Ezra 5
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Now the Neviim, Chaggai the Navi, and Zechariah the son of Ido, prophesied unto the Yehudim that were in Yehuda and Yerushalayim; in the name of the God of Yisrael prophesied they unto them.

א  וְהִתְנַבִּי חַגַּי נְבִיָּאה וּזְכַרְיָה בַר עִדּוֹא נְבִיַּאיָּא עַל יְהוּדָיֵא דִּי בִיהוּד וּבִירוּשְׁלֶם בְּשֻׁם אֱלָהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲלֵיהוֹן.

2  Then rose up Zerubavel the son of Shealtiel, and Yeshua the son of Yotzadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Yerushalayim; and with them were the Neviim of God, helping them.

bay-DA-yin KA-mu z’-ru-ba-VEL bar sh’-al-tee-AYL v’-yay-SHU-a bar yo-tza-DAK v’-sha-REEV l’-miv-NAY bayt e-la-HA dee vee-ru-sh’-LEM v’-i-m’-HON n’-vi-ya-YA dee e-la-HA m’-sa-a-DEEN l’-HON

ב  בֵּאדַיִן קָמוּ זְרֻבָּבֶל בַּר שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל וְיֵשׁוּעַ בַּר יוֹצָדָק וְשָׁרִיו לְמִבְנֵא בֵּית אֱלָהָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וְעִמְּהוֹן נְבִיַּאיָּא דִי אֱלָהָא מְסָעֲדִין לְהוֹן.

5:2   And with them were the Neviim of God, helping them

Starting in chapter 4 verse 8, the language of the Book of Ezra switches from Hebrew to Aramaic. The Jewish people have been exiled to every corner of the world and, in the process, have learned many different languages. This is as true in the modern diaspora as it was during the Babylonian and Persian eras. And yet, with the minor Aramaic exceptions of Daniel and Ezra, the Bible was written entirely in Hebrew. For although the Jews spoke other languages, Hebrew remained the core, if not daily, language. In fact, during the second century CE the Jews stopped using Hebrew as a spoken language, however it continued to be the language used for prayer and study. The fact that Hebrew is again the vibrant and dynamic language of communication in contemporary Israel should not be underestimated. The revival of Hebrew as a spoken language, due to the efforts of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, is as miraculous as the survival of the Hebrews themselves.

Comment

3  At the same time came to them Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, and said thus unto them: ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house, and to finish this structure?’

ג  בֵּהּ זִמְנָא אֲתָה עֲלֵיהוֹן תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר נַהֲרָה וּשְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתְהוֹן וְכֵן אָמְרִין לְהֹם מַן שָׂם לְכֹם טְעֵם בַּיְתָא דְנָה לִבְּנֵא וְאֻשַּׁרְנָא דְנָה לְשַׁכְלָלָה.

4  ‘Then spoke we unto them after this manner [, wrote they]: What are the names of the men that build this building?’

ד  אֱדַיִן כְּנֵמָא אֲמַרְנָא לְּהֹם מַן אִנּוּן שְׁמָהָת גֻּבְרַיָּא דִּי דְנָה בִנְיָנָא בָּנַיִן.

5  But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Yehudim, and they did not make them cease, till the matter should come to Daryavesh, and then answer should be returned by letter concerning it.

ה  וְעֵין אֱלָהֲהֹם הֲוָת עַל שָׂבֵי יְהוּדָיֵא וְלָא בַטִּלוּ הִמּוֹ עַד טַעְמָא לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ יְהָךְ וֶאֱדַיִן יְתִיבוּן נִשְׁתְּוָנָא עַל דְּנָה.

6  The copy of the letter that Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai, and his companions the Apharesachites, who were beyond the River, sent unto Daryavesh the king;

ו  פַּרְשֶׁגֶן אִגַּרְתָּא דִּי שְׁלַח תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר נַהֲרָה וּשְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתֵהּ אֲפַרְסְכָיֵא דִּי בַּעֲבַר נַהֲרָה עַל דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא.

7  they sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus: ‘Unto Daryavesh the king, all peace.

ז  פִּתְגָמָא שְׁלַחוּ עֲלוֹהִי וְכִדְנָה כְּתִיב בְּגַוֵּהּ לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שְׁלָמָא כֹלָּא.

8  Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Yehuda, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth on with diligence and prospereth in their hands.

ח  יְדִיעַ לֶהֱוֵא לְמַלְכָּא דִּי אֲזַלְנָא לִיהוּד מְדִינְתָּא לְבֵית אֱלָהָא רַבָּא וְהוּא מִתְבְּנֵא אֶבֶן גְּלָל וְאָע מִתְּשָׂם בְּכֻתְלַיָּא וַעֲבִידְתָּא דָךְ אָסְפַּרְנָא מִתְעַבְדָא וּמַצְלַח בְּיֶדְהֹם.

9  Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus: Who gave you a decree to build this house, and to finish this wall?

ט  אֱדַיִן שְׁאֵלְנָא לְשָׂבַיָּא אִלֵּךְ כְּנֵמָא אֲמַרְנָא לְּהֹם מַן שָׂם לְכֹם טְעֵם בַּיְתָא דְנָה לְמִבְנְיָה וְאֻשַּׁרְנָא דְנָה לְשַׁכְלָלָה.

10  We asked them their names also, to announce to thee, that we might write the names of the men that were at the head of them.

י  וְאַף שְׁמָהָתְהֹם שְׁאֵלְנָא לְהֹם לְהוֹדָעוּתָךְ דִּי נִכְתֻּב שֻׁם גֻּבְרַיָּא דִּי בְרָאשֵׁיהֹם.

11  And thus they returned us answer, saying: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Yisrael builded and finished.

יא  וּכְנֵמָא פִתְגָמָא הֲתִיבוּנָא לְמֵמַר אֲנַחְנָא הִמּוֹ עַבְדוֹהִי דִי אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְעָא וּבָנַיִן בַּיְתָא דִּי הֲוָא בְנֵה מִקַּדְמַת דְּנָה שְׁנִין שַׂגִּיאָן וּמֶלֶךְ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל רַב בְּנָהִי וְשַׁכְלְלֵהּ.

12  But because that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven, He gave them into the hand of Nevuchadnetzar king of Bavel, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Bavel.

יב  לָהֵן מִן דִּי הַרְגִּזוּ אֲבָהָתַנָא לֶאֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא יְהַב הִמּוֹ בְּיַד נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל כסדיא (כַּסְדָּאָה) וּבַיְתָה דְנָה סַתְרֵהּ וְעַמָּה הַגְלִי לְבָבֶל.

13  But in the first year of Koresh king of Bavel, Koresh the king made a decree to build this house of God.

יג  בְּרַם בִּשְׁנַת חֲדָה לְכוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא דִּי בָבֶל כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שָׂם טְעֵם בֵּית אֱלָהָא דְנָה לִבְּנֵא.

14  And the gold and silver vessels also of the house of God, which Nevuchadnetzar took out of the temple that was in Yerushalayim, and brought them into the temple of Bavel, those did Koresh the king take out of the temple of Bavel, and they were delivered unto one whose name was Sheshbatzar, whom he had made governor;

יד  וְאַף מָאנַיָּא דִי בֵית אֱלָהָא דִּי דַהֲבָה וְכַסְפָּא דִּי נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר הַנְפֵּק מִן הֵיכְלָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וְהֵיבֵל הִמּוֹ לְהֵיכְלָא דִּי בָבֶל הַנְפֵּק הִמּוֹ כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא מִן הֵיכְלָא דִּי בָבֶל וִיהִיבוּ לְשֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר שְׁמֵהּ דִּי פֶחָה שָׂמֵהּ.

15  and he said unto him: Take these vessels, go, put them in the temple that is in Yerushalayim, and let the house of God be builded in its place.

טו  וַאֲמַר לֵהּ אלה (אֵל) מָאנַיָּא שֵׂא אֵזֶל אֲחֵת הִמּוֹ בְּהֵיכְלָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וּבֵית אֱלָהָא יִתְבְּנֵא עַל אַתְרֵהּ.

16  Then came the same Sheshbatzar, and laid the foundations of the house of God which is in Yerushalayim; and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not completed.

טז  אֱדַיִן שֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר דֵּךְ אֲתָא יְהַב אֻשַּׁיָּא דִּי בֵית אֱלָהָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וּמִן אֱדַיִן וְעַד כְּעַן מִתְבְּנֵא וְלָא שְׁלִם.

17  Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let search be made in the king’s treasure-house there, which is at Bavel, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Koresh the king to build this house of God at Yerushalayim, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.’

יז  וּכְעַן הֵן עַל מַלְכָּא טָב יִתְבַּקַּר בְּבֵית גִּנְזַיָּא דִּי מַלְכָּא תַמָּה דִּי בְּבָבֶל הֵן אִיתַי דִּי מִן כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שִׂים טְעֵם לְמִבְנֵא בֵּית אֱלָהָא דֵךְ בִּירוּשְׁלֶם וּרְעוּת מַלְכָּא עַל דְּנָה יִשְׁלַח עֲלֶינָא.

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Ezra 5