Ezra 3 New Life Version (NLV)
3 When the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man in Jerusalem. 2 Then Jozadak’s son Jeshua and his brothers the religious leaders, and Shealtiel’s son Zerubbabel and his brothers, built the altar of the God of Israel, to give burnt gifts on it. They did this as it is written in the Law of Moses, the man of God. 3 So they set up the altar in its place, for they were afraid because of the peoples of the lands. On it they gave burnt gifts in worship to the Lord morning and evening. 4 They kept the Special Supper of Tents, as it is written. They gave the right number of burnt gifts every day by the Law, as was needed for each day. 5 After that they gave the gifts to be burned day and night and for the new moons, and for all the special times of the Lord, and the gifts from every one who brought a free-will gift to the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to give burnt gifts to the Lord. But the house of the Lord had not begun to be built. 7 So they gave money to the men who worked with stone and wood. They gave food, drink and oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians so the cedar wood could be brought from Lebanon to the sea at Joppa, as King Cyrus of Persia had allowed them.
Work on the House of God Begins
8 In the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the religious leaders and Levites, and all who returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, began the work. And they chose the Levites from twenty years old and older to watch over the work of the Lord’s house. 9 Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Henadad with their sons and brothers the Levites, together watched over the workmen in the house of God. 10 When the builders had begun building the house of the Lord, the religious leaders stood in their religious clothing blowing horns. The Levites, the sons of Asaph, stood with brass noise-makers. And they praised the Lord, as they had been told by King David of Israel. 11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His loving-kindness is upon Israel forever.” All the people called out with a loud voice when they praised the Lord because the work on the house of the Lord had begun. 12 But many of the religious leaders and Levites and heads of the family groups were old men who had seen the first house of the Lord. And they cried with a loud voice when the work of this house was begun in front of their eyes. But many called out for joy in a loud voice. 13 The people could not tell the difference between the sound of joy and the sound of crying. For the people called out with a loud voice, and the sound was heard far away.