Ezra 1

Cyrus helps the Jews to return to Jerusalem from Babylon

1 Cyrus, king of Persia had just begun to rule Babylon. He decided to make a new law. Men wrote it down. And he sent out men with the news. He sent them to all the people that he ruled. The Lord had caused him to do this. The Lord had said to Jeremiah years before that he would send the Israelites home (Jeremiah 29:10).

2 This is what Cyrus, the king of Persia said:

‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me power over all the kingdoms on the earth. He has said that I must build a temple for him at Jerusalem. That is the biggest city in Judah. 3 Any of Israel's people who live in my land can return to Jerusalem. They must build a temple there for the Lord, the God of Israel. He is the God of Jerusalem. I hope that he will be with those people. 4 Many Israelites are living here now. The people who live near to them must give silver and gold to them. And they must give animals and other things to the Israelites for offerings to their God. They will take these gifts to him in Jerusalem's temple.’

5 Then the leaders of Judah and Benjamin's families and the priests and the Levites prepared to go to Jerusalem. God had said that they must build the Lord's house there. And he had caused them to want to do this. 6 All the people who lived near them gave them animals, gold, silver and other things for offerings. They also gave them many valuable gifts. 7 Then King Cyrus remembered the things that Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from the temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 1:1-2). Nebuchadnezzar had put them in his god's house. 8 Mithredath kept Cyrus's valuable things safe. So Cyrus asked him to fetch the things that belonged to Jerusalem's temple. Then Mithredath gave them to Sheshbazzar, an important leader from Judah.

9 They counted the things and they made a list:

30 gold plates.

1,000 silver plates.

29 silver pots.

10 30 gold deep dishes.

410 silver deep dishes, all the same as each other.

1,000 other things.

11 All the things made from gold and silver were 5,400 things. Sheshbazzar took them all with him when he came back with the Israelites to Jerusalem.