So he sent horses and chariots there, along with a good-sized army. 1 They arrived during the night and surrounded the city.
At that time the Babylonian forces 1 had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. 2 They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt. 3 )
and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army.
Then, as soon as the copy of the letter from King Artaxerxes was read in the presence of Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their colleagues, they proceeded promptly to the Jews in Jerusalem 1 and stopped them with threat of armed force. 2
and in the presence of his colleagues 1 and the army of Samaria 2 he said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they be left to themselves? 3 Will they again offer sacrifice? Will they finish this in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones to life again from piles of dust?”
He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah which were still holding out. 1