Look, I am ready to build a temple to honor 1 the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him in order to burn fragrant incense before him, to set out the bread that is regularly displayed, 2 and to offer burnt sacrifices each morning and evening, and on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and at other times appointed by the Lord our God. This is something Israel must do on a permanent basis. 3
they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 1 and said to them, “Let us help you build, 2 for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 3 from the time 4 of King Esarhaddon 5 of Assyria, who brought us here.” 6
“The entire community of the Lord says, ‘Why have you disobeyed the God of Israel by turning back today from following the Lord? You built an altar for yourselves and have rebelled today against the Lord. 1
and built up Baalath, all the storage cities that belonged to him, 1 and all the cities where chariots and horses were kept. 2 He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, 3 Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 4
It is me – I stir him up and commission him; 1 I will make all his ways level. He will rebuild my city; he will send my exiled people home, but not for a price or a bribe,” says the Lord who commands armies.
Then those who are far away 1 will come and build the temple of the Lord so that you may know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. This will all come to pass if you completely obey the voice of the Lord your God.”’”
Because of this I am writing these things while absent, so that when I arrive 1 I may not have to deal harshly with you 2 by using my authority – the Lord gave it to me for building up, not for tearing down!
We inquired of those elders, asking them, ‘Who gave you the authority to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?’
“The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with chiseled stone; the sycamore fig trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” 1
With regard to food sacrificed to idols, we know that “we all have knowledge.” 1 Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv 1 (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple.
King Asa ordered all the men of Judah (no exemptions were granted) to carry away the stones and wood that Baasha had used to build Ramah. 1 King Asa used the materials to build up 2 Geba (in Benjamin) and Mizpah.
But the Lord said to me: 1 ‘You have spilled a great deal of blood and fought many battles. You must not build a temple to honor me, 2 for you have spilled a great deal of blood on the ground before me.