1. Now Haggai, the prophet, and Zechariah, the son of Iddo, prophesying to the Jews who were in Judea and Jerusalem, prophesied in the name of the God of Israel.
2. Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, rose up and began to build the temple of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, assisting them.
3. Then, at the same time, Tattenai, who was the governor beyond the river, and Shetharbozenai, and their counselors came to them. And they spoke in this way to them: “Who has given you counsel, so that you would build this house and repair its walls?”
4. We responded to this by giving them the names of the men who were the founders of that building.
5. But the eye of their God was set over the elders of the Jews, and so they were unable to hinder them. And it was agreed that the matter should be referred to Darius, and then they would give a reply against that accusation.
6. A copy of the letter that Tattenai, the governor of the region beyond the river, and Shetharbozenai, and his counselors, the rulers who were beyond the river, sent to Darius the king.
7. The word that they sent him was written in this way: “To Darius, the king of all peace.
8. Let it be known to the king, that we went to the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which they are building with rough stones, and with timber set into the walls. And this work is being built up diligently, and it increases by their hands.
9. Therefore, we questioned those elders, and we spoke to them in this way: ‘Who has given authority to you, so that you would build this house and repair these walls?’
10. But we also required of them their names, so that we might report to you. And we have written down the names of their men, those who are leaders among them.
11. Then they responded a word to us in this manner, saying: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. And we are building the temple that was constructed these many years before, and which a great king of Israel had built and constructed.
12. But afterward, our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, so he delivered them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, the Chaldean. And he destroyed this house, and he transferred its people to Babylon.
13. Then, in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Babylon, king Cyrus issued a decree, so that this house of God would be built.
14. And now the vessels of gold and silver from the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple that was in Jerusalem, and which he had carried away to the temple of Babylon, king Cyrus brought out of the temple of Babylon, and they were given to one called Sheshbazzar, whom he also appointed as governor.
15. And he said to him: “Take these vessels, and go, and set them in the temple that is in Jerusalem. And let the house of God be built in its place.”
16. And so this same Sheshbazzar then came and set the foundations of the temple of God in Jerusalem. And from that time, even until now, it is being built, and it is not yet completed.’
17. Now then, if it seems good to the king, let him search in the king’s library, which is in Babylon, to see whether it was ordered by king Cyrus, that the house of God in Jerusalem should be built. And may the will of the king be sent to us about this matter.”