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Ezra 4 :: Revised Standard Version (RSV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:1 - Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:2 - they approached Zerub'babel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, "Let us build with you; for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of E'sar-had'don king of Assyria who brought us here."

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:3 - But Zerub'babel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, "You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us."

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:4 - Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build,

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

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:6 - And in the reign of Ahasu-e'rus, 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 Ar-ta-xerx'es, Bishlam and Mith'redath and Tab'eel and the rest of their associates wrote to Ar-ta-xerx'es king of Persia; the letter was written in Aramaic and translated.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:8 - Rehum the commander and Shim'shai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Ar-ta-xerx'es the king as follows--

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:9 - then wrote Rehum the commander, Shim'shai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the judges, the governors, the officials, the Persians, 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 whom the great and noble Osnap'par deported and settled in the cities of Sama'ria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, and now

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:11 - this is a copy of the letter that they sent--"To Ar-ta-xerx'es the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:12 - be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city; they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:13 - Now be it known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:14 - Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king,

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:15 - in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:16 - We make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River."

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:17 - The king sent an answer: "To Rehum the commander and Shim'shai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Sama'ria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now

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

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:19 - And I made a decree, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city from of old has risen against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:20 - And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom tribute, custom, and toll were paid.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:21 - Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:22 - And take care not to be slack in this matter; why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?"

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:23 - Then, when the copy of King Ar-ta-xerx'es' letter was read before Rehum and Shim'shai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease.

Unchecked Copy BoxEzr 4:24 - Then the work on the house of God which is in Jerusalem stopped; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

RSV

Downloaded from the Oxford Text Archive and used with permission. The following header is required to be posted:

Source: Transcribed from: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version containing the Old and New Testaments, translated from the original tongues: being the version set forth A.D. 1611, revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901: compared with the most ancient authorities and revised A.D. 1946-52. — 2nd ed. of New Testament A.D. 1971. There should be enough in the rest of the description to identify the text.

Language: English

Availability: Freely available for non-commercial use provided that this header is included in its entirety with any copy distributed.

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