King James Version (ENGKJV)
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31Now when Darius reigned, he made a great feast unto all his subjects, and unto all his household, and unto all the princes of Media and Persia,

2And to all the governors and captains and lieutenants that were under him, from India unto Ethiopia, of an hundred twenty and seven provinces.

3And when they had eaten and drunken, and being satisfied were gone home, then Darius the king went into his bedchamber, and slept, and soon after awaked.

4Then three young men, that were of the guard that kept the king’s body, spake one to another;

5Let every one of us speak a sentence: he that shall overcome, and whose sentence shall seem wiser than the others, unto him shall the king Darius give great gifts, and great things in token of victory:

6As, to be clothed in purple, to drink in gold, and to sleep upon gold, and a chariot with bridles of gold, and an headtire of fine linen, and a chain about his neck:

7And he shall sit next to Darius because of his wisdom, and shall be called Darius his cousin.

8And then every one wrote his sentence, sealed it, and laid it under king Darius his pillow;

9And said that, when the king is risen, some will give him the writings; and of whose side the king and the three princes of Persia shall judge that his sentence is the wisest, to him shall the victory be given, as was appointed.

10The first wrote, Wine is the strongest.

11The second wrote, The king is strongest.

12The third wrote, Women are strongest: but above all things Truth beareth away the victory.

13Now when the king was risen up, they took their writings, and delivered them unto him, and so he read them:

14And sending forth he called all the princes of Persia and Media, and the governors, and the captains, and the lieutenants, and the chief officers;

15And sat him down in the royal seat of judgment; and the writings were read before them.

16And he said, Call the young men, and they shall declare their own sentences. So they were called, and came in.

17And he said unto them, Declare unto us your mind concerning the writings. Then began the first, who had spoken of the strength of wine;

18And he said thus, O ye men, how exceeding strong is wine! it causeth all men to err that drink it:

19It maketh the mind of the king and of the fatherless child to be all one; of the bondman and of the freeman, of the poor man and of the rich:

20It turneth also every thought into jollity and mirth, so that a man remembereth neither sorrow nor debt:

21And it maketh every heart rich, so that a man remembereth neither king nor governor; and it maketh to speak all things by talents:

22And when they are in their cups, they forget their love both to friends and brethren, and a little after draw out swords:

23But when they are from the wine, they remember not what they have done.

24O ye men, is not wine the strongest, that enforceth to do thus? And when he had so spoken, he held his peace.

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41Then the second, that had spoken of the strength of the king, began to say,

2O ye men, do not men excel in strength that bear rule over sea and land and all things in them?

3But yet the king is more mighty: for he is lord of all these things, and hath dominion over them; and whatsoever he commandeth them they do.

4If he bid them make war the one against the other, they do it: if he send them out against the enemies, they go, and break down mountains, walls, and towers.

5They slay and are slain, and transgress not the king’s commandment: if they get the victory, they bring all to the king, as well the spoil, as all things else.

6Likewise for those that are no soldiers, and have not to do with wars, but use husbundry, when they have reaped again that which they had sown, they bring it to the king, and compel one another to pay tribute unto the king.

7And yet he is but one man: if he command to kill, they kill; if he command to spare, they spare;

8If he command to smite, they smite; if he command to make desolate, they make desolate; if he command to build, they build;

9If he command to cut down, they cut down; if he command to plant, they plant.

10So all his people and his armies obey him: furthermore he lieth down, he eateth and drinketh, and taketh his rest:

11And these keep watch round about him, neither may any one depart, and do his own business, neither disobey they him in any thing.

12O ye men, how should not the king be mightiest, when in such sort he is obeyed? And he held his tongue.

13Then the third, who had spoken of women, and of the truth, (this was Zorobabel) began to speak.

14O ye men, it is not the great king, nor the multitude of men, neither is it wine, that excelleth; who is it then that ruleth them, or hath the lordship over them? are they not women?

15Women have borne the king and all the people that bear rule by sea and land.

16Even of them came they: and they nourished them up that planted the vineyards, from whence the wine cometh.

17These also make garments for men; these bring glory unto men; and without women cannot men be.

18Yea, and if men have gathered together gold and silver, or any other goodly thing, do they not love a woman which is comely in favour and beauty?

19And letting all those things go, do they not gape, and even with open mouth fix their eyes fast on her; and have not all men more desire unto her than unto silver or gold, or any goodly thing whatsoever?

20A man leaveth his own father that brought him up, and his own country, and cleaveth unto his wife.

21He sticketh not to spend his life with his wife, and remembereth neither father, nor mother, nor country.

22By this also ye must know that women have dominion over you: do ye not labour and toil, and give and bring all to the woman?

23Yea, a man taketh his sword, and goeth his way to rob and to steal, to sail upon the sea and upon rivers;

24And looketh upon a lion, and goeth in the darkness; and when he hath stolen, spoiled, and robbed, he bringeth it to his love.

25Wherefore a man loveth his wife better than father or mother.

26Yea, many there be that have run out of their wits for women, and become servants for their sakes.

27Many also have perished, have erred, and sinned, for women.

28And now do ye not believe me? is not the king great in his power? do not all regions fear to touch him?

29Yet did I see him and Apame the king’s concubine, the daughter of the admirable Bartacus, sitting at the right hand of the king,

30And taking the crown from the king’s head, and setting it upon her own head; she also struck the king with her left hand.

31And yet for all this the king gaped and gazed upon her with open mouth: if she laughed upon him, he laughed also: but if she took any displeasure at him, the king was fain to flatter, that she might be reconciled to him again.

32O ye men, how can it be but women should be strong, seeing they do thus?

33Then the king and the princes looked one upon another: so he began to speak of the truth.

34O ye men, are not women strong? great is the earth, high is the heaven, swift is the sun in his course, for he compasseth the heavens round about, and fetcheth his course again to his own place in one day.

35Is he not great that maketh these things? therefore great is the truth, and stronger than all things.

36All the earth crieth upon the truth, and the heaven blesseth it: all works shake and tremble at it, and with it is no unrighteous thing.

37Wine is wicked, the king is wicked, women are wicked, all the children of men are wicked, and such are all their wicked works; and there is no truth in them; in their unrighteousness also they shall perish.

38As for the truth, it endureth, and is always strong; it liveth and conquereth for evermore.

39With her there is no accepting of persons or rewards; but she doeth the things that are just, and refraineth from all unjust and wicked things; and all men do well like of her works.

40Neither in her judgment is any unrighteousness; and she is the strength, kingdom, power, and majesty, of all ages. Blessed be the God of truth.

41And with that he held his peace. And all the people then shouted, and said, Great is Truth, and mighty above all things.

42Then said the king unto him, Ask what thou wilt more than is appointed in the writing, and we will give it thee, because thou art found wisest; and thou shalt sit next me, and shalt be called my cousin.

43Then said he unto the king, Remember thy vow, which thou hast vowed to build Jerusalem, in the day when thou camest to thy kingdom,

44And to send away all the vessels that were taken away out of Jerusalem, which Cyrus set apart, when he vowed to destroy Babylon, and to send them again thither.

45Thou also hast vowed to build up the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was made desolate by the Chaldees.

46And now, O lord the king, this is that which I require, and which I desire of thee, and this is the princely liberality proceeding from thyself: I desire therefore that thou make good the vow, the performance whereof with thine own mouth thou hast vowed to the King of heaven.

47Then Darius the king stood up, and kissed him, and wrote letters for him unto all the treasurers and lieutenants and captains and governors, that they should safely convey on their way both him, and all those that go up with him to build Jerusalem.

48He wrote letters also unto the lieutenants that were in Celosyria and Phenice, and unto them in Libanus, that they should bring cedar wood from Libanus unto Jerusalem, and that they should build the city with him.

49Moreover he wrote for all the Jews that went out of his realm up into Jewry, concerning their freedom, that no officer, no ruler, no lieutenant, nor treasurer, should forcibly enter into their doors;

50And that all the country which they hold should be free without tribute; and that the Edomites should give over the villages of the Jews which then they held:

51Yea, that there should be yearly given twenty talents to the building of the temple, until the time that it were built;

52And other ten talents yearly, to maintain the burnt offerings upon the altar every day, as they had a commandment to offer seventeen:

53And that all they that went from Babylon to build the city should have free liberty, as well they as their posterity, and all the priests that went away.

54He wrote also concerning the charges, and the priests’ vestments wherein they minister;

55And likewise for the charges of the Levites, to be given them until the day that the house were finished, and Jerusalem builded up.

56And he commanded to give to all that kept the city pensions and wages.

57He sent away also all the vessels from Babylon, that Cyrus had set apart; and all that Cyrus had given in commandment, the same charged he also to be done, and sent unto Jerusalem.

58Now when this young man was gone forth, he lifted up his face to heaven toward Jerusalem, and praised the King of heaven,

59And said, From thee cometh victory, from thee cometh wisdom, and thine is the glory, and I am thy servant.

60Blessed art thou, who hast given me wisdom: for to thee I give thanks, O Lord of our fathers.

61And so he took the letters, and went out, and came unto Babylon, and told it all his brethren.

62And they praised the God of their fathers, because he had given them freedom and liberty

63To go up, and to build Jerusalem, and the temple which is called by his name: and they feasted with instruments of musick and gladness seven days.

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51After this were the principal men of the families chosen according to their tribes, to go up with their wives and sons and daughters, with their menservants and maidservants, and their cattle.

2And Darius sent with them a thousand horsemen, till they had brought them back to Jerusalem safely, and with musical instruments tabrets and flutes.

3And all their brethren played, and he made them go up together with them.

4And these are the names of the men which went up, according to their families among their tribes, after their several heads.

5The priests, the sons of Phinees the son of Aaron: Jesus the son of Josedec, the son of Saraias, and Joacim the son of Zorobabel, the son of Salathiel, of the house of David, out of the kindred of Phares, of the tribe of Judah;

6Who spake wise sentences before Darius the king of Persia in the second year of his reign, in the month Nisan, which is the first month.

7And these are they of Jewry that came up from the captivity, where they dwelt as strangers, whom Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon.

8And they returned unto Jerusalem, and to the other parts of Jewry, every man to his own city, who came with Zorobabel, with Jesus, Nehemias, and Zacharias, and Reesaias, Enenius, Mardocheus. Beelsarus, Aspharasus, Reelius, Roimus, and Baana, their guides.

9The number of them of the nation, and their governors, sons of Phoros, two thousand an hundred seventy and two; the sons of Saphat, four hundred seventy and two:

10The sons of Ares, seven hundred fifty and six:

11The sons of Phaath Moab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve:

12The sons of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four: the sons of Zathul, nine hundred forty and five: the sons of Corbe, seven hundred and five: the sons of Bani, six hundred forty and eight:

13The sons of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three: the sons of Sadas, three thousand two hundred twenty and two:

14The sons of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and seven: the sons of Bagoi, two thousand sixty and six: the sons of Adin, four hundred fifty and four:

15The sons of Aterezias, ninety and two: the sons of Ceilan and Azetas threescore and seven: the sons of Azuran, four hundred thirty and two:

16The sons of Ananias, an hundred and one: the sons of Arom, thirty two: and the sons of Bassa, three hundred twenty and three: the sons of Azephurith, an hundred and two:

17The sons of Meterus, three thousand and five: the sons of Bethlomon, an hundred twenty and three:

18They of Netophah, fifty and five: they of Anathoth, an hundred fifty and eight: they of Bethsamos, forty and two:

19They of Kiriathiarius, twenty and five: they of Caphira and Beroth, seven hundred forty and three: they of Pira, seven hundred:

20They of Chadias and Ammidoi, four hundred twenty and two: they of Cirama and Gabdes, six hundred twenty and one:

21They of Macalon, an hundred twenty and two: they of Betolius, fifty and two: the sons of Nephis, an hundred fifty and six:

22The sons of Calamolalus and Onus, seven hundred twenty and five: the sons of Jerechus, two hundred forty and five:

23The sons of Annas, three thousand three hundred and thirty.

24The priests: the sons of Jeddu, the son of Jesus among the sons of Sanasib, nine hundred seventy and two: the sons of Meruth, a thousand fifty and two:

25The sons of Phassaron, a thousand forty and seven: the sons of Carme, a thousand and seventeen.

26The Levites: the sons of Jessue, and Cadmiel, and Banuas, and Sudias, seventy and four.

27The holy singers: the sons of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.

28The porters: the sons of Salum, the sons of Jatal, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Dacobi, the sons of Teta, the sons of Sami, in all an hundred thirty and nine.

29The servants of the temple: the sons of Esau, the sons of Asipha, the sons of Tabaoth, the sons of Ceras, the sons of Sud, the sons of Phaleas, the sons of Labana, the sons of Graba,

30The sons of Acua, the sons of Uta, the sons of Cetab, the sons of Agaba, the sons of Subai, the sons of Anan, the sons of Cathua, the sons of Geddur,

31The sons of Airus, the sons of Daisan, the sons of Noeba, the sons of Chaseba, the sons of Gazera, the sons of Azia, the sons of Phinees, the sons of Azare, the sons of Bastai, the sons of Asana, the sons of Meani, the sons of Naphisi, the sons of Acub, the sons of Acipha, the sons of Assur, the sons of Pharacim, the sons of Basaloth,

32The sons of Meeda, the sons of Coutha, the sons of Charea, the sons of Charcus, the sons of Aserer, the sons of Thomoi, the sons of Nasith, the sons of Atipha.

33The sons of the servants of Solomon: the sons of Azaphion, the sons of Pharira, the sons of Jeeli, the sons of Lozon, the sons of Israel, the sons of Sapheth,

34The sons of Hagia, the sons of Pharacareth, the sons of Sabi, the sons of Sarothie, the sons of Masias, the sons of Gar, the sons of Addus, the sons of Suba, the sons of Apherra, the sons of Barodis, the sons of Sabat, the sons of Allom.

35All the ministers of the temple, and the sons of the servants of Solomon, were three hundred seventy and two.

36These came up from Thermeleth and Thelersas, Charaathalar leading them, and Aalar;

37Neither could they shew their families, nor their stock, how they were of Israel: the sons of Ladan, the son of Ban, the sons of Necodan, six hundred fifty and two.

38And of the priests that usurped the office of the priesthood, and were not found: the sons of Obdia, the sons of Accoz, the sons of Addus, who married Augia one of the daughters of Barzelus, and was named after his name.

39And when the description of the kindred of these men was sought in the register, and was not found, they were removed from executing the office of the priesthood:

40For unto them said Nehemias and Atharias, that they should not be partakers of the holy things, till there arose up an high priest clothed with doctrine and truth.

41So of Israel, from them of twelve years old and upward, they were all in number forty thousand, beside menservants and womenservants two thousand three hundred and sixty.

42Their menservants and handmaids were seven thousand three hundred forty and seven: the singing men and singing women, two hundred forty and five:

43Four hundred thirty and five camels, seven thousand thirty and six horses, two hundred forty and five mules, five thousand five hundred twenty and five beasts used to the yoke.

44And certain of the chief of their families, when they came to the temple of God that is in Jerusalem, vowed to set up the house again in his own place according to their ability,

45And to give into the holy treasury of the works a thousand pounds of gold, five thousand of silver, and an hundred priestly vestments.

46And so dwelt the priests and the Levites and the people in Jerusalem, and in the country, the singers also and the porters; and all Israel in their villages.

47But when the seventh month was at hand, and when the children of Israel were every man in his own place, they came all together with one consent into the open place of the first gate which is toward the east.

48Then stood up Jesus the son of Josedec, and his brethren the priests and Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and his brethren, and made ready the altar of the God of Israel,

49To offer burnt sacrifices upon it, according as it is expressly commanded in the book of Moses the man of God.

50And there were gathered unto them out of the other nations of the land, and they erected the altar upon his own place, because all the nations of the land were at enmity with them, and oppressed them; and they offered sacrifices according to the time, and burnt offerings to the Lord both morning and evening.

51Also they held the feast of tabernacles, as it is commanded in the law, and offered sacrifices daily, as was meet:

52And after that, the continual oblations, and the sacrifice of the sabbaths, and of the new moons, and of all holy feasts.

53And all they that had made any vow to God began to offer sacrifices to God from the first day of the seventh month, although the temple of the Lord was not yet built.

54And they gave unto the masons and carpenters money, meat, and drink, with cheerfulness.

55Unto them of Zidon also and Tyre they gave carrs, that they should bring cedar trees from Libanus, which should be brought by floats to the haven of Joppa, according as it was commanded them by Cyrus king of the Persians.

56And in the second year and second month after his coming to the temple of God at Jerusalem began Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Jesus the son of Josedec, and their brethren, and the priests, and the Levites, and all they that were come unto Jerusalem out of the captivity:

57And they laid the foundation of the house of God in the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come to Jewry and Jerusalem.

58And they appointed the Levites from twenty years old over the works of the Lord. Then stood up Jesus, and his sons and brethren, and Cadmiel his brother, and the sons of Madiabun, with the sons of Joda the son of Eliadun, with their sons and brethren, all Levites, with one accord setters forward of the business, labouring to advance the works in the house of God. So the workmen built the temple of the Lord.

59And the priests stood arrayed in their vestments with musical instruments and trumpets; and the Levites the sons of Asaph had cymbals,

60Singing songs of thanksgiving, and praising the Lord, according as David the king of Israel had ordained.

61And they sung with loud voices songs to the praise of the Lord, because his mercy and glory is for ever in all Israel.

62And all the people sounded trumpets, and shouted with a loud voice, singing songs of thanksgiving unto the Lord for the rearing up of the house of the Lord.

63Also of the priests and Levites, and of the chief of their families, the ancients who had seen the former house came to the building of this with weeping and great crying.

64But many with trumpets and joy shouted with loud voice,

65Insomuch that the trumpets might not be heard for the weeping of the people: yet the multitude sounded marvellously, so that it was heard afar off.

66Wherefore when the enemies of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin heard it, they came to know what that noise of trumpets should mean.

67And they perceived that they that were of the captivity did build the temple unto the Lord God of Israel.

68So they went to Zorobabel and Jesus, and to the chief of the families, and said unto them, We will build together with you.

69For we likewise, as ye, do obey your Lord, and do sacrifice unto him from the days of Azbazareth the king of the Assyrians, who brought us hither.

70Then Zorobabel and Jesus and the chief of the families of Israel said unto them, It is not for us and you to build together an house unto the Lord our God.

71We ourselves alone will build unto the Lord of Israel, according as Cyrus the king of the Persians hath commanded us.

72But the heathen of the land lying heavy upon the inhabitants of Judea, and holding them strait, hindered their building;

73And by their secret plots, and popular persuasions and commotions, they hindered the finishing of the building all the time that king Cyrus lived: so they were hindered from building for the space of two years, until the reign of Darius.

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