Ezra 5:11
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New International Version
This is the answer they gave us: "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished.

New Living Translation
"This was their answer: 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the Temple that was built here many years ago by a great king of Israel.

English Standard Version
And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

New American Standard Bible
"Thus they answered us, saying, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

King James Bible
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is the reply they gave us: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

International Standard Version
In answer they responded, "We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are rebuilding the Temple that was built many years ago by a great king of Israel.

NET Bible
They responded to us in the following way: 'We are servants of the God of heaven and earth. We are rebuilding the temple which was previously built many years ago. A great king of Israel built it and completed it.

New Heart English Bible
Thus they returned us answer, saying, "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This was their reply to us: "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. We are rebuilding the temple that was originally built many years ago by a great king of Israel.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And thus they returned us answer, saying: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and finished.

New American Standard 1977
“And thus they answered us, saying, ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are servants of the God of heaven and earth and rebuild the house that was built many years ago, which the great king of Israel built and founded.

King James 2000 Bible
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

American King James Version
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up.

American Standard Version
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and finished.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they answered us in these words, saying: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are building a temple that was built these many years ago, and which a great king of Israel built and set up.

Darby Bible Translation
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of the heavens and the earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago; and a great king of Israel built and completed it.

English Revised Version
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and finished.

Webster's Bible Translation
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was erected these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up.

World English Bible
Thus they returned us answer, saying, "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

Young's Literal Translation
And thus they have returned us word, saying, We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was built many years before this, that a great king of Israel built and finished:
Study Bible
Tattenai's Letter to Darius
10"We also asked them their names so as to inform you, and that we might write down the names of the men who were at their head. 11"Thus they answered us, saying, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12But because our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.…
Cross References
1 Kings 6:1
Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

1 Kings 6:38
In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

Ezra 5:10
"We also asked them their names so as to inform you, and that we might write down the names of the men who were at their head.

Psalm 136:26
Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Treasury of Scripture

And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up.

We are

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day …

Psalm 119:46 I will speak of your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, …

Jonah 1:9 And he said to them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God …

Matthew 10:32 Whoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess …

Luke 12:8 Also I say to you, Whoever shall confess me before men, him shall …

Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power …

Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, …

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord …

which a great

1 Kings 6:1-7:51 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after …

2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in …

(11) And thus they returned us answer.--The elders of the Jews take the Syrian satrap into their confidence, and give, in a few most pathetic words the record of their national honour, their national infidelity, and their national humiliation. Every word is true to the history, while the whole exhibits their deep humility and holy resolution.

Verse 11. - We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. Instead of doing as they were requested, and giving in a long list of names and titles of office, the elders merge their individuality in this general phrase; as though they would say, "As individuals, we are nothing; as men of mark in our nation, we are nothing; what we do, we do simply as servants of God, directed by him (Haggai 1:8), bound to obey him, answerable only to him for our conduct." They speak of God as "the God of heaven and earth" - a very rare title - partly in humble acknowledgment of his universal and absolute dominion, as Christians speak when they call God "the Maker of heaven and earth;" partly to impress favourably those to whom they speak, persons accustomed to regard God primarily as the Being who "gave mankind earth and heaven" (Rawlinson's 'Cuneiform Inscriptions of Persia,' vol. 1. pp. 285, 291, 319, 324, etc.). And build. That is "rebuild." The house that was builded these many years ago. The old house, begun more than 400, finished nearly 400 years previously, and only just beginning to rise again from its ruins, after lying waste for nearly seventy years. Which a great king of Israel builded and set up. Solomon, the greatest of the Jewish monarchs, if we consider the extent and prosperity of his kingdom, and the position that it occupied among the other kingdoms of the earth - a "great king" under whatever aspect we view him, though one who sowed the seeds of that corruption which ultimately sapped the national life, and provoked God to bring the monarchy to an end. And thus they returned us answer,.... To the purpose and in the manner following:

saying, we are the servants of the God of heaven and earth; signifying that they were doing his work, in obedience to his will, and to whom they were accountable:

and build the house that was builded these many years ago; even five hundred years ago, or thereabout; so that they were not erecting a building where there was none before, but were rebuilding what was in ruins:

which a great king of Israel builded and set up; King Solomon, who was a great king for wisdom, honour, riches, peace, prosperity, and extent of his kingdom. 5:3-17 While employed in God's work, we are under his special protection; his eye is upon us for good. This should keep us to our duty, and encourage us therein, when difficulties are ever so discouraging. The elders of the Jews gave the Samaritans an account of their proceedings. Let us learn hence, with meekness and fear, to give a reason of the hope that is in us; let us rightly understand, and then readily declare, what we do in God's service, and why we do it. And while in this world, we always shall have to confess, that our sins have provoked the wrath of God. All our sufferings spring from thence, and all our comforts from his unmerited mercy. However the work may seem to be hindered, yet the Lord Jesus Christ is carrying it on, his people are growing unto a holy temple in the Lord, for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
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