Ezra 4

CHAPTER 4

Opposition in Building the House of The LORD

And [6heard 1the 2ones afflicting 3Judah 4and 5Benjamin] that the sons of the resettlement were building a house to the  lord God of Israel. And they approached to Zerubbabel, and to the rulers of the families, and said to them, We should build with you, for as you, we also inquire to your God; and to him we sacrifice from the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, the one bringing us here. And [2said 3to 4them 1Zerubbabel], and Jeshua, and the rest of the rulers of the families of Israel, It is not for us and you to build a house to our God, for we ourselves together shall build to the  lord God of Israel, as [5gave charge 6to us 1Cyrus 2the 3king 4of the Persians]. And [5were 1the 2people 3of the 4land] enfeebling the hands of the people of Judah, and they impeded them to build. And they were hiring against them counselors to efface their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of the Persians, and unto the kingdom of Darius, the king of the Persians. And in the kingdom of Ahasuerus, and in the beginning of his kingdom, they wrote a letter against the ones living in Judah and Jerusalem. And in the days of Artaxerxes [2wrote 3in 4peace 1Mithridath], and Tabeel, with the rest of his fellow-servants to Artaxerxes king of the Persians. [3wrote 1The 2tribute-gatherer] the writing in Syrian and being translated. Rehum the master and Shimshai the scribe wrote [2letter 1one] against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king, saying, Thus [3judges 1Rehum 2the master], and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of our fellow-servants, the Dinaites, Apharsathchites, Tarpelites, Apharsites, Archevites, Babylonians, Susanchites, Dehavites, Elamites, 10 and the rest of the of the nations whom [7resettled 6Asnapper 1the 2great 3and 4the 5esteemed], and settled them in the cities of Samaria, and the rest on the other side of the river.

The Letter to Artaxerxes

11 This is the disposition of the letter which they sent to him -- To Artaxerxes the king. By your servants, the men on the other side of the river. 12 And now [2be made known 1let it] to the king, that the Jews ascending from you to us came into Jerusalem the [4city 1defecting 2and 3wicked], which they are building; and the walls of it are being readied, and the foundations of it they elevated. 13 Now then let it be made known to the king, that if that city should be rebuilt, and the walls of it should be readied, that tributes, tolls, and customs they shall not give, and this [2to kings 1does evil]! 14 And now [2not 3as 4salt 5of the 6temple 1we salted], and [4an indecency 5concerning the king 1it is not allowed 2for us 3to behold]. On account of this we sent forth and made known to the king; 15 that it should be examined in the book of memoirs of your fathers; and you shall find in the book of the memorial, and shall know that that city [2city 1is a defecting], and one doing evil to kings; and [8for places 9and 10flights 11for your runaway servants 7it is 1in 2the midst 3of it 4from 5the time 6of the eon]. On account of this, this city was made desolate. 16 We make known then ourselves to the king, that if that city should be built, and its walls should be readied for these things, [3a part 4on 5the 6other side 7of the 8river 1there shall not be 2to you].

Artaxerxes Responds

17 And this then is the word which [3sent 1the 2king] to Rehum the master, and Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their fellow-servants of the ones living in Samaria, and the rest on the other side of the river, saying, Peace. And says the king, 18 The tribute-gatherer whom you sent to us was called before me. 19 And by me was rendered a decree, and they examined and it was found that that city from days of the eon [2against 3kings 1lifts itself up], and defections and exiles take place in it. 20 And [2kings 1strong] were over Jerusalem prevailing over all of the other side of the river. And [2tribute 3and tolls 1both] and customs were given to them. 21 And now establish a decree [3to cease work 2men 1for those], so that that city shall not be built up any more! 22 So that of the decree [2guarding 1you were] you not be remiss to do concerning this, lest at any time [2should be multiplied 1an extinction of power] for an evil deed to happen to kings.

The Building Ceases

23 Then the tribute-gatherer of king Artaxerxes read in the presence of Rehum the master, and Shimshai the scribe, and his fellow-servants. And they went with diligence unto Jerusalem and to Judah, and they caused them to cease work with horses and a force. 24 Then [5was idle 1the 2work 3of the house 4of God], the one in Jerusalem. And it was idle until the second year of the kingdom of Darius king of Persia.
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