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The sluggard is wiser in his own estimation 1 than seven people who respond with good sense. 2
Teach me proper discernment 1 and understanding! For I consider your commands to be reliable. 2
Like a gold ring 1 in a pig’s snout 2 is 3 a beautiful woman who rejects 4 discretion. 5
Can food that is tasteless 1 be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white 2 of an egg?
Rehum the commander 1 and Shimshai the scribe 2 wrote a letter concerning 3 Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows:
From 1 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, 2 the Elamites),
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
We inquired of those elders, asking them, ‘Who gave you the authority to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?’
But in the first year of King Cyrus of Babylon, 1 King Cyrus enacted a decree to rebuild this temple of God.
So Darius the king issued orders, and they searched in the archives 1 of the treasury which were deposited there in Babylon.
I have now issued a decree 1 that anyone in my kingdom from the people of Israel – even the priests and Levites – who wishes to do so may go up with you to Jerusalem. 2
So I issued an order 1 for all the wise men of Babylon to be brought 2 before me so that they could make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
Now the men of Israel were hard pressed that day, for Saul had made the army agree to this oath: “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening! I will get my vengeance on my enemies!” So no one in the army ate anything.
So Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” Jonathan told him, “I used the end of the staff that was in my hand to taste a little honey. I must die!” 1
The king sent the following response: “To Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and other parts of Trans-Euphrates: Greetings! 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
In the first year of his reign, 1 King Cyrus gave orders concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: 2 ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are offered. Let its foundations be set in place. 3 Its height is to be ninety feet and its width ninety 4 feet, 5
“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
“I hereby give orders that if anyone changes this directive a beam is to be pulled out from his house and he is to be raised up and impaled 1 on it, and his house is to be reduced 2 to a rubbish heap 3 for this indiscretion. 4