The king sent a reply to his chief deputy Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues living in Samaria and elsewhere in the region west of the Euphrates River: Greetings.
The letter you sent us has been translated and read in my presence.
I issued a decree and a search was conducted. It was discovered that this city has had uprisings against kings since ancient times, and there have been rebellions and revolts in it.
Powerful kings have also ruled over Jerusalem and exercised authority over the whole region, and tribute, duty, and land tax were paid to them.
Therefore, issue an order for these men to stop, so that this city will not be rebuilt until a [further] decree has been pronounced by me.
See that you not neglect this matter. Otherwise, the damage will increase and the royal interests will suffer.