That the promise made by Jehovah through the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, Jehovah influenced Cyrus, king of Persia, in the first year of his reign to make this written law throughout all his kingdom, |Thus commands Cyrus, king of Persia: 'Jehovah, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has charged me to build him a temple in Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever among you of all his people wishes to return, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, in Judah, and rebuild the temple of Jehovah, the God of Israel. (He is the God who lives at Jerusalem.) In every place where any who are left of Jehovah's people now live, let the men of that place help with silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, in addition to the offering each man wishes to give for the house of God at Jerusalem.'|
[Illustration: (C) Ernest Normand
Esther Denouncing Haman
Painted by Ernest Normand]
Then the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites, including all whom God had influenced to build the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem, started to return. And all their neighbors supplied them with silver, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with precious things in addition to all that each man wished to give.
Cyrus, king of Persia, had the vessels of the temple of Jehovah, which Nebuchadrezzar had carried from Jerusalem, brought out under the direction of Mithredath, the treasurer, and given to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah; and he carried them to Jerusalem, with the people who returned from captivity in Babylon. And Jehovah commanded them, through Haggai, the prophet, |Go up to the mountains and bring wood and rebuild the temple, then I will be pleased with it and I will show my glory.|
Then Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest, with all the rest of the people obeyed the command of Jehovah their God; and they came and worked on the temple of Jehovah their God. They finished the building as the God of Israel commanded.