Good News Translation (GNB)
8

The People who Returned from Exile

81This is the list of the heads of the clans who had been in exile in Babylonia and who returned with Ezra to Jerusalem when Artaxerxes was emperor:

2-14Gershom, of the clan of Phinehas

Daniel, of the clan of Ithamar

Hattush son of Shecaniah, of the clan of David

Zechariah, of the clan of Parosh, with 150 men of his clan (there were records of their ancestry)

Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, of the clan of Pahath Moab, with 200 men

Shecaniah son of Jahaziel, of the clan of Zattu,8.2–14 One ancient translation (see also 2.8) Zattu; Hebrew does not have this name. with 300 men

Ebed son of Jonathan, of the clan of Adin, with fifty men

Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, of the clan of Elam, with seventy men

Zebadiah son of Michael, of the clan of Shephatiah, with eighty men

Obadiah son of Jehiel, of the clan of Joab, with 218 men

Shelomith son of Josiphiah, of the clan of Bani,8.2–14 One ancient translation (see also 2.10) Bani; Hebrew does not have this name. with 160 men

Zechariah son of Bebai, of the clan of Bebai, with 28 men

Johanan son of Hakkatan, of the clan of Azgad, with 110 men

Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, of the clan of Adonikam, with sixty men (they returned at a later date)

Uthai and Zaccur, of the clan of Bigvai, with seventy men.

Ezra Finds Levites for the Temple

15I assembled the entire group by the canal that runs to the town of Ahava, and we camped there three days. I found that there were priests in the group, but no Levites. 16I sent for nine of the leaders: Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, and for two teachers, Joiarib and Elnathan. 17I sent them to Iddo, head of the community at Casiphia, to ask him and his associates, the temple workmen, to send us people to serve God in the Temple. 18Through God's grace they sent us Sherebiah, an able man, a Levite from the clan of Mahli, and eighteen of his sons and brothers came with him. 19They also sent Hashabiah and Jeshaiah of the clan of Merari, with twenty of their relatives. 20In addition there were 220 temple workmen whose ancestors had been designated by King David and his officials to assist the Levites. They were all listed by name.

Ezra Leads the People in Fasting and Prayer

21There by the Ahava Canal I gave orders for us all to fast and humble ourselves before our God and to ask him to lead us on our journey and protect us and our children and all our possessions. 22I would have been ashamed to ask the emperor for a troop of cavalry to guard us from any enemies during our journey, because I had told him that our God blesses everyone who trusts him, but that he is displeased with and punishes anyone who turns away from him. 23So we fasted and prayed for God to protect us, and he answered our prayers.

The Gifts for the Temple

24From among the leading priests I chose Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten others. 25Then I weighed out the silver, the gold, and the utensils which the emperor, his advisers and officials, and the people of Israel had given to be used in the Temple, and I gave it to the priests. 26-27This is what I gave them:

silver — 22 tonnes

100 silver utensils — seventy kilogrammes

gold — 3.4 tonnes

twenty gold bowls — 8.4 kilogrammes

two fine bronze bowls, equal in value to gold bowls.

28I said to them, “You are sacred to the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and so are all the silver and gold utensils brought to him as freewill offerings. 29Guard them carefully until you reach the Temple. There in the priests' room weigh them and hand them over to the leaders of the priests and of the Levites, and to the leaders of the people of Israel in Jerusalem.” 30So the priests and the Levites took charge of the silver, the gold, and the utensils, to take them to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Return to Jerusalem

31It was on the twelfth day of the first month that we left the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. Our God was with us and protected us from enemy attacks and from ambush as we travelled. 32When we reached Jerusalem, we rested for three days. 33Then on the fourth day we went to the Temple, weighed the silver, the gold, and the utensils, and handed them over to Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah. With him were Eleazar son of Phinehas and two Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. 34Everything was counted and weighed, and a complete record was made at the same time.

35All those who had returned from exile then brought offerings to be burnt as sacrifices to the God of Israel. They offered twelve bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, and 77 lambs; they also offered twelve goats to purify themselves from sin. All these animals were burnt as sacrifices to the LORD. 36They also took the document the emperor had given them and gave it to the governors and officials of the province of West Euphrates, who then gave their support to the people and the temple worship.