Esdras 3

1 When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people came together like one man to Jerusalem.

2 Then Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, with his brothers, got up and built the altar of the God of Israel for burned offerings. This was according to the Law of Moses, the man of God.

3 The returning exiles were afraid of the people who were living in the land. Regardless of that, they rebuilt the altar where it had stood before. Then they began once again to burn on it the regular morning and evening sacrifices.

4 They celebrated the Festival of Booths according to what is written. Each day they offered the sacrifices required for that day.

5 They also offered the regular sacrifices to be burned whole and those to be offered at the New Moon Festival and at all the other Festivals of Jehovah, as well as all the offerings that were given to Jehovah voluntarily.

6 The people had not yet started to rebuild the Temple. Yet they began on the first day of the seventh month to burn sacrifices to Jehovah.

7 They gave money to the stoneworkers and woodworkers. Meat and drink and oil were given to the people of Zidon and of Tyre, for the transport of cedar-trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, as Cyrus, king of Persia, had given them authority to do.

8 The second year and third month of their coming to the house of God in Jerusalem Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, took charge of the construction. Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come from the land where they were prisoners to Jerusalem: and the Levites, of twenty years or older, were responsible for overseeing the work of the house of Jehovah.

9 Then Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, the sons of Hodaviah, together took up the work of overseeing the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brothers, the Levites.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the Temple of Jehovah, the priests, dressed in their robes, took their places with horns, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with brass instruments, to give praise to Jehovah in the way ordered by David, king of Israel.

11 They praised Jehovah and thanked him, saying: »He is good; his loving kindness to Israel is for all generations.« All the people gave a joyful cry. They praised Jehovah because the foundation of Jehovah’s house was in place.

12 Some of the priests, Levites, heads of families and old men who had seen the first house were present. When the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes they were overcome with weeping; and a number were crying out with joy:

13 So that in the ears of the people the cry of joy was mixed with the sound of weeping. The cries of the people were loud and came to the ears of those who were a long way off.