King James VersionEzra4


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; 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. 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 Then the peo­ple of the land weak­ened the hands of the peo­ple of Ju­dah, and trou­bled them in build­ing, 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. 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. 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. 8 Re­hum the chan­cel­lor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a let­ter against Jerusalem to Ar­tax­erx­es the king in this sort: 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, 10 And the rest of the na­tions whom the great and no­ble As­nap­par brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the riv­er, and at such a time. 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. 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. 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. 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; 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. 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. 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. 18 The let­ter which ye sent unto us hath been plain­ly read be­fore me. 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. 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. 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. 22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should dam­age grow to the hurt of the kings? 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. 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.