Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Samaritan Letter to Artaxerxes the King

According to the fourth chapter of the Book of Ezra Zerubbabel, the leader of the Jews, has refused the Samaritan’s help in rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. Offended, the Samaritans began to interfere with the Jews in rebuilding the temple and seduce the king's officials to stop construction of the temple. Later, they wrote a letter to the Persian king Artaxerxes with denunciation of the Jews. In it Samaritans warned the king that if rebuilding of the temple and the city of Jerusalem would complete the Jews will raise revolt and stop paying tribute. In support of his words the senders of the letter asked the king of search in the royal archives of old documents from which it can verify the rebellious nature of the Jews. After receiving and reading the letter King Artaxerxes has raised the old documents and saw that message senders were right. In response Artaxerxes ordered a prohibition rebuild Jerusalem and its temple. As a result the construction of the temple has been stopped all the reign of Artaxerxes until the next reign of Darius king of Persia. This storyline draws us to the fourth chapter of the Book of Ezra.