vs. 8-13 - the laying of the foundation of the temple
Compare I Kings 6:1
Zerubbabel judged the time had come to commence
the foundation of the second temple - the correspondence
of the month was no doubt intentional, like the altar at
v. 3 "they set the altar upon his bases" - nothing was
to be wantonly changed!
The ceremony was chiefly of praise, and was accompanied
with sacred music, according to the pattern set by David
and Solomon in their sacred processions and ceremonies.
They fell short of the "ordinance of David" since it
comprised neither psalteries nor harps which were
an essential part of David's system.
Apparently, the musical skill of the Levites had
declined under the depressing circumstances of the
captivity - Psalm 137:2
v. 11 - "they sang together by course" - literally -
replied to each other - "that God was good,
and His mercy towards Israel was everlasting"
v. 12 - the ancient men "wept with a loud voice" when
they saw the foundation laid before their eyes
and compared it with the temple of Solomon.
It was "the day of small things" - Zech. 4:10
The new house in comparison with the old one was
"as nothing" - Haggai 2:3
Maybe not so much the dimensions as the size and
quality of the foundation-stones and the excellency
of the masonry and the like - Solomon had employed
the best workmen of the king of Tyre - Zerubbabel
had only the arms of his own subjects to depend on.
Opposition to the building of the temple by the
In this world, whenever a good work is begun,
some kind of opposition is sure to surface because
Satan will not suffer an attack on his kingdom
without resenting it.
The Jews coming back to their land was a movement
that was a witness against polytheism, idolatry,
materialism and sensualism in religion.
The Samaritans had adopted a mixed and mongrel
worship uniting idolatrous rites with the
acknowledgement of Jehovah.
II Kings 17:29-41
Zerubbabel declined their offer.
His stance was bitterly resented - unable to
seduce him into an alliance with them, the
Samaritans became his open and avowed
enemies during the remaining reign of Cyrus
and the reigns of Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes.
The rebuilding of the temple was almost
wholly stopped and no progress was made
until the second year of Darius, when a new
opposition showed itself.
v. 2 - "we seek your God as ye do" - they
sought their God was true but "not as
ye do" was false because "they feared
the Lord, and worshipped their own
gods" - II Kings 17:33
v. 3 - "ye have nothing to do with us to build a
house unto our God"
v. 4 - "the people of the land ....weakened the hands
of the people of Judah....and troubled them in
building....and hired counselors (lobbyists -
bribers) against them"
Time period - 537 B.C. to 521 B. C. - Cyrus- Cambyses,
an usurper, Smerdis
v. 6 - "Ahasuerus...in the beginning of his reign"
(lobbyists-bribers at work again for advantage)
v7 - So and so "and the rest of their companions" - also
v. 9 - Support staff -
v. 6 - "accusation" - this is basically how the ACLU works -
through intimidation and if that doesn't work -
law suits with a stacked deck in the Federal
Judiciary - I wonder how many card carrying
ACLU members -like Ruth Bader Ginsberg -
should recluse themselves from ACLU cases?
Friendship with the World - there are two classes which
divide the human race - children of light and children
of darkness - the righteous and the unrighteous - there
is no intermediate class - between these two classes
genuine sympathy is impossible - "friendship with the
world is enmity AGAINST God"
"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of
the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness"-
I Thess. 5:5
"In this the children of God are manifest, and the
children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness
is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother"
I John 3:10
vs. 21 - Ahasuerus' reaction
vs. 23-24 - reaction of So and So and their companions
The burning enthusiasm of the first arrival of exiles
with Zerubbabel had faded away - laziness had succeeded
to inactivity - a selfish desire of comfort replaced zeal
and honor for God - the people had acquiesced to the
resistance of the people of the land and "their companions".
The returning exiles said among themselves - "The time is
not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built" -
They became side-tracked and turned their attention
and energies into the practical object of establishing
THEMSELVES in good and comfortable houses -
Own ceiled house, eating, drinking - even Zerubbabel
and Jeshua - the civil and religious leaders acquiesced
in this miserable state of things - this tameness, sloth,
indifference to God's honor, and general pursuit of
mere carnal delights.
v. 1 - the work of the prophets Zechariah and Haggai
in the name of the God of Israel
Haggai's mission was short but God raised up Zechariah,
the son of Iddo, who carried on the work.
Zerubbabel and Jeshua were especially "stirred up" -
ch. 1:14 and encouraged - ch. 2:4
Haggai 2:9 - read
Zechariah 4:9 - read
v. 2 - the work of Zerubbabel and Jeshua - "with them
were the prophets of God helping them"
v. 3 - Mr. So and So "and their companions" again.
vs. 4,10 - they took names
v. 5 - read
"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous" - Ps. 34:15
"He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous" - Job 36:7
There was a special watch care of God so that those who
would have hindered them could not. The work was
uninterrupted while the evil messengers were away.
Read all their accusations and falsities.
Who are these people? Rev. 11:18 - "those who
destroy the earth"
How ironic that many are they who are of Green Peace,
global warming fame, blaming this and that, you and
me, yet they are those "who destroy the earth" not
for ecological reasons but for immorality - such as
adultery, sodomy, homosexuality, lust, greed, pride,
v. 10 - the Jews response - "we are the servants of the
God of heaven and earth" - the speak of God
as He who gave mankind earth and heaven!
15 - "let the house of God by builded in his place"
SO TRADITION DOES'T MATTER? - upon this holy site,
the place where Abraham offered Isaac in figure,
where the angel stood and stayed the pestilence in
the time of David (II Sam. 24:16-18), and where
"the glory of the Lord descended and filled the house"
under Solomon - II Chron. 7:1
The finding of the decree of Cyrus -
v. 15 - "The house was finished on the third day of
the month Adar"
Haggai 1:15 gives the exact day of the recommencement -
the twenty-fourth of Elul in Darius' second year.
Ezra gives the exact day of completion.
From Zerubbabel's laying of the foundation - Ezra 3:10
the time elapsed was 21 years.
From the recommencement under the influence of
God's two prophets to the completion was four years,
five months and ten days.
From the humble offerings made to God, He planned
to bless this temple with a glory unknown to the first
The Lord Himself, the Messenger of the Covenant,
so long sought by His people, suddenly came to this
temple - Malachi 3:1.
He came to it and frequented it, and taught in it,
and gave it a dignity and a majesty far beyond the
first temple, which possessed indeed the Shechinah,
but was once, and once only, vouchsafed a brief
manifestation of the actual Divine presence - II Chron. 7:1