Ezra 3:1-13, NLT
The Altar Is Rebuilt
1In early autumn,*3:1 Hebrew In the seventh month. The year is not specified, so it may have been during Cyrus’s first year (538 b.c.) or second year (537 b.c.). The seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of September/October 538 b.c. and October/November 537 b.c. when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose.
4They celebrated the Festival of Shelters as prescribed in the Law, sacrificing the number of burnt offerings specified for each day of the festival.
The People Begin to Rebuild the Temple
7Then the people hired masons and carpenters and bought cedar logs from the people of Tyre and Sidon, paying them with food, wine, and olive oil. The logs were brought down from the Lebanon mountains and floated along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea*3:7 Hebrew the sea. to Joppa, for King Cyrus had given permission for this.
8The construction of the Temple of God began in midspring,*3:8 Hebrew in the second month. This month in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of April and May 536 b.c. during the second year after they arrived in Jerusalem. The work force was made up of everyone who had returned from exile, including Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his fellow priests, and all the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Lord’s Temple.
10When 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.
“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.
12But 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.