Ezra Chapter 5 |
1Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem, inspired by the God of Israel. 2Thereupon Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began rebuilding the House of God in Jerusalem, with the full support of the prophets of God. 3At once Tattenai, governor of the province of Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues descended upon them and said this to them, “Who issued orders to you to rebuild this house and complete its furnishing?” 4Then we said to them, “What are the names of the men who are engaged in the building?” 5But God watched over the elders of the Jews and they were not stopped while a report went to Darius and a letter was sent back in reply to it.
6This is the text of the letter that Tattenai, governor of the province of Beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and his colleagues, the officials of Beyond the River, sent to King Darius. 7They sent a message to him and this is what was written in it: “To King Darius, greetings, and so forth. 8Be it known to the king, that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being rebuilt of hewn stone, and wood is being laid in the walls. The work is being done with dispatch and is going well. 9Thereupon we directed this question to these elders, ‘Who issued orders to you to rebuild this house and to complete its furnishings?’ 10We also asked their names so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information. 11This is what they answered us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth; we are rebuilding the house that was originally built many years ago; a great king of Israel built it and completed it. 12But because our fathers angered the God of Heaven, He handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who demolished this house and exiled the people to Babylon. 13But in the first year of King Cyrus of Babylon, King Cyrus issued an order to rebuild this House of God. 14Also the silver and gold vessels of the House of God that Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple in Babylon—King Cyrus released them from the temple in Babylon to be given to the one called Sheshbazzar whom he had appointed governor. 15He said to him, “Take these vessels, go, deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the House of God be rebuilt on its original site.” 16That same Sheshbazzar then came and laid the foundations for the House of God in Jerusalem; and ever since then it has been under construction, but is not yet finished.’ 17And now, if it please the king, let the royal archives there in Babylon be searched to see whether indeed an order had been issued by King Cyrus to rebuild this House of God in Jerusalem. May the king convey to us his pleasure in this matter.”