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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 7

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1Then, in compliance with the orders of King Darius, Sisinnes, governor-general of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, with Sathrabuzanes and their colleagues, 2carefully supervised the sacred works, co-operating with the elders of the Jews and the temple officers. 3Good progress was made with the sacred works, as the result of the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, 4and they were finished as commanded by the Lord God of Israel and with the approval of Cyrus and Darius; 5and the house was completed on the twenty-third of the month of Adar in the sixth year of King Darius.

6The Israelites, priests, Levites, and the rest of the former exiles who had joined them carried out the directions in the book of Moses. 7At the rededication of the temple of the Lord they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, 8and as a purification-offering a 7:8 purification-offering: or sin-offering. for all Israel twelve he-goats corresponding to the number of the patriarchs of Israel. 9The priests and the Levites robed in their vestments stood family by family to preside over the services of the Lord God of Israel according to the book of Moses, while the door-keepers were stationed at every gateway.

10On the fourteenth day of the first month the Israelites who had returned from exile celebrated the Passover. The priests and the Levites were purified together; 11not all the returned exiles were purified with the priests, but b 7:11 not all … but: prob. rdg; Gk obscure; some witnesses omit not. the Levites were. 12They sacrificed the Passover victims for all the returned exiles, for their kinsmen the priests, and for themselves. 13They were eaten by the Israelites who had returned from exile, and by all who had held aloof from the abominations of the peoples of the land and remained faithful to the Lord. 14They celebrated the feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, rejoicing before the Lord, 15because he had changed the policy of the Assyrian king towards them so that he supported them in their work for the Lord God of Israel.

Notes:

a 7:8 purification-offering: or sin-offering.

b 7:11 not all … but: prob. rdg; Gk obscure; some witnesses omit not.

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