The adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the Temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it.
Ezra 4:1 Bvt 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 And they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chiefe fathers, and sayd vnto them, We wil builde with you: for we seeke the Lord your God as ye do, and we haue sacrificed vnto him since the time of Esar Haddon king of Asshur, which brought vs vp hither. Ezra 4:3 Then Zerubbabel, and Ieshua, and the rest of the chiefe fathers of Israel, sayde vnto them, It is not for you, but for vs to buyld the house vnto our God: for we our selues together wil buylde it vnto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded vs. Ezra 4:4 Wherefore the people of the land discouraged the people of Iudah, and troubled them in buylding, Ezra 4:5 And they hired counsellers against them, to hinder their deuise, 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 Ahashuerosh (in the beginning of his reigne) wrote they an accusation against the inhabitants of Iudah and Ierusalem.
Their letter to Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:7 And in the daies of Artahshashte, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions wrote when it was peace, vnto Artahshashte king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was the Aramites writing, and the thing declared was in the language of the Aramites. Ezra 4:8 Rehum the chancelour, and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Ierusalem to Artahshashte the King, in this sort. Ezra 4:9 Then wrote Rehum the chauncelour, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions Dinaie, and Apharsathcaie, Tarpelaie, Apharsaie, Archeuaie, Bablaie, Shushanchaie, Dehaue, Elmaie, Ezra 4:10 And the rest of the people whom the great and noble Asnappar brought ouer, and set in the cities of Samaria, and other that are beyonde the Riuer and Cheeneth.
Ezra 4:11 This is the copie of the letter that they sent vnto King Artahshashte, Thy servants the men beyond the Riuer & Cheeneth, salute thee. Ezra 4:12 Be it knowen vnto the King that ye Iewes, which came vp from thee to vs, are come vnto Ierusalem (a citie rebellious and wicked) and buylde, and lay the foundations of the walles, and haue ioyned the foundations. Ezra 4:13 Be it knowen nowe vnto the King, that if this citie be built, & the foundations of the walles layed, they will not giue tolle, tribute, nor custome: so shalt thou hinder the Kings tribute. Ezra 4:14 Nowe therefore because wee haue bene brought vp in the Kings palace, it was not meete for vs to see the Kings dishonour: for this cause haue we sent and certified the King, Ezra 4:15 That one may searche in the booke of the Chronicles of thy fathers, and thou shalt finde in the booke of the Chronicles, & perceiue that this citie is rebellious & noysome vnto Kings & prouinces, & that they haue moued sedition of olde time, for the which cause this citie was destroyed. Ezra 4:16 Wee certifie the King therefore, that if this citie be buylded, and the foundation of the walles layd, by this meanes the portion beyonde the Riuer shal not be thine.
The decree of Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:17 The King sent an answere vnto Rehum the Chauncelour, and Shimshai the Scribe, and so the rest of their companions that dwelt in Samaria, & vnto the other beyond the Riuer, Shelam and Cheeth. Ezra 4:18 The letter which yee sent vnto vs, hath bene openly read before me, Ezra 4:19 And I haue commanded & they haue searched, and founde, that this citie of olde time hath made insurrection against kings, & hath rebelled, and rebellion hath bene committed therein. Ezra 4:20 There haue bene mightie kings also ouer Ierusalem, which haue ruled ouer all beyonde the Riuer, and tolle, tribute, and custome was giuen vnto them. Ezra 4:21 Make ye now a decree, that those men may cease, and that the citie be not buylt, till I haue giuen another commandement. Ezra 4:22 Take heede nowe that ye fayle not to doe this: why should domage grow to hurt the King?
The building is hindered.
Ezra 4:23 When the copie of king Artahshashtes letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went vp in all the haste to Ierusalem vnto the Iewes, & caused them to cease by force and power. Ezra 4:24 Then ceased the worke of the house of God, which was in Ierusalem, & did stay vnto the second yeere of Darius King of Persia.