(This is a copy of the letter they sent to him.) To King Artaxerxes from your servants, the people of the province Beyond the River.
May it be known to the king that the Jews who left you and came to us have arrived in Jerusalem. They are rebuilding the rebellious and wicked city; they are completing the walls and repairing the foundations.
May it be known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls completed, they will not pay tribute or tax or dues, and the royal revenue will be reduced.
Since we receive our salary from the palace, and since it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, we now send this letter and inform the king
so that you may search the records of your ancestors. You will discover in the records that this is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces, and that it has been in revolt over a long period of time. As a result, this city was laid waste.
We tell the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls completed, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.