3 1-2 During the month of September everyone who had returned to Judah came to Jerusalem from their homes in the other towns. Then Jeshua (son of Jozadak) with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel) and his clan, rebuilt the altar of the God of Israel and sacrificed burnt offerings upon it, as instructed in the laws of Moses, the man of God. 3 The altar was rebuilt on its old site, and it was used immediately to sacrifice morning and evening burnt offerings to the Lord; for the people were fearful of attack.
4 And they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles as prescribed in the laws of Moses, sacrificing the burnt offerings specified for each day of the feast. 5 They also offered the special sacrifices required for the Sabbaths, the new moon celebrations, and the other regular annual feasts of the Lord. Voluntary offerings of the people were also sacrificed. 6 It was on the fifteenth day of September[a] that the priests began sacrificing the burnt offerings to the Lord. (This was before they began building the foundation of the Temple.)
7 Then they hired masons and carpenters and bought cedar logs from the people of Tyre and Sidon, paying for 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 to Joppa, for King Cyrus had included this provision in his grant.
8 The actual construction of the Temple began in June of the second year of their arrival at Jerusalem. The work force was made up of all those who had returned, and they were under the direction of Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel), Jeshua (son of Jozadak), and their fellow priests and the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were appointed to supervise the workmen. 9 The supervision of the entire project was given to Jeshua, Kadmiel, Henadad, and their sons and relatives, all of whom were Levites.
10 When the builders completed the foundation of the Temple, the priests put on their official robes and blew their trumpets; and the descendants of Asaph crashed their cymbals to praise the Lord in the manner ordained by King David. 11 They sang rounds of praise and thanks to God, singing this song: “He is good, and his love and mercy toward Israel will last forever.” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising God because the foundation of the Temple had been laid.
12 But many of the priests and Levites and other leaders—the old men who remembered Solomon’s beautiful Temple—wept aloud, while others were shouting for joy! 13 So the shouting and the weeping mingled together in a loud commotion that could be heard far away!
- Ezra 3:6 the fifteenth day of September, literally, “the first day of the seventh month” of the Hebrew calendar.