity, and to confusion of face, and into the hand of the kings of the lands and into the hand of our enemies, as it is this very day. 8 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a place in his holy land, that our God may lighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 For we are bondmen; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but our God has granted mercy in the sight of the kings of Persia, and has cared for us today, to set up the house of our God and to repair its ruins and to give us a secure place in Judah and in Jerusalem. 10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after all these things? For we have forsaken thy commandments 11 Which thou hast commanded us by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land which you go to possess is an unclean land with the filthiness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another, and with their detestable works. 12 Now therefore give not your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity for ever, that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever. 13 And after all these things that have come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great sins, seeing that thou our God hast purposed to forgive our sins and to give us a remnant in the world, 14 And yet we have been perverse and have broken thy commandments and have gone and joined ourselves with these filthy peoples and have done according to their works, but thou art merciful; be not thou angry with us, but forgive our sins in thy sight; for thou art compassionate. Leave us a remnant in the world, for there is no one like thee, that we may not perish. 15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous; for thou hast spared a remnant of us, as it is today; behold, we are standing and confessing before thee our sins; for we have no word to speak before thee because of this.
10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have transgressed against God, and have taken foreign wives, and thus increased the sins of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession to the LORD God of your fathers, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the alien wives.