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Rebuilding the Altar

When the seventh month had come, the children of Israel had resettled in their cities, and the people gathered themselves together, as one man, to Jerusalem. Then Joshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests stood up, along with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers, and they built the altar of the God of Israel in order to offer burnt offerings on it, as it had been written in the Law of Moses, the man of God. They set the altar upon its foundations and, because they were living in fear of some of the peoples of the region, they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord—morning and evening. They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it had been written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in accordance with the daily schedule, according to each day’s custom. Thereafter, observance of the burnt offering became a perpetual sacrifice with regard to the New Moon sacrifices and all of the appointed feasts of the Lord that had been consecrated, and all of the voluntary freewill offerings to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they had begun to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord, but the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.

Rebuilding the Temple

They gave money to the masons and carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and to the people of Tyre so that they would bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, at Joppa, according to the grant they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Joshua the son of Jozadak, along with the remnant of their brothers the Levitical priests and all who had come out of captivity back to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the work on the house of the Lord. Then Joshua with his sons and brothers, and Kadmiel with his sons, who are the sons of Judah, along with the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brothers—all Levites—stood together to supervise the workers on the house of God.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their apparel stood with trumpets and, from the Levites, the sons of Asaph stood with cymbals to praise the Lord, following the example of David king of Israel. 11 They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks unto the Lord,

“For He is good,
    for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 Now many of the older Levitical priests and chiefs of the fathers’ households who had seen the first temple wept with a loud voice as the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes, though many others shouted exuberantly for joy. 13 As a result, the people could not distinguish the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people since the people had raised such a loud noise that could be heard from afar off.