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This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and his colleagues who were the officials of Trans-Euphrates sent to King Darius.
“Now Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and their colleagues, the officials of Trans-Euphrates – all of you stay far away from there!
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.
Then Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues acted accordingly – with precision, just as Darius the king had given instructions. 1
At that time Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues came to them and asked, “Who gave you authority 1 to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?” 2
Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent out a summons to assemble the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, 1 and all the other authorities of the province to attend the dedication of the statue that he 2 had erected.
So the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the other provincial authorities assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They were standing in front of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had erected. 1
Once the satraps, prefects, governors, and ministers of the king had gathered around, they saw that those men were physically 1 unharmed by the fire. 2 The hair of their heads was not singed, nor were their trousers damaged. Not even the smell of fire was to be found on them!
Even the gold and silver vessels of the temple of God that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and had brought to the palace 1 of Babylon – even those things King Cyrus brought from the palace of Babylon and presented 2 to a man by the name of Sheshbazzar whom he had appointed as governor.
To all the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors, and governors it seemed like a good idea for a royal edict to be issued and an interdict to be enforced. For the next thirty days anyone who prays 1 to any god or human other than you, O king, should be thrown into a den of lions.