Opposition to the Rebuilding

1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,
References for Ezra 4:1
2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”
References for Ezra 4:2
3 But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”
References for Ezra 4:3
4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.a
References for Ezra 4:4
    • e 4:4 - Or "and troubled them as they built"
      5 They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

      Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

      6 At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes,b they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
      References for Ezra 4:6
      7 And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language.cd
      References for Ezra 4:7
        • g 4:7 - Or "written in Aramaic and translated"
        • h 4:7 - The text of 4:8–6:18 is in Aramaic.