71Then Sisinnes, the governor, Shethar Bozenai, and their fellow-officials did exactly as the emperor had commanded 2and gave careful supervision to the work of the Temple, helping the Jewish leaders and Temple officials. 3
The workers made good progress with the building of the Temple, encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. 4The Jews completed the building according to the command of the Lord, the God of Israel, and with the permission of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, emperors of Persia. 5The Temple was completed on the 23rd day of the month of Adar in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the emperor. 6Then the people of Israel — the priests, the Levites, and all the others who had returned from exile and joined them — carried out all the commands in the Law of Moses. 7For the dedication they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, and 400 lambs as sacrifices, 8and twelve goats as offerings for sin, one goat for the leader of each tribe of Israel. 9The priests in their robes and the Levites took their positions, family by family, for the Temple services for the Lord, the God of Israel, according to the instructions contained in the book of Moses. The Temple guards stood at each gate.
The people of Israel who had returned from exile celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month of the following year. The priests and Levites had purified themselves at the same time. 11Not all the Jews who had returned purified themselves at that time, but the Levites did.7.11 Verse 11 in Greek is unclear. 12The Levites killed the animals for the Passover sacrifices for all the people who had returned, for the priests, and for themselves. 13The sacrifices were eaten by all the Israelites who had returned from exile; they worshipped the Lord and rejected the pagan ways of the other people who were living in the land. 14For seven days they celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread. They rejoiced in the presence of the Lord, 15the God of Israel, because he had made the plans of the emperor of Assyria7.15 emperor of assyria: Apparently a reference to the Persian emperor who then ruled the territory once occupied by Assyria, Israel's enemy. favourable to them and had supported them in their work.