1. When the prophets Haggai and Zechariah 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,
2. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began rebuilding the Temple of God in Jerusalem; with them were the prophets of God, supporting them.
3. It was then that Tattenai governor of Transeuphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and their associates came to them and asked, 'Who gave you the order to rebuild this Temple and complete this structure?
4. What are the names of the men putting up this building?'
5. But the eyes of their God were watching over the elders of the Jews, so they were not forced to stop until a report could reach Darius and an official reply about the matter could be received from him.
6. A copy of the letter which Tattenai, governor of Transeuphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and his associates, the officials in Transeuphrates, sent to King Darius.
7. They sent him a report which ran as follows: 'To King Darius, hearty greetings!
8. 'The king should be informed that we went to the province of Judah, to the Temple of the great God, which is being rebuilt with large stones; beams are being embedded in the walls; the work is being carried out energetically and is making good progress.
9. Questioning these elders, we asked them, "Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and complete this structure?"
10. We also asked them their names, to inform you, so that we could record the names of the men who were their leaders.
11. 'They gave us the following answer, "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth; we are rebuilding the Temple built many years ago, which a great king of Israel had built and completed.
12. But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldaean king of Babylon who destroyed this Temple and deported the people to Babylon.
13. In the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, however, King Cyrus issued an official order that this Temple of God should be rebuilt;
14. furthermore, those gold and silver articles belonging to the Temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had removed from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple of Babylon, King Cyrus in turn removed from the temple of Babylon and handed back to a certain Sheshbazzar whom he had appointed governor.
15. He said to him, 'Take these articles; go and return them to the Temple which is in Jerusalem and let the Temple of God be rebuilt on its original site;'
16. this Sheshbazzar then came and laid the foundations of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and it has been under construction ever since, and is not yet finished."
17. 'Hence, if it please the king, let search be made in the royal treasuries in Babylon, to find out if it is true that an official order was issued by King Cyrus for this temple of God in Jerusalem to be rebuilt; and let the king's decision on this matter be sent to us.'