Old Testament

Ezra 3
Beginning the Construction of the Second Temple
31When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites were living in their own cities, the people gathered together in Jerusalem.
2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak with his fellow priests along with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his colleagues[] arose and built the altar of the God of Israel in order to offer burnt offerings upon it, as it is written in the Law of Moses, the man of God. 3They set the altar on its foundations, although they were in terror of the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt offerings to the Lord upon it—burnt offerings in the evening and in the morning.
4They observed the Festival of Shelters[] according to the written directions, and they offered the daily burnt offerings in the number specified for each day of the festival. 5After this, they offered the regular burnt offerings, those for the new moons, those for all the appointed assemblies of the Lord, and the offerings for everyone who was bringing a voluntary contribution to offer to the Lord. 6From the first day of the seventh month, they began to offer burnt offerings, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not yet been laid.
7They gave money to the stonemasons and craftsmen, and they gave food, drink, and olive oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians to pay them for bringing cedar logs from Lebanon to the seaport at Joppa, according to the authorization that had been given to them by Cyrus king of Persia.
8In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak, along with the rest of their colleagues, the priests and the Levites, and everyone who returned from the captivity to Jerusalem began the work.
They appointed Levites who were twenty years old and older to supervise the work on the house for the Lord. 9Jeshua together with his sons and brothers and Kadmiel with his sons (they were descendants of Judah[]) assumed supervision over those working on the house for God. (The Levites who were descendants of Henadad, along with their sons and brothers, also supervised.)
10When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests, dressed in their robes, stood by with trumpets, and the Levites, the descendants of Asaph, stood by with cymbals to praise the Lord as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11They sang antiphonally to praise and thank the Lord:
Truly, he is good, because his mercy toward Israel endures forever.
All the people shouted loud praise to the Lord when the foundation of the House of the Lord was laid. 12However, when many of the older priests, Levites, and heads of families, who had seen the first house, saw this house being founded, they wept loudly, although many also raised their voices in a shout of joy. 13The people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful cry from the sound of the people weeping, because the people were shouting loudly, and the sound could be heard far away.


  • 3:2 Literally brothers
  • 3:4 Traditionally Tabernacles
  • 3:9 Also called Hodaviah (Ezra 2:40; Nehemiah 7:43). The exact relationship of these groups of people is unclear.