Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
Now when the adversaries [i.e., the enemies, the Samaritans] of Yehudah and Binyamin heard that the Banim of the Golus were the Bonim (Builders) of the Heikhal for Hashem Elohei Yisroel, 2 Then they came to Zerubavel, and to the chief of the avot, and said unto them, Let us build with you, for we seek Eloheichem, as ye do, and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days Esar-Hadon Melech Assur (Assyria), which brought us. 3 But Zerubavel, and Yeshua, and the rest of the chief of the avot of Yisroel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build a Beis [Hamikdash] unto Eloheinu; but we alone will build unto Hashem Elohei Yisroel, as HaMelech Koresh (Cyrus) Melech Paras (Persia) hath commanded us. 4 Then the Am HaAretz weakened the hands of the Am Yehudah, and troubled them from building, 5 And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their etza (plan), all the days of Koresh (Cyrus) Melech Paras (Persia), even until the reign of Daryavesh (Darius) Melech Paras (Persia). 6 And in the reign of Achashverosh the husband of Queen Esther], in the beginning of his reign, they wrote unto him a sitnah (accusation, related to the word Satan, Accuser) against the inhabitants of Yehudah and Yerushalayim. 7 Then, in the days of Artachshasta, it was Bishlam, Mitredat, Tavel, and the rest of their companions, who wrote unto Artachshasta Melech Paras (Persia); and the writing of the letter was written in Aramaic script, and set forth in Aramaic. 8 Rechum the high commissioner and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Yerushalayim to Melech Artachshasta as follows; 9 Then wrote Rechum the high commissioner, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the judges, the officials, the Tarplim, the Apharsim, the Arkvim, the Babylonians, and those of Shushan, that is, the Elma’im, 10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapar deported, and settled in the city of Shomron (Samaria), and elsewhere in Beyond-the-River [Euphrates] wrote; and now 11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artachshasta HaMelech; From thy avadim, the men Beyondthe-River [Euphrates]; and now 12 May it be known unto the Melech, that the Yehudim which came up from thee to us are come unto Yerushalayim, building the rebellious and the wicked city, and finishing its walls, and repairing the foundations. 13 Be it known now unto the Melech, that, if this city be built, and the walls set up again, then they will not pay tax, tribute, or duty, and so thou shalt damage the royal revenues. 14 Now because we have covenant maintenance (“share the King’s salt”) from the palace, and it was not proper for us to see the dishonor of the Melech, therefore we have sent and informed the Melech 15 That search may be made in the sefer of the archives of thy avot; so shalt thou find in the sefer of the archives, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto melachim and provinces, a place of sedition from ancient times, for which cause was this city destroyed. 16 We inform the Melech that, if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no possession in the province Beyond-the-River [Euphrates]. 17 Then the Melech sent an answer: Unto Rechum the high commissioner, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Shomron (Samaria), and unto the rest Beyond-the River [Euphrates], Shalom, and now 18 The nish’tevan (official document) which ye sent unto us hath been fully read before me; 19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city for a long time hath made insurrection against melachim, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 20 There have been mighty melachim also over Yerushalayim, which have ruled over all territory Beyondthe-River [Euphrates], to whom tax, tribute, and duty were paid. 21 Give ye now ta’am (command) to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built, until another ta’am shall be given from me. 22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this; lamah (why) should damage grow to the hurt of the Melech? 23 Now when the copy of letter of Melech Artachshasta was read before Rechum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Yerushalayim unto the Yehudim, and made them to cease by force and compulsion. 24 Then ceased the work of the Beis HaElohim which is at Yerushalayim. So it ceased unto the second year [i.e., 520 B.C.E.] of the reign of Daryavesh (Darius) Melech Paras (Persia).