4:1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned that the former exiles 1 were building a temple for the Lord God of Israel, 4:2 they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 2 and said to them, “Let us help you build, 3 for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 4 from the time 5 of King Esarhaddon 6 of Assyria, who brought us here.” 7
1 tn Heb “the sons of the exile.”
3 tn Heb “Let us build with you.”
4 tc The translation reads with the Qere, a Qumran
5 tn Heb “days.”
6 sn Esarhaddon was king of Assyria ca. 681-669
7 sn The Assyrian policy had been to resettle Samaria with peoples from other areas (cf. 2 Kgs 17:24-34). These immigrants acknowledged Yahweh as well as other deities in some cases. The Jews who returned from the Exile regarded them with suspicion and were not hospitable to their offer of help in rebuilding the temple.