this is a copy of the letter that they Sent--"to Ar-ta-xerx'es the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now
be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city; they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.
Now be it known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired.
Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king,
in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste.
We make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)