1 The Prophets, Haggai, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel. 2 Then gat up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem, and with them the Prophets of God which strengthened them.
3 At the same time came to them Tattenai, which was the captain on this side the water, and Shetharbozenai, and their counselors, and said thus unto them, "Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up the walls thereof?" 4 Then told we them the names of the men, that made this building. 5 But the eye of their God came upon the Elders of the Jews, that they were not inhibited, till the matter was brought before Darius, and till there came a writing thereof again.
6 This is the copy of the letter that Tattenai the captain on this side the water, and Shetharbozenai, and their counselors of Arphaxad, which were on this side the water, sent unto king Darius; 7 And this is the intent of the words that they sent unto him: "Unto Darius the king, all peace. 8 Be it known unto the king, that we came into Jewry to the house of the great God, which is builded with all manner of stone, and beams are laid in the walls, and the work goeth fast forth, and prospereth in their hands? 9 Nevertheless, we asked the Elders and said unto them, 'Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up the walls thereof?' 10 We asked their names also, that we might certify thee, and have written the names of the men that were their rulers. 11 But they answered us with these words, and said, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. 12 But after our forefathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them over into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, which brake down this house, and carried the people away unto Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same king Cyrus commanded to build this house of God - 14 for the vessels of gold and silver in the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple at Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple at Babylon: those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and delivered them unto Sheshbazzar by name, whom he made captain, 15 and said unto him, 'Take these vessels, go thy way, and bring them unto the temple at Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place.' 16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar and laid the foundation of the house of God at Jerusalem. Since that time hath it been in building, and yet is it not finished. 17 If it please the king now, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is at Babylon, whether it have been king Cyrus' commandment, that the house of God at Jerusalem should be builded: and send us the king's mind concerning the same."