Ezra 4: Trouble

Other people in the area, who claimed they too followed God (one presumes people who didn’t go into exile, maybe?), asked if they could help rebuild the Temple. But  the returned exiles were all, no! So the former group campaigned against the Temple project for decades by writing letter after letter of complaint to the Persian kings–Cyrus’s sons, and a new dynasty founded by Darius the Great. No one apparently paid any attention to these silly provincial quarrels, until Darius’s grandson King Artaxerxes I, who was also busy trying to defeat Athens and trying to quell rebellion in Egypt. The complainers  insinuated that if the Temple was completed, then the Jews would also rebel against Persia, so Artaxerxes issued a decree forbidding additional work on the Temple.


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