The Restoration of Worship
3 1 And the seventh month cometh, and the sons of Israel 'are' in the cities, and the people are gathered, as one men, unto Jerusalem. 2 And rise doth Jeshua son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and they build the altar of the God of Israel, to cause to ascend upon it burnt-offerings, as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God. 3 And they establish the altar on its bases, because of the fear upon them of the peoples of the lands, and he causeth burnt-offerings to ascend upon it to Jehovah, burnt-offerings for the morning and for the evening. 4 And they make the feast of the booths as it is written, and the burnt-offering of the day daily in number according to the ordinance, the matter of a day in its day; 5 and after this a continual burnt-offering, and for new moons, and for all appointed seasons of Jehovah that are sanctified; and for every one who is willingly offering a willing-offering to Jehovah. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they have begun to cause burnt-offerings to ascend to Jehovah, and the temple of Jehovah hath not been founded, 7 and they give money to hewers and to artificers, and food, and drink, and oil to Zidonians and to Tyrians, to bring in cedar-trees from Lebanon unto the sea of Joppa, according to the permission of Cyrus king of Persia concerning them.
The Rebuilding of the Temple Begun
8 And in the second year of their coming in unto the house of God, to Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those coming from the captivity to Jerusalem, and they appoint the Levites from a son of twenty years and upward, to overlook the work of the house of Jehovah. 9 And Jeshua standeth, 'and' his sons, and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, sons of Judah together, to overlook those doing the work in the house of God; the sons of Henadad, 'and' their sons and their brethren the Levites. 10 And those building have founded the temple of Jehovah, and they appoint the priests, clothed, with trumpets, and the Levites, sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise Jehovah, by means of 'the instruments of' David king of Israel. 11 And they respond in praising and in giving thanks to Jehovah, for good, for to the age His kindness 'is' over Israel, and all the people have shouted—a great shout—in giving praise to Jehovah, because the house of Jehovah hath been founded. 12 And many of the priests, and the Levites, and the heads of the fathers, the aged men who had seen the first house—in this house being founded before their eyes—are weeping with a loud voice, and many with a shout, in joy, lifting up the voice; 13 and the people are not discerning the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people are shouting—a great shout—and the noise hath been heard unto a distance.
The Adversaries Stop the Work
4 1 And adversaries of Judah and Benjamin hear that the sons of the captivity are building a temple to Jehovah, God of Israel, 2 and they draw nigh unto Zerubbabel, and unto heads of the fathers, and say to them, 'Let us build with you; for, like you, we seek to your God, and we are not sacrificing since the days of Esar-Haddon king of Asshur, who brought us up hither.' 3 And Zerubbabel saith to them, also Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of the fathers of Israel, 'Not for you, and for us, to build a house to our God; but we ourselves together do build to Jehovah God of Israel, as the king Cyrus, king of Persia, commanded us.' 4 And it cometh to pass, the people of the land are making the hands of the people of Judah feeble, and troubling them in building, 5 and are hiring against them counsellors to make void their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even till the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the commencement of his reign, they have written an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem; 7 and in the days of Artaxerxes have Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions written unto Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter is written in Aramaean, and interpreted in Aramaean. 8 Rehum counsellor, and Shimshai scribe have written a letter concerning Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king, thus: 9 Then Rehum counsellor, and Shimshai scribe, and the rest of their companions, Dinaites, and Apharsathchites, Tarpelites, Apharsites, Archevites, Babylonians, Susanchites, (who are Elamites), 10 and the rest of the nations that the great and honourable Asnapper removed and set in the city of Samaria, and the rest beyond the river, and at such a time: 11 This 'is' a copy of a letter that they have sent unto him, unto Artaxerxes the king: 'Thy servants, men beyond the river, and at such a time; 12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who have come up from thee unto us, have come in to Jerusalem, the rebellious and base city they are building, and the walls they have finished, and the foundations they join. 13 'Now, be it known to the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls finished, toll, tribute, and custom they do not give; and at length 'to' the kings it doth cause loss. 14 Now, because that the salt of the palace 'is' our salt, and the nakedness of the king we have no patience to see, therefore we have sent and made known to the king; 15 so that he doth seek in the book of the records of thy fathers, and thou dost find in the book of the records, and dost know, that this city 'is' a rebellious city, and causing loss 'to' kings and provinces, and makers of sedition 'are' in its midst from the days of old, therefore hath this city been wasted. 16 We are making known to the king that, if this city be builded and the walls finished, by this means a portion beyond the river thou hast none.'
17 An answer hath the king sent unto Rehum counsellor, and Shimshai scribe, and the rest of their companions who are dwelling in Samaria, and the rest beyond the river, 'Peace, and at such a time: 18 The letter that ye sent unto us, explained, hath been read before me, 19 and by me a decree hath been made, and they sought, and have found that this city from the days of old against kings is lifting up itself, and rebellion and sedition is made in it, 20 and mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, even rulers over all beyond the river, and toll, tribute, and custom is given to them. 21 'Now, make ye a decree to cause these men to cease, and this city is not builded, till by me a decree is made. 22 And beware ye of negligence in doing this; why doth the hurt become great to the loss of the kings?' 23 Then from the time that a copy of the letter of king Artaxerxes is read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they have gone in haste to Jerusalem, unto the Jews, and caused them to cease by force and strength; 24 then ceased the service of the house of God that 'is' in Jerusalem, and it ceased till the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
The Temple Rebuilt
5 1 And prophesied have the prophets, (Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah son of Iddo) unto the Jews who 'are' in Judah and in Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel—unto them. 2 Then have Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jozadak, risen, and begun to build the house of God, that 'is' in Jerusalem, and with them are the prophets of God supporting them.
3 At that time come to them hath Tatnai, governor beyond the river, and Shethar-Boznai, and their companions, and thus they are saying to them, 'Who hath made for you a decree this house to build, and this wall to finish?' 4 Then thus we have said to them, 'What 'are' the names of the men who are building this building?' 5 And the eye of their God hath been upon the elders of the Jews, and they have not caused them to cease till the matter goeth to Darius, and then they send back a letter concerning this thing. 6 The copy of a letter that Tatnai, governor beyond the river, hath sent, and Shethar-Boznai and his companions, the Apharsachites who 'are' beyond the river, unto Darius the king. 7 A letter they have sent unto him, and thus is it written in it: 8 'To Darius the king, all peace! be it known to the king that we have gone to the province of Judah, to the great house of God, and it is built 'with' rolled stones, and wood is placed in the walls, and this work is done speedily, and prospering in their hand. 9 Then we have asked of these elders, thus we have said to them, Who hath made for you a decree this house to build, and this wall to finish? 10 And also their names we have asked of them, to let thee know, that we might write the names of the men who 'are' at their head. 11 'And thus they have returned us word, saying, We 'are' servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was built many years before this, that a great king of Israel built and finished: 12 but after that our fathers made the God of heaven angry, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon the Chaldean, and this house he destroyed, and the people he removed to Babylon; 13 but in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree to build this house of God, 14 and also, the vessels of the house of God, of gold and silver, that Nebuchadnezzar had taken forth out of the temple that 'is' in Jerusalem, and brought them to the temple of Babylon, them hath Cyrus the king brought forth out of the temple of Babylon, and they have been given to 'one', Sheshbazzar 'is' his name, whom he made governor, 15 and said to him, These vessels lift up, go, put them down in the temple that 'is' in Jerusalem, and the house of God is builded on its place. 16 Then hath this Sheshbazzar come—he hath laid the foundations of the house of God that 'is' in Jerusalem, and from thence even till now it hath been building, and is not finished. 17 'And now, if to the king it be good, let search be made in the treasure-house of the king, that 'is' there in Babylon, whether it be that of Cyrus the king there was made a decree to build this house of God in Jerusalem, and the will of the king concerning this thing he doth send unto us.'