1 Then King Darius commanded that inquiries be made in the house of the archives in Babylon, where the re cords were kept. 2 And in Ecba tana, a fortress in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which the following was written:
3 In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus has issued this decree concerning the House of God in Jerusalem: Let the foundation of that House be laid and the House be rebuilt in order that sacrifices be offered in it. The said House shall be thirty meters high and thirty meters wide, 4 with three layers of hewn stones and one of wood. The expenses shall be paid for by the house of the king. 5 Moreover, the vessels of gold and silver which Ne bu chadnezzar took out of the temple of Jerusalem are to be returned to the place where these used to be kept in the House of God.
6 Now therefore, I say this to you: Tattenai, governor of the province at the other side of the River, Shethar, Bozenai, and their Persian coun selors living at the other side of the River, do not interfere in this matter. 7 Let the governor of the Jews together with their leaders build the House of God on its former site.
8 This is the command I give as to what you should do to help those Jewish leaders rebuild the House of God: pay the expenses in full and without delay, with the income from taxes of the province at the other side of the River which is allotted to the king. 9 Then, upon the request of the priests of Jerusalem, give them daily and without fail what is needed for the sacri fices to the God of Heaven: young bulls, rams, lambs, wheat, salt, wine and oil. 10 With these, they shall offer sacrifices acceptable to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 Moreover, I command the following: if anyone opposes these ordinances, a beam shall be pulled out of his house and he shall be hung on it, and his house reduced to a heap of ruin as punishment for his rebellion. 12 And may the God who makes his Name dwell there crush every rebel, king or people, who goes against this and tries to destroy the House of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, give this command. Let it be carried out at once.
13 Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, Shethar Bozenai, and his counselors acted in conformity with the order of King Dar ius. 14 And the leaders of the Jews continued to make pro gress in building, encouraged by what Hag gai, the prophet, and Zecha riah, the son of Iddo, had said
16 The children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of those who had returned from exile celebrated the consecration of this House of God with rejoicing, 17 offering on this solemnity one hundred young bulls, two hun dred rams and four hundred lambs
18 Then they installed the priests according to their ranks, and the Levites according to their classes, for the service of the house of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.
19 Those who had returned from exile celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, 20 for the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together, and all of them were clean. So, they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all who had returned from exile, for their fellow-priests and for themselves.
21 The Israelites who had returned from exile ate the Passover lamb with all those who had separated themselves from the people of the land and joined the returned exiles to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel. 22 They celebrated the Feast of Unlea vened Bread joyfully for seven days