Prophets Restart the Project
1Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, 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.
2Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the House of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them supporting them.
3At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates came to them and asked them, “Who gave you the authority to build this House and to complete this structure?”
4They also asked them, “What are the names of the men who are constructing this building?”
5But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and a written reply about it be returned.
6This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shetar-bozenai, and his colleagues, officials of Trans-Euphrates, sent to King Darius.
7The report they sent to him was written as follows: “To King Darius. “All Shalom!
8“Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the House of the great God, which is being built with large stones and timber is being set in the walls. Now this work is being done diligently and is succeeding in their hands.
9Then we questioned those elders, asking them, ‘Who gave you the authority to build this House and to complete this structure?’
10We also asked them their names in order to inform you, so that we might write the names of the men who were in charge of them.
11They responded to us saying, ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the House that was built many years ago. A great king of Israel built and finished it.
12But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the Chaldean. He destroyed this House and carried the people away to Babylon.
13‘However, in the first year of Cyrus, king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this House of God.
14Even the gold and silver utensils of the House of God that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem and had carried away to the temple in Babylon—King Cyrus took those things from the temple in Babylon and gave them to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he had appointed governor.
15‘Then he said to him, “Take these vessels and go and deposit them in the Temple in Jerusalem and let the House of God be built in its place!”
16So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the House of God in Jerusalem. From that time until now it has been under construction, yet it is not yet finished.’
17“Now, if it pleases the king, let a search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see if in fact King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this House of God in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us his decision about this matter.”