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Ezra 3:1-6

Context
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 

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.



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