This [is] a copy of a letter that they have sent unto him, unto Artaxerxes the king: `Thy servants, men beyond the river, and at such a time;
Be it known to the king, that the Jews who have come up from thee unto us, have come in to Jerusalem, the rebellious and base city they are building, and the walls they have finished, and the foundations they join.
`Now, be it known to the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls finished, toll, tribute, and custom they do not give; and at length [to] the kings it doth cause loss.
Now, because that the salt of the palace [is] our salt, and the nakedness of the king we have no patience to see, therefore we have sent and made known to the king;
so that he doth seek in the book of the records of thy fathers, and thou dost find in the book of the records, and dost know, that this city [is] a rebellious city, and causing loss [to] kings and provinces, and makers of sedition [are] in its midst from the days of old, therefore hath this city been wasted.
We are making known to the king that, if this city be builded and the walls finished, by this means a portion beyond the river thou hast none.'