Cyrus Allows the Jews to Return from Babylon

The promise the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah was about to come true in Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia. The Lord inspired the king to make this announcement throughout his whole kingdom and then to put it in writing.

This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the world. Then he ordered me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem (which is in Judah). May God be with all of you who are his people. You may go to Jerusalem (which is in Judah) and build a temple for the Lord God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. All who ⌞choose to⌟ remain behind, wherever they may be living, should provide the people who are leaving with silver, gold, supplies, livestock, and freewill offerings to be used in God’s temple in Jerusalem.

Sheshbazzar Returns with the Temple Furnishings

Then the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, the priests, and the Levites—everyone God had inspired—came forward to rebuild the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. All their neighbors ⌞who were remaining behind⌟ provided them with articles made from silver and gold, supplies, livestock, and valuable gifts besides everything that was freely offered. King Cyrus brought out the utensils belonging to the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar had taken these utensils from Jerusalem and put them in the temple of his own god. King Cyrus of Persia put the treasurer Mithredath in charge of bringing them out. So Mithredath made a list of them for Prince Sheshbazzar of Judah.[a] This is the inventory:

gold dishes … 30

silver dishes … 1,000

knives … 29

10 gold bowls … 30

other silver bowls … 410

other utensils … 1,000

11 The gold and silver utensils totaled … 5,400.

Sheshbazzar took all these utensils with him when the exiles left Babylon to go to Jerusalem.


  1. 1:8 Or “for Sheshbazzar, the leader of Judah.”