1 Forsothe the enemyes of Juda and of Beniamyn herden, that the sones of caitifte bildiden a temple to the Lord God of Israel;
2 and thei neiyeden to Zorobabel, and to the princes of fadris, and seiden to hem, Bilde we with you, for so as ye, we seken youre God; lo! we han offrid sacrificis fro the daies of Assoraddon, kyng of Assur, that brouyte vs hidur.
3 And Zorobabel, and Josue, and the othere princes of the fadris of Israel, seiden to hem, It is not to vs and to you, that we bilde an hows to oure God; but we vs silf aloone schulen bilde to `oure Lord God, as Cirus, the kyng of Persis, comaundide to vs.
4 Forsothe it was doon, that the puple of the lond lettide the hondis of the puple of Juda, and trobliden hem in bildyng.
5 And thei hiriden counselouris ayens the Jewis, that thei schulden destrie the counseil of the Jewis, in alle the daies of Cirus, king of Persis, and `til to the rewme of Darius, king of Persis.
6 Forsothe in the rewme of Assueris, he is Artaxersis, in the bigynnyng of his rewme, thei writiden accusing ayens the dwellers of Juda and of Jerusalem;
7 and in the daies of Artaxarses, Besellam wroot, Mytridates, and Thabel, and othere, that weren in the counsel of hem, to Artaxarses, kyng of Persis. For the pistle of accusyng was writun in langage of Sirie, and was red in word of Sirie.
8 Reum, Beel, Theem, and Samsai, the scryuen, writen sich oon epistle fro Jerusalem to the kyng Artaxerses; Reum,
9 Beel, Theem, and Samsai, the writere, and othere counselouris of hem, Dyney, Pharsathei, and Therphalei, Arphasei, Harthuei, men of Babiloyne, Susanne, Thanei, Dacei, men of Helam,
10 and othere of hethene men, whiche the grete and gloriouse Asennaphar translatide, and made hem to dwelle in the citees of Samarie, and in othere cuntrees biyonde the flood, `in pees.
11 This is the saumplere of the pistle, which thei senten to the kyng. `To Artaxerses, king, thi seruauntis, men `that ben biyende the flood, seyn helthe.
12 Be it knowun to the kyng, that the Jewis, that stieden fro thee, ben comun to vs `in to Jerusalem, the rebel and worste citee, which thei bilden, and thei maken the ground wallis therof, and arayen the wallis aboue.
13 Nou therfor be it knowun to the kyng, that if thilke citee be bildid, and the wallis therof be restorid, thei schulen not yyue tribut, and tol, and annuel rentis, and this trespas schal come `til to the kyng.
14 Therfor we ben myndeful of the salt, which we eeten in the paleis, and for we holden it vnleueful to se the harmes of the kyng, therfor we han sent and teld to the kyng;
15 that thou acounte in the bokis of stories of thi fadris, and thou schalt fynde writun in cronyclis, and thou schalt wite, that thilke citee is a rebel citee, and that it anoieth kyngis and prouynces, and batels ben reisid therynne of elde daies; wherfor also thilke citee was distried.
16 We tellen to the kyng, that if thilke citee be bildid, and the wallis therof be restorid, thou schalt not haue possessioun biyende the flood.
17 The kyng sente word to Reum, Beel, Theem, and to Samsai, the scryuen, and to othere that weren in the counsel of hem, to the dwelleris of Samarie, and to othere biyendis the flood, and seide, Helthe and pees.
18 The accusyng, which ye senten to vs, was red opynli bifor me;
19 and it was comaundid of me, and thei rekenyden, and thei foundun, that thilke citee rebellith of elde daies ayens kyngis, and dissenciouns and batels ben reisid therynne;
20 for whi `and ful stronge kyngis weren in Jerusalem, which also weren lordis of al the cuntrei which is biyende the flood; also thei token tribut, and tol, and rentis.
21 Now therfor here ye the sentence, that ye forbede tho men, and that thilke citee be not bildid, til if perauenture it be comaundid of me.
22 Se ye, that this be not fillid necgligentli, and yuel encreesse litil `and litil ayens kyngis.
23 Therfor the saumple of the comaundement of kyng Artaxarses was red bifor Reum, Beel, Theem, and Samsai, the scryueyn, and her counseleris; and thei yeden hastili in to Jerusalem to the Jewis, and forbediden hem with arm and myyt.
24 Thanne the werk of Goddis hows in Jerusalem was left, and it was not maad til to the secounde yeer of Darius, king of Persis.