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4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the
children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of
Israel; 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the
fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your
God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of
Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the
fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to
build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto
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 counsellors
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,
wrote they unto 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, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and
the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and
interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

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 Dinaites, 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 the river, and at such a
time.

4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto
Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and
at such a time.

4:12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee
to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad
city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

4:13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and
the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and
custom, and so thou shalt 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 dishonour, 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 shalt thou find in the book of the
records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful
unto 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 be builded again, and the
walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this
side the river.

4:17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to
Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in
Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a
time.

4:18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before
me.

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 therein.

4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have
ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and
custom, was paid unto them.

4:21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that
this city be not builded, 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 unto 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 unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of
Persia.


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