6 King Darius ordered someone to go through the old records kept in Babylonia. 2 Finally, a scroll[a] was found in Ecbatana, the capital of Media Province, and it said:
This official record will show 3 that in the first year Cyrus was king, he gave orders to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem, so that sacrifices and offerings could be presented there.[b] It is to be built ninety feet high and ninety feet wide, 4 with one[c] row of wooden beams for each three rows of large stones. The royal treasury will pay for everything. 5 Then return to their proper places the gold and silver things that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple and brought to Babylonia.
King Darius Orders the Work To Continue
6 King Darius sent this message:
Governor Tattenai of Western Province and Shethar Bozenai, you and your advisors must stay away from the temple. 7 Let the Jewish governor and leaders rebuild it where it stood before. And stop slowing them down!
8 Starting right now, I am ordering you to help the leaders by paying their expenses from the tax money collected in Western Province. 9 And don’t fail to let the priests in Jerusalem have whatever they need each day so they can offer sacrifices to the God of heaven. Give them young bulls, rams, sheep, as well as wheat, salt, wine, and olive oil. 10 I want them to be able to offer pleasing sacrifices to God and to pray for me and my family.
11 If any of you don’t obey this order, a wooden beam will be taken from your house and sharpened on one end. Then it will be driven through your body,[d] and your house will be torn down and turned into a garbage dump. 12 I ask the God who is worshiped in Jerusalem to destroy any king or nation who tries either to change what I have said or to tear down his temple. I, Darius, give these orders, and I expect them to be followed carefully.
6.2scroll: A roll of paper or special leather used for writing on.
6.3so that. . . there: One possible meaning for the difficult Aramaic text.
6.4one: One possible meaning for the difficult Aramaic text.
6.11driven through your body: A well-known punishment in the ancient Near East.
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