1. Exposition

When did Tattenai come to investigate the building work?

Ezra 5:3 (ESV)

3 At the same time Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: “Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?”

We are not told exactly when Tattenai came to investigate the building work in Jerusalem. We know it must have been sometime between 520 and 515 BC. Since his letter mentions that the work is progressing very well (Ezra 5:8), we can assume that he probably came to see the project when it was coming towards completion, rather than at the beginning.1