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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!”
The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time 1 Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
“I, King Artaxerxes, hereby issue orders to all the treasurers of 1 Trans-Euphrates, that you precisely execute all that Ezra the priestly scribe of the law of the God of heaven may request of you –
Everything that the God of heaven has required should be precisely done for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should there be wrath 1 against the empire of the king and his sons?
You have issued an edict, O king, that everyone must bow down and pay homage to the golden statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, trigon, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music.
Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the captives 1 from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the edict that you issued. Three times daily he offers his prayer.” 2
“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.”
But there are Jewish men whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – and these men 1 have not shown proper respect to you, O king. They don’t serve your gods and they don’t pay homage to the golden statue that you have erected.”
I hereby decree 1 that any people, nation, or language group that blasphemes 2 the god of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego will be dismembered and his home reduced to rubble! For there exists no other god who can deliver in this way.”
I have issued an edict that throughout all the dominion of my kingdom people are to revere and fear the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God; he endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed; his authority is forever. 1