This is the copy of the letter that they sent to Artaxerxes the king: Your servants the men beyond the River, and so forth.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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.