Ezra 1

1During the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia, the Lord encouraged Cyrus to make an announcement. Cyrus put that announcement in writing and had it read every place in his kingdom. This happened so that the Lord’s message that was spoken through Jeremiah would truly happen. This is the announcement: 2“From Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, gave all the kingdoms on earth to me. And the Lord chose me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in the country of Judah. 3The Lord is the God of Israel, the God that is in Jerusalem. If any of God’s people are living among you, then I pray God will bless them. You must let them go to Jerusalem in the country of Judah. You must let them go build the Lord’s temple. 4And so in any place where there might be survivors of Israel, the men in that place must support those survivors. Give those people silver, gold, cows, and other things. Give them gifts for God’s temple in Jerusalem.” 5So the family leaders from the family groups of Judah and Benjamin prepared to go up to Jerusalem. They were going to Jerusalem to build the Lord’s temple. Also, every person that God had encouraged got ready to go to Jerusalem. 6All their neighbors gave them many gifts. They gave them silver, gold, cows, and other expensive things. Their neighbors freely gave them all those things. 7Also, King Cyrus brought out the things that belonged in the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar had taken those things away from Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar had put those things in his temple where he kept his false gods. 8Cyrus king of Persia told the man that keeps his money to bring those things out. That man’s name was Mithredath. So Mithredath brought those things out to Sheshbazzar, the leader of Judah. 9Those things from the Lord’s temple that Mithredath brought out: gold dishes 30 silver dishes 1,000 knives and pans 29 10gold bowls 30 silver bowls like the gold bowls 410 other dishes 1,000 11All together, there were 5,400 things made from gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these things with him when the prisoners left Babylon and went back to Jerusalem.

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