King James Bible - Old Testament Ezra
Cyrus was charged with building a house for God in Jerusalem. He restored the treasures and people taken away by Nebuchadnezzar. Thousands of people and priests returned. In the second year a foundation was laid. Adversaries of Judah pleaded with Cyrus' son that the Temple not be raised because it would make Judah powerful again. He commanded that the building be stopped. During the rule of Darius the building was resumed. The governor of the region sent a letter to Darius in protest. Darius commanded that the Temple be built and the taxes of the region be used to build it. It was finished in the sixth year of Darius. All the priests were purified and the Israelites came out of captivity. Ezra came out of captivity already versed in the laws of Moses during the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the king between Cyrus and Darius. The king gave him a letter permitting priests to travel where they wanted to judge other men. Many went with Ezra from Babylon to Jerusalem bringing the candlesticks of gold and silver that were taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Ezra found the Israelites mingled with gentiles and not keeping the laws of Moses. He tore his clothing in mourning. He prayed to God for them to be forgiven and promised to make them keep the commandments. Ezra gathered the people and made a new covenant with God. He asked for them all to confess. Men who had taken strange wives were to send them away.