The People Rebuild The Temple

I read about a bride who sought advise on how to deal with her nerves as she processed to the altar at the start of her wedding. The pastor suggested that she remember to keep her eyes first on the isle. Then, upon turning the corner, to focus on the altar. And. finally, as she d … More

Altar

By the time the events of Chapter 3 took place obviously some time had elapsed, though it is not known exactly how long. But here it is told that the altar was set up and being used (vv. 1-3). In building the altar they did not follow any recent altar styles they may have observed, but they went back to the specifications given in the Mosaic law (Ex. 27:1-8).

No sooner was the altar completed than it was set up and sacrifices offered upon it. The principal reason for their hurry in getting the sacrificial ritual started is said to have been “fear of the people of those countries (v. 3). In the early days of their return, the Jews were having trouble with their Gentile neighbors who resented their coming. This made the Hebrews realize their need of divine help and protection and of getting right with God.

The next thing recorded is the Feast of Tabernacles and the first preparations for the construction of the temple which was soon underway (vv. 4-7). Among the people involved were some who had learned the trades of masonry and carpentry in Babylon. Many materials for Solomon’s original temple had been supplied by Hiram, the king of Tyre (II Chron. 2). Now the arrangements were made with the inhabitants of that same region to provide some of their famous cedar trees for the structure. At the time of the actual laying of the foundation for the new temple, a special celebration was held (vv. 8-13). Many of the leaders present were “ancient men” (v. 12) and had vivid recollections of the original temple. While the younger people shouted for joy over the commencement of the new temple, many of the older people wept.

Application

There is room both for weeping and shouting in the Lord’s work. I need to be excited about the ministry of others and show sympathy for those who sorrow.

Ezra 3:1-13 (English Standard Version)


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