17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river: "Peace, and at such a time.
18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.
19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city in old times hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom were paid unto them.
21 Give ye now command to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built until another command shall be given from me.
22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?"