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Ezra 5

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 1 Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, whose spirit was upon them.

 2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel [the heir to the throne of Judah] and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to rebuild the temple of God at Jerusalem; and the prophets of God [Haggai and Zechariah] were with them, helping them.

 3 At that time, Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, came to them and asked them, "Who has authorized you to rebuild this temple and to restore these wall?"

 4 They also asked the names of the men who were rebuilding the building.

 5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them stop the work until the matter came to Darius and an answer was returned by letter concerning the matter.

 6 This is a copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the River, and Shetharboznai and his companions the Apharsachites who were on this side the river, sent to Darius the king.

 7 They wrote to him as follows: "To Darius the king, all peace.

 8 Let it be known to the king that we went to the province of Judea, to the temple of the great God, which is being rebuilt with great stones, and timber laid on the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.

 9 Then we asked the elders, 'Who commanded you to rebuild this temple and to restore these walls?'

 10 We also asked their names, that we might write the names of the men who were the leaders among them and inform you.

 11 And they answered us, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago by a great king of Israel.

 12 But because our forefathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and carried the people away into Babylon.

 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same King Cyrus made a decree to rebuild this temple of God.

 14 And King Cyrus also removed, from the temple of Babylon, the vessels of gold and silver that were from the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to a man whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom King Cyrus had made governor.

 15 And the king said to him, "Take these vessels, go and carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the temple of God be rebuilt on its former site."

 16 So this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the temple of God in Jerusalem; and since that time until now it has been under construction and is not finished yet.'

 17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let a search be made in the royal archives of Babylon to see if it is true that a decree was made by Cyrus the king to rebuild this temple of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send us his pleasure concerning this matter."


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