Ezra 3–5

1 When the seventh month had come, the children of Israel had resettled in their cities, and the people gathered themselves together, as one man, to Jerusalem. 2 Then Joshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests stood up, along with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers, and they built the altar of the God of Israel in order to offer burnt offerings on it, as it had been written in the Law of Moses, the man of God. 3 They set the altar upon its foundations and, because they were living in fear of some of the peoples of the region, they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord—morning and evening. 4 They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it had been written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in accordance with the daily schedule, according to each day’s custom. 5 Thereafter, observance of the burnt offering became a perpetual sacrifice with regard to the New Moon sacrifices and all of the appointed feasts of the Lord that had been consecrated, and all of the voluntary freewill offerings to the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they had begun to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord, but the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.

7 They gave money to the masons and carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and to the people of Tyre so that they would bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, at Joppa, according to the grant they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

8 Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Joshua the son of Jozadak, along with the remnant of their brothers the Levitical priests and all who had come out of captivity back to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the work on the house of the Lord. 9 Then Joshua with his sons and brothers, and Kadmiel with his sons, who are the sons of Judah, along with the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brothers—all Levites—stood together to supervise the workers on the house of God.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their apparel stood with trumpets and, from the Levites, the sons of Asaph stood with cymbals to praise the Lord, following the example of David king of Israel. 11 They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks unto the Lord,

“For He is good,

for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 Now many of the older Levitical priests and chiefs of the fathers’ households who had seen the first temple wept with a loud voice as the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes, though many others shouted exuberantly for joy. 13 As a result, the people could not distinguish the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people since the people had raised such a loud noise that could be heard from afar off.

Chapter 4

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity built the temple unto the Lord God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chiefs of the fathers’ households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”

3 But Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the rest of the chiefs of the fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “This is not for you! It is for us to build the temple of our God, so we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”

4 Then the people of the land demoralized the people of Judah and terrified them while building, 5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

6 In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

7 In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was written in Aramaic, and interpreted in Aramaic.

8 Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this manner:

9 (Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues, the judges, the officials, the officers, the Persians, the men of Uruk, and of Babylon, and of Susa—that is, the Elamites—10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River—and now 11 this is the copy of the letter that they sent to him)—

“To Artaxerxes the king:

“Your servants the men of the province Beyond the River, and so forth.

12 “May it be known to the king, that the Jews who came from you have come near to us at Jerusalem and that they are building the rebellious and evil city, restoring its walls, and repairing the foundations.

13 “Be it known now to the king, that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls set up again, then they will not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and the revenue of the kings will be impacted. 14 Now because we are under obligation to the king’s palace, and it was not appropriate for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore we have sent and notified the king, 15 so that a search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. There you will find in the book of the records and realize that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have incited revolt within it in former times—for which cause this city was destroyed. 16 We notify the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls repaired by this means the portion Beyond the River will no longer be yours.”

17 The king sent an answer:

“To Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and to the remainder Beyond the River:

“Peace, and so forth.

18 “The letter which you sent to us has been translated and read before me. 19 I commanded, and a search has been made, and it is found that this city has in the past made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and revolt have occurred there. 20 There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, and toll, tribute, and custom was paid to them. 21 Command these men to cease now, so that this city is not built unless I give the command. 22 Take heed now that you do not fail to do this. Why should damage increase to the hurt of the king?”

23 Now when the copy of the letter by King Artaxerxes was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and made them cease by force and power.

24 Then the work of the house of God in Jerusalem ceased. So it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Chapter 5

1 Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.

3 At the same time Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-Bozenai and their companions came to them and said to them, “Who issued a command for you to build this house and complete this structure?” 4 They also asked them, “What are the names of the men building this building?” 5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, so that they could not cause them to cease building until a command came from Darius. Consequently, they sent a letter concerning this matter.

6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-Bozenai and his colleagues, the officials who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king.

7 This is the document that they sent to him, containing accordingly what follows:

“To Darius the king:

“All peace.

8 “May it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judah, to the temple of the great God, which is built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goes diligently, and prospers in their hands.

9 “Then we questioned those elders and said to them, ‘Who issued a command for you to build this house and complete this structure?’ 10 Also, we asked for their names in order to notify you and to document the names of the men that were their leaders.

11 “Thus they returned us an answer, saying,

“‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and completed. 12 Afterwards, our fathers provoked the God of heaven to wrath, so He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and carried the people away into Babylon.

13 “‘However, in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, King Cyrus made a decree to rebuild this house of God. 14 Also, the vessels of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took from the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one named Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. 15 He said to him, “Take these vessels; go, carry them to the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built on its former site.”

16 “‘So that same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God in Jerusalem. Since that time even until now it has been under construction, yet it is not finished.’

17 “Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house there in Babylon to ascertain if it is so that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem. May the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.”

John 20

1 Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him.”

3 So Peter came out with the other disciple and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying. Yet he did not enter. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went inside the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the cloth that was around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came first to the tomb, went in also. He saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary stood outside at the tomb weeping. As she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb, 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will take Him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were then glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” 22 When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.”

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called The Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger in the nail prints, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

26 After eight days His disciples were again inside with the doors shut, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless, but believing.”

28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.