And in the days of aArtaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagueswrote to Artaxerxesking of Persia; and the btext of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated1from Aramaic.
8cRehum the commander and Shimshai the scribewrote a letteragainstJerusalem to KingArtaxerxes, as follows -
9then wrote Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and 2the rest of their colleagues, the judges and 3the lessergovernors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites,
and the rest of the nationswhich the great and honorabledOsnappardeported and settled in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the regionbeyond the eRiver. 4Now11this is the copy of the letterwhich they sent to him: "T o KingArtaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the regionbeyond the River, and now12
let it be known to the king that the Jewswhocame up from you have come to us at Jerusalem; they are rebuilding5the rebellious and evilcity and 6are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.
13"Now let it be known to the king, that if that city is rebuilt and the walls are finished, 7they will not paytribute, custom or toll, and it will damage the revenue of the kings.
14"Nowbecause we fare in the service of the palace, and it is not fitting for us to see the king'sdishonor, therefore we have sent and informed the king,
15so that a search may be made in the recordbooks of your fathers. And you will discover in the recordbooks and learn that that city is a rebelliouscity and damaging to kings and provinces, and that they have incitedrevoltwithin it in pastdays; therefore that city was laidwaste.
"We inform the king that if that city is rebuilt and the wallsfinished, as a result you will havenopossession in the province beyond the River."
Then the kingsent an answer to Rehum the commander , to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their colleagueswholive in Samaria and in the rest of the provinces beyond the River: "Peace. And now18
the documentwhich you sent to us has been g8translated and readbefore me.
"A decree has been hissued by me, and a search has been made and it has been discovered that that city has risen up against the kings in pastdays, that rebellion and revolt have been perpetrated in it,
209that mightykings have iruledoverJerusalem, governingall the provinces 10beyond the River, and that 11tribute, custom and toll were paid to them.
"So, nowissue a decree to make thesemenstop work, that thiscity may not be rebuiltuntil a decree is issued by me.
22"Beware of being negligent in carrying out this matter; why should damageincrease to the detriment of the kings?"
23Then as soon as the copy of KingArtaxerxes'document was readbeforeRehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and stopped them by force of arms.