4:12 Now 1 let the king be aware that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and odious city. 2 They are completing its walls and repairing its foundations. 4:13 Let the king also be aware that if this city is built and its walls are completed, no more tax, custom, or toll will be paid, and the royal treasury 3 will suffer loss.
4:16 We therefore are informing the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, you will not retain control 4 of this portion of Trans-Euphrates.”
[4:12] 2 sn Management of the provinces that were distantly removed from the capital was difficult, and insurrection in such places was a perennial problem. The language used in this report about Jerusalem (i.e., “rebellious,” “odious”) is intentionally inflammatory. It is calculated to draw immediate attention to the perceived problem.
[4:13] 3 tn Aram “the treasury of kings.” The plural “kings” is Hebrew, not Aramaic. If the plural is intended in a numerical sense the reference is not just to Artaxerxes but to his successors as well. Some scholars understand this to be the plural of majesty, referring to Artaxerxes. See F. C. Fensham, Ezra and Nehemiah (NICOT), 74.