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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!
That day 1 – let it be darkness; 2 let not God on high regard 3 it, nor let light shine 4 on it!
and the rest of nations whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal 1 deported and settled in the cities 2 of Samaria and other places in Trans-Euphrates. 3
(This is a copy of the letter they sent to him:) “To King Artaxerxes, 1 from your servants in 2 Trans-Euphrates:
Powerful kings have been over Jerusalem who ruled throughout the entire Trans-Euphrates 1 and who were the beneficiaries of 2 tribute, custom, and toll.
Then Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues acted accordingly – with precision, just as Darius the king had given instructions. 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
“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, 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 –
“Now you, Ezra, in keeping with the wisdom of your God which you possess, 1 appoint judges 2 and court officials who can arbitrate cases on behalf of all the people who are in Trans-Euphrates who know the laws of your God. Those who do not know this law should be taught.