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Rebuilding Begins Anew 5:1 Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them.
2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
3 At the same time Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: “Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?”
4 They also asked them this: “What are the names of the men who are building this building?”
5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report should reach Darius and then an answer be returned by letter concerning it.
Tattenai’s Letter to King Darius6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the governors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king.
7 They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: “To Darius the king, all peace.
8 Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.
9 Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’
10 We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders.
11 And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.
12 But because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia.
13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt.
14 And the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;
15 and he said to him, Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site.
16 Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is not yet finished.’
17 Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.”
« Ezra 5 | Ezra 6 | Ezra 7 »
The Decree of Darius 6:1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored.
2 And in Ecbatana, the citadel that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record.
3 In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits,
4 with three layers of great stones and one layer of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury.
5 And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God.”
6 “Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away.
7 Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site.
8 Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River.
9 And whatever is needed—bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail,
10 that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
11 Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill.
12 May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”
The Temple Finished and Dedicated13 Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered.
14 And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia;
15 and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
16 And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
17 They offered at the dedication of this house of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18 And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.
Passover Celebrated19 On the fourteenth day of the first month, the returned exiles kept the Passover.
20 For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were clean. So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves.
21 It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by every one who had joined them and separated himself from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.
22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
« Proverbs 19 | Proverbs 20 | Proverbs 21 »
20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,but every fool will be quarreling.
4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,but a faithful man who can find?
7 The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgmentwinnows all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;I am clean from my sin”?
10 Unequal weights and unequal measuresare both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,the Lord has made them both.
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones,but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel;by wise guidance wage war.
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
20 If one curses his father or his mother,his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginningwill not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,and false scales are not good.
24 A man’s steps are from the Lord;how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”and to reflect only after making vows.
26 A wise king winnows the wickedand drives the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,searching all his innermost parts.
28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil;strokes make clean the innermost parts.
« Mark 16 | Luke 1 | Luke 2 »
Dedication to Theophilus 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,
2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,
3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute.
23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Birth of Jesus Foretold26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat46 And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear himfrom generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thronesand exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
The Birth of John the Baptist57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,
60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”
61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”
62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.
64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea,
66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
Zechariah’s Prophecy67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for usin the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemiesand from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathersand to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his peoplein the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
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