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Ezra 4:1-23 WEB/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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World English Bible (WEB) New International Version (NIV)
1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to Yahweh, the God of Israel; 1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,
2 then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' [houses], and said to them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as you do; and we sacrifice to him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here. 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here."
3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' [houses] of Israel, said to them, You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves together will build to Yahweh, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us. 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us."
4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.
5 and hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. 5 They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 6 At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
7 In the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian [character], and set forth in the Syrian [language]. 7 And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language.
8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: 8 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9 then [wrote] Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites, 9 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates--the judges and officials over the men from Tripolis, Persia, Erech and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,
10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest [of the country] beyond the River, and so forth. 10 and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.
11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent to Artaxerxes the king: Your servants the men beyond the River, and so forth. 11 (This is a copy of the letter they sent him.) To King Artaxerxes, From your servants, the men of Trans-Euphrates:
12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from you are come to us to Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations. 12 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.
13 Be it known now to the king that if this city is built, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful to the kings. 13 Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and the royal revenues will suffer.
14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not appropriate for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore have we sent and informed the king; 14 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,
15 that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: so shall you find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; for which cause was this city laid waste. 15 so that a search may be made in the archives 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.
16 We inform the king that, if this city be built, and the walls finished, by this means you shall have no portion beyond the River. 16 We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.
17 [Then] sent the king an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and in the rest [of the country] beyond the River: Peace, and so forth. 17 The king sent this reply: To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates: Greetings.
18 The letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me. 18 The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence.
19 I decreed, and search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 19 I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition.
20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all [the country] beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid to them. 20 Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them.
21 Make you now a decree to cause these men to cease, and that this city not be built, until a decree shall be made by me. 21 Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.
22 Take heed that you not be slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? 22 Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?
23 Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. 23 As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.