1 Esdras Chapter 3
An altar is built for sacrifice, the feast of tabernacles is solemnly celebrated, and the foundations of the temple are laid.
3:1. And now the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in their cities: and the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
3:2. And Josue the son of Josedec rose up, and his brethren the priests, and Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and his brethren, and they built the altar of the God of Israel that they might offer holocausts upon it, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.
Josue... or Jesus (Jeshua) the son of Josedec; he was the high priest, at that time.
3:3. And they set the altar of God upon its bases, while the people of the lands round about put them in fear, and they offered upon it a holocaust to the Lord morning and evening.
3:4. And they kept the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the holocaust every day orderly according to the commandment, the duty of the day in its day.
3:5. And afterwards the continual holocaust, both on the new moons, and on all the solemnities of the Lord, that were consecrated, and on all in which a freewill offering was made to the Lord.
3:6. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer holocausts to the Lord: but the temple of God was not yet founded.
3:7. And they gave money to hewers of stones and to masons: and meat and drink, and oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians, to bring cedar trees from Libanus to the sea of Joppe, according to the orders which Cyrus king of the Persians had given them.
3:8. And in the second year of their coming to the temple of God in Jerusalem, the second month, Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Josue the son of Josedec, and the rest of their brethren the priests, and the Levites, and all that were come from the captivity to Jerusalem began, and they appointed Levites from twenty years old and upward, to hasten forward the work of the Lord.
3:9. Then Josue and his sons and his brethren, Cedmihel, and his sons, and the children of Juda, as one man, stood to hasten them that did the work in the temple of God: the sons of Henadad, and their sons, and their brethren the Levites.
3:10. And when the masons laid the foundations of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their ornaments with trumpets: and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise God by the hands of David king of Israel.
3:11. And they sung together hymns, and praise to the Lord: because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever towards Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, praising the Lord, because the foundations of the temple of the Lord were laid.
3:12. But many of the priests and the Levites, and the chief of the fathers and the ancients that had seen the former temple; when they had the foundation of this temple before their eyes, wept with a loud voice: and many shouting for joy, lifted up their voice.
3:13. So that one could not distinguish the voice of the shout of joy, from the noise of the weeping of the people: for one with another the people shouted with a loud shout, and the voice was heard afar off.
1 Esdras Chapter 4
The Samaritans by their letter to the king hinder the building.
4:1. Now the enemies of Juda and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to the Lord the God of Israel.
4:2. And they came to Zorobabel, and the chief of the fathers, and said to them: Let us build with you, for we seek your God as ye do: behold we have sacrificed to him, since the days of Asor Haddan king of Assyria, who brought us hither.
4:3. But Zorobabel, and Josue, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel said to them: You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God, but we ourselves alone will build to the Lord our God, as Cyrus king of the Persians hath commanded us.
4:4. Then the people of the land hindered the hands of the people of Juda, and troubled them in building.
4:5. And they hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their design all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of the Persians.
4:6. And in the reign of Assuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Juda and Jerusalem.
Assuerus... Otherwise called Cambyses the son and successor of Cyrus. He is also in the following verse named Artaxerxes, a name common to almost all the kings of Persia.
4:7. And in the days of Artaxerxes, Beselam, Mithridates, and Thabeel, and the rest that were in the council wrote to Artaxerxes king of the Persians: and the letter of accusation was written in Syrian, and was read in the Syrian tongue.
4:8. Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe wrote a letter from Jerusalem to king Artaxerxes, in this manner:
4:9. Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe and the rest of their counsellors, the Dinites, and the Apharsathacites, the Therphalites, the Apharsites, the Erchuites, the Babylonians, the Susanechites, the Dievites, and the Elamites,
4:10. And the rest of the nations, whom the great and glorious Asenaphar brought over: and made to dwell in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the countries of this side of the river in peace.
4:11. (This is the copy of the letter, which they sent to him:) To Artaxerxes the king, thy servants, the men that are on this side of the river, send greeting.
4:12. Be it known to the king, that the Jews, who came up from thee to us, are come to Jerusalem a rebellious and wicked city, which they are building, setting up the ramparts thereof and repairing the walls.
4:13. And now be it known to the king, that if this city be built up, and the walls thereof repaired, they will not pay tribute nor toll, nor yearly revenues, and this loss will fall upon the kings.
4:14. But we remembering the salt that we have eaten in the palace, and because we count it a crime to see the king wronged, have therefore sent and certified the king,
4:15. That search may be made in the books of the histories of thy fathers, and thou shalt find written in the records: and shalt know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to the kings and provinces, and that wars were raised therein of old time: for which cause also the city was destroyed.
4:16. We certify the king, that if this city be built, and the walls thereof repaired, thou shalt have no possession on this side of the river.
4:17. The king sent word to Reum Beelteem and Samsai the scribe, and to the rest that were in their council, inhabitants of Samaria, and to the rest beyond the river, sending greeting and peace.
4:18. The accusation, which you have sent to us, hath been plainly read before me,
4:19. And I commanded: and search hath been made, and it is found, that this city of old time hath rebelled against kings, and seditions and wars have been raised therein.
4:20. For there have been powerful kings in Jerusalem, who have had dominion over all the country that is beyond the river: and have received tribute, and toll and revenues.
4:21. Now therefore hear the sentence: Hinder those men, that this city be not built, till further orders be given by me.
4:22. See that you be not negligent in executing this, lest by little and little the evil grow to the hurt of the kings.
4:23. Now the copy of the edict of king Artaxerxes was read before Reum Beelteem, and Samsai the scribe, and their counsellors: and they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and hindered them with arm and power.
4:24. Then the work of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem was interrupted, and ceased till the second year of the reign of Darius king of the Persians.
1 Esdras Chapter 5
By the exhortation of Aggeus, and Zacharias, the people proceed in building the temple. Which their enemies strive in vain to hinder.
5:1. Now Aggeus the prophet, and Zacharias the son of Addo, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judea and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel.
5:2. Then rose up Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, and Josue the son of Josedec, and began to build the temple of God in Jerusalem, and with them were the prophets of God helping them.
5:3. And at the same time came to them Thathanai, who was governor beyond the river, and Stharbuzanai, and their counsellors: and said thus to them: Who hath given you counsel to build this house, and to repair the walls thereof?
5:4. In answer to which we gave them the names of the men who were the promoters of that building.
5:5. But the eye of their God was upon the ancients of the Jews, and they could not hinder them. And it was agreed that the matter should be referred to Darius, and then they should give satisfaction concerning that accusation.