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.'
6 1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and they sought in the house of the books of the treasuries placed there in Babylon, 2 and there hath been found at Achmetha, in a palace that 'is' in the province of Media, a roll, and a record thus written within it 'is': 3 'In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king hath made a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: the house let be builded in the place where they are sacrificing sacrifices, and its foundations strongly laid; its height sixty cubits, its breadth sixty cubits; 4 three rows of rolled stones, and a row of new wood, and the outlay let be given out of the king's house. 5 'And also, the vessels of the house of God, of gold and silver, that Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple that 'is' in Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, let be given back, and go to the temple that 'is' in Jerusalem, 'each' to its place, and put 'them' down in the house of God. 6 'Now, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-Boznai, and their companions, the Apharsachites, who 'are' beyond the river, be ye far from hence; 7 let alone the work of this house of God, let the governor of the Jews, and the elders of the Jews, build this house of God on its place. 8 'And by me is made a decree concerning that which ye do with the elders of these Jews to build this house of God, that of the riches of the king, that 'are' of the tribute beyond the river, speedily let the outlay be given to these men, that they cease not; 9 and what they are needing—both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs for burnt-offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil according to the saying of the priests who 'are' in Jerusalem—let be given to them day by day without fail, 10 that they be bringing near sweet savours to the God of heaven, and praying for the life of the king, and of his sons. 11 'And by me is made a decree, that any one who changeth this thing, let wood be pulled down from his house, and being raised up, let him be smitten on it, and his house let be made a dunghill for this. 12 And God, who caused His name to dwell there, doth cast down any king and people that putteth forth his hand to change, to destroy this house of God that 'is' in Jerusalem; I Darius have made a decree; speedily let it be done.'
13 Then Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-Boznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king hath sent, so they have done speedily; 14 and the elders of the Jews are building and prospering through the prophecy of Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah son of Iddo, and they have built and finished by the decree of the God of Israel, and by the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 And this house hath gone out till the third day of the month Adar, that is 'in' the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. 16 And the sons of Israel have made, 'and' the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the sons of the captivity, a dedication of this house of God with joy, 17 and have brought near for the dedication of this house of God, bullocks a hundred, rams two hundred, lambs four hundred; and young he-goats for a sin-offering for all Israel, twelve, according to the number of the tribes of Israel; 18 and they have established the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, over the service of God that 'is' in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses. 19 And the sons of the captivity make the passover on the fourteenth of the first month, 20 for the priests and the Levites have been purified together—all of them 'are' pure—and they slaughter the passover for all the sons of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. 21 And the sons of Israel, those returning from the captivity, and every one who is separated from the uncleanness of the nations of the land unto them, to seek to Jehovah, God of Israel, do eat, 22 and they make the feast of unleavened things seven days with joy, for Jehovah made them to rejoice, and turned round the heart of the king of Asshur unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
The Mourning of the Exiles in Babylon
137 1 By rivers of Babylon—There we did sit, Yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. 2 On willows in its midst we hung our harps. 3 For there our captors asked us the words of a song, And our spoilers—joy: 'Sing ye to us of a song of Zion.' 4 How do we sing the song of Jehovah, On the land of a stranger? 5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, my right hand forgetteth! 6 My tongue doth cleave to my palate, If I do not remember thee, If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7 Remember, Jehovah, for the sons of Edom, The day of Jerusalem, Those saying, 'Rase, rase to its foundation!' 8 O daughter of Babylon, O destroyed one, O the happiness of him who repayeth to thee thy deed, That thou hast done to us. 9 O the happiness of him who doth seize, And hath dashed thy sucklings on the rock!