[Then] sent the king an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and in the rest [of the country] beyond the River: Peace, and so forth.
The letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me.
I decreed, and search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all [the country] beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid to them.
Make you now a decree to cause these men to cease, and that this city not be built, until a decree shall be made by me.
Take heed that you not be slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?