Ezra 4:1-5

Opposition to the Rebuilding

1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,
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, Joshua 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 peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.[a]
5 They bribed officials 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.

Ezra 4:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;
ESV
1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel,
NLT
1 The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, the God of Israel.
MSG
1 Old enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building The Temple of the God of Israel.
CSB
1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel,

Ezra 4:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZRA 4

The contents of this chapter are the offer the Samaritans made to the Jews, to assist them in building the temple, which having refused, they gave them all the trouble they could, Ezr 4:1-6 and a letter of theirs to Artaxerxes, king of Persia, full of accusations of them, Ezr 4:7-16 and the answer of Artaxerxes to it, giving orders to command the Jews to cease building the temple, Ezr 4:17-22 which orders were accordingly executed, and the work ceased till the second year of Darius, Ezr 4:23,24.

Ezra 4:1-5 In-Context

1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,
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, Joshua 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 peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.
5 They bribed officials 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 At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
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 commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,

Cross References 5

  • 1. Nehemiah 2:20
  • 2. S 2 Kings 17:24; 2 Kings 19:37
  • 3. S 2 Kings 17:41
  • 4. Ezra 1:1-4; Nehemiah 2:20
  • 5. S Ezra 3:3

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "and troubled them as they built"
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