Also, King Artaxerxes, you should know that if Jerusalem and its walls are rebuilt, the people of Jerusalem will stop paying their taxes. They will stop sending money to honor you. They also will stop paying customs fees, and the king will lose all that money.
Now, King Artaxerxes, ·you should know [L let it be known] that if Jerusalem is ·built [rebuilt] and its walls are ·fixed [completed; restored], Jerusalem will not pay ·taxes of any kind [L tribute, custom, or toll]. Then the ·amount of money your government collects [king’s/royal treasury/revenue] will ·be less [suffer].
Now, King Artaxerxes, you should know what could happen. If Jerusalem is built and its walls are fixed, Jerusalem will pay no taxes of any kind. Then the amount of money your government collects will be less.
Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: From: Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, backed by the rest of their associates, the judges and officials over the people from Tripolis, Persia, Erech, and Babylon, Elamites of Susa, and all the others whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and other places in the land across the Euphrates. (This is the copy of the letter they sent to him.) To: King Artaxerxes from your servants from the land across the Euphrates. We are here to inform the king that the Jews who came from you to us have arrived in Jerusalem and have set about rebuilding that rebellious and evil city. They are busy at work finishing the walls and rebuilding the foundations. The king needs to know that once that city is rebuilt and the wall completed they will no longer pay a penny of tribute, tax, or duty. The royal treasury will feel the loss. We’re loyal to the king and cannot sit idly by while our king is being insulted—that’s why we are passing this information on. We suggest that you look into the court records of your ancestors; you’ll learn from those books that that city is a rebellious city, a thorn in the side to kings and provinces, a historic center of unrest and revolt. That’s why the city was wiped out. We are letting the king know that if that city gets rebuilt and its walls restored, you’ll end up with nothing in your province beyond the Euphrates.
Here is something else we want you to know. Suppose this city is rebuilt. And suppose its walls are made like new again. Then no more taxes, gifts or fees will be collected. And sooner or later there will be less money for you.
Now therefore be it known to the king, that if that city be builded (again), and the walls thereof be restored, they shall not give tribute, and toll, and annual rents, and this trespass, or harm, shall come to the king. (And so now let it be known to the king, that if that city is rebuilt, and its walls be restored, then they will not pay tribute, or taxes, or tolls, or annual rents, and that this harm shall come to the king.)
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