Chapter 7

1And after these incidents, in the kingdom of Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah.   אוְאַחַר֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה בְּמַלְכ֖וּת אַרְתַּחְשַׁ֣סְתְּא מֶֽלֶךְ־פָּרָ֑ס עֶזְרָא֙ בֶּן־שְׂרָיָ֔ה בֶּן־עֲזַרְיָ֖ה בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּֽה:
And after these incidents: of the building of the House.  
Artaxerxes: That is Darius.  
2The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub.   בבֶּן־שַׁלּ֥וּם בֶּן־צָד֖וֹק בֶּן־אֲחִיטֽוּב:
3The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth.   גבֶּן־אֲמַרְיָ֥ה בֶן־עֲזַרְיָ֖ה בֶּן־מְרָיֽוֹת:
4The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki.   דבֶּן־זְרַֽחְיָ֥ה בֶן־עֻזִּ֖י בֶּן־בֻּקִּֽי:
5The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the chief priest.   הבֶּן־אֲבִישׁ֗וּעַ בֶּן־פִּֽינְחָס֙ בֶּן־אֶלְעָזָ֔ר בֶּן־אַֽהֲרֹ֥ן הַכֹּהֵ֖ן הָרֹֽאשׁ:
6This Ezra ascended from Babylon, and he was a fluent scholar in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given, and the king granted him his entire request, according to the command of the Lord his God upon him.   וה֚וּא עֶזְרָא֙ עָלָ֣ה מִבָּבֶ֔ל וְהֽוּא־סֹפֵ֚ר מָהִיר֙ בְּתוֹרַ֣ת מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥ן יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּתֶּן־ל֣וֹ הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ כְּיַד־יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהָיו֙ עָלָ֔יו כֹּ֖ל בַּקָּֽשָׁתֽוֹ:
and the king granted him: [i.e., King] Darius.  
according to the command of the Lord his God upon him: as the Holy One, blessed be He, had commanded him. This verse is transposed [its meaning being]: and the King granted him his entire request, according to the command of the Lord upon him. And our Rabbis said (Meg. 15a) that Ezra and Malachi were one and the same.  
7And there ascended from the Children of Israel, from the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the gate-keepers, and the Nethinites to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.   זוַיַּֽעֲל֣וּ מִבְּנֵֽי־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵל וּמִן־הַכֹּֽהֲנִ֨ים וְהַֽלְוִיִּ֜ם וְהַֽמְשֹֽׁרְרִ֧ים וְהַשֹּֽׁעֲרִ֛ים וְהַנְּתִינִ֖ים אֶל־יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם בִּשְׁנַת־שֶׁ֖בַע לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁ֥סְתְּא הַמֶּֽלֶךְ:
in the seventh year: That is a year after the completion of the Temple.  
of Artaxerxes: That is Darius.  
8And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.   חוַיָּבֹ֥א יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַֽחֲמִישִׁ֑י הִ֛יא שְׁנַ֥ת הַשְּׁבִיעִ֖ית לַמֶּֽלֶךְ:
in the fifth month: i.e., the month of Av, for the first of the month of Nissan was the beginning of their ascent from Babylon, and on the first of the month of Av they arrived in Jerusalem.  
9For on the first of the first month was the commencement of the ascent from Babylon, and on the first of the fifth month, he arrived to Jerusalem according to the good hand of his God upon him.   טכִּ֗י בְּאֶחָד֙ לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן ה֣וּא יְסֻ֔ד הַמַּֽעֲלָ֖ה מִבָּבֶ֑ל וּבְאֶחָ֞ד לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַֽחֲמִישִׁ֗י בָּא אֶל־יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם כְּיַד־אֱלֹהָ֖יו הַטּוֹבָ֥ה עָלָֽיו:
was the commencement of the ascent: the foundation of the commencement of the ascent.  
according to the… hand of his God: as the hand of the Holy One, blessed be He, caused him to succeed, for His hand was good upon him to make him succeed in his way.  
10For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord and to perform and teach in Israel statute and ordinance.   יכִּ֚י עֶזְרָא֙ הֵכִ֣ין לְבָב֔וֹ לִדְרֹ֛שׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַ֥ת יְהֹוָ֖ה וְלַֽעֲשֹׂ֑ת וּלְלַמֵּ֥ד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל חֹ֥ק וּמִשְׁפָּֽט:
For Ezra…: Therefore, he went and prospered in his way, because Ezra prepared his heart, etc. He gives a reason for his words.  
11And this is the interpretation of the writ that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scholar, the scholar of the words of the Lord's commandments and His statutes to Israel.   יאוְזֶ֣ה | פַּרְשֶׁ֣גֶן הַנִּשְׁתְּוָ֗ן אֲשֶׁ֚ר נָתַן֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אַרְתַּחְשַׁ֔סְתְּא לְעֶזְרָ֥א הַכֹּהֵ֖ן הַסֹּפֵ֑ר סֹפֵ֞ר דִּבְרֵ֧י מִצְו‍ֹֽת־יְהֹוָ֛ה וְחֻקָּ֖יו עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
And this is the interpretation of the writ: Heb. הַכְּתָב פַתְשֶּׁגֶן.  
and His statutes to Israel: and His statutes that He commanded Israel to keep.  
12"Artaxerxes, king of the kings, to Ezra the priest, the scholar who has mastered the Book of the Law of the God of heaven, and Ke'eneth.   יבאַ֨רְתַּחְשַׁ֔סְתְּא מֶ֖לֶךְ מַלְכַיָּ֑א לְעֶזְרָ֣א כַֽ֠הֲנָא סָפַ֨ר דָּתָ֜א דִּֽי־אֱלָ֧הּ שְׁמַיָּ֛א גְּמִ֖יר וּכְעֶֽנֶת:
who has mastered… and Ke’eneth: He has mastered it in his hand.  
the Book of Law: [as translated,] the Book of Law.  
13An order is issued by me that whoever of my kingdom of the people of Israel, its priests and Levites, who volunteers to go to Jerusalem with you, may go.   יגמִנִּי֘ שִׂ֣ים טְעֵם֒ דִּ֣י כָל־מִתְנַדַּ֣ב בְּמַלְכוּתִי֩ מִן־עַמָּ֨א יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל וְכָֽהֲנ֣וֹהִי וְלֵֽוָיֵ֗א לִמְהָ֧ךְ לִֽירֽוּשְׁלֶ֛ם עִמָּ֖ךְ יְהָֽךְ:
An order is issued by me: The authorization emanates from me that whoever of Israel, of the priests, or of the Levites, whose heart prompts him to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.  
14Because of this, before the king and his seven advisors you are sent to search out Judea and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand.   ידכָּל־קֳבֵ֗ל דִּי֩ מִן־קֳדָ֨ם מַלְכָּ֜א וְשִׁבְעַ֚ת יַֽעֲטֹ֙הִי֙ שְׁלִ֔יחַ לְבַקָּרָ֥ה עַל־יְה֖וּד וְלִירֽוּשְׁלֶ֑ם בְּדַ֥ת אֱלָהָ֖ךְ דִּ֥י בִידָֽךְ:
Because of this: Because of this, you are sent from the king and his seven advisors who saw the king’s face.  
and his seven advisors: and his seven advisors; they are the seven who see the king’s face.  
to search out Judea: An order to seek and to search out the Jews who are in Jerusalem, to see whether they are engaged in the Torah of the Holy One, blessed be He, which is in your hand.  
15And to bring silver and gold that the king and his advisors donated to the God of Israel, Whose habitation is in Jerusalem.   טווּלְהֵֽיבָלָ֖ה כְּסַ֣ף וּדְהָ֑ב דִּֽי־מַלְכָּ֣א וְיַֽעֲט֗וֹהִי הִתְנַדַּ֙בוּ֙ לֶֽאֱלָ֣הּ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל דִּ֥י בִירֽוּשְׁלֶ֖ם מִשְׁכְּנֵֽהּ:
And to bring: and to bring the silver and gold of the king and his advisors that they donated to the God of Israel, to maintain His House, Whose habitation and House are in Jerusalem.  
16And all the silver and gold that you will find in the entire province of Babylon, with the donation of the people and the priests, which they are donating to the House of their God, which is in Jerusalem.   טזוְכֹל֙ כְּסַ֣ף וּדְהַ֔ב דִּ֣י תְהַשְׁכַּ֔ח בְּכֹ֖ל מְדִינַ֣ת בָּבֶ֑ל עִם֩ הִתְנַדָּב֨וּת עַמָּ֚א וְכָֽהֲנַיָּא֙ מִתְנַדְּבִ֔ין לְבֵ֥ית אֱלָֽהֲהֹ֖ם דִּ֥י בִירֽוּשְׁלֶֽם:
And all the silver and gold: and all the silver and gold that you will find in the province of Babylon, together with the donations of the people and the priests that they will donate to the House of the Holy One, blessed be He, which is in Jerusalem; you shall take everything to Jerusalem.  
17Because of this, you shall quickly purchase with this money bulls, rams, lambs, and their meal-offerings, and their libations, and offer them up on the altar of the House of your God, which is in Jerusalem.   יזכָּל־קֳבֵ֣ל דְּנָה֩ אָסְפַּ֨רְנָא תִקְנֵ֜א בְּכַסְפָּ֣א דְנָ֗ה תּוֹרִ֚ין דִּכְרִין֙ אִמְּרִ֔ין וּמִנְחָֽתְה֖וֹן וְנִסְכֵּיה֑וֹן וּתְקָרֵ֣ב הִמּ֔וֹ עַל־מַ֨דְבְּחָ֔א דִּ֛י בֵּ֥ית אֱלָֽהֲכֹ֖ם דִּ֥י בִירֽוּשְׁלֶֽם:
Because of this: And because of this, because it is for the service of the Sanctuary, you shall quickly purchase with this money cattle, rams and lambs; sacrifices, meal-offerings, and libations, and you shall offer them up on the altar of the Holy One, blessed be He.  
18And what pleases you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and gold, as your God wishes, you shall do.   יחוּמָ֣ה דִי֩ עֲלָ֨ךְ (כתיב עֲלָ֨יךְ) וְעַל־אֶחָ֜ךְ (כתיב אֶחָ֜יךְ) יֵיטַ֗ב בִּשְׁאַ֛ר כַּסְפָּ֥א וְדַֽהֲבָ֖ה לְמֶעְבַּ֑ד כִּרְע֥וּת אֱלָֽהֲכֹ֖ם תַּֽעַבְדֽוּן:
And what pleases you: And what pleases you and your brethren (to do) with the rest of the silver and the gold, according to the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, you shall do.  
19And the vessels that are given to you for the service of the House of your God, give in their entirety before the God [in] Jerusalem.   יטוּמָֽאנַיָּא֙ דִּֽי־מִתְיַֽהֲבִ֣ין לָ֔ךְ לְפָלְחַ֖ן בֵּ֣ית אֱלָהָ֑ךְ הַשְׁלֵ֕ם קֳדָ֖ם אֱלָ֥הּ יְרֽוּשְׁלֶֽם:
And the vessels: And the vessels that are given to you for the service of the Holy One, blessed be He, give in their entirety before the Holy One, blessed be He, in Jerusalem.  
20And the rest of the necessities of the House of your God, which will fall to you to give, you shall give from the royal treasury.   כוּשְׁאַ֗ר חַשְׁחוּת֙ בֵּ֣ית אֱלָהָ֔ךְ דִּ֥י יִפֶּל־לָ֖ךְ לְמִנְתַּ֑ן תִּנְתֵּ֕ן מִן־בֵּ֖ית גִּנְזֵ֥י מַלְכָּֽא:
And the rest of the necessities: and the rest of the necessities that you will require for the House of the Holy One, blessed be He, to purchase, for which you will have to give the money; you shall give from the royal treasury.  
21And from me-I, King Artaxerxes is issued forth an edict to all the treasurers who are on the other side of the river, that whatever Ezra, the priest, the scholar of the Law of the God of heaven, requests of you shall be done quickly.   כאוּ֠מִנִּי אֲנָ֞ה אַרְתַּחְשַׁ֚סְתְּא מַלְכָּא֙ שִׂ֣ים טְעֵ֔ם לְכֹל֙ גִּזַּבְרַיָּ֔א דִּ֖י בַּֽעֲבַ֣ר נַֽהֲרָ֑ה דִּ֣י כָל־דִּ֣י יִ֠שְׁאֲלֶנְכוֹן עֶזְרָ֨א כַֽהֲנָ֜ה סָפַ֚ר דָּתָא֙ דִּֽי־אֱלָ֣הּ שְׁמַיָּ֔א אָסְפַּ֖רְנָא יִתְעֲבֵֽד:
And from me-I: And from me-I, King Darius-is issued a command and an authorization to all the treasurers who are on the other side of the river of the side of Israel, who receive my taxes from the nations, that anything that Ezra the priest, the scholar of the Law of the Holy One, blessed be He, requests of you, shall be performed quickly. They should not delay his request up to a hundred talents of silver, with which to purchase sacrifices, and a hundred kors of wheat for meal-offerings, and up to a hundred measures of wine for the libations, and a hundred measures of oil to mingle the meal-offerings, and salt for the sacrifices, according to the matter that is stated (Lev. 2:13): “And every meal-offering you shall salt with salt.”  
22Until a hundred talents of silver, and until a hundred kors of wheat, and until a hundred baths of wine, and until a hundred baths of oil, and salt, [whose amount] is not written.   כבעַד־כְּסַף֘ כַּכְּרִ֣ין מְאָה֒ וְעַד־חִנְטִין֙ כּוֹרִ֣ין מְאָ֔ה וְעַד־חֲמַר֙ בַּתִּ֣ין מְאָ֔ה וְעַד־בַּתִּ֥ין מְשַׁ֖ח מְאָ֑ה וּמְלַ֖ח דִּי־לָ֥א כְתָֽב:
which is not written: And salt, regarding which no measure is written, they shall give according to how much is needed.  
23Whatever is with the authorization of the God of heaven shall be done with a seal for the House of the God of heaven, for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?   כגכָּל־דִּ֗י מִן־טַ֙עַם֙ אֱלָ֣הּ שְׁמַיָּ֔א יִתְעֲבֵד֙ אַדְרַזְדָּ֔א לְבֵ֖ית אֱלָ֣הּ שְׁמַיָּ֑א דִּֽי־לְמָ֚ה לֶֽהֱוֵא֙ קְצַ֔ף עַל־מַלְכ֖וּת מַלְכָּ֥א וּבְנֽוֹהִי:
Whatever is with the authorization: Whatever is with the authorization of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His command, shall be done with alacrity, with the seal of the king for the House of the Holy One, blessed be He.  
with a seal: Aram. אַדְרַזְדָּא, seal in Arabic.  
for why should there be: For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Therefore, the treasurers shall provide all the needs of the House.  
24And we are making known to you that [as regards] all the priests, and the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers, the Nethinites, and those who serve in this House of God-no one should be empowered to levy the king's due, the head tax, or the meal tax upon them.   כדוּלְכֹ֣ם מְהֽוֹדְעִ֗ין דִּ֣י כָל־כָּֽהֲנַיָּ֣א וְ֠לֵֽוָיֵא זַמָּ֨רַיָּ֚א תָרָֽעַיָּא֙ נְתִ֣ינַיָּ֔א וּפָ֣לְחֵ֔י בֵּ֖ית אֱלָהָ֣א דְנָ֑ה מִנְדָּ֚ה בְלוֹ֙ וַֽהֲלָ֔ךְ לָ֥א שַׁלִּ֖יט לְמִרְמֵ֥א עֲלֵיהֹֽם:
And we are making known to you: And we are making known to you that [over] all the priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinites, who are wood cutters and water drawers for the altar, and those who serve in this House of the Holy One, no man shall be empowered over them to levy upon them any tribute or head tax, but they shall be free from the service of the king.  
25And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand, appoint judges and magistrates who will judge all the people beyond the river, all who know the laws of your God, and whoever does not know, you shall teach them.   כהוְאַ֣נְתְּ עֶזְרָ֗א כְּחָכְמַ֨ת אֱלָהָ֚ךְ דִּֽי־בִידָךְ֙ מֶ֣נִּי שָֽׁפְטִ֞ין וְדַיָּנִ֗ין דִּי־לֶֽהֱו‍ֹ֚ן דָּאיְנִין֙ (כתיב דָּאְנִין֙) לְכָל־עַמָּא֙ דִּי בַּֽעֲבַ֣ר נַֽהֲרָ֔ה לְכָל־יָדְעֵ֖י דָּתֵ֣י אֱלָהָ֑ךְ וְדִ֧י לָ֥֥א יָדַ֖ע תְּהוֹדְעֽוּן:
And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand: and you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand [and which is] greater than that of the judges and the magistrates who judge all the people beyond the river to the side of Israel, the people knowledgeable in the Torah.  
and whoever does not know: and the judge who does not know how to judge, inform him of the judgment that he should execute it.  
26And whoever does not fulfill the law of your God and the law of the king promptly-judgment shall be inflicted upon him; whether to be executed, uprooted, fined, or tortured."   כווְכָל־דִּי־לָא֩ לֶֽהֱוֵ֨א עָבֵ֜ד דָּתָ֣א דִֽי־אֱלָהָ֗ךְ וְדָתָא֙ דִּ֣י מַלְכָּ֔א אָסְפַּ֕רְנָא דִּינָ֕ה לֶֽהֱוֵ֥א מִתְעֲבֵ֖ד מִנֵּ֑הּ הֵ֚ן לְמוֹת֙ הֵ֣ן לִשְׁרֹשִׁ֔י (כתיב לִשְׁרֹשִׁ֔ו) הֵן־לַֽעֲנָ֥שׁ נִכְסִ֖ין וְלֶֽאֱסוּרִֽין:
And whoever does not fulfill: and whoever does not fulfill the law of the Holy One, blessed be He, and the law of the king promptly, viz. that he delays the law and the judgment.  
judgment: The judgment shall be inflicted upon him, upon the one who obstructs justice.  
whether to be executed: [as translated,] whether to be executed.  
uprooted: whether to uproot him from the world, him, his offspring and his family (לִשְּׁרשִׁי is desraziner in Old French, to uproot).  
fined: to be punished with money.  
or tortured: or to torture him with tortures. Until here is the writ of the letter that King Darius gave to Ezra the scribe in order that he convey it to Jerusalem to show it to the priests and the Levites and the king’s treasurers, in order that they persist in performing the commandments and worshiping the Lord in the Temple and keeping the Torah properly.  
27Blessed be the Lord, the God of our forefathers, Who put such a thought into the king's heart, to glorify the House of the Lord, which is in Jerusalem.   כזבָּר֥וּךְ יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נָתַ֚ן כָּזֹאת֙ בְּלֵ֣ב הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לְפָאֵ֕ר אֶת־בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
Blessed be the Lord: Ezra wrote this in his Book when he gave thanks to the Holy One, blessed be He.  
28And upon me He extended kindness before the king and his advisers, and to all the mighty officers of the king, and I strengthened myself according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered from Israel chiefs to go up with me.   כחוְעָלַ֣י הִטָּה־חֶ֗סֶד לִפְנֵ֚י הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וְיֽוֹעֲצָ֔יו וּלְכָל־שָׂרֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ הַגִּבֹּרִ֑ים וַֽאֲנִ֣י הִתְחַזַּ֗קְתִּי כְּיַד־יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהַי֙ עָלַ֔י וָֽאֶקְבְּצָ֧ה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֛ל רָאשִׁ֖ים לַֽעֲל֥וֹת עִמִּֽי:
and his advisers: They are his seven advisers mentioned above (verse 14).  
according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me: as the help of the Holy One, blessed be He, was upon me; and I gathered from the Israelites remaining in Babylon the chiefs of the fathers’ houses and the great men to ascend with me from Babylon.