Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said to them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice to him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, who brought us up hither.
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said to them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God; but we ourselves together will build to the LORD 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 their companions to Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian language, and interpreted in the Syrian language.
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 Dianites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,
And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnapper brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side of the river, and at such a time.
This is the copy of the letter that they sent to him, even to Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men on this side of the river, and at such a time.
Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was 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 wilt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.
Then the king sent an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and to the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.
The letter which ye sent to us hath been plainly read before me.
And I commanded, 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 in it.
There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid to them.
Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.