1 This is a list of the family leaders and genealogical records of those who came back with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
From the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. From the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. From the sons of David, Hattush, 3
son of Shecaniah. From the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, and with him 150 men were registered. 4
From the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai, son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men. 5
From the sons of Zattu,*
Shecaniah, son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men. 6
From the sons of Adin, Ebed, son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men. 7
From the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah, son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men. 8
From the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah, son of Michael, and with him 80 men. 9
From the sons of Joab, Obadiah, son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men. 10
From the sons of Bani,†
Shelomith, son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men. 11
From the sons of Bebai, Zechariah, son of Bebai, and with him 28 men. 12
From the sons of Azgad, Johanan, son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men. 13
From the sons of Adonikam, those who were last,‡
their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men. 14
From the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur, and with them 70 men.
15 I gathered the returning exiles together at the Ahava Canal. We camped there for three days while I reviewed who had come—the ordinary people, the priests, and the Levites. I discovered there wasn't a single Levite 16 so I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were leaders, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men with good insight. 17 I told them to go to Iddo, the leader of the Temple servants at Casiphia, asking him and his relatives to send us ministers for the Temple of our God.
18 Since our gracious God was with us, they brought us Sherebiah, a man with good insight from the sons of Mahli, son of Levi, son of Israel, together with his sons and brothers, a total of eighteen men; 19 and Hashabiah, along with Jeshaiah, from the sons of Merari, and his brothers and their sons, a total of twenty men. 20 In addition they brought 220 of the Temple servants, a group appointed by David and his officials to help the Levites. These were all registered by name.
21 At the Ahava Canal I called for a fast so we could confess our sins before God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, along with all our possessions. 22 I had been reluctant to ask the king to give us a military escort to protect us from enemies on the way. We had told the king, “Our gracious God takes care of everyone who follows him, but shows his anger against anyone who abandons him.” 23 So we fasted and asked God to protect us, and he answered our prayers.
Then I designated twelve of the leading priests, and§
Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers, 25
and I weighed out and handed them*
the donations of silver and gold, and the items that the king, his counselors, his leaders, and all the people of Israel there had given for the Temple of our God. 26
I weighed out and placed in their hands 650 talents of silver, silver Temple items weighing 100 talents, 100 talents of gold, 27
20 gold bowls worth 1,000 darics, and two articles of highly-polished bronze, as valuable as gold.
28 I told them, “You are set apart for the Lord, and these Temple items are too. The silver and gold are a voluntary offering to the Lord, the God of your forefathers. 29 You are to guard them and keep them safe until you hand them over, weighing them before the high priests, the Levites and the family leaders in Israel at Jerusalem, in the treasury rooms within the Lord's Temple.” 30 The priests and Levites took responsibility for the silver and gold and the Temple items that had been weighed out to be brought to the Temple of our God in Jerusalem.
31 On the twelfth day of the first month, we left the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem, and our God was with us to protect us from enemy ambushes along the way. 32 Eventually we arrived in Jerusalem and rested there for three days.
33 On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the Temple items were weighed out in the Temple of our God and handed over to Meremoth, son of Uriah the priest, accompanied by Eleazar, son of Phinehas. Also present were the Levites, Jozabad, son of Jeshua, and Noadiah, son of Binnui. 34 Everything was checked, both by number and weight, and the total weight was written down at the time.
Then the exiles who had returned from captivity sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel—twelve bulls for all of Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and a sin offering of twelve goats. All were sacrificed as a burnt offering to the Lord. 36
They also delivered the king's decrees to the chief officers†
of the king and the governors of the province west of the Euphrates, who then provided assistance to the people and to God's Temple.