15I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi.
16Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of insight,
17and sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his brothers and3 the temple servants at the place Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God.
18And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, 18;
19also Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his kinsmen and their sons, 20;
20besides 220 of the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set apart to attend the Levites. These were all mentioned by name.
21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
22For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”
23So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
24Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kinsmen with them.
25And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king and his counselors and his lords and all Israel there present had offered.
26I weighed out into their hand 650 talents4 of silver, and silver vessels worth 200 talents,5 and 100 talents of gold,
2720 bowls of gold worth 1,000 darics,6 and two vessels of fine bright bronze as precious as gold.
28And I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers.
29Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the Lord.”
30So the priests and the Levites took over the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.
31Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.
32We came to Jerusalem, and there we remained three days.
33On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed into the hands of Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui.
34The whole was counted and weighed, and the weight of everything was recorded.
35At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin offering twelve male goats. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.
36They also delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s satraps7 and to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and they aided the people and the house of God.
1 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks of Zattu
2 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks Bani
3 Hebrew lacks and
4 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
5 Revocalization; the number is missing in the Masoretic Text
6 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams