Now when 1the enemies of Judah and Benjaminheard that 2the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORDGod of Israel,
they approachedZerubbabel and the heads of fathers' households, and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God ; 3and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of 4Esarhaddonking of Assyria, who brought us up here."
But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' households of Israelsaid to them, "5You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God ; but we ourselves will togetherbuild to the LORDGod of Israel, 6as KingCyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us."
Then 7the people of the landadiscouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building,
and hiredcounselorsagainst them to frustrate their counselall the days of Cyrusking of Persia, even until the reign of Dariusking of Persia.
Now in the reign of b8Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusationagainst the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
And in the days of cArtaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagueswrote to Artaxerxesking of Persia ; and the dtext of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated9from Aramaic.
8eRehum the commander and Shimshai the scribewrote a letteragainstJerusalem to KingArtaxerxes, as follows -
9then wrote Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and 10the rest of their colleagues, the judges and 11the lessergovernors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites,
and the rest of the nationswhich the great and honorablefOsnappardeported and settled in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the regionbeyond the gRiver. 12Now11this is the copy of the letterwhich they sent to him: "T o KingArtaxerxes : Your servants, the men in the regionbeyond the River, and now