Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 251

Bible text(s)

The People who Returned from Captivity

1All the people of Israel were listed according to their families, and this information was recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel.

The people of Judah had been deported to Babylon as punishment for their sins. 2The first to return to their property in the cities included Israelite citizens, priests, Levites, and temple workers. 3People from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh went to live in Jerusalem.

4-6There were 690 families of the tribe of Judah who lived in Jerusalem.

The descendants of Judah's son Perez had as their leader Uthai, the son of Ammihud and grandson of Omri. His other ancestors included Imri and Bani.

The descendants of Judah's son Shelah had as their leader Asaiah, who was the head of his family.

The descendants of Judah's son Zerah had Jeuel as their leader.

7-8The following members of the tribe of Benjamin lived in Jerusalem:

    Sallu son of Meshullam, who was the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah
    Ibneiah son of Jeroham
    Elah, the son of Uzzi and grandson of Michri
    Meshullam son of Shephatiah, who was the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah.

9There were 956 families of this tribe living there. All the men named above were heads of families.

The Priests who Lived in Jerusalem

10-12The following priests lived in Jerusalem:

    Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin
    Azariah son of Hilkiah (the chief official in the Temple), whose ancestors included Meshullam, Zadok, Meraioth, and Ahitub
    Adaiah son of Jeroham, whose ancestors included Pashhur and Malchijah
    Maasai son of Adiel, whose ancestors included Jahzerah, Meshullam, Meshillemith, and Immer.

13The priests who were heads of families totalled 1,760. They were experts in all the work carried on in the Temple.

The Levites who Lived in Jerusalem

14-16The following Levites lived in Jerusalem:

    Shemaiah son of Hasshub, whose ancestors included Azrikam and Hashabiah, of the clan of Merari
    Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal
    Mattaniah son of Mica, whose ancestors included Zichri and Asaph
    Obadiah son of Shemaiah, whose ancestors included Galal and Jeduthun
    Berechiah, the son of Asa and grandson of Elkanah, who lived in the territory that belonged to the town of Netophah.

The Temple Guards who Lived in Jerusalem

17The following temple guards lived in Jerusalem: Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, and Ahiman. Shallum was their leader. 18Down to that time members of their clans had been stationed at the eastern entrance to the King's Gate. Formerly they had stood guard at the gates to the camps of the Levites.

19Shallum, the son of Kore and grandson of Ebiasaph, together with his fellow-members of the clan of Korah, was responsible for guarding the entrance to the Tent of the LORD's presence, just as their ancestors had been when they were in charge of the LORD's camp. 20Phinehas son of Eleazar — may the LORD be with him! — had supervised them at one time.

21Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was also a guard at the entrance to the Tent of the LORD's presence.

22In all, 212 men were chosen as guards for the entrances and gates. They were registered according to the villages where they lived. It was King David and the prophet Samuel who had put their ancestors in these responsible positions. 23They and their descendants continued to guard the gates to the Temple. 24There was a gate facing in each direction, north, south, east, and west, and each had a chief guard. 25These guards were assisted by their relatives, who lived in the villages and who had to take turns at guard duty for seven days at a time. 26The four chief guards were Levites and had the final responsibility. They were also responsible for the rooms in the Temple and for the supplies kept there. 27They lived near the Temple, because it was their duty to guard it and to open the gates every morning.

The Other Levites

28Other Levites were responsible for the utensils used in worship. They checked them out and checked them back in every time they were used. 29Others were in charge of the other sacred equipment, and of the flour, wine, olive oil, incense, and spices. 30But the responsibility for mixing the spices belonged to the priests.

31A Levite named Mattithiah, eldest son of Shallum, of the clan of Korah, was responsible for preparing the baked offerings. 32Members of the clan of Kohath were responsible for preparing the sacred bread for the Temple every Sabbath.

33Some Levite families were responsible for the temple music. The heads of these families lived in some of the temple buildings and were free from other duties, because they were on call day and night.

34The men named above were heads of Levite families, according to their ancestral lines. They were the leaders who lived in Jerusalem.

The Ancestors and Descendants of King Saul

35Jeiel founded the city of Gibeon and settled there. His wife was named Maacah. 36His eldest son was Abdon, and his other sons were Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah, and Mikloth, 38the father of Shimeah. Their descendants lived in Jerusalem near other families of their clan.

39Ner was the father of Kish, and Kish was the father of Saul. Saul had four sons: Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, and Eshbaal. 40Jonathan was the father of Meribbaal, who was the father of Micah. 41Micah had four sons: Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. 42Ahaz was the father of Jarah, who was the father of three sons: Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri was the father of Moza, 43Moza the father of Binea, Binea of Rephaiah, Rephaiah of Eleasah, and Eleasah of Azel.

44Azel had six sons: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan.

1 Chronicles 9:1-44GNBOpen in Bible reader

Work on the Temple Begins Again

24Work on the Temple had been stopped and had remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius, emperor of Persia.

1At that time two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo, began to speak in the name of the God of Israel to the Jews who lived in Judah and Jerusalem. 2When Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jehozadak heard their messages, they began to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and the two prophets helped them.

3Almost at once Tattenai, governor of West Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and their fellow-officials came to Jerusalem and demanded: “Who gave you orders to build this Temple and equip it?” 4They also asked for the names of all the men who were helping to build the Temple. 5But God was watching over the Jewish leaders, and the Persian officials decided to take no action until they could write to Darius and receive a reply. 6This is the report that they sent to the emperor:

7“To Emperor Darius, may you rule in peace.

8“Your Majesty should know that we went to the province of Judah and found that the Temple of the great God is being rebuilt with large stone blocks and with wooden beams set in the wall. The work is being done with great care and is moving ahead steadily.

9“We then asked the leaders of the people to tell us who had given them authority to rebuild the Temple and to equip it. 10We also asked them their names so that we could inform you who the leaders of this work are.

11“They answered, ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple which was originally built and equipped many years ago by a powerful king of Israel. 12But because our ancestors made the God of Heaven angry, he let them be conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, a king of the Chaldean dynasty. The Temple was destroyed, and the people were taken into exile in Babylonia. 13Then in the first year of the reign of King Cyrus as emperor of Babylonia, Cyrus issued orders for the Temple to be rebuilt. 14He restored the gold and silver temple utensils which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem and had placed in the temple in Babylon. Cyrus handed these utensils over to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he appointed governor of Judah. 15The emperor told him to take them and return them to the Temple in Jerusalem, and to rebuild the Temple where it had stood before. 16So Sheshbazzar came and laid its foundation; construction has continued from then until the present, but the Temple is still not finished.’

17“Now, if it please Your Majesty, let a search be made in the royal records in Babylon to find whether or not Cyrus gave orders for this Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and then inform us what your will is in this matter.”

Cyrus' Order is Rediscovered

1So Darius the emperor issued orders for a search to be made in the royal records that were kept in Babylon. 2But it was in the city of Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found, containing the following record:

3“In the first year of his reign Cyrus the emperor commanded that the Temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are made and offerings are burnt. The Temple is to be 27 metres high and 27 metres wide. 4The walls are to be built with one layer of wood on top of every three layers of stone. All expenses are to be paid by the royal treasury. 5Also the gold and silver utensils which King Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon from the Temple in Jerusalem are to be returned to their proper place in the Jerusalem Temple.”

Darius Orders the Work to Continue

6Then Darius sent the following reply:

“To Tattenai, governor of West Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and your fellow-officials in West Euphrates.

“Stay away from the Temple 7and do not interfere with its construction. Let the governor of Judah and the Jewish leaders rebuild the Temple of God where it stood before. 8I hereby command you to help them rebuild it. Their expenses are to be paid promptly out of the royal funds received from taxes in West Euphrates, so that the work is not interrupted. 9Day by day, without fail, you are to give the priests in Jerusalem whatever they tell you they need: young bulls, sheep, or lambs to be burnt as offerings to the God of Heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, or olive oil. 10This is to be done so that they can offer sacrifices that are acceptable to the God of Heaven and pray for his blessing on me and my sons. 11I further command that if anyone disobeys this order, a wooden beam is to be torn out of his house, sharpened at one end, and then driven through his body. And his house is to be made a rubbish heap. 12May the God who chose Jerusalem as the place where he is to be worshipped overthrow any king or nation that defies this command and tries to destroy the Temple there. I, Darius, have given this order. It is to be fully obeyed.”

Ezra 4:24-6:12GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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