1 Now, when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard - that, the Sons of the Exile, were building the temple, unto Yahweh, God of Israel, 2 then drew they near unto Zerubbabel, and unto the ancestral chiefs, and said unto them, Let us build with you, for, like you, we seek your God, and, unto him, have, we, been sacrificing since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.
3 But Zerubbabel and Joshua and the rest of the ancestral chiefs of Israel, said unto them, It pertaineth not to you and to us in common , to build a house unto our God, - but, we ourselves together, will build unto Yahweh, God of Israel, even as King Cyrus, king of Persia, hath commanded us. 4 Then came it to pass, that, the people of the land, were weakening the hands of the people of Judah, - and troubling them in building; 5 and hiring against them counselors, to overturn their purpose, - all the days of Cyrus, king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius, king of Persia.
6 And, in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they an accusation, against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 7 And, in the days of Artaxerxes, wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his associates, unto Artaxerxes, king of Persia, - and, the writing of the letter, was written in Aramean, and was to be interpreted as Aramean.
8 Rehum holder of judicial authority, and Shimshai the scribe, wrote a certain letter against Jerusalem, - to Artaxerxes the king, thus: 9 Then Rehum holder of judicial authority, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, - the Dinaites and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites; 10 and the rest of the peoples, whom the great and noble Osnappar hath exiled, and set in the city of Samaria, - and the rest Beyond the River, and so forth:
11 This, is a copy of the letter which they sent unto him - unto Artaxerxes the king, - Thy servants, the men Beyond the River and so forth: 12 Be it known unto the king, - that, the Jews who came up from thee unto us, are come to Jerusalem, - the rebellious and wicked city, are they building, and, the walls, have they finished, and, the foundations, will they repair. 13 Now be it known to the king, that, if this city, be built, and, the walls thereof, be finished, neither, tribute, excise, nor toll, will they render, and so, the revenue of the kings, shalt thou damage. 14 Now, because the salt of the palace we have eaten, the impoverishment of the king, it is not meet for us to see, - therefore have we sent, and certified the king; 15 so that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers, so shalt thou find out in the book of records - and shalt ascertain, that, this city, is a rebellious city, and one that causeth damage unto kings and provinces, and that, rebellion, have they been wont to cause in the midst thereof since the days of age-past time, - for this cause, was this city laid waste. 16 We do certify the king that, if, this city, be built, and, the walls thereof, finished, for that very reason, portion Beyond the River, shalt thou have none.
17 The king sent, a message, unto Rehum holder of judicial authority, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, who were dwelling in Samaria, and the rest Beyond the River, Peace and so forth. 18 The letter which ye sent unto us, was distinctly read before me; 19 And, from me, went forth an edict, and they have made search and found, that, this city, since the days of age-past time, against kings, hath lifted herself up, - and, sedition and rebellion, have been made therein; 20 and, mighty kings, have there been over Jerusalem, and bearing rule everywhere Beyond the River, - and, tribute, excise, and toll, have been given to them. 21 Now, issue ye an edict, to forbid these men, - that, this city, be not built, until, from me, the edict be issued. 22 Beware, then, of failure to do thus, - wherefore should the damage increase, to inflict loss on the kings?
23 Then, when, the copy of the letter of Artaxerxes the king, had been read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their associates, they journeyed in haste to Jerusalem, unto the Jews, and forbade them, with arm and force.