1Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the archives where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
2There was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll, and in it was thus written for a record:
3 “In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made a decree: Concerning God’s house at Jerusalem, ‘Let the house be built, the place where they offer sacrifices, and let its foundations be strongly laid: its height 60 cubitsa and its width 60 cubits,
4with three courses of great stones and a course of new timber, and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house.
5Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is at Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be be restored and brought back to the temple that is at Jerusalem, everything to its place, and you are to put them in the house of God.’
6 “Now therefore, Tattenai, governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your companions the Apharsachites who are beyond the River, you must stay far from there.
7Leave the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place.
8“Moreover I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of the Jews for the building of this house of God: “That from the king’s goods, even from the tribute beyond the River, expenses be given with all diligence to these men, so that they are not hindered.
9Whatever they have need of, both young bulls, and rams, and lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, also wheat, salt, wine, and oil according to the word of the priests who are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail,
10so that they can offer sacrifices of pleasant aroma to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and of his sons.
11“Also I have made a decree that whoever alters this edict, a beam is to be pulled out from his house and he is to be raised up and impaled on it, and let his house be made a dunghill for this;
12and may the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples who will put forth their hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”
13Then Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, because Darius the king had sent a decree, did accordingly with all diligence.
14The elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They built and finished it according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus and Darius, even Artaxerxes king of Persia.
15This house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
16The children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.
17At the dedication of this house of God they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and for a sin offering for all Israel, 12 male goats according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18They set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God that is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
19The exiles who had returned kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month,
20for the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were ceremonially clean. And they killed the Passover for all the exiles, and for their brothers the priests, and for themselves.
21And the children of Israel who had returned from exile, and all those who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the Gentiles in the land in order to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, ate the Passover
22and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for Yahweh had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of God’s house, the God of Israel.