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The Refounding of the Temple
1. The seventh month] i.e. Sept.-Oct. of (probably) 537 b.c.
2. Jeshua] called in Haggai 1:1; ’Joshua.’ His father Jozadak had been carried into exile by Nebuchadnezzar (1 Chronicles 6:15). Son of Shealtiel] In 1 Chronicles 3:19; Zerubbabel is called the son of Pedaiah, the brother of Shealtiel (Salathiel). The discrepancy may be explained by the suppositions (a) that he was the real son of Pedaiah and the legal son of Shealtiel (Pedaiah having married Shealtiel’s widow, according to the law of Deuteronomy 25:5.), (b) that he was grandson of Shealtiel and son of Pedaiah, (c) that he was grandson of both. But LXX of 1 Chronicles 3:19 makes him the son of Shealtiel (Salathiel), in agreement with the evidence of this passage and of Haggai 1:1.
Builded the altar] Possibly an effort had for a time been made to continue the worship of the Lord on the site of the Temple after its destruction (see Jeremiah 41:5); but the altar erected had apparently been overthrown. The Jews now proceeded to restore it, in order to have the privilege of public worship whilst the Temple was in course of reconstruction. As it is.. Moses] Special sacrifices were enjoined for the 1st day of the 7th month (Numbers 29:1-6).
3. Fear] i.e. of interruption from the enemy.
4. The feast of tabernacles] This began on the 15th day of the 7th month, and lasted 7 days, followed by a solemn assembly on the 8th day: Numbers 29:12.
5. Both of] better, ’and the offerings of,: see Numbers 28, 29.
7. And meat and drink, etc] cp. 1 Kings 5:6-11 regarding Solomon’s Temple. To the sea of Joppa] RV ’to the sea, unto Joppa’: cp. 2 Chronicles 2:16.
8. In the second year] probably 536 b.c. The second month would correspond to April-May.
9. Jeshua] not the ’Jeshua’ of Ezra 3:8 (who was high priest), but a Levite (Ezra 2:40).
10. The ordinance of David] This is set forth in 1 Chronicles 25:1; 1 Chronicles 16:4-6.
11. Together] RV ’one to another’: i. e. antiphonally.
12. Wept] Though the younger among the people were filled with hope, now that the house of the Lord was once more established in their midst, the older, who could remember the earlier Temple, destroyed about 50 years before, wept at the contrast to it which was presented by the meanness of the new building, and the inadequate resources available for its completion: cp. Haggai 2:3; Zechariah 4:10.
Some scholars have questioned whether the foundations of the Temple were really laid by Zerubbabel in the second year after the Return, as related in Ezra 3:8-10, on the ground that Haggai and Zechariah seem to imply that it was not begun until the 2nd year of Darius Hystaspis (520 b.c.): see Haggai 2:15; Zechariah 8:9. But the language of the prophets is sufficiently explained if it is assumed that only a commencement was made in 536, that the progress of the work was very soon suspended, and that the renewal of it in 520 was practically a fresh start, as indeed the book of Ezra itself declares it to have been (Ezra 5:2).
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezra 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany