then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' [houses], and said unto them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as ye do; and we sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' [houses] of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us in building a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian [character], and set forth in the Syrian [tongue].
Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
then [wrote] Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites,
and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest [of the country] beyond the River, and so forth.
This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men beyond the River, and so forth.
Be it known unto the king, that the Jews that came up from thee are come to us unto Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations.
Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not meet for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified the king;
that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; for which cause was this city laid waste.
[Then] sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and in the rest [of the country] beyond the River: Peace, and so forth.
The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.
And I decreed, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all [the country] beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid unto them.
And take heed that ye be not slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.