Ezra 3Expanded Bible (EXB)
Rebuilding the Altar
3 In the seventh month, after the Israelites were settled in their hometowns, they ·met together [assembled in unity/with one accord; L as one man] in Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak [Zech. 3:1–9] and his ·fellow [L brothers the] priests joined Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel [and his brothers/colleagues; v. 8; 4:2–3; 5:2; Neh. 7:7; Hag. 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 4, 21, 23; Zech. 4:6–10; Matt. 1:12–13; Luke 3:27] and began to build the altar of the God of Israel where they could offer burnt offerings, just as ·it is written [instructed; required] in the ·Teachings [Law; L Torah] of Moses, the man of God. 3 ·Even though [or Because] they were afraid of the people living around them, they ·built [set up; established] the altar where it had been before. And they ·offered [sacrificed] burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] on it to the Lord morning and evening. 4 Then, to obey what was ·written [instructed; required], they celebrated the Feast of ·Shelters [Booths; Tabernacles; Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:33–36]. They offered the ·right [specified; proper; fixed] number of sacrifices ·for [according to the ordinance/requirement for] each day. 5 After the Feast of Shelters, they had ·regular [continual] ·sacrifices [burnt offerings; Lev. 1:1–17], as well as sacrifices for the New Moon and all the festivals ·commanded by [of] the Lord. Also there were ·special [freewill; voluntary] offerings to the Lord. 6 On the first day of the seventh month [C fifteen days before the beginning of the festival] they began to ·bring [offer; sacrifice] burnt offerings to the Lord, ·but [though] the foundation of the Lord’s ·Temple [L house] had not yet been laid.
Rebuilding the Temple
7 Then they gave money to the ·bricklayers [masons] and carpenters. They also gave food, ·wine [drink], and olive oil to the cities of Sidon and Tyre so they would ·float [bring] cedar logs from Lebanon to the seacoast town of Joppa. Cyrus king of Persia had given permission for this.
8 In the second month [C midspring] of the second year after their arrival at the ·Temple [L house] of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel [v. 2], Jeshua son of Jozadak, their fellow priests and Levites, and all who had returned from ·captivity [exile] to Jerusalem began to work. They ·chose [appointed] Levites twenty years old and older to ·be in charge of [supervise] the building of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 9 The workers building the ·Temple [L house] of God were supervised by Jeshua and his sons and brothers [3:2], together with Kadmiel and his sons who were the descendants of Hodaviah, and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers. They were all Levites.
10 The builders finished laying the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. Then the priests, dressed in their ·robes [vestments], stood with their ·trumpets [clarions; C a long, metallic instrument, not a ram’s horn], and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, stood with their cymbals. They all took their places and praised the Lord just as David king of Israel had ·said to do [instructed; prescribed]. 11 With praise and thanksgiving, they ·sang [L answered; C sang antiphonally] to the Lord:
“He is good;
And then all the people shouted loudly, “Praise the Lord! The foundation of his ·Temple [L house] has been laid.” 12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and ·family leaders [L heads of fathers] who had seen the first ·Temple [L house] cried loudly when they saw the foundation of this Temple. ·Most of the other people [Many others] were shouting with joy. 13 The people made so much noise it could be heard far away, and no one could tell the difference between the joyful shouting and the sad crying.
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