The adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the Temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it.
Ezra 4:1 Now when the aduersaries of Iudah and Beniamin, heard that the children of the captiuitie builded the Temple vnto the LORD God of Israel: Ezra 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chiefe of the fathers, and said vnto them, Let vs build with you, for wee seeke your God, as yee [doe], and we doe sacrifice vnto him, since the dayes of Esar-Haddon king of Assur, which brought vs vp hither. Ezra 4:3 But Zerubbabel and Ieshua, and the rest of the chiefe of the fathers of Israel, said vnto them, You haue nothing to doe with vs, to build an house vnto our God, but we our selues together will build vnto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the King of Persia hath commanded vs. Ezra 4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the handes of the people of Iudah, and troubled them in building, Ezra 4:5 And hired counsellers against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the dayes of Cyrus king of Persia, euen vntill the reigne of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:6 And in the reigne of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reigne, wrote they vnto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Iudah and Ierusalem.
Their letter to Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:7 And in the dayes of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, vnto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter [was] written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. Ezra 4:8 Rehum the Chancellour, and Shimshai the Scribe, wrote a letter against Ierusalem, to Artaxerxes the king, in this sort: Ezra 4:9 Then, [wrote] Rehum the Chancellour, and Shimshai the Scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathkites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archeuites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehauites, [and] the Elamites, Ezra 4:10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought ouer, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that [are] on this side the Riuer, and at such a time.
Ezra 4:11 This [is] the copy of the Letter, that they sent vnto him, [euen] vnto Artaxerxes the king: Thy seruants on this side the Riuer, and at such a time, Ezra 4:12 Be it knowen vnto the king, that the Iewes which came vp from thee to vs, are come vnto Ierusalem, building the rebellious and the bad citie, and haue set vp the walles thereof, and ioyned the foundations. Ezra 4:13 Be it knowen now vnto the king, that if this city be builded, and the wals set vp againe, then will they not pay tolle, tribute, and custome, and so thou shalt endammage the reuenue of the kings. Ezra 4:14 Now because we haue maintenance [from the Kings] palace, and it was not meete for vs to see the kings dishonour: therefore haue we sent, and certified the king, Ezra 4:15 That search may be made in the booke of the Records of thy fathers: so shalt thou finde in the booke of the Records, and know, that this City [is] a rebellious city, and hurtfull vnto Kings and prouinces, and that they haue moued sedition within the same of olde time: for which cause was this citie destroyed. Ezra 4:16 We certifie the king, that if this citie be builded [againe], & the walles thereof set vp: by this meanes, thou shalt haue no portion on this side the Riuer.
The decree of Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:17 [Then] sent the king an answere vnto Rehum the Chancellour, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions, that dwell in Samaria, and vnto the rest beyond the Riuer, Peace, and at such a time. Ezra 4:18 The letter, which ye sent vnto vs, hath bene plainly read before me. Ezra 4:19 And I commaunded, and search hath bene made, and it is found, that this citie of old time hath made insurrection against Kings, and that rebellion & sedition haue bene made therein. Ezra 4:20 There haue bene mighty Kings also ouer Ierusalem, which haue ruled ouer all [countreys] beyond the Riuer, and tolle, tribute, and custome, was payd vnto them. Ezra 4:21 Giue ye now commandement, to cause these men to cease, and that this citie be not builded, vntill [another] commandement shall be giuen from me. Ezra 4:22 Take heed now that ye faile not to doe this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
The building is hindered.
Ezra 4:23 Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went vp in haste to Ierusalem, vnto the Iewes, and made them to cease, by force and power. Ezra 4:24 Then ceased the woorke of the house of the God, which [is] at Ierusalem. So it ceased, vnto the second yeere of the reigne of Darius king of Persia.