Ezra 4

CLV(i) 1 When the foes of Judah and Benjamin heard that the sons of deportation were building a temple for Yahweh Elohim of Israel, 2 they came close to Zerubbabel and to the patriarchal heads and said to them:Let us build together with you; for we seek after your Elohim like you, and to Him we have been sacrificing since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria who brought us up here. 3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the remnants of the patriarchal heads of Israel said to them, You have nothing in common with us to build the House for our Elohim; for only we ourselves shall build it for Yahweh Elohim of Israel, just as the king, Cyrus king of Persia, has instructed us. 4 So it came to be that the people of the area were holding back the hands of the people of Judah, thus deterring them from building. 5 They were hiring counselors against them to have their purpose quashed all the days of Cyrus king of Persia and until the reign of Darius king of Persia. 6 And during the reign of Xerxes, at the start of his reign, they wrote an accusation against those dwelling in Judah and Jerusalem. 7 Then in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the remainder of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; the writing of the dispatch was written in Aramaic and interpreted. 8 Aramaic text:High commissioner Rehum and scribe Shimshai, they wrote one letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king, as follows. 9 (Then they wrote, high commissioner Rehum and scribe Shimshai, and the rest of their colleagues, the adjudicators and the officials over the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the Susaites, that is, the Elamites, 10 and the rest of the leagues whom the great and esteemed Osnappar deported and caused them to settle in the towns of Samaria and the rest of Beyond-the-Stream. And now, 11 this is a transcript of the letter that they sent to him.) To king Artaxerxes from your servants, the men Beyond-the-Stream. And now, 12 let it become known to the king that the Judeans who came up here from you to us, have arrived at Jerusalem. They are rebuilding the revolting and stinking town. They are completing the walls and are repairing the foundations. 13 Now let it become known to the king that, if this town should be rebuilt and the walls be completed, they shall not pay tribute, tax or toll, and it shall cause damage to the revenue of the kings. 14 Now forasmuch as we have salted the salt of the palace, and it is not proper for us to perceive the denuding of the king, we have sent and have let the king know of this, 15 that one should make a quest in the scroll of the memoranda of your fathers. Then you shall find in the scroll of the memoranda and you shall know that this town is a revolting town, causing damage to kings and provinces. Those making insurrections were in its midst from the days of the eon. On this account this town was laid waste. 16 We are making known to the king, if this town should be rebuilt and the walls should be completed, because of this there will be no portion for you in the province Beyond-the-Stream. 17 The king sent this rescript to high commissioner Rehum and scribe Shimshai, and the rest of their colleagues who were settled in Samaria and the rest Beyond-the-Stream:Peace! No. 18 the dispatch that you sent to us has been read before me in translation. 19 So a decree was promulgated from me, and they have made a quest and have found that this town had lifted itself up against kings from the days of the eon and that revolting and insurrection were made in it. 20 There were mighty kings over Jerusalem with authority over the whole province Beyond-the-Stream; and tribute, tax and toll were granted to them. 21 Now issue an order for these masters to halt. This town may not be rebuilt until a command from me is promulgated. 22 And be warned against acting carelessly in this matter. Why let this harm grow great so as to cause damage to the kings? 23 Then after a transcript of the dispatch of king Artaxerxes had been read before Rehum and scribe Shimshai and their colleagues, they departed in a fluster to Jerusalem to the Judeans and made them halt by force of arms. 24 Then the work on the House of Eloah in Jerusalem was halted. And it remained halted until the year two of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
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