1 Now the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem; in the name of the God of Israel did they prophesy to them. 2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, who helped them.
3 At that time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and their companions, and said thus to them: Who gave you orders to build this house and to complete this wall? 4 And they said to them after this manner: What are the names of the men that build this building? 5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they did not make them cease till the matter came to Darius; and then they returned answer by letter concerning it.
6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, who were on this side the river, sent to Darius the king. 7 They sent a report to him in which was written thus: To Darius the king, all peace! 8 Be it known to the king that we went into the province of Judah, to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work is being carried on with diligence, and prospers in their hand. 9 Then asked we those elders: thus we said to them, Who gave you orders to build this house and to complete this wall? 10 We asked their names also, to inform thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them. 11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of the heavens and the earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago; and a great king of Israel built and completed it. 12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of the heavens to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, and he destroyed this house, and carried the people away unto Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, king Cyrus gave orders to build this house of God. 14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was at Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, those did king Cyrus take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one Sheshbazzar by name, whom he had appointed governor. 15 And he said to him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is at Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in its place. 16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and since that time even until now has it been in building, and it is not completed. 17 And now, if it seem good to the king, let search be made in the king's treasure-house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that orders were given by king Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.