New Living Translation
The Altar Is Rebuilt
3 In early autumn,[a] when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose. 2 Then Jeshua son of Jehozadak[b] joined his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his family in rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel. They wanted to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as instructed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. 3 Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening.
4 They celebrated the Festival of Shelters as prescribed in the Law, sacrificing the number of burnt offerings specified for each day of the festival. 5 They also offered the regular burnt offerings and the offerings required for the new moon celebrations and the annual festivals as prescribed by the Lord. The people also gave voluntary offerings to the Lord. 6 Fifteen days before the Festival of Shelters began,[c] the priests had begun to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. This was even before they had started to lay the foundation of the Lord’s Temple.
The People Begin to Rebuild the Temple
7 Then the people hired masons and carpenters and bought cedar logs from the people of Tyre and Sidon, paying them with food, wine, and olive oil. The logs were brought down from the Lebanon mountains and floated along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[d] to Joppa, for King Cyrus had given permission for this.
8 The construction of the Temple of God began in midspring,[e] during the second year after they arrived in Jerusalem. The work force was made up of everyone who had returned from exile, including Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his fellow priests, and all the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Lord’s Temple. 9 The workers at the Temple of God were supervised by Jeshua with his sons and relatives, and Kadmiel and his sons, all descendants of Hodaviah.[f] They were helped in this task by the Levites of the family of Henadad.
10 When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed. 11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:
“He is so good!
His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”
Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.
12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. 13 The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
- 3:1 Hebrew In the seventh month. The year is not specified, so it may have been during Cyrus’s first year (538 B.c.) or second year (537 B.c.). The seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of September/October 538 B.c. and October/November 537 B.c.
- 3:2 Hebrew Jozadak, a variant spelling of Jehozadak; also in 3:8.
- 3:6 Hebrew On the first day of the seventh month. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in September or October. The Festival of Shelters began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month.
- 3:7 Hebrew the sea.
- 3:8 Hebrew in the second month. This month in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of April and May 536 B.c.
- 3:9 Hebrew sons of Judah (i.e., bene Yehudah). Bene might also be read here as the proper name Binnui; Yehudah is probably another name for Hodaviah. Compare 2:40; Neh 7:43; 1 Esdras 5:58.
New International Version
Rebuilding the Altar
3 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,(A) the people assembled(B) together as one in Jerusalem. 2 Then Joshua(C) son of Jozadak(D) and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel(E) and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses(F) the man of God. 3 Despite their fear(G) of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.(H) 4 Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles(I) with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. 5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon(J) sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord,(K) as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. 6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid.
Rebuilding the Temple
7 Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters,(L) and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs(M) by sea from Lebanon(N) to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus(O) king of Persia.
8 In the second month(P) of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel(Q) 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(R) years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. 9 Joshua(S) 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(T) the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets,(U) and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise(V) the Lord, as prescribed by David(W) king of Israel.(X) 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
“He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever.”(Y)
And all the people gave a great shout(Z) of praise to the Lord, because the foundation(AA) 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,(AB) wept(AC) 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(AD) from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
- Ezra 3:9 Hebrew Yehudah, a variant of Hodaviah