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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.
Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame! Let the oppressed and poor praise your name! 1
so that he may initiate a search of the records 1 of his predecessors 2 and discover in those records 3 that this city is rebellious 4 and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 5 from long ago. 6 It is for this very reason that this city was destroyed.
We therefore are informing the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, you will not retain control 1 of this portion of Trans-Euphrates.”
So I gave orders, 1 and it was determined 2 that this city from long ago has been engaging in insurrection against kings. It has continually engaged in 3 rebellion and revolt.
Now give orders that these men cease their work and that this city not be rebuilt until such time as I so instruct. 1
Then this Sheshbazzar went and laid the foundations of the temple of God in Jerusalem. From that time to the present moment 1 it has been in the process of being rebuilt, although it is not yet finished.’
Let the king also be aware that if this city is built and its walls are completed, no more tax, custom, or toll will be paid, and the royal treasury 1 will suffer loss.
Let it be known to the king that we have gone to the province of Judah, to the temple of the great God. It is being built with large stones, 1 and timbers are being placed in the walls. This work is being done with all diligence and is prospering in their hands.
“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. 1
May God who makes his name to reside there overthrow any king or nation 1 who reaches out 2 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!”
“Now if the king is so inclined, 1 let a search be conducted in the royal archives 2 there in Babylon in order to determine whether King Cyrus did in fact issue orders for this temple of God to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us a decision concerning this matter.”