45 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,(A)
    to Cyrus,(B) whose right hand I take hold(C) of
to subdue nations(D) before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you(E)
    and will level(F) the mountains[a];
I will break down gates(G) of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.(H)
I will give you hidden treasures,(I)
    riches stored in secret places,(J)
so that you may know(K) that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.(L)

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain.

In the second month(A) of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel(B) 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(C) years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord.

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Opposition to the Rebuilding

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building(A) a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon(B) king of Assyria, who brought us here.”(C)

But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”(D)

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.[a](E) They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes,[b](F) they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.(G)

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 4:4 Or and troubled them as they built
  2. Ezra 4:6 Hebrew Ahasuerus

Tattenai’s Letter to Darius

Now Haggai(A) the prophet and Zechariah(B) the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied(C) to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel(D) son of Shealtiel and Joshua(E) son of Jozadak set to work(F) to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.

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A Call to Build the House of the Lord

In the second year of King Darius,(A) on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai(B) to Zerubbabel(C) son of Shealtiel, governor(D) of Judah, and to Joshua(E) son of Jozadak,[a](F) the high priest:(G)

This is what the Lord Almighty(H) says: “These people(I) say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.(J)’”

Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:(K) “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses,(L) while this house remains a ruin?(M)

Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought(N) to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little.(O) You eat, but never have enough.(P) You drink, but never have your fill.(Q) You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages,(R) only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought(S) to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber(T) and build my house, so that I may take pleasure(U) in it and be honored,(V)” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little.(W) What you brought home, I blew(X) away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin,(Y) while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld(Z) their dew(AA) and the earth its crops.(AB) 11 I called for a drought(AC) on the fields and the mountains,(AD) on the grain, the new wine,(AE) the olive oil(AF) and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.(AG)

12 Then Zerubbabel(AH) son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant(AI) of the people obeyed(AJ) the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared(AK) the Lord.

13 Then Haggai,(AL) the Lord’s messenger,(AM) gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with(AN) you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up(AO) the spirit of Zerubbabel(AP) son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak,(AQ) the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant(AR) of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.(AS)

The Promised Glory of the New House

In the second year of King Darius,(AT)

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Footnotes

  1. Haggai 1:1 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak; also in verses 12 and 14

At that time Tattenai,(A) governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai(B) and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?”(C) They[a] also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” But the eye of their God(D) was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 5:4 See Septuagint; Aramaic We.

on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,(A) the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:(B) “Speak to Zerubbabel(C) son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,[a](D) the high priest, and to the remnant(E) of the people. Ask them, ‘Who of you is left who saw this house(F) in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?(G) But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong,(H) Joshua son of Jozadak,(I) the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with(J) you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted(K) with you when you came out of Egypt.(L) And my Spirit(M) remains among you. Do not fear.’(N)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while(O) I will once more shake the heavens and the earth,(P) the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired(Q) by all nations will come, and I will fill this house(R) with glory,(S)’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold(T) is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory(U) of this present house(V) will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,(W)’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

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Footnotes

  1. Haggai 2:2 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak; also in verse 4

Completion and Dedication of the Temple

13 Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates(A) carried it out with diligence. 14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching(B) of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus,(C) Darius(D) and Artaxerxes,(E) kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.(F)

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