Temple Work Resumed
5 When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them, 2 then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
3 At that time Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues came to them and spoke to them as follows: “Who issued you a decree to rebuild this [a]temple and to finish this structure?” 4 Then we told them accordingly what the names of the men were who were reconstructing this building. 5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report could reach Darius, and then the decree concerning it could be sent back.
Enemies Write to Darius
6 This is the copy of the letter that Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and his colleagues the officials, who were beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. 7 They sent the report to him in which it was written as follows: “To Darius the king, all peace. 8 May it be known to the king that we have gone to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God which is being built with large stones, and [b]beams are being laid in the walls; and this work is being performed with great care and is succeeding in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders and said to them as follows: ‘Who issued you a decree to rebuild this temple and to finish this structure?’ 10 We also asked them their names so as to inform you, in order that we might write down the names of the men who were [c]in charge. 11 So they [d]answered us as follows, saying, ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our fathers provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. 13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this house of God. 14 Also the gold and silver utensils of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and brought them to the temple of Babylon, King Cyrus took them from the temple of Babylon and they were given to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had appointed governor. 15 And he said to him, “Take these utensils, go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem, and have the house of God rebuilt in its place.” 16 Then that Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem; and from then until now it has been under construction and it is not yet completed.’ 17 And now, if it pleases the king, let a search be conducted in the king’s treasure house, which is there in Babylon, as to whether a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem; and let the king send to us his decision concerning this matter.”