1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem. And with them were the prophets of God helping them.
3 At the same time Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-boznai, and their companions, came to them and said this to them Who has commanded you to build this house and to make this wall? 4 So then we said to them: What are the names of the men who are building this building? 5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, so that they could not cause them to stop until the matter came to Darius, and answer by letter concerning this had been returned.
6 The copy of the letter which Tatnai, governor of the province Beyond the River, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions, the officials Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king: 7 They sent a letter to him, in which this was written, To Darius the king, all peace: 8 Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones, and timber is being laid in the walls, and this work goes on fast and is blessed in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders and said this to them, Who commanded you to build this house and to make these walls? 10 We also asked their names in order to notify you so that we might write the names of the men who are the chief of them. 11 And they returned this answer to us, saying, We are the servants of the God of Heaven and earth. And we build the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up. 12 But after our fathers had provoked the God of Heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away to Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, King Cyrus gave an order to build this house of God. 14 And also the vessels of gold and silver from the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. 15 And he said to him, Take these vessels and go. Carry them into the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in His place. 16 Then the same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And since that time even until now it has been building, but is not finished. 17 And therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house there at Babylon, whether it is so that a decree was given from Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem. And let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.