This is a copy of their letter: “To King Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River.
“The king should know that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation and will soon finish its walls.
And the king should know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you.
“Since we are your loyal subjects and do not want to see the king dishonored in this way, we have sent the king this information.
We suggest that a search be made in your ancestors’ records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long and troublesome history of revolt against the kings and countries who controlled it.
We declare to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you.”