6 So King Darius sent an order to his governors, saying,
Let the Jews build God's house in Jerusalem.
9 Give them all the building materials that they need, so they can offer God sweet savors from their animal sacrifices.
11 Hang anyone who tries to stop them and make their house a dunghill.
12 God will destroy all kings and people who try to destroy his house in Jerusalem.
The Jews finish building God's house
13 So the Jews built God's house and prospered, with Haggai and Zechariah prophesying. 16 When God's house was finished, the people rejoiced and sacrificed 100 bullocks, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and 12 goats. 21 And everyone who had separated themselves from the filthiness of the heathen feasted for seven days with great joy.
Gold and silver are weighed, and animals are sacrificed
24 I (Ezra) asked the priests to weigh all the silver and gold that king Artaxerxes had given us. 26 I weighed 650 talents of silver and 100 talents of gold. 33 When we arrived in Jerusalem, we weighed the gold and silver in God's house.35 The people killed 12 bullocks, 96 rams, 77 lambs, and 12 goats as burnt offerings for God.
Ezra plucks out his hair and sits down astonished
91 The princes came to me (Ezra) saying, "The men of Israel are offending God by taking foreign wives and corrupting the holy seed."
3 When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, plucked off the hair on my head and beard, and sat down astonished.
5 That evening, I fell on my knees, spread out my hands, and said to God,
12 So all the men said in a loud voice, “Okay, we'll do that.”
A list of men who had taken strange wives and children 18-44
A few more words about this episode
Ezra begins where Second Chronicles ends. In fact the last two verses of the 2 Chronicles are nearly identical to the first two verses of the the book of Ezra. The similarity between these two books has led some scholars to believe that they were written by the same author.
A list of people returning from Babylon (2:1-70)
The second chapter of Ezra provides a list of the Jewish people returning to Judah after their captivity in Babylon. It makes for rather dull reading: just a list of men's names and the number of offspring that accompanied each of them. The same list is given in the seventh chapter of Nehemiah (as though once were not enough), but the two lists contradict each other in 19 places.
A letter was sent to King Artaxerxes (4:6)
The letters in chapters 4-6 were written in Aramaic - one of the few texts in the Hebrew Bible that were not written in Hebrew.