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1 By the seventh month, the Israelites had settled in their towns, and the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.
2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak a and his fellow priests, along with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates, began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 They set up the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the LORD—both the morning and evening burnt offerings—even though they feared the people of the land.
4 They also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles b in accordance with what is written, and they offered burnt offerings daily based on the number prescribed for each day.
5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings and those for New Moons and for all the appointed sacred feasts of the LORD, as well as all the freewill offerings brought to the LORD.
6 On the first day of the seventh month, the Israelites began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, although the foundation of the temple of the LORD had not been laid. 7 They gave money to the masons and carpenters, and food and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to Joppa by sea, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
Temple Restoration Begins
8 In the second month of the second year after they had arrived at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, and the rest of their associates including the priests, the Levites, and all who had returned to Jerusalem from the captivity, began the work. They appointed Levites twenty years of age or older to supervise the construction of the house of the LORD. 9 So Jeshua and his sons and brothers, Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Yehudah), c and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together to supervise those working on the house of God.
10 When the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their positions to praise the LORD, as David king of Israel had prescribed. 11 And they sang responsively with praise and thanksgiving to the LORD:
“For He is good;
for His loving devotion d to Israel endures forever.”
Then all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD had been laid.
12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads who had seen the first temple wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this temple. Still, many others shouted joyfully. 13 The people could not distinguish the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people were making so much noise. And the sound was heard from afar.
2 a Jozadak is a variant of Jehozadak ; also in verse 8; see 1 Chronicles 6:14.
4 b That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; also translated as the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Shelters and originally called the Feast of Ingathering (see Exodus 23:16 and Exodus 34:22).
9 c Hebrew sons of Judah ; that is, most likely, sons of Yehudah , another name for Hodevah or Hodaviah ; see Ezra 2:40 and Nehemiah 7:43.
11 d Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .