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Citation for Chapter 1

Citation styles are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., and the MLA Style Manual, 2nd Ed..

MLA

Suggs, M. Jack , Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and James R. Mueller. "The First Book of Esdras." In The Oxford Study Bible. Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Oct 17, 2021. <http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/book/obso-9780195290004/obso-9780195290004-div1-1021>.

Chicago

Suggs, M. Jack , Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and James R. Mueller. "The First Book of Esdras." In The Oxford Study Bible. Oxford Biblical Studies Online, http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/book/obso-9780195290004/obso-9780195290004-div1-1021 (accessed Oct 17, 2021).

Chapter 1

1 JOSIAH celebrated the Passover to his Lord at Jerusalem, and the Passover victims were sacrificed on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2He installed the priests, duly robed in their vestments, in the temple of the Lord according to the order of daily service. 3He commanded the Levites, who served the temple in Israel, to purify themselves for the Lord, before placing the sacred Ark in the Lord's house, which King Solomon son of David built. 4Josiah said to them, ‘You shall not carry it about on your shoulders any longer. Now you are to serve the Lord your God and minister to his people Israel: prepare yourselves, family by family and clan by clan, 5in the manner prescribed by King David of Israel and provided for so magnificently by his son Solomon. Stand in the holy place according to your family groups, you Levites who are in divisions to act for your brother Israelites. 6Sacrifice the Passover victims, and prepare the sacrifices for your kinsmen. Keep the Passover according to the command given by the Lord to Moses.’

7For those who were present Josiah contributed thirty thousand lambs and kids and three thousand calves; they were given from the king's own resources to the people and to the priests and Levites in fulfilment of his promise. 8The temple wardens, Chelkias, Zacharias, and Esyelus, gave the priests two thousand six hundred sheep and three hundred calves for the Passover. 9Jechonias, Samaeas, his brother Nathanael, Sabias, Ochielus, and Joram, high-ranking officers in the army, gave the Levites five thousand sheep and seven hundred calves for the Passover.

10This was the procedure: the priests and the Levites, bearing the unleavened bread, stood in all their splendour by clans 11and by family groups before the people, to make offerings to the Lord as is laid down in the book of Moses. This took place in the morning. 12The Passover victims were roasted over the fire in the prescribed way and the sacrifices boiled with fragrant herbs in the bronze vessels and cauldrons; 13then portions were carried round to the whole assembly. After that the Levites made preparations for themselves and for their kinsmen, the priests of Aaron's line. 14It was because the priests were engaged until nightfall in offering up the fat portions that the Levites made the preparations both for themselves and for their kinsmen, the priests of Aaron's line. 15The temple singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places according to the ordinances of David, and Asaph, Zacharias, and Eddinous of the royal court; 16and the doorkeepers were at each gateway. There was no need for any of them to leave their posts, for their kinsmen, the Levites, made the preparations for them.

17Everything for the sacrifice to the Lord was completed that day: the celebration of the Passover 18and the offering of the sacrifices on the Lord's altar, according to King Josiah's orders. 19Israelites who were present at that time kept the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 20No Passover like it had been celebrated in Israel since the time of the prophet Samuel; 21none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, with the priests, Levites, and men of Judah, and all the Israelites who happened to be resident in Jerusalem. 22It was in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign that this Passover was celebrated.

23Josiah was deeply pious and his deeds were upright in the sight of his Lord. 24The events of his reign are to be found among earlier records, records of sin and rebellion against the Lord graver than anything perpetrated by any other nation or kingdom, and of offences against him which brought down his judgement on Israel.

25Some time after Josiah's act of worship had taken place, it happened that Pharaoh king of Egypt was advancing to open hostilities at Carchemish on the Euphrates. When Josiah marched out to confront him, 26the Egyptian king sent him this message: ‘What do you want with me, king of Judah? 27It is not against you that the Lord God has sent me to fight; my campaign is on the Euphrates. On this occasion the Lord is with me. He is with me, speeding me on my way. Stand aside, and do not oppose the Lord.’ 28Josiah did not return to his chariot but set out to give battle, disregarding the words of the prophet Jeremiah, the spokesman of the Lord. 29When he joined battle in the plain of Megiddo, Pharaoh's captains swept down on King Josiah. 30‘I am badly wounded,’ the king said to his servants; ‘take me out of the battle.’ They took him out of the line at once, 31and when he had been put into his second chariot, he was brought back to Jerusalem. There he died and was buried in the ancestral tomb.

32Throughout Judah there was mourning for Josiah, and the prophet Jeremiah made lament for him. The lamentation for Josiah has been observed by the chief men and their wives from that day to this: an edict was issued to all the people of Israel that this should be done for all time. 33These things are recorded in the annals of the kings of Judah; every deed of Josiah's which won him fame and showed his understanding of the law of the Lord, both what he did earlier and what is told of him here, is related in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

34 HIS fellow-countrymen took Jeconiah son of Josiah and made him king in succession to his father. He was twenty-three years old, 35and he reigned over Judah and Jerusalem for three months. Then the king of Egypt deposed him, 36fined the nation a hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold, 37and replaced him by his brother Joakim as king of Judah and Jerusalem. 38Joakim imprisoned the leading men and had his brother Zarius arrested and brought back from Egypt.

39Joakim was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah and Jerusalem. He did what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord, 40and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched against him, put him in bronze fetters, and took him away to Babylon. 41Nebuchadnezzar also seized some of the sacred vessels of the Lord; he carried them off and placed them in his own temple at Babylon. 42The stories about Joakim, his depraved and impious conduct, are recorded in the chronicles of the kings.

43He was succeeded by his son Joakim, who was eighteen years old when he came to the throne. 44He reigned in Jerusalem for three months and ten days, and he too did what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord. 45A year later Nebuchadnezzar sent and had him brought to Babylon together with the sacred vessels of the Lord, 46and he made Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old, and he reigned for eleven years. 47He did what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord and disregarded the advice of the prophet Jeremiah, the spokesman of the Lord. 48King Nebuchadnezzar had made him swear by the Lord an oath of allegiance, but he renounced his oath and rebelled. He was stubborn and obstinate, and broke the commandments of the Lord God of Israel.

49The leaders of both people and priests committed many impious and lawless acts. They outdid even the heathen in their abominable practices, and defiled the Lord's temple which had been consecrated in Jerusalem. 50The God of their fathers sent his messenger to reclaim them, because he wished to spare them and his dwelling-place. 51But they held his messengers in derision: they were scoffing at his prophets on the very day when the Lord spoke. 52At last his anger was so roused against his people on account of their impieties that he ordered the Chaldaean kings to attack them. 53The Lord handed them all over to their enemies, who put their young men to the sword around the holy temple, and spared neither young man nor maiden, neither the old nor the infant. 54All the sacred vessels of the Lord, large and small, the furnishings of the Ark a 1:54 the furnishings of the Ark: in other MSS the treasure chests. of the Lord, and the royal treasures were taken as spoil to Babylon. 55The Lord's house was burnt down, the walls of Jerusalem razed to the ground, its towers set ablaze, 56and all its splendours brought to ruin. Nebuchadnezzar transported to Babylon those who escaped the sword, 57and they remained slaves to him and his sons until his empire fell to the Persians. This fulfilled the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah 58that, until the land should have run the full term of its sabbaths, it should keep sabbath all the time of its desolation till the end of the seventy years.

Notes:

a 1:54 the furnishings of the Ark: in other MSS the treasure chests.

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