Ezra 4:1-24

Life seems to be always full of adversaries. There are some people who are not just happy with progress, change, and improvements in other people’s lives. Just yesterday, we read of the laying of the foundations of the temple in Jerusalem, in today’s chapter opposition arose to hamper the progress of this good work.

Initially, these adversaries came to Zerubbabel, asking him to allow them to build with Israel, claiming that they also sought Israel’s God and sacrificed unto Him. This was however a lie, and Zerubbabel along with jeshua made it known plainly to them that they had no part with Israel and could not be involved with building God’s house.Therefore, these people weakened the hands of the people of Judah and troubled them in building God’s house.

The main opposition arose when these disgruntled people wrote through Bisham, Mithredath, Tabeel, Rehum and Shimshai to Artaxerxes, the king of Persia against Jerusalem. They claimed that these people who came up from captivity were rebuilding a rebellious city, setting up its walls and foundations, and that if the city was built, the king would no longer receive toll, tribute, custom from them again, and thus damage the king’s revenue. They told the king that if the city was built,  he would have no portion in that region again.

In response to their letter, Artaxerxes told them he had conducted his own research, and also found that the city in old times had been known for rebellion and sedition. He therefore gave an order that the work should cease and the city should not be built until further directives. The work of the building thus ceased in the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

What happened next after this? We will soon discover!

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