No comments yet

Ezra 3

EZRA CHAPTER 3

Rebuilding the Altar and the Remple

1 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.

2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel 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 the man of God.

3 Despite their fear 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.

4 Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.

5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred feasts of the LORD, 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.

7 Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.

8 In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD.

9 Jeshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah  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 the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.

11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD :
“He is good;
his love to Israel endures forever.”
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation 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, wept 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 from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

INTRODUCTION  TO EZRA  3

It was the dreams that fueled the passion of the exiles.  This book shows us that God will supply the desire as he moves in our heart.  This chapter begins with building an altar according to the instruction in the Law of Moses.  It was built on the old site and sacrifices were offered.  They also observed the festival of tabernacles.  All of this occurred before the foundation of the temple was laid.  They hired masons and carpenters from Tyre to help in preparing and transporting materials for the temple.  The work force had supervisors which were under the direction of Jeshua the General Foreman.  They dug the footers and laid the foundation stones and upon completion of the foundation a religious gathering occurred and a band played music—singers sang—it was a joyous occasion—and shouting could be heard in a far distance.

EXPOSITION TO EZRA 3

Rebuilding the Altar

1 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.

They were so exuberant and joyful that God had blessed them in returning them to their homestead and now they came together in Jerusalem for worship.  The 7th month was filled with special activities.   On the first day was the feast of trumpets Num. 29:1-6, on the 10th day was the day of Atonement Num. 29:7-11,  and on the 15th day was the feast of tabernacles Num. 29:12-38.

2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel 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 the man of God.

Jeshua is sometimes written Joshua.  Cf. Haggai 1:1; Zech 3:1.  They built an altar Deut 12:5, 6; Deut 27:4-8.

3 Despite their fear 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.

They offered animal sacrifices on the altar morning and evening.

4 Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.

Lev. 23:34 Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.

Zech. 14:16 “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.”

Deut 16:13-17. “Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.  Be joyful at your Feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.  For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed:  Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.”

They lived in booths during the seven days of the feast.

5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred feasts of the LORD, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the LORD.

Num. 29:12-34.  Moses had specified what they were to do each day of their assembly.

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.

They had not dug the footers or placed any stones in the ditch for a foundation until this holy convocation was over.

Rebuilding the Temple

7 Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.

The workmen, carpenters, and masons were paid on the barter system—Oil, wine and grain was used in lieu of currency.  The people of Tyre were noted as the world’s best builders.  They made a contract with the Tyreanians to provide the timbers and stones and transport them to Joppa and from there laborers would transport them overland to Jerusalem.

8 In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD.

Both Solomon’s temple and Zerubbabels began in the second month  1 Ki. 6:1. Levites were required to be 30 years old before entering into service, however due to the small amount of Levites returning from Babylon they reduced the age to twenty Num. 4:1-3.

9 Jeshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.

The Levites are the supervisors over the construction of the temple.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.

2Ch. 5:13 “The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:
“He is good;
his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud,”

11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD :
       “He is good;
       his love to Israel endures forever.”
      And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

This was like a dedication ceremony in which the singers and musicians played music and sang songs.  They had a ceremony like that of 2 Chron. 5:13.  I have presided over church ground breaking ceremonies which were similar but not as grand.  They sang antiphonally these words “He is good: his love to Israel endures forever.”

12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.

In BC 586 the Babylonians destroyed the Temple of Solomon.  Now 50 years later Zerubbabel will rebuild the temple.  Weeping and shouting for joy because these old men could remember the grander of the first temple.

13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

Weeping and shouting was reverberating from the hills and echoing up the valleys and could be heard for miles around.

Comments are closed.