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Chapter 2 19 Now if this city and the walls thereof be made up again, they will not only refuse to give tribute, but also rebel against kings.20 And forasmuch as the things pertaining to the temple are now in hand, we think it meet not to neglect such a matter,21 But to speak unto our lord the king, to the intent that, if it be thy pleasure it may be sought out in the books of thy fathers:22 And thou shalt find in the chronicles what is written concerning these things, and shalt understand that that city was rebellious, troubling both kings and cities:23 And that the Jews were rebellious, and raised always wars therein; for the which cause even this city was made desolate.24 Wherefore now we do declare unto thee, O lord the king, that if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up anew, thou shalt from henceforth have no passage into Celosyria and Phenice.25 Then the king wrote back again to Rathumus the storywriter, to Beeltethmus, to Semellius the scribe, and to the rest that were in commission, and dwellers in Samaria and Syria and Phenice, after this manner;26 I have read the epistle which ye have sent unto me: therefore I commanded to make diligent search, and it hath been found that that city was from the beginning practising against kings;27 And the men therein were given to rebellion and war: and that mighty kings and fierce were in Jerusalem, who reigned and exacted tributes in Celosyria and Phenice.28 Now therefore I have commanded to hinder those men from building the city, and heed to be taken that there be no more done in it;29 And that those wicked workers proceed no further to the annoyance of kings,30 Then king Artexerxes his letters being read, Rathumus, and Semellius the scribe, and the rest that were in commission with them, removing in haste toward Jerusalem with a troop of horsemen and a multitude of people in battle array, began to hinder the builders; and the building of the temple in Jerusalem ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of the Persians.

Chapter 3 1 Now when Darius reigned, he made a great feast unto all his subjects, and unto all his household, and unto all the princes of Media and Persia,2 And to all the governors and captains and lieutenants that were under him, from India unto Ethiopia, of an hundred twenty and seven provinces.3 And when they had eaten and drunken, and being satisfied were gone home, then Darius the king went into his bedchamber, and slept, and soon after awaked.4 Then three young men, that were of the guard that kept the king's body, spake one to another;5 Let every one of us speak a sentence: he that shall overcome, and whose sentence shall seem wiser than the others, unto him shall the king Darius give great gifts, and great things in token of victory:6 As, to be clothed in purple, to drink in gold, and to sleep upon gold, and a chariot with bridles of gold, and an headtire of fine linen, and a chain about his neck:7 And he shall sit next to Darius because of his wisdom, and shall be called Darius his cousin.