Now Haggai1 the prophet and Zechariah2 the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied3 to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them.
Then Zerubbabel4 son of Shealtiel and Jeshua5 son of Jozadak set to work6 to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
At that time Tattenai,7 governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai8 and their associates went to them and asked, "Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure?"9
They also asked, "What are the names of the men constructing this building?"
But the eye of their God10 was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.
This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates, the officials of Trans-Euphrates, sent to King Darius.
The report they sent him read as follows: To King Darius: Cordial greetings.
The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work11 is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction.
We questioned the elders and asked them, "Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure?"12
We also asked them their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.
This is the answer they gave us: "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple13 that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished.