Ezra 5
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Rebuilding Efforts Begin Again

(Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1)

1At that time, the prophets Haggai and Iddo’s son Zechariah prophesied specifically to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel. 2So Shealtiel’s son Zerubbabel and Jozadak’s son Jeshua restarted construction of the Temple of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were there supporting them.

Government Interference

3Right about then, Trans-Euphratesa Governor Tattenai, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues approached and challenged them. They asked, “Who authorized you to build this Temple and to reconstruct this wall?” 4In answer, we responded with a list ofb the names of the men who were building the structure. 5But God watched over the Jewish leaders, who could not be forced to stop working until Darius received a report and responded in reply.

A Memorandum

6Here is a copy of the letter that Trans-Euphratesc Governor Tattenai, Shethar-bozenai, and his colleagues the Trans-Euphrates Persians sent to King Darius. 7The letter sent to him was written like this:

To: King Darius:


8This is to informe the king that we traveled to the Temple of the great God in the Judean province, which is being built with large stones and reinforced with wooden beams in its walls. The work proceeds diligently and is in capable hands.f

9We asked the elders, “Who authorized you to build this Temple and to reinforce these walls?” 10We also asked them their names so that we could certify the identitiesg of their leaders to you.

11In answer they responded, “We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are rebuilding the Temple that was built many years ago by a great king of Israel. 12But because our predecessors provoked the God of Heaven to become angry, he handed them over to the controlh of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean who destroyed this Temple and transported the people to Babylon.

13However, during King Cyrus’ first year—that same King Cyrus of Babylon—issued a decree to reconstruct this Temple of God. 14He delivered into the care of Sheshbazzar (whom he appointed governor) the gold and silver utensils that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Jerusalem Temple and brought into the Babylonian temple.

15“And Cyrusi told him, ‘Take these utensils, go to Jerusalem, and carry them to the Temple, after the Temple of God has been builtj in its appropriate place.’

16“Then this very same Sheshbazzar arrived and laid the foundations for the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Since that time until now the Temple has been under construction and is not yet completed.”

17Accordingly, with your approval we suggest thatk a search be conducted within the king’s treasury at Babylon to verifyl whether or not King Cyrus ever issued such a decree to reconstruct this Temple of God in Jerusalem. Then please notify us concerning the king’s pleasure in this matter.

a 5:3 Lit. Beyond the River
b 5:4 Lit. responded thus: “What are
c 5:6 Lit. Beyond the River
d 5:7 Lit. All peace!
e 5:8 Lit. Let it be known to
f 5:8 Lit. and prospers in their hands
g 5:10 Lit. could write the names
h 5:12 Lit. hand
i 5:15 Lit. he
j 5:15 Lit. temple, and let the temple of God be built
k 5:17 Lit. Accordingly, if it seems good to the king, let
l 5:17 The Aram. lacks to verify

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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