Bible: Ezra 4:12-21

4:12 Now 1  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. 2  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 3  will suffer loss. 4:14 In light of the fact that we are loyal to the king, 4  and since it does not seem appropriate to us that the king should sustain damage, 5  we are sending the king this information 6  4:15 so that he may initiate a search of the records 7  of his predecessors 8  and discover in those records 9  that this city is rebellious 10  and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 11  from long ago. 12  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 13  of this portion of Trans-Euphrates.”

4:17 The king sent the following response:

“To Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and other parts of Trans-Euphrates: Greetings! 14  4:18 The letter you sent to us has been translated and read in my presence. 4:19 So I gave orders, 15  and it was determined 16  that this city from long ago has been engaging in insurrection against kings. It has continually engaged in 17  rebellion and revolt. 4:20 Powerful kings have been over Jerusalem who ruled throughout the entire Trans-Euphrates 18  and who were the beneficiaries of 19  tribute, custom, and toll. 4:21 Now give orders that these men cease their work and that this city not be rebuilt until such time as I so instruct. 20 

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