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Ezra 3

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The Altar is Rebuilt

3:1 When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites 1  were living 2  in their 3  towns, the people assembled 4  in 5  Jerusalem. 6  3:2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak 7  and his priestly colleagues 8  and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his colleagues 9  started to build 10  the altar of the God of Israel so they could offer burnt offerings on it as required by 11  the law of Moses the man of God. 3:3 They established the altar on its foundations, even though they were in terror of the local peoples, 12  and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and the evening offerings. 3:4 They observed the Festival of Temporary Shelters 13  as required 14  and offered the proper number of 15  daily burnt offerings according to the requirement for each day. 3:5 Afterward they offered the continual burnt offerings and those for the new moons and those for all the holy assemblies of the Lord and all those that were being voluntarily offered to the Lord. 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. However, the Lord’s temple was not at that time established. 16 

Preparations for Rebuilding the Temple

3:7 So they provided money 17  for the masons and carpenters, and food, beverages, and olive oil for the people of Sidon 18  and Tyre, 19  so that they would bring cedar timber from Lebanon to the seaport 20  at Joppa, in accord with the edict of King Cyrus of Persia. 3:8 In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, 21  in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work, 22  along with the rest of their associates, 23  the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed 24  the Levites who were at least twenty years old 25  to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple. 3:9 So Jeshua appointed both his sons and his relatives, 26  Kadmiel and his sons (the sons of Yehudah 27 ), to take charge of the workers in the temple of God, along with the sons of Henadad, their sons, and their relatives 28  the Levites. 3:10 When the builders established the Lord’s temple, the priests, ceremonially attired and with their clarions, 29  and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with their cymbals, stood to praise the Lord according to the instructions left by 30  King David of Israel. 31  3:11 With antiphonal response they sang, 32  praising and glorifying the Lord:

“For he is good;

his loyal love toward Israel is forever.”

All the people gave a loud 33  shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established. 3:12 Many of the priests, the Levites, and the leaders 34  – older people who had seen with their own eyes the former temple while it was still established 35  – were weeping loudly, 36  and many others raised their voice in a joyous shout. 3:13 People were unable to tell the difference between the sound of joyous shouting and the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people were shouting so loudly 37  that the sound was heard a long way off.

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1 tn Heb “the sons of Israel.”

2 tn The word “living” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied. Some translations supply “settled” (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT).

3 tc The translation reads with some medieval Hebrew MSS and ancient versions בְּעָרֵיהֶם (bearehem, “in their towns”), rather than the reading בֶּעָרִים (bearim, “in the towns”) found in the MT. Cf. Neh 7:72 HT [7:73 ET].

4 tn The Hebrew text adds the phrase “like one man.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “to.”

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 sn Jozadak (also in 3:8) is a variant spelling of Jehozadak.

8 tn Heb “his brothers the priests.”

9 tn Heb “his brothers.”

10 tn Heb “arose and built.”

11 tn Heb “written in.” Cf. v. 4.

12 tn Heb “the peoples of the lands.”

13 tn The Hebrew phrase אֶת חַג־הַסֻּכּוֹת (’et khag-hassukot, “festival of huts” [or “shelters”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is probably better than the traditional “tabernacles” in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. The nature of the celebration during this feast as a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt suggests that a translation like “temporary shelters” is more appropriate.

14 tn Heb “according to what is written.”

15 tn Heb “by number.”

16 tn Or “the foundation of the LORD’s temple was not yet laid.

17 tn Heb “silver.”

18 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

19 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

20 tn Heb “to the sea”

21 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

22 tn Heb “began”; the phrase “the work” is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

23 tn Heb “their brothers.”

24 tn Heb “stood.”

25 tn Heb “from twenty years and upward.”

26 tn Heb “brothers.”

27 sn The name יְהוּדָה (Yehudah; cf. KJV, ASV, NASB “Judah”) is probably a variant of Hodaviah (see Ezra 2:40; cf. NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

28 tn Heb “brothers.”

29 sn This was a long, straight, metallic instrument used for signal calls, rather than the traditional ram’s horn (both instruments are typically translated “trumpet” by English versions).

30 tn Heb “according to the hands of.”

31 sn See Ps 107:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1. Cf. 2 Chr 5:13; 7:3; 20:21.

32 tn Heb “they answered.”

33 tn Heb “great.”

34 tn Heb “the heads of the fathers.”

35 sn The temple had been destroyed some fifty years earlier by the Babylonians in 586 b.c.

36 tn Heb “with a great voice.”

37 tn Heb “a great shout.”



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