8 [a]Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes, as follows—9 then wrote Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues, the judges and the lesser governors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites,10 and the rest of the nations which the great and honorable [b]Osnappar deported and settled in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the region beyond the [c]River. Now11 this is the copy of the letter which they sent to him:
“To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the region beyond the River, and now12 let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you have come to us at Jerusalem; they are rebuilding the rebellious and evil city and are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.13 Now let it be known to the king, that if that city is rebuilt and the walls are finished, they will not pay tribute, custom or toll, and it will damage the revenue of the kings.14 Now because we [d]are in the service of the palace, and it is not fitting for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore we have sent and informed the king,15 so that a search may be made in the record books of your fathers. And you will discover in the record books and learn that that city is a rebellious city and damaging to kings and provinces, and that they have incited revolt within it in past days; therefore that city was laid waste.16 We inform the king that if that city is rebuilt and the walls finished, as a result you will have no possession in the province beyond the River.”
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