The adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the Temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it.
Ezra 4:1 But when the aduersaries of Iuda and Ben Iamin hearde, that the children of the captiuite builded þe temple vnto the Lorde God of Israel, Ezra 4:2 they came to Zorobabel and to the principal fathers, and saide vnto them: We wyl buylde with you: for we seke the Lorde youre God lyke as ye do. And we haue done sacrifice vnto him, sence the tyme that Asor Hadon the Kinge of Assur broughte vs vp hyther. Ezra 4:3 But Zorobabel and Iesua and the other auncient fathers of Israel answered them: It belongeth not to you, but to vs to buylde the house vnto oure God: for we oure selues wil buylde alone vnto the Lorde oure God of Israel, as Cyrus the kinge of Persia hathe commaunded vs. Ezra 4:4 Then the folke of the lande hindered the people of Iuda, and made them afrayed to buylde, Ezra 4:5 and hyred councelers agaynst them, and hindred their deuyce, as longe as Cyrus the Kynge of Persia lyued, vntyll the raigne of Darius kynge of Persia. Ezra 4:6 But when Ahasuerus was kinge, in the beginnynge of hys raygne wrote they vnto him a complaynte against them of Iuda and Ierusalem.
Their letter to Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:7 And in the tyme of Arthaxerses, wrote Bysellam, Midritates, Tabeel, and the other of their counsel vnto Arthaxerses the kynge of Persia. But the scripture of the letter was wrytten in the Sirians speache, and was interpretated in the language of the Sirians. Ezra 4:8 Rehum the chaunceler, and Samsai the scrybe, wrote this letter against Ierusalem to Arthaxerses the kinge. Ezra 4:9 We Rehum the chaunceler, and Samsai the scrybe, and other of the counsel of Dina, of Arphasat, of Tarplat, of Persia, of Arach of Babilon of Susan, of Deha, and of Elam Ezra 4:10 & other of the people, whome the greate & noble Asenaphar broughte ouer, and set in the cytyes of Samaria, and other on this syde the water, and in Ceneeth.
Ezra 4:11 And this is the summe of the letter that they sent vnto kynge Arthaxerses. Thy seruauntes the men on thys syde the water and in Ceneeth. Ezra 4:12 Be it knowne vnto the kynge, that the Iewes are come vp from the to vs vnto Ierusalem a cytye sedycyous and frowarde, and buylde the same, and laye the foundacyon of the walles therof, and repaire them. Ezra 4:13 Be it knowne nowe therfore vnto the kynge that yf this cytye be buylded, and the walles made vp agayne, then shall not they geue trybute, tolle, and yearly custome, and euen vnto the kinges shal this hurt redound. Ezra 4:14 But nowe that we al are therby, whiche destroyed the temple, we woulde no longer se þe kynges dyshonoure. Therfore sent we out, & caused the kynge to be certyfyed therof. Ezra 4:15 That it maye be soughte in the Chronycles of thy progenitours, and so shalte thou fynde in the same Chronycles, & perceyue, that thys cytye is sedicious & noysome vnto kinges & landes, & that they cause other also to rebell of olde, & for the same cause was this cyty destroyed. Ezra 4:16 Therfore do we certyfy the king, that yf this citie be buylded, and the walles therof made vp, thou shalt kepe nothynge on this syde the water by the reason of it.
The decree of Artaxerxes.
Ezra 4:17 Then sent the Kyng an answere vnto Rehum the chaunceler, and Samsai the Scribe, and to the other of their counsel that dwelt in Samaria, and vnto the other beyonde the water. Peace & salutacyon. Ezra 4:18 The letter whiche ye send vnto vs, hath ben openly read before me, Ezra 4:19 and I haue commaunded to make search: and it is found, that thys cyty of olde hath made insurreccyon agaynst kinges, & how the vprore & rebellion hath bene committed therin. Ezra 4:20 There haue ben myghty kinges also at Ierusalem, whiche haue raigned ouer all that is beyonde the water, & tolle, tribute & yearly custome was geuen vnto them. Ezra 4:21 Do ye now after thys commaundement, forbyd the same men, that the cyty be not buylded, tyl I haue geuen commaundement. Ezra 4:22 Take hede now that ye be not neglygent herin, lest the kinge haue harme there thorow.
The building is hindered.
Ezra 4:23 Now when kynge Arthaxerses letter was read before Rehum the chaunceler and Samsai the scribe and their counsel, they went vp in al the hast to Ierusalem vnto the Iewes, & forbad them wyth vyolence and power. Ezra 4:24 Then ceased the worck of the house of God at Ierusalem, and contynued so vnto the second year of Darius kynge of Persia.