Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rebuilding the Temple: Part 1

Rebuilding the Temple 1
When the Jews repeatedly disobeyed, God allowed the Babylonians to invade Jerusalem and destroy the city. They plundered the valuable articles of gold and silver from the Temple then destroyed it. The city buildings and walls were also damaged.
Rebuilding the Temple 2
Most of those who survived the battle were captured and taken into captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem was left in ruins. God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to let the Jews know they would remain as captives for 70 years before they would be able to return.
Rebuilding the Temple 3
Almost seventy years later the mighty Babylonian empire fell to Cyrus, King of the Medes and Persians. In the first year of his reign God prompted Cyrus to announce that the Jews who wanted to return to their land could do so.

Rebuilding the Temple 6
When the announcement was read the heads of many families, the Priests and Levites, prepared to return to Jerusalem and the surrounding region of Judea to rebuild the Temple and live back in the land God had given them
Rebuilding the Temple 7
Their neighbours were very generous, giving them gifts. King Cyrus returned 5400 valuable objects of gold and silver the Babylonians had stolen from the Temple and gave them to Sheshbazzar the leader of Judah.
Rebuilding the Temple 8
42,000 people set off with their servants and animals on the long trip back to Judea.

Rebuilding the Temple 9
When they arrived back in Jerusalem they found the city in ruins.
Rebuilding the Temple 10
At the site of the ruined temple many of the heads of the families gave generously to fund the rebuilding work. Over 1100 pounds (500 kilos) of gold was donated and 6500 pounds (2900 kilos) of silver. Also donated were 100 sets of special clothes for the priests.
Rebuilding the Temple 11
They then started rebuilding their houses in towns and cities of Judea. Jeshua and Zerubbabel, helped by others, rebuilt the altar of the Temple. Then, during the seventh month, the Jews gathered in Jerusalem. Sacrifices were offered to God and gifts given as they celebrated the holiday feast of shelters

Rebuilding the Temple 12
Money was given to pay craftsmen who worked with stone and wood to start rebuilding the temple. A few months later the rebuilding work began, supervised by a team of Levites under the direction of Zerubabbel and Jeshua.
Rebuilding the Temple 13
Gifts were given to the people of Tyre and Sidon to purchase large pieces of timber. These were floated along the coast to the port of Joppa and then hauled overland up to Jerusalem.
Rebuilding the Temple 14
The first part of the project was to lay the foundations of the temple and when these were set, the people gathered to worship God. The priests and Levites led the worship, singing the same songs their ancestors had sung when the original temple had been built in the days of Solomon.

Rebuilding the Temple 15
They sang, ‘God is good. He will always love Israel.’ Many of the people were so happy they shouted aloud and the sound could be heard for a long distance.
Rebuilding the Temple 16
But the older people who had seen the temple before it had been destroyed wept. They could see that the base of the new temple would be much smaller than the original one. Everyone made so much noise you could not distinguish between those rejoicing and those crying.

Rebuilding the Temple: Part 1
The Jews return to Jerusalem and lay the foundations to rebuild the Temple.
Ezra 1-3

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