4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that
the children of the captivity were building the temple to the
LORD God of Israel;
4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the
fathers, and said to them, Let us build with you: for we seek
your God, as ye [do]; and we do sacrifice to him since the days
of Esar-haddon king of Assur, who brought us up hither.
4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the
fathers of Israel, said to them, Ye have nothing to do with us
to build a house to our God; but we ourselves together will
build to the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of
Persia hath commanded us.
4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people
of Judah, and troubled them in building,
4:5 And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their
purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the
reign of Darius king of Persia.
4:6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his
reign, they wrote [to him] an accusation against the
inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
4:7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath,
Tabeel, and the rest of their companions to Artaxerxes king of
Persia, and the writing of the letter [was] written in the
Syrian language, and interpreted in the Syrian language.
4:8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter
against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
4:9 Then [wrote] Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe,
and the rest of their companions; the Dianites, the
Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the
Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites,
[and] the Elamites,
4:10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble
Asnapper brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and
the rest [that are] on this side of the river, and at such a
4:11 This [is] the copy of the letter that they sent to him,
[even] to Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men on this
side of the river, and at such a time.
4:12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came from thee
to us are come to Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the
noxious city, and have set up its walls, and joined the
4:13 Be it known now to the king, that, if this city shall be
built, and the walls set up [again], [then] they will not pay
toll, tribute, and custom, and [so] thou wilt endamage the
revenue of the kings.
4:14 Now because we have maintenance from [the king's] palace,
and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonor,
therefore have we sent and certified the king;
4:15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy
fathers: so wilt thou find in the book of the records, and know
that this city [is] a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and
provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of
old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.
4:16 We certify the king that, if this city shall be built
[again], and its walls set up, by this means thou wilt have no
portion on this side of the river.
4:17 [Then] the king sent an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and
[to] Shimshai the scribe, and [to] the rest of their companions
that dwell in Samaria, and [to] the rest beyond the river,
Peace, and at such a time.
4:18 The letter which ye sent to us hath been plainly read
4:19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found
that this city of old time hath made insurrection against
kings, and [that] rebellion and sedition have been made in it.
4:20 There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have
ruled over all [countries] beyond the river; and toll, tribute,
and custom, was paid to them.
4:21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and
that this city be not built, until [another] commandment shall
be given from me.
4:22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should
damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter [was] read
before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions,
they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them
to cease by force and power.
4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which [is] at
Jerusalem. So it ceased until the second year of the reign of
Darius king of Persia.