3 When the seventh month came and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem.
2 Then stood up Jeshua son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and they built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings upon it, as it is written in the [a]instructions of Moses the man of God.
3 And they set the altar [in its place] upon its base, for fear was upon them because of the peoples of the countries; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord morning and evening.
4 They kept also the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the ordinances, as each day’s duty required,
5 And after that, the continual burnt offering, the offering at the New Moon, and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord.
6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, but the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.
7 They gave money also to the masons and to the carpenters, and gave food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the seaport of Joppa, according to the grant they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
8 In the second year of their coming to God’s house at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, with the rest of their brethren—the priests and Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem out of the captivity. They appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upward to oversee the work of the Lord’s house.
9 Then Jeshua with his sons and his kinsmen, Kadmiel and his sons, sons of Judah, together took the oversight of the workmen in the house of God—the sons of Henadad, with their sons and Levite kinsmen.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their vestments with trumpets, and the Levite sons of Asaph with their cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the order of David king of Israel.
11 They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid!
12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house [Solomon’s temple], when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, though many shouted aloud for joy.
13 So the people could not distinguish the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far off.
Ezra 3:2The Hebrew word here is torah, and although usually translated “law,” that is only one phase of its meaning, and so to use it, to the exclusion of its fuller sense, may defeat its intended purpose at times. The word torah is used more than 200 times in the Old Testament. When capitalized, Torah means the whole of the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses. Says Baker’s Dictionary of Theology (E.F. Harrison et al., eds.), “The Hebrew torah originally signified authoritative instruction (Prov. 1:8); hence it most commonly means an ‘oracle’ or ‘word’ of the Lord, whether delivered through an accredited spokesman such as Moses, or a prophet or priest. Thus torah comes to have the wider sense of ‘instruction’ (as in rv margin) from God.... It is therefore a synonym for the whole of the revealed will of God—the word, commandments, ways, judgments, precepts, etc., of the Lord, as in Gen. 26:5, and especially throughout Ps. 119.”
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