Ezra 6
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1  Then Daryavesh the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the archives, where the treasures were laid up, in Bavel.

א  בֵּאדַיִן דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שָׂם טְעֵם וּבַקַּרוּ בְּבֵית סִפְרַיָּא דִּי גִנְזַיָּא מְהַחֲתִין תַּמָּה בְּבָבֶל.

2  And there was found at Ahmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a roll, and therein was thus written: ‘A record.

ב  וְהִשְׁתְּכַח בְּאַחְמְתָא בְּבִירְתָא דִּי בְּמָדַי מְדִינְתָּא מְגִלָּה חֲדָה וְכֵן כְּתִיב בְּגַוַּהּ דִּכְרוֹנָה.

3  In the first year of Koresh the king, Koresh the king made a decree: Concerning the house of God at Yerushalayim, let the house be builded, the place where they offer sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;

ג  בִּשְׁנַת חֲדָה לְכוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שָׂם טְעֵם בֵּית אֱלָהָא בִירוּשְׁלֶם בַּיְתָא יִתְבְּנֵא אֲתַר דִּי דָבְחִין דִּבְחִין וְאֻשּׁוֹהִי מְסוֹבְלִין רוּמֵהּ אַמִּין שִׁתִּין פְּתָיֵהּ אַמִּין שִׁתִּין.

4  with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber, and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house;

ד  נִדְבָּכִין דִּי אֶבֶן גְּלָל תְּלָתָא וְנִדְבָּךְ דִּי אָע חֲדַת וְנִפְקְתָא מִן בֵּית מַלְכָּא תִּתְיְהִב.

5  and also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nevuchadnetzar took forth out of the temple which is at Yerushalayim, and brought unto Bavel, be restored, and brought back unto the temple which is at Yerushalayim, every one to its place, and thou shalt put them in the house of God.’

ה  וְאַף מָאנֵי בֵית אֱלָהָא דִּי דַהֲבָה וְכַסְפָּא דִּי נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר הַנְפֵּק מִן הֵיכְלָא דִי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וְהֵיבֵל לְבָבֶל יַהֲתִיבוּן וִיהָךְ לְהֵיכְלָא דִי בִירוּשְׁלֶם לְאַתְרֵהּ וְתַחֵת בְּבֵית אֱלָהָא.

6  ‘Now therefore, Tattenai, governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your companions the Apharesachites, who are beyond the River, be ye far from thence;

ו  כְּעַן תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר נַהֲרָה שְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתְהוֹן אֲפַרְסְכָיֵא דִּי בַּעֲבַר נַהֲרָה רַחִיקִין הֲווֹ מִן תַּמָּה.

7  let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Yehudim and the elders of the Yehudim build this house of God in its place.

ז  שְׁבֻקוּ לַעֲבִידַת בֵּית אֱלָהָא דֵךְ פַּחַת יְהוּדָיֵא וּלְשָׂבֵי יְהוּדָיֵא בֵּית אֱלָהָא דֵךְ יִבְנוֹן עַל אַתְרֵהּ.

8  Moreover I make a decree concerning what ye shall do to these elders of the Yehudim for the building of this house of God; that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the River, expenses be given with all diligence unto these men, that they be not hindered.

ח  וּמִנִּי שִׂים טְעֵם לְמָא דִי תַעַבְדוּן עִם שָׂבֵי יְהוּדָיֵא אִלֵּךְ לְמִבְנֵא בֵּית אֱלָהָא דֵךְ וּמִנִּכְסֵי מַלְכָּא דִּי מִדַּת עֲבַר נַהֲרָה אָסְפַּרְנָא נִפְקְתָא תֶּהֱוֵא מִתְיַהֲבָא לְגֻבְרַיָּא אִלֵּךְ דִּי לָא לְבַטָּלָא.

9  And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for burnt-offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the Kohanim that are at Yerushalayim, let it be given them day by day without fail;

ט  וּמָה חַשְׁחָן וּבְנֵי תוֹרִין וְדִכְרִין וְאִמְּרִין לַעֲלָוָן לֶאֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא חִנְטִין מְלַח חֲמַר וּמְשַׁח כְּמֵאמַר כָּהֲנַיָּא דִי בִירוּשְׁלֶם לֶהֱוֵא מִתְיְהֵב לְהֹם יוֹם בְּיוֹם דִּי לָא שָׁלוּ.

10  that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savour unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.

י  דִּי לֶהֱו‍ֹן מְהַקְרְבִין נִיחוֹחִין לֶאֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא וּמְצַלַּיִן לְחַיֵּי מַלְכָּא וּבְנוֹהִי.

11  Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this;

יא  וּמִנִּי שִׂים טְעֵם דִּי כָל אֱנָשׁ דִּי יְהַשְׁנֵא פִּתְגָמָא דְנָה יִתְנְסַח אָע מִן בַּיְתֵהּ וּזְקִיף יִתְמְחֵא עֲלֹהִי וּבַיְתֵהּ נְוָלוּ יִתְעֲבֵד עַל דְּנָה.

12  and may the God that hath caused His name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples, that shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of God which is at Yerushalayim. I Daryavesh have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence.’

יב  וֵאלָהָא דִּי שַׁכִּן שְׁמֵהּ תַּמָּה יְמַגַּר כָּל מֶלֶךְ וְעַם דִּי יִשְׁלַח יְדֵהּ לְהַשְׁנָיָה לְחַבָּלָה בֵּית אֱלָהָא דֵךְ דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם אֲנָה דָרְיָוֶשׁ שָׂמֶת טְעֵם אָסְפַּרְנָא יִתְעֲבִד.

13  Then Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, because that Daryavesh the king had thus sent, acted with all diligence.

יג  אֱדַיִן תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר נַהֲרָה שְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתְהוֹן לָקֳבֵל דִּי שְׁלַח דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא כְּנֵמָא אָסְפַּרְנָא עֲבַדוּ.

14  And the elders of the Yehudim builded and prospered, through the prophesying of Chaggai the Navi and Zechariah the son of Ido. And they builded and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Yisrael, and according to the decree of Koresh, and Daryavesh, and Artachshasta king of Paras.

v’-sha-VAY y’-hu-da-YAY ba-NA-yin u-matz-l’-KHEEN bin-vu-AT kha-GAI n’-vi-YAH uz-khar-YAH bar i-DO uv-NO v’-shakh-LI-lu min TA-am e-LAH yis-ra-AYL u-mi-t’-AYM KO-resh v’-dar-YA-vesh v’-ar-takh-SHAS-t’ ME-lekh pa-RAS

יד  וְשָׂבֵי יְהוּדָיֵא בָּנַיִן וּמַצְלְחִין בִּנְבוּאַת חַגַּי נְבִיָּאה וּזְכַרְיָה בַּר עִדּוֹא וּבְנוֹ וְשַׁכְלִלוּ מִן טַעַם אֱלָהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִטְּעֵם כּוֹרֶשׁ וְדָרְיָוֶשׁ וְאַרְתַּחְשַׁשְׂתְּא מֶלֶךְ פָּרָס.

6:14   And according to the decree of Koresh, and Daryavesh, and Artachshasta king of Paras

The fate of the Jewish people’s autonomy has often been subject to the blessings or restraints of foreigners. Cyrus’ edict to allow the Jews to return to the Land of Israel and rebuild the Temple was a ray of hope in a time of bleakness. Persian approval of Jewish authority constituted a remarkable turning of the tide for the Jews in the exile.  Though construction was temporarily halted, Darius allows for the construction of the Temple to continue, and it is completed in his sixth year.  The British Government’s 1917 Balfour Declaration possessed similar promising echoes when it declared: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”  In both cases, it was non-Jews serving as God’s agents who facilitated the return of the Jewish people to their land.

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15  And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Daryavesh the king.

טו  וְשֵׁיצִיא בַּיְתָה דְנָה עַד יוֹם תְּלָתָה לִירַח אֲדָר דִּי הִיא שְׁנַת שֵׁת לְמַלְכוּת דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא.

16  And Bnei Yisrael, the Kohanim and the Leviim, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.

טז  וַעֲבַדוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּהֲנַיָּא וְלֵוָיֵא וּשְׁאָר בְּנֵי גָלוּתָא חֲנֻכַּת בֵּית אֱלָהָא דְנָה בְּחֶדְוָה.

17  And they offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin-offering for all Yisrael, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Yisrael.

יז  וְהַקְרִבוּ לַחֲנֻכַּת בֵּית אֱלָהָא דְנָה תּוֹרִין מְאָה דִּכְרִין מָאתַיִן אִמְּרִין אַרְבַּע מְאָה וּצְפִירֵי עִזִּין לחטיא (לְחַטָּאָה) עַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל תְּרֵי עֲשַׂר לְמִנְיָן שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

18  And they set the Kohanim in their divisions, and the Leviim in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Yerushalayim; as it is written in the book of Moshe.

יח  וַהֲקִימוּ כָהֲנַיָּא בִּפְלֻגָּתְהוֹן וְלֵוָיֵא בְּמַחְלְקָתְהוֹן עַל עֲבִידַת אֱלָהָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם כִּכְתָב סְפַר מֹשֶׁה.

19  And the children of the captivity kept the Pesach upon the fourteenth day of the first month.

יט  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי הַגּוֹלָה אֶת הַפָּסַח בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן.

20  For the Kohanim and the Leviim had purified themselves together; all of them were pure; and they killed the Pesach lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the Kohanim, and for themselves.

כ  כִּי הִטַּהֲרוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם כְּאֶחָד כֻּלָּם טְהוֹרִים וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ הַפֶּסַח לְכָל בְּנֵי הַגּוֹלָה וְלַאֲחֵיהֶם הַכֹּהֲנִים וְלָהֶם.

21  And Bnei Yisrael, that were come back out of the captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the nations of the land, to seek Hashem, the God of Yisrael, did eat,

כא  וַיֹּאכְלוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַשָּׁבִים מֵהַגּוֹלָה וְכֹל הַנִּבְדָּל מִטֻּמְאַת גּוֹיֵ הָאָרֶץ אֲלֵהֶם לִדְרֹשׁ לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

22  and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy; for Hashem had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Ashur unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Yisrael.

כב  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ חַג מַצּוֹת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בְּשִׂמְחָה כִּי שִׂמְּחָם יְהוָה וְהֵסֵב לֵב מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר עֲלֵיהֶם לְחַזֵּק יְדֵיהֶם בִּמְלֶאכֶת בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

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Ezra 6