Ezra 4:1-5; Ezra 4:24 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

Facing opposition

1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the families and said to them, "Let's build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we've been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Assyria's King Esarhaddon, who brought us here." 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of the families in Israel replied, "You'll have no part with us in building a house for our God. We alone will build because the LORD, the God of Israel, and Persia's King Cyrus commanded us." 4 The neighboring peoples discouraged the people of Judah, made them afraid to build, 5 and bribed officials to frustrate their plan. They did this throughout the rule of Persia's King Cyrus until the rule of Persia's King Darius. 24 At that time the work on God's house in Jerusalem stopped and was suspended until the second year of the rule of Persia's King Darius.
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