Ezra Arrives in Jerusalem
1Many years later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia,*7:1a Artaxerxes reigned 465–424 b.c. there was a man named Ezra. He was the son*7:1b Or descendant; see 1 Chr 6:14. of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah,
8Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in August*7:8 Hebrew in the fifth month. This month in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of August and September 458 b.c. of that year.
Artaxerxes’ Letter to Ezra
11King Artaxerxes had given a copy of the following letter to Ezra, the priest and scribe who studied and taught the commands and decrees of the Lord to Israel:
12*7:12 The original text of 7:12-26 is in Aramaic.“From Artaxerxes, the king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the teacher of the law of the God of heaven. Greetings.
13“I decree that any of the people of Israel in my kingdom, including the priests and Levites, may volunteer to return to Jerusalem with you.
16“Furthermore, you are to take any silver and gold that you may obtain from the province of Babylon, as well as the voluntary offerings of the people and the priests that are presented for the Temple of their God in Jerusalem.
19“But as for the cups we are entrusting to you for the service of the Temple of your God, deliver them all to the God of Jerusalem.
21“I, Artaxerxes the king, hereby send this decree to all the treasurers in the province west of the Euphrates River*7:21 Aramaic the province beyond the river; also in 7:25.: ‘You are to give Ezra, the priest and teacher of the law of the God of heaven, whatever he requests of you.
25“And you, Ezra, are to use the wisdom your God has given you to appoint magistrates and judges who know your God’s laws to govern all the people in the province west of the Euphrates River. Teach the law to anyone who does not know it.
Ezra Praises the Lord
27Praise the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem!
Exiles Who Returned with Ezra
1Here is a list of the family leaders and the genealogies of those who came with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
2From the family of Phinehas: Gershom.
From the family of Ithamar: Daniel.
From the family of David: Hattush,
From the family of Parosh: Zechariah and 150 other men were registered.
4From the family of Pahath-moab: Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah and 200 other men.
5From the family of Zattu*8:5 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Esdras 8:32); Hebrew lacks Zattu.: Shecaniah son of Jahaziel and 300 other men.
6From the family of Adin: Ebed son of Jonathan and 50 other men.
7From the family of Elam: Jeshaiah son of Athaliah and 70 other men.
8From the family of Shephatiah: Zebadiah son of Michael and 80 other men.
9From the family of Joab: Obadiah son of Jehiel and 218 other men.
10From the family of Bani*8:10 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Esdras 8:36); Hebrew lacks Bani.: Shelomith son of Josiphiah and 160 other men.
11From the family of Bebai: Zechariah son of Bebai and 28 other men.
12From the family of Azgad: Johanan son of Hakkatan and 110 other men.
13From the family of Adonikam, who came later*8:13 Or who were the last of his family.: Eliphelet, Jeuel, Shemaiah, and 60 other men.
14From the family of Bigvai: Uthai, Zaccur,*8:14 As in Greek and Syriac versions and an alternate reading of the Masoretic Text; the other alternate reads Zabbud. and 70 other men.
Ezra’s Journey to Jerusalem
15I assembled the exiles at the Ahava Canal, and we camped there for three days while I went over the lists of the people and the priests who had arrived. I found that not one Levite had volunteered to come along.
18Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they sent us a man named Sherebiah, along with eighteen of his sons and brothers. He was a very astute man and a descendant of Mahli, who was a descendant of Levi son of Israel.*8:18 Israel is the name that God gave to Jacob.
1 Corinthians 4
Paul’s Relationship with the Corinthians
1So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.
5So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.
6Dear brothers and sisters,*4:6a Greek Brothers. I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures,*4:6b Or If you learn not to go beyond “what is written.” you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.
8You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you.
10Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed.
14I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.
17That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.
18Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again.
A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.
1I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
3You brought me up from the grave,*30:3 Hebrew from Sheol. O Lord.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6When I was prosperous, I said,
“Nothing can stop me now!”
7Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8I cried out to you, O Lord.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9“What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O Lord.”
11You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
28Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
his throne is made secure through love.
29The glory of the young is their strength;
the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30Physical punishment cleanses away evil;*20:30 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
such discipline purifies the heart.