Ezra 5 ©
Zerubbabel and Jeshua, being encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, begin again to build the temple, vss. 1, 2. Whereof the king’s governor demands them the reasons, which they give, and he describes them to Darius the king, desiring that the king would be pleased to cause the truth of the matter to be searched out, and to signify his will and pleasure touching the same, 3, etc.
THENa the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the 1son of Iddo, 2prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the 3name of the God of Israel, 4even unto them.
Then rose up 5Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God 6helping them.
¶At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and 7Shethar-boznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?
Then said we unto them 8after this manner, What are the 9names of the men that make this building?
But the 10eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.
¶The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king:
They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus; Unto Darius the king, all peace.
Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with 11great stones, and 12timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.
Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls?
We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a 13great king of Israel builded and set up.
But afterb that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.
Butc in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.
And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were deliveredd unto one, whose name was 14Sheshbazzar, whom 15he had made governor;
And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place.
Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and 16laid the foundation of the house of God 17which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.
Now therefore, if it seem good 18to the king, let there be search made in the 19king’s treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, 20and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.