Adversaries Hinder Work

Ezra 4:5The people of the land hired counselors to work against the Israelites from the reigns of Cyrus (539–530 b.c.) to Darius (522–486)
Ezra 4:6Accusations arose during the reign of Xerxes (Ahasuerus) (486–464)
Ezra 4:7–23Accusations arose during the reign of Artaxerxes (464–423):

  • First threat: they will withhold money (v. 13)
  • Second threat: the king is dishonored (v. 14)
  • Third threat: they have rebelled before (v. 15)
  • Fourth threat: they will take over the whole area (v. 16)
Ezra 4:24–6:12Work on the temple stopped from 536–520; Darius finally gives order to rebuild it

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