Bible: Ezra 4:1-16
Opposition to the Building Efforts
4:1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned that the former exiles 1 were building a temple for the
Official Complaints Are Lodged Against the Jews
At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus 15 they filed an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 16 4:7 And during the reign 17 of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, 18 Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their colleagues 19 wrote to King Artaxerxes 20 of Persia. This letter 21 was first written in Aramaic but then translated.
4:8 Rehum the commander 23 and Shimshai the scribe 24 wrote a letter concerning 25 Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows: 4:9 From 26 Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues – the judges, the rulers, the officials, the secretaries, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the people of Susa (that is, 27 the Elamites), 4:10 and the rest of nations whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal 28 deported and settled in the cities 29 of Samaria and other places in Trans-Euphrates. 30 4:11 (This is a copy of the letter they sent to him:)
“To King Artaxerxes, 31 from your servants in 32 Trans-Euphrates: 4:12 Now 33 let the king be aware that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and odious city. 34 They are completing its walls and repairing its foundations. 4:13 Let the king also be aware that if this city is built and its walls are completed, no more tax, custom, or toll will be paid, and the royal treasury 35 will suffer loss. 4:14 In light of the fact that we are loyal to the king, 36 and since it does not seem appropriate to us that the king should sustain damage, 37 we are sending the king this information 38 4:15 so that he may initiate a search of the records 39 of his predecessors 40 and discover in those records 41 that this city is rebellious 42 and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 43 from long ago. 44 It is for this very reason that this city was destroyed. 4:16 We therefore are informing the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, you will not retain control 45 of this portion of Trans-Euphrates.”