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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

LXXVI. (1) The king then commanded all the honours written in the scroll to be carried out for Zerubbabel, for he had found great favour in the eyes of the king and the two princes, his colleagues. And the king further said to Zerubbabel, 'Ask, in addition to what is written in the scroll, whatever thy soul desires and I will grant it, even

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to half the kingdom.' And Zerubbabel answered and said, 'Remember, my lord the king, the vow which thou and King Cyrus made to the God of heaven, viz., to build His house, and to restore His holy vessels, and to allow His captive people to worship Him in the temple that is called by His name, that they may pray to the great God of heaven for the welfare of thy reign, for thou must not delay the vow which thou madest to the heavenly God.'

(2) The king thereupon commanded the scribes to hasten and write down Zerubbabel's request, to rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem. He then sent a message to Cyrus, King of Persia, to join hands with him in this work, and thus to fulfil their vow by establishing the house of God in Jerusalem. And Cyrus issued a proclamation throughout his kingdom, saying, 'Every one of God's people whose heart prompts him to go up to Jerusalem to lay the foundation of the temple and to build it, let him go, and I shall give everyone the pay of his labour from my treasures until the building is completed.'

(3) The king's scribes thereupon wrote down this proclamation on behalf of Darius, King of Media, and Cyrus, King of Persia, to the princes, governors, and rulers on the other side of the river, and to the Arameans, Tyrians, Samaritans, and to Asaph, governor of the garden of Lebanon, 'Be it known to you that it is our pleasure to send back to God's holy city the captives of His people, whom Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, sent into exile; to restore the vessels of the great and holy temple which is called by the name of the God of heaven; to build His altar, and to sacrifice thereon every day; to build the temple, and the Holy of Holies; to establish the palace according to its old form; and to restore the walls of Jerusalem. (4) When this edict reaches you, exert yourselves to assist them by supplying all their wants in silver and gold, brass, wood, and stones for the builders and hewers until the building is finished, and to give them whatever they ask for, wheat, barley, oil, or wine, and whatever they want for the buildings. For re-establishing

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the sacrifices upon the altar ye shall give them oxen, calves, rams, sheep, he-goats, doves, flour, oil, salt, to enable them to re-establish the altar, and to finish the whole work.'

(5) The Edomites were also commanded by these two kings to contribute their share in the service of the house of the Lord, because they had helped the Chaldeans to overthrow it; they were to give a yearly tribute of five talents of gold for strengthening the breach of the house, to rebuild the temple and the holy city. The Sidonians, Tyrians, and Edomites, as well as the servants of the king in the Lebanon, under the command of Asaph, keeper of the garden, were ordered to hew the wood from the Lebanon, and to drag it to the sea from the Lebanon and thence to the Sea of Joppa, to complete the work of the house of God. No man was to hinder them until everything was completed. Having written down all these details as the two kings commanded, the scribes sealed it, and handed it over to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and to Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah.