New American Standard Bible
Temple Work Resumed
5 When the prophets, (A)Haggai the prophet and (B)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 (C)Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and (D)the prophets of God were with them supporting them.
3 At that time (E)Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the [a]River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues came to them and spoke to them thus, “(F)Who issued you a decree to rebuild this [b]temple and to finish this structure?” 4 (G)Then we told them accordingly what the names of the men were who were reconstructing this building. 5 But (H)the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until a report could come to Darius, and then a written reply be returned concerning it.
Adversaries Write to Darius
6 This is the copy of the letter which (I)Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and his colleagues (J)the officials, who were beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. 7 They sent a report to him in which it was written thus: “To Darius the king, all peace. 8 Let 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 huge stones, and [c]beams are being laid in the walls; and this work is going on with great care and is succeeding in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders and said to them thus, ‘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, and that we might write down the names of the men who were at their head. 11 Thus they [d]answered us, saying, ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, (K)which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But (L)because our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, (M)He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. 13 However, (N)in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus (O)issued a decree to rebuild this house of God. 14 Also (P)the gold and silver utensils of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple [e]in Jerusalem, and brought them to the temple of Babylon, these King Cyrus took from the temple of Babylon and they were given to one (Q)whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had appointed governor. 15 He said to him, “Take these utensils, go and deposit them in the temple [f]in Jerusalem and let the house of God be rebuilt in its place.” 16 Then that Sheshbazzar came and (R)laid the foundations of the house of God [g]in Jerusalem; and from then until now it has been under construction and it is (S)not yet completed.’ 17 “Now if it pleases the king, (T)let a search be conducted in the king’s treasure house, which is there in Babylon, if it be that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send to us his decision concerning this matter.”
New International Version
Tattenai’s Letter to Darius
5 Now Haggai(A) the prophet and Zechariah(B) the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied(C) to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel(D) son of Shealtiel and Joshua(E) son of Jozadak set to work(F) to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
3 At that time Tattenai,(G) governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai(H) and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?”(I) 4 They[a] also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” 5 But the eye of their God(J) was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.
6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates, the officials of Trans-Euphrates, sent to King Darius. 7 The report they sent him read as follows:
To King Darius:
8 The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work(K) is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction.
9 We questioned the elders and asked them, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?”(L) 10 We also asked them their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.
11 This is the answer they gave us:
“We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple(M) that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our ancestors angered(N) the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.(O)
13 “However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree(P) to rebuild this house of God. 14 He even removed from the temple[b] of Babylon the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple[c] in Babylon.(Q) Then King Cyrus gave them to a man named Sheshbazzar,(R) whom he had appointed governor, 15 and he told him, ‘Take these articles and go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem. And rebuild the house of God on its site.’
16 “So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God(S) in Jerusalem. From that day to the present it has been under construction but is not yet finished.”
17 Now if it pleases the king, let a search be made in the royal archives(T) of Babylon to see if King Cyrus did in fact issue a decree to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us his decision in this matter.