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Ezra 4 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:1 - When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:2 - they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:3 - But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:4 - Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:5 - They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:6 - At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes,[fn] they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:7 - And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language.[fn][fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:8 - Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:9 - Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:10 - and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:11 - (This is a copy of the letter they sent him.) To King Artaxerxes, From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:12 - The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:13 - Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:14 - Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:15 - so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:16 - We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:17 - The king sent this reply: To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates: Greetings.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:18 - The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:19 - I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:20 - Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:21 - Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:22 - Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:23 - As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:24 - Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
NIV Footnotes
Or and troubled them as they built
Hebrew Ahasuerus
Or written in Aramaic and translated
The meaning of the Aramaic for this clause is uncertain.

NIV

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.


See detailed copyright information.

 
 
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