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Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 3:8-13

Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 3:8-13

Ezra 3:8-13 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.

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The people did not wait long to being rebuilding the temple; they began in the second month of the second year of their return. This is probably the earliest times the returnees could begin. They would have had to find places to live and to gather supplies for the rebuilding. And yet, the rebuilt temple did not compare in splendor to the former temple. Because of this, mixed in with the joyous shouting was the sound of weeping. Those who had seen the former temple could not help but make the comparison.

 

It must have been tough for those who had seen the original temple. They knew that it was their own nation’s sins that had been the cause of its destruction. And yet, they also rejoiced because God had forgiven their sins and established a new temple for them at which they could worship. This reminds me a little bit of Jesus. The Bible tells us that there was nothing noteworthy about the appearance of Jesus. He looked like a regular guy. And yet, in Jesus was the full Godhead in bodily form. In Jesus is our worshiped God. In Jesus is our forgiveness and salvation. Our churches most often beautiful and bring a sense of awe in their appearance, but we do not worship the building. We worship the Lord, whose presence is among his believers, us.