Just as the people went into captivity in 3 waves, they return from captivity in 3 waves. The 1st wave of people, led by Zerubbabel, a descendant of King Jehoiachin from King David’s bloodline, and Jeshua, the priest, return to rebuild the temple. Ezra will lead the 2nd wave and return Bible literacy to the people. The 3rd wave will be led by Nehemiah and they will rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and establish government with Nehemiah as governor.
When the first wave returns, they gather together as one, in Jerusalem, and worship the Lord with offerings and by keeping the feasts as written in the law. Zerubbabel and Jeshua lead the people in rebuilding the temple, with the Levites appointed to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. When the foundation is laid they sing praises to the Lord: “For He is good, for his mercy endures forever toward Israel.” There are mixed emotions in the crowd of people. Some are rejoicing and some are weeping. The ones weeping remember the magnificence of the old temple and are sad that the new temple won’t be as awesome. But God is still working His plan through His people to send our Savior and when He arrives on the scene there will no longer be a need for one physical temple to worship the Lord.
While they are building, some men of the region come and try to discourage the people of Judah. “They troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purposes all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.”
Tomorrow Daniel receives another vision over in Babylon and the Lord encourages His people in Judah to keep building His temple. So keep reading.
(Ezra 2:1-4:5, 1 Chronicles 3:19-24)