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Summary: When the foundation of the second temple was laid there were both weeping and joyful shouting! Why? What caused those who had seen the first temple to weep? What caused the destruction of the first temple and the deportations in the first place? Creep ...

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Going back to the Old Testament today …

3 deportations of Israel/Judah - last one in 586 BC w/destruction of temple

Nearly 50 years later Persia invaded and Babylon.

Babylon philosophy of deportation vs Persian philosophy of returning and subjection.

Cyrus, the King of Persia was moved by the Lord to allow the Jews to return to Judah and to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

Here’s what Cyrus, the king of Persia said in Ezra 1:2-4

“The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah.

“Any of His people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.

“And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.”

When the foundation of the second temple was laid in 516 BC it signaled the end of the 70 years of captivity.

Rebuilding the altar for sacrificing to Yahweh was done almost immediately

They did not have a temple but they did what they could (presented sacrifices, observed the feast days, etc.)

They started preparations to lay the foundation for the temple

And this brings us to the main Scripture for today found in

Ezra 3:10-13

“When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets.

“And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed. With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: ‘He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!’

“Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

“But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.

“The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.”

Now, let’s go back to verse 12

“But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.

What a contrast. Some are weeping and others are shouting for joy.

Why were some weeping?

Life expectancy of people at the time of the Babylonian/Persian captivity - 40-70 years

These folks who were weeping had lived through the entire captivity and returned.

Perhaps they were weeping for joy that the temple was being rebuilt!

They could once again obey the law

They could once again observe the proper sacrifices

They would one day have a Holy of Holies

Perhaps they were weeping because

- The second temple would never be as grand as the first


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