Ezra 4:1-7 (New American Standard)

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Adversaries Hinder the Work

1 Now when 1the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that 2the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel 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 4Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here." 3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' households of Israel said to them, "5You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God ; but we ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel, 6as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us." 4 Then 7the people of the land adiscouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, 5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. 6 Now in the reign of b8Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 7 And in the days of cArtaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia ; and the dtext of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated 9from Aramaic.
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