Ezra 4

Thomson(i) 1 and when they who afflicted Juda and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a house for the Lord God of Israel, 2 they came to Zorobabel and to the chiefs of the families, and said, Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek our God, and we sacrifice to him, from the days of Asaradan, king of Assur, who brought us here. 3 But Zorobabel and Jesus, and the other chiefs of the families of Israel, said to them, It is not allowable for us, and you, to build a house to our God, for we ourselves assembling together are to build for the Lord our God, as Cyrus the king of the Persians hath commanded us. 4 Upon this the people of the land began to weaken the hands of the people of Juda, and they impeded their building, 5 and counsellors were hired to frustrate their design, all the days of Cyrus king of the Persians, and even to the reign of Darius king of Persia. 6 In the reign of Assuerus, even in the beginning of his reign, they wrote a letter against the inhabitants of Juda and Jerusalem. 7 And in the days of Arthasastha, Tabeel in concert with Mithridates, and the rest of his fellow servants, wrote to Arthasastha king of the Persians; the collector of the tribute drew up a writing in Syriack; 8 and Reum Baltam and Sampsa the secretary, wrote a translation of it, as their joint letter against Jerusalem, to Arthasastha the king saying, 9 This hath been agreed on by Reum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary, and the rest of our fellow servants, the Deinaians, Apharsathachaians, Tarphalaians, Apharsaians, Archuaians, Babylonians, Susanachaians, Davaians, 10 and the rest of the nations, whom the great and the honourable Assenaphar transplanted, and settled in the cities of Somoron, and the rest of the country on this side the river. 11 This was the purport of the letter which they sent to him, To Arthasastha the king., thy servants, the men beyond the river: 12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from thee to us, have come to Jerusalem, that rebellious and wicked city, and are rebuilding it. The walls of it are repaired, and they have reared up the foundations of it. 13 Now therefore be it known to the king, that if this city be rebuilt, and the walls therefore completed, no tribute will be paid to thee, nor will they do homage. Now as this is injurious to kings, 14 and it is not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, we have therefore sent to inform the king, 15 that he may examine the book of the records of thy fathers, by which thou wilt find, and know that this is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and countries, and that there are asylums for slaves in the midst of it, from time immemorial, for which cause this city was laid waste. 16 We therefore certify the king, that if this city be rebuilt, and the wall thereof reared up, there will be no peace for thee. 17 To which he replied. The king, to Reum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary, and to the rest of their fellow servants, who dwell in Samaria and the rest beyond the river, greeting, and saith, 18 The collector of the tribute, whom you sent to us, hath been called before me, 19 and I gave orders and we have examined and found, that this city from time immemorial hath set itself up against kings and that there are seditions in it, and asylums for slaves; 20 and that there have been mighty kings in Jerusalem, who have exercised dominion over the whole country beyond the river; and that great tribute, and tolls have been paid to them. 21 Now therefore give orders to stop those men; for that city must not be built any more. 22 See that you merit praise in executing this, lest peradventure the desolation be fitted up to the prejudice of kings. 23 When king Arthasastha's collector of tribute had read this in the presence of Beum Baltam, and Sampsa the secretary, and his fellow servants, they marched in haste to Jerusalem, and through Juda, and with horsemen and an army caused them to stop. 24 So a stop was put to the work of the house of God in Jerusalem, and it continued stopped till the second year of the reign of Darius, king of the Persians.
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