4:2 they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 1 and said to them, “Let us help you build, 2 for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 3 from the time 4 of King Esarhaddon 5 of Assyria, who brought us here.” 6
4:9 From 7 Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues – the judges, the rulers, the officials, the secretaries, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the people of Susa (that is, 8 the Elamites), 4:10 and the rest of nations whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal 9 deported and settled in the cities 10 of Samaria and other places in Trans-Euphrates. 11
2 tn Heb “Let us build with you.”
3 tc The translation reads with the Qere, a Qumran
4 tn Heb “days.”
5 sn Esarhaddon was king of Assyria ca. 681-669
6 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.
7 tn Aram “then.” What follows in v. 9 seems to be the preface of the letter, serving to identify the senders of the letter. The word “from” is not in the Aramaic text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
8 tn For the qere of the MT (דֶּהָיֵא, dehaye’, a proper name) it seems better to retain the Kethib דִּהוּא (dihu’, “that is”). See F. Rosenthal, Grammar, 25, §35; E. Vogt, Lexicon linguae aramaicae, 36.
9 tn Aram “Osnappar” (so ASV, NASB, NRSV), another name for Ashurbanipal.
sn Ashurbanipal succeeded his father Esarhaddon as king of Assyria in 669
10 tc The translation reads with the ancient versions the plural בְּקֻרְיַהּ (bÿquryah, “in the cities”) rather than the singular (“in the city”) of the MT.
11 tn Aram “beyond the river.” In Ezra this term is a technical designation for the region west of the Euphrates river.