Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjaminheard that the childrena of the captivitybuilded the temple unto the LORDGod of Israel;2
Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddonking of Assur, which brought us up hither .
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel,said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORDGod of Israel, as kingCyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
Then the people of the landweakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building ,
And hiredcounsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrusking of Persia, even until the reign of Dariusking of Persia.6
And in the reign of Ahasuerus,b in the beginning of his reign,wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.7
And in the days of ArtaxerxeswroteBishlam,cMithredath,Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxesking of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.8Rehum the chancellorandShimshai the scribedwrotealetteragainstJerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:9Then wrote Rehum the chancellor , and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions;e the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,10
And the rest of the nationswhom the great and nobleAsnappar brought over , and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.11This is the copy of the letterthat they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time.12
Be itknown unto the king, that the Jewswhich came upfromthee to us are come unto Jerusalem,building the rebellious and the badcity, and have set upf the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.13
Be it knownnow unto the king, that, ifthiscity be builded , and the walls set up again, then will they notpaygtoll,tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.14Nowbecausewehavehmaintenance from the king's palace, and it was notmeet for us to see the king'sdishonour,thereforehave we sent and certified the king;15
That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that thiscity is a rebelliouscity, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have movedisedition within the sameofoldtime:forwhich cause was thiscitydestroyed .
16Wecertify the king that, ifthiscity be builded again, and the walls thereof set up , by thismeans thou shalt havenoportion on this side the river.17
Then sent the king an answeruntoRehum the chancellor , and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companionsj that dwell in Samaria, and unto the restbeyond the river,Peace, and at such a time.18
The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainlyreadbefore me.
And Icommanded ,k and search hath been made, and it is found that thiscityofoldtime hath made insurrectionagainstkings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have beenmightykings also overJerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll,tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.
21Givel ye nowcommandment to causethesemen to cease , and that thiscity be notbuilded , until another commandment shall be given from me.22
Take heed now that ye fail not to dothis:why should damagegrow to the hurt of the kings?23Nowwhenthecopy of kingArtaxerxes'letter was readbeforeRehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalemunto the Jews, and made them to cease by forcem and power.