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Dear Jerusalem: Priests Petition to Rebuild Their Temple
In this draft letter dated November 25, 407 B.C.E., Jedaniah, leader of Elephantine’s Jewish community, and his priestly colleagues ask Bagohi, the governor of the Persian province of Judah, to intercede on their behalf for the rebuilding of their temple:
To our lord Bagavahya governor of Judah, your servants Jedaniah and his colleagues the priests who are in Elephantine the fortress.
The welfare of our lord may the God of Heaven seek after abundantly at all times, and favor may He grant you before King Darius and the princes more than now a thousand times, and long life may He give you, and happy and strong may you be at all times.
Now, your servant Jedaniah and his colleagues thus say:
In the month of Tammuz, year 14 of Darius the king, when Arsames had departed and gone to the king, the priests of Khnub the god who are in Elephantine the fortress, in agreement with Vidranga who was Chief here, (said), saying,

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