(This is a copy of the letter they sent him.) To King Artaxerxes, From your servants, the men of Trans-Euphrates:
The king should know that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.1
Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty2 will be paid, and the royal revenues will suffer.
Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king,
so that a search may be made in the archives3 of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place of rebellion from ancient times. That is why this city was destroyed.4
We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.