Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Translation of Ezra 4:8-24. The Jews' Rebuilding of Jerusalem Forced to a Halt

[Introduction: The following translation was completed for my Biblical Aramaic class. I'm posting it here with the hope that my fellow students in Biblical Aramaic will read this, and we can discuss particulars of the translation. Other readers can help as well, by comparing this to English versions of the Bible you may use, and by asking or commenting on any differences or unclear meanings of words or phrases in the text.]

8 Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows- 9 then [wrote] Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues: the Dinaites and the rulers, the Arpharsathchites, the Persians, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the men of Susa (that is, the Elamites), 10 and the rest of the peoples whom the great and noble Assurbanipal deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the Trans-Euphrates. And now:

11 This [is] a copy of the letter that they sent to him:

To King Artaxerses, [from] your servants, the men of the Trans-Euphrates. And now:

12 Let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up to us from you came to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding the rebellious and evil city. They completed the walls and repaired the foundations. 13 Now, let it be known to the king that if that city is rebuilt and the walls are completed, they will not give tribute, duty, or toll, and the royal treasury will suffer loss. 14 Now, because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not proper for us to see the dishonor of the king; therefore, we have sent [this] to inform the king 15 so that he will search in the book of memoranda of your ancestors and you will find in the book of memoranda and you will know that this city is rebellious and injurious to kings and provinces, and an insurrection was made in its midst from days of old. For this [reason] that city was destroyed. 16 We are informing the king that if that city will be rebuilt and the walls will be completed, then there will be no share for you in the Trans-Euphrates.

17 [This is] the word the king sent to Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues- those dwelling in Samaria and in the rest of the Trans-Euphrates. Peace! And now:

18 The letter that y'all sent to us, being translated, has been read before me. 19 And I have decreed, and they searched and found that from days of old this city has risen up against kings, and rebellion and insurrection have been made in it. 2o And powerful kings were over Jerusalem and they were mighty in all the Trans-Euphrates, and tribute, duty, and toll were given to them. 21 Now give a command to stop those men. And this city will not be rebuilt until the command is given by me. 22 And be warned not to be neglegent about this, lest the damage will increase to the injury of kings.

23 Then, as soon as the copy of the letter from King Artaxerses was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they went in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews and they stopped them by might and strength. 24 Thereupon the work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it remained idle until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.

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