17 Then the king sent an answer to Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and in the rest of the provinces beyond the River: “Peace. And now18 the document which you sent to us has been [a]translated and read before me.19 A decree has been [b]issued by me, and a search has been made and it has been discovered that that city has risen up against the kings in past days, that rebellion and revolt have been perpetrated in it,20 that mighty kings have [c]ruled over Jerusalem, governing all the provincesbeyond the River, and that tribute, custom and toll were paid to them.21 So, now issue a decree to make these men stop work, that this city may not be rebuilt until a decree is issued by me.22 Beware of being negligent in carrying out this matter; why should damage increase to the detriment of the kings?”
23 Then as soon as the copy of King Artaxerxes’ document was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and stopped them by force of arms.
24 Then work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
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