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The Blue Letter Bible

Ezra 4 :: Legacy Standard Bible (LSB)

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Adversaries Discourage the Work

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:1 -

Then the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to Yahweh, the God of Israel,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:2 - so they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ households and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:3 - But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to Yahweh, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:4 -

So the people of the land [fn]discouraged the people of Judah and dismayed them from building,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:5 - and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:6 -

Now in the reign of [fn]Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:7 -

And in the days of [fn]Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the [fn]text of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated from Aramaic.

The Letter to King Artaxerxes

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:8 - [fn]Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes, as follows
Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:9 -

then wrote Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues, the judges and the lesser governors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:10 -

and the rest of the nations, which the great and honorable [fn]Osnappar took away into exile and settled in the city of Samaria and in the rest of the region beyond the [fn]River. And now

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:11 - this is the copy of the letter which they sent to him:

“To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the region beyond the River, and now

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:12 -

let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem; they are rebuilding the rebellious and evil city and are completing the walls and repairing the foundations.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:13 -

“Now let it be known to the king, that if that city is rebuilt and the walls are completed, they will not give tribute, custom, or toll, and it will damage the revenue of the kings.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:14 -

“Now because we [fn]are in the service of the palace, and it is not fitting for us to see the king’s [fn]dishonor, therefore we have sent and made known to the king,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:15 -

that a search be made in the record books of your fathers. And you will find in the record books and come to know that that city is a rebellious city and damaging to kings and provinces, and that they have incited revolt within it in past days; therefore that city was laid waste.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:16 -

“We make known to the king that if that city is rebuilt and the walls completed, as a result you will have no portion in the province beyond the River.”

A Decree Makes the Men Stop Rebuilding

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:17 -

Then the king sent an edict to Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and in the rest of the provinces beyond the River: “Peace. And now

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:18 - the document which you sent to us has been plainly read before me.
Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:19 -

“So a decree has been [fn]issued by me, and a search has been made and it has been found that that city has lifted itself up against the kings in past days, that rebellion and revolt have been perpetrated in it,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:20 -

that strong kings have been over Jerusalem, even rulers in all the provinces beyond the River, and that tribute, custom, and toll were given to them.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:21 -

“Now issue a decree to make those men stop, that this city may not be rebuilt until a decree is issued by me.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:22 -

“And beware of being negligent in doing this matter; why should harm increase to damage the kings?”

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:23 -

Then as soon as the copy of King Artaxerxes’ document was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and stopped them by force and military.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:24 -

Then the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

LSB Footnotes
Lit made the hands limp
Or Xerxes; Heb Ahash-verosh
Heb Artah-shashta
Lit writing
Ch 4:8-6:18 is in Aram
Probably Ashurbanipal
The Euphrates River, so in ch
Lit eat the salt
Lit nakedness
Lit put forth

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