6:7 Leave the work on this temple of God alone. 1 Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this temple of God in its proper place.
6:8 “I also hereby issue orders as to what you are to do with those elders of the Jews in order to rebuild this temple of God. From the royal treasury, from the taxes of Trans-Euphrates the complete costs are to be given to these men, so that there may be no interruption of the work. 2 6:9 Whatever is needed – whether oxen or rams or lambs or burnt offerings for the God of heaven or wheat or salt or wine or oil, as required by 3 the priests who are in Jerusalem – must be given to them daily without any neglect, 6:10 so that they may be offering incense to the God of heaven and may be praying for the good fortune of the king and his family. 4
6:11 “I hereby give orders that if anyone changes this directive a beam is to be pulled out from his house and he is to be raised up and impaled 5 on it, and his house is to be reduced 6 to a rubbish heap 7 for this indiscretion. 8 6:12 May God who makes his name to reside there overthrow any king or nation 9 who reaches out 10 to cause such change so as to destroy this temple of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have given orders. Let them be carried out with precision!”
1 tc For the MT reading “the work on this temple of God” the LXX reads “the servant of the Lord Zurababel” [= Zerubbabel].
2 tn The words “of the work” are not in the Aramaic, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Aram “according to the word of.”
4 tn Aram “for the life of the king and his sons.”
5 sn The practice referred to in v. 11 has been understood in various ways: hanging (cf. 1 Esd 6:32 and KJV); flogging (cf. NEB, NLT); impalement (BDB 1091 s.v. זְקַף; HALOT 1914 s.v. מחא hitpe; cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV). The latter seems the most likely.
6 tn Aram “made.”
7 tn Aram “a dunghill.”
8 tn Aram “for this.”
9 tn Aram “people.”
10 tn Aram “who sends forth his hand.”