Preparations for Rebuilding the Temple
3:7 So they provided money 1 for the masons and carpenters, and food, beverages, and olive oil for the people of Sidon 2 and Tyre, 3 so that they would bring cedar timber from Lebanon to the seaport 4 at Joppa, in accord with the edict of King Cyrus of Persia. 3:8 In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, 5 in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work, 6 along with the rest of their associates, 7 the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed 8 the Levites who were at least twenty years old 9 to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple. 3:9 So Jeshua appointed both his sons and his relatives, 10 Kadmiel and his sons (the sons of Yehudah 11 ), to take charge of the workers in the temple of God, along with the sons of Henadad, their sons, and their relatives 12 the Levites. 3:10 When the builders established the Lord’s temple, the priests, ceremonially attired and with their clarions, 13 and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with their cymbals, stood to praise the Lord according to the instructions left by 14 King David of Israel. 15 3:11 With antiphonal response they sang, 16 praising and glorifying the Lord:
“For he is good;
his loyal love toward Israel is forever.”
All the people gave a loud 17 shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established. 3:12 Many of the priests, the Levites, and the leaders 18 – older people who had seen with their own eyes the former temple while it was still established 19 – were weeping loudly, 20 and many others raised their voice in a joyous shout. 3:13 People were unable to tell the difference between the sound of joyous shouting and the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people were shouting so loudly 21 that the sound was heard a long way off.
Opposition to the Building Efforts
4:1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned that the former exiles 22 were building a temple for the Lord God of Israel, 4:2 they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 23 and said to them, “Let us help you build, 24 for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 25 from the time 26 of King Esarhaddon 27 of Assyria, who brought us here.” 28 4:3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the leaders of Israel said to them, “You have no right 29 to help us build the temple of our God. We will build it by ourselves for the Lord God of Israel, just as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us.”