The copy of the letter that Tatnai,governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river,sentuntoDarius the king:7
They sent a letterunto him, whereina was writtenthus; Unto Darius the king,allpeace.8
Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the greatGod, which is builded with greatbstones, and timber is laid in the walls, and thisworkgoethfast on, and prospereth in their hands.9Thenasked we thoseelders , and said unto them thus,Whocommanded you to buildthishouse, and to make upthesewalls?10
We asked their namesalso, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.
And thus they returned us answer,saying , Weare the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that wasbuildedthesemanyyearsago, which a greatking of Israelbuilded and set up .
12Butafter that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath , he gavethem into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyedthishouse, and carried the peopleaway into Babylon.13But in the firstyear of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same kingCyrusmade a decree to buildthishouse of God.14
And the vesselsalsoofgold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzartook out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon,those did Cyrus the kingtake out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had madegovernor;c15
And said unto him, Takethesevessels,go , carrythem into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be buildedin his place.16Thencame the sameSheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even untilnow hath it been in building , and yet it is notfinished .
17Now therefore, if it seem goodto the king, let there be search made in the king'streasurehouse, which is there at Babylon,whether it be so, that a decree was madeofCyrus the king to buildthishouse of God at Jerusalem, and let the kingsend his pleasure to us concerning this matter.