Rebuilding the Temple

Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters,(A) and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs(B) by sea from Lebanon(C) to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus(D) king of Persia.

In the second month(E) of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel(F) son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty(G) years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. Joshua(H) and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah[a]) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.

10 When the builders laid(I) the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets,(J) and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise(K) the Lord, as prescribed by David(L) king of Israel.(M) 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good;
    his love toward Israel endures forever.”(N)

And all the people gave a great shout(O) of praise to the Lord, because the foundation(P) of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple,(Q) wept(R) aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy(S) from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

Opposition to the Rebuilding

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building(T) a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon(U) king of Assyria, who brought us here.”(V)

But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”(W)

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.[b](X) They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 3:9 Hebrew Yehudah, a variant of Hodaviah
  2. Ezra 4:4 Or and troubled them as they built

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