Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then
will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so
thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.
Now because we have maintenance from the king's
palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king;
That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is
a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.
We certify the king that, if this city be builded again
, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.
sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to
Shimshai the scribe, and to
the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto
the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.
The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.
And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that
rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries
beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.
Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another
commandment shall be given from me.
Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was
read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Then ceased the work of the house of God which is
at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.