The Temple is Completed

Author and teacher, Dr. Howard Hendricks tells the story of a young man who strayed from the Lord but was finally brought back by the help of a friend who really loved him. When there was full repentance and restoration, Dr. Hendricks asked this Christian how it felt away f … More

Restoration

Darius commanded that the records be searched to determine if Cyrus had actually made a decree permitting the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (v. 1). The document they sought was not found in Babylon but in Ecbatana, the capital of Media Province, where the Persian kings maintained a summer palace (v. 2). Cyrus gave the orders that the foundations be “strongly laid” and the height and breadth were both to be ninety feet (v. 3). It seems that Cyrus wanted to rebuild a bigger and more impressive facility than the one which had previously been destroyed. He not only permitted the rebuilding of the temple but he was willing to underwrite the expenses of the project (v. 4). The gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar took from the original temple were to be brought back to this new temple in Jerusalem (v. 5).

Darius goes beyond the decree of Cyrus in helping the Jews in their building project (vv. 6-12). He not only warns Totnai not to interfere but gives instruction as to what they are to do to help the work (vv. 6-7). In addition they were to give money from taxes to the Jews in order to finance their expenses (8). He and his associates, either through an honest desire to perform the king’s will or through fear of Darius threat, that anyone who disobeys would be hanged, “did speedily what he had commanded (vv. 9-12). The temple was finally completed in the sixth year of Darius reign.

Application

God’s will is supreme over all rulers, all historical events, and all hostile forces. He can deliver me in ways I can’t imagine. If I trust in His power and love, no opposition can stop me. What am I doing presently that Satan is trying to prevent me from doing but I know I have the victory through Christ?

Ezra 6:1-12 (English Standard Version)

Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored. And in Ecbatana, the capital that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: "A record. In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits, with three layers of great stones and one layer of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God." "Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away. Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River. And whatever is needed--bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require--let that be given to them day by day without fail, that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill. May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence."

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