Ezra - Chapter 4


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;

1 Now news came to the haters of Judah and Benjamin that the people who had come back were building a Temple to the Lord, the God of Israel;

2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

2 Then they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of families, and said to them, Let us take part in the building with you; for we are servants of your God, even as you are; and we have been making offerings to him from the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who put us here.

3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of families in Israel said to them, You have no part with us in the building of a house for our God; we ourselves will do the work together for the Lord, the God of Israel, as Cyrus, king of Persia, has given us orders.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

4 Then the people of the land made the hands of the people of Judah feeble, troubling them with fear in their building;

5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

5 And they gave payment to men who made designs against them and kept them from effecting their purpose, all through the time of Cyrus, king of Persia, till Darius became king.

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

6 And in the time of Ahasuerus, when he first became king, they put on record a statement against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

7 And in the time of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his friends, sent a letter to Artaxerxes, king of Persia, writing it in the Aramaean writing and language.

8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:

8 Rehum, the chief ruler, and Shimshai the scribe, sent a letter against Jerusalem, to Artaxerxes the king;

9 Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,

9 The letter was sent by Rehum, the chief ruler, and Shimshai the scribe and their friends; the Dinaites and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites,

10 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 the river, and at such a time.

10 And the rest of the nations which the great and noble Osnappar took over and put in Samaria and the rest of the country over the river:

11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time.

11 This is a copy of the letter which they sent to Artaxerxes the king: Your servants living across the river send these words:

12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

12 We give news to the king that the Jews who came from you have come to us at Jerusalem; they are building up again that uncontrolled and evil town; the walls are complete and they are joining up the bases.

13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.

13 The king may be certain that when the building of this town and its walls is complete, they will give no tax or payment in goods or forced payments, and in the end it will be a cause of loss to the kings.

14 Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king;

14 Now because we are responsible to the king, and it is not right for us to see the king's honour damaged, we have sent to give the king word of these things,

15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

15 So that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: and you will see in the book of the records that this town has been uncontrolled, and a cause of trouble to kings and countries, and that there were outbursts against authority there in the past: for which reason the town was made waste.

16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

16 We give you word, that if the building of this town and its walls is made complete, there will be an end of your power in the country across the river.

17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

17 Then the king sent an answer to Rehum, the chief ruler, and Shimshai the scribe, and their friends living in Samaria, and to the rest of those across the river, saying, Peace to you:

18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.

18 And now the sense of the letter which you sent to us has been made clear to me,

19 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 therein.

19 And I gave orders for a search to be made, and it is certain that in the past this town has made trouble for kings, and that outbursts against authority have taken place there.

20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.

20 Further, there have been great kings in Jerusalem, ruling over all the country across the river, to whom they gave taxes and payments in goods and forced payments.

21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.

21 Give an order now, that these men are to do nothing more, and that the building of the town is to be stopped, till I give an order.

22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?

22 Be certain to do this with all care: do not let trouble be increased to the king's damage.

23 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 unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

23 Then, after reading the king's letter, Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their friends went quickly to Jerusalem, to the Jews, and had them stopped by force.

24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

24 So the work of the house of God at Jerusalem came to an end; so it was stopped, till the second year of the rule of Darius, king of Persia.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

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