Ezra 3 – “The Altar is Rebuilt; the Temple’s Foundation Stone is Laid”

LogsHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The people offer burnt offerings on the Temple mount and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Succot). They appoint leaders to guide the construction, hire foreign workers, and celebrate joyously when the foundation stone is laid.

II. Photo
Materials for the Temple are secured: “They paid the hewers and craftsmen with money, and the Sidonians and Tyrians with food, drink, and oil to bring cedarwood from Lebanon by sea to Joppa, in accord with the authorization granted them by King Cyrus of Persia.” (v. 7)

III. Important Verses
1-3. When the seventh month arrived — the Israelites being settled in their towns — the entire people assembled as one man in Jerusalem. Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his brother priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his brothers set to and built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings upon it as is written in the Teaching of Moses, the man of God. They set up the altar on its site because they were in fear of the peoples of the land, and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, burnt offerings each morning and evening.
v. 4: Then they celebrated the festival of Tabernacles as is written, with its daily burnt offerings in the proper quantities, on each day as is prescribed for it.
v. 6: From the first day of the seventh month they began to make burnt offerings to the LORD, though the foundation of the Temple of the LORD had not been laid.
v. 7: They paid the hewers and craftsmen with money, and the Sidonians and Tyrians with food, drink, and oil to bring cedarwood from Lebanon by sea to Joppa, in accord with the authorization granted them by King Cyrus of Persia.
vv. 11-13: They sang songs extolling and praising the LORD, “For He is good, His steadfast love for Israel is eternal.” All the people raised a great shout extolling the LORD because the foundation of the House of the LORD had been laid. Many of the priests and Levites and the chiefs of the clans, the old men who had seen the first house, wept loudly at the sight of the founding of this house. Many others shouted joyously at the top of their voices. The people could not distinguish the shouts of joy from the people’s weeping, for the people raised a great shout, the sound of which could be heard from afar.

IV. Outline
1-3. The community offers sacrifices
4-6. The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is celebrated with offerings
7. Foreign workers are contracted
8-9. Leaders of the building are appointed
10-13. The foundation stone is laid amidst great jubilation

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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