5:2 With the full support of the Neviim of Hashem
Starting with chapter 4, verse 8, the language of Sefer Ezra switches from Hebrew to Aramaic. The Jewish people have been exiled to every corner of the world and, in the process, have learned many different languages. This is as true in the modern Diaspora as it was during the Babylonian and Persian eras. And yet, with the minor exceptions of the Aramaic sections of Daniel and Ezra, the Tanakh was written entirely in Hebrew. Although the Jews spoke other languages, Hebrew remained their essential language. Even if they did not speak it for everyday matter, it continued to be the language used for prayer and study. The fact that Hebrew is again the vibrant and dynamic language of communication in contemporary Israel should not be underestimated. The revival of Hebrew as a spoken language in the 19th century, due largely to the efforts of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, is as miraculous as the survival of the Hebrew people themselves. As Shimon Peres, former president of Israel, pointed out, “None in the Middle East speak their original language, except for Israel.”Comment
3 At once Tattenai, governor of the province of Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues descended upon them and said this to them, “Who issued orders to you to rebuild this house and complete its furnishing?”
ג בֵּהּ־זִמְנָא אֲתָא עֲלֵיהוֹן תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר־נַהֲרָה וּשְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתְהוֹן וְכֵן אָמְרִין לְהֹם מַן־שָׂם לְכֹם טְעֵם בַּיְתָא דְנָה לִבְּנֵא וְאֻשַּׁרְנָא דְנָה לְשַׁכְלָלָה׃
4 Then we said to them, “What are the names of the men who are engaged in the building?”
ד אֱדַיִן כְּנֵמָא אֲמַרְנָא לְּהֹם מַן־אִנּוּן שְׁמָהָת גֻּבְרַיָּא דִּי־דְנָה בִנְיָנָא בָּנַיִן׃
5 But Hashem watched over the elders of the Yehudim and they were not stopped while a report went to Darius and a letter was sent back in reply to it.
ה וְעֵין אֱלָהֲהֹם הֲוָת עַל־שָׂבֵי יְהוּדָיֵא וְלָא־בַטִּלוּ הִמּוֹ עַד־טַעְמָא לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ יְהָךְ וֶאֱדַיִן יְתִיבוּן נִשְׁתְּוָנָא עַל־דְּנָה׃
6 This is the text of the letter that Tattenai, governor of the province of Beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and his colleagues, the officials of Beyond the River, sent to King Darius.
ו פַּרְשֶׁגֶן אִגַּרְתָּא דִּי־שְׁלַח תַּתְּנַי פַּחַת עֲבַר־נַהֲרָה וּשְׁתַר בּוֹזְנַי וּכְנָוָתֵהּ אֲפַרְסְכָיֵא דִּי בַּעֲבַר נַהֲרָה עַל־דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא׃
7 They sent a message to him and this is what was written in it: “To King Darius, greetings, and so forth.
ז פִּתְגָמָא שְׁלַחוּ עֲלוֹהִי וְכִדְנָה כְּתִיב בְּגַוֵּהּ לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שְׁלָמָא כֹלָּא׃
8 Be it known to the king, that we went to the province of Yehuda, to the house of the great Hashem. It is being rebuilt of hewn stone, and wood is being laid in the walls. The work is being done with dispatch and is going well.
ח יְדִיעַ לֶהֱוֵא לְמַלְכָּא דִּי־אֲזַלְנָא לִיהוּד מְדִינְתָּא לְבֵית אֱלָהָא רַבָּא וְהוּא מִתְבְּנֵא אֶבֶן גְּלָל וְאָע מִתְּשָׂם בְּכֻתְלַיָּא וַעֲבִידְתָּא דָךְ אָסְפַּרְנָא מִתְעַבְדָא וּמַצְלַח בְּיֶדְהֹם׃
9 Thereupon we directed this question to these elders, ‘Who issued orders to you to rebuild this house and to complete its furnishings?’
ט אֱדַיִן שְׁאֵלְנָא לְשָׂבַיָּא אִלֵּךְ כְּנֵמָא אֲמַרְנָא לְּהֹם מַן־שָׂם לְכֹם טְעֵם בַּיְתָא דְנָה לְמִבְנְיָה וְאֻשַּׁרְנָא דְנָה לְשַׁכְלָלָה׃
10 We also asked their names so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.
י וְאַף שְׁמָהָתְהֹם שְׁאֵלְנָא לְּהֹם לְהוֹדָעוּתָךְ דִּי נִכְתֻּב שֻׁם־גֻּבְרַיָּא דִּי בְרָאשֵׁיהֹם׃
11 This is what they answered us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth; we are rebuilding the house that was originally built many years ago; a great king of Yisrael built it and completed it.
יא וּכְנֵמָא פִתְגָמָא הֲתִיבוּנָא לְמֵמַר אֲנַחְנָא הִמּוֹ עַבְדוֹהִי דִי־אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְעָא וּבָנַיִן בַּיְתָא דִּי־הֲוָא בְנֵה מִקַּדְמַת דְּנָה שְׁנִין שַׂגִּיאָן וּמֶלֶךְ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל רַב בְּנָהִי וְשַׁכְלְלֵהּ׃
יג בְּרַם בִּשְׁנַת חֲדָה לְכוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא דִּי בָבֶל כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שָׂם טְעֵם בֵּית־אֱלָהָא דְנָה לִבְּנֵא׃
14 Also the silver and gold vessels of the House of Hashem that Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from the temple in Yerushalayim and brought to the temple in Babylon—King Cyrus released them from the temple in Babylon to be given to the one called Sheshbatzar whom he had appointed governor.
15 He said to him, “Take these vessels, go, deposit them in the temple in Yerushalayim, and let the House of Hashem be rebuilt on its original site.”
טו וַאֲמַר־לֵהּ אלה [אֵל] מָאנַיָּא שֵׂא אֵזֶל־אֲחֵת הִמּוֹ בְּהֵיכְלָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וּבֵית אֱלָהָא יִתְבְּנֵא עַל־אַתְרֵהּ׃
16 That same Sheshbatzar then came and laid the foundations for the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim; and ever since then it has been under construction, but is not yet finished.’
טז אֱדַיִן שֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר דֵּךְ אֲתָא יְהַב אֻשַּׁיָּא דִּי־בֵית אֱלָהָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וּמִן־אֱדַיִן וְעַד־כְּעַן מִתְבְּנֵא וְלָא שְׁלִם׃
17 And now, if it please the king, let the royal archives there in Babylon be searched to see whether indeed an order had been issued by King Cyrus to rebuild this House of Hashem in Yerushalayim. May the king convey to us his pleasure in this matter.”
יז וּכְעַן הֵן עַל־מַלְכָּא טָב יִתְבַּקַּר בְּבֵית גִּנְזַיָּא דִּי־מַלְכָּא תַמָּה דִּי בְּבָבֶל הֵן אִיתַי דִּי־מִן־כּוֹרֶשׁ מַלְכָּא שִׂים טְעֵם לְמִבְנֵא בֵּית־אֱלָהָא דֵךְ בִּירוּשְׁלֶם וּרְעוּת מַלְכָּא עַל־דְּנָה יִשְׁלַח עֲלֶינָא׃