The Temple Is Dedicated
(Ezra 6.13-18)
1 Then Governor Sisinnes, Shethar Bozenai, and the other officials did exactly as the emperor had commanded 2 and gave careful supervision to the work on the Temple, helping the Jewish leaders and Temple officials. 3 The workers made good progress with the building of the Temple, encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. 4 The Jews completed the building according to the command of the Lord, the God of Israel, and with the permission of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, emperors of Persia. 5 The Temple was completed on the twenty-third day of the month of Adar in the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Darius. 6 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites, and all the others who had returned from exile and joined them—carried out all the commands in the Law of Moses. 7 For the dedication they offered 100 bulls, 200 sheep, and 400 lambs as sacrifices, 8 and 12 goats as offerings for sin, one goat for the leader of each tribe of Israel. 9 The priests in their robes and the Levites took their positions, family by family, for the Temple services of the Lord, the God of Israel, according to the instructions contained in the book of Moses. The Temple guards stood at each gate.
The Passover
(Ezra 6.19-22)
10 The people of Israel who had returned from exile celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month of the following year. The priests and Levites had purified themselves at the same time. 11 Not all the Jews who had returned purified themselves at that time, but the Levites did. 12 The Levites killed the animals for the Passover sacrifices for all the people who had returned, for the priests, and for themselves. 13 The sacrifices were eaten by all the Israelites who had returned from exile; they worshiped the Lord and rejected the pagan ways of the other people who were living in the land. 14 For seven days they celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread. They rejoiced in the presence of the Lord, 15 the God of Israel, because he had made the plans of the emperor of Assyria favorable to them and had supported them in their work.