This is the text of the letter they sent to him: To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the men from the region west of the Euphrates River:
Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came from you have returned to us at Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and evil city, finishing its walls, and repairing its foundations.
Let it now be known to the king that if that city is rebuilt and its walls are finished, they will not pay tribute, duty, or land tax, and the royal revenuea will suffer.
Since we have taken an oath of loyalty to the king,b and it is not right for us to witness his dishonor, we have sent to inform the king
that a search should be made in your fathers' record books. In these record books you will discover and verify that the city is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces. There have been revolts in it since ancient times. That is why this city was destroyed.
We advise the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are finished, you will not have any possession west of the Euphrates.