When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building1 a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,
they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon2 king of Assyria, who brought us here."33
But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us."44
Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.a55
They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.