The letter of Governor Tattenai to King Darius (Ezra 5:6-5:10)

“The copy of the letter that Governor Tattenai of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the envoys, that were in the province Beyond the River sent to King Darius. They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: ‘To King Darius, all peace! May it be known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built of hewn stone. Timber is laid in the walls. This work is being done diligently. It prospers in their hands. Then we spoke to those elders and asked them. ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ We also asked them their names, for your information, so that we might write down the names of the men at their head.’”

Once again, we have a letter from a Persian official in Samaria to the king of Persia, asking for advice on what to do. This time Governor Tattenai and his assistant Shethar-bozenai sent the report. They offer peace, not just greeting. This letter is specifically about the house of God being built in province of Judah. It does not say Jerusalem. Stone and wood are already there. He seems to imply that it is in capable hands. However, he had some questions.

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