This is a copy of the letter they sent him: "To Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River.
"Please be informed that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation for its walls and will soon complete them.
But we wish you to know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you.
"Since we are loyal to you as your subjects and we do not want to see you dishonored in this way, we have sent you this information.
We suggest that you search your ancestors' records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long history of sedition against the kings and countries who attempted to control it.
We declare that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)