4 Now when athe 1adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the Lord God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers’ houses, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do; and we have sacrificed to Him bsince the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel said to them, c“You may do nothing with us to build a 2house for our God; but we alone will build to the Lord God of Israel, as dKing Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.” 4 Then ethe people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, 5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of fDarius king of Persia.
6 In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
7 In the days of gArtaxerxes also, 3Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabel, and the rest of their companions wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the letter was written in hAramaic script, and translated into the Aramaic language. 8 4Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes in this fashion:
9 5From Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions—representatives of ithe Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the people of Persia and Erech and Babylon and 6Shushan, the Dehavites, the Elamites, 10 jand the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapper took captive and settled in the cities of Samaria and the remainder beyond 7the River—kand 8so forth.
To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the men of the region beyond the River, 9and so forth:
12 Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem, and are building the lrebellious and evil city, and are finishing its mwalls and repairing the foundations. 13 Let it now be known to the king that, if this city is built and the walls completed, they will not pay ntax, tribute, or custom, and the king’s treasury will be diminished. 14 Now because we receive support from the palace, it was not proper for us to see the king’s dishonor; therefore we have sent and informed the king, 15 that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. And you will find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces, and that they have incited sedition within the city in former times, for which cause this city was destroyed.
To Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and to the remainder beyond the River:
Peace, 1and so forth.
18 The letter which you sent to us has been clearly read before me. 19 And 2I gave the command, and a search has been made, and it was found that this city in former times has revolted against kings, and rebellion and sedition have been fostered in it. 20 There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have oruled over all the region pbeyond the River; and tax, tribute, and custom were paid to them. 21 Now 3give the command to make these men cease, that this city may not be built until the command is given by me.
23 Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews, and by force of arms made them cease. 24 Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Or in peace
Lit. and now
Lit. and now
Lit. and now
Lit. by me a decree has been put forth
put forth a decree