Ezra 3:1-13 Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

Rebuilding the Altar and the Temple
Comments for Study 2

Ezra 3:1-13
Memory Verse: 4

SORRY, THE COMMENTARY FOR THIS BOOK HAS NOT BEEN FINISHED.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF BOOKS THAT ARE COMPLETED.

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF JERUSALEM.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CHART SHOWING OF THE MOSAIC FEASTS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE in 500 B.C.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW ISRAEL'S HISTORY FROM BABYLON TO ROMAN TIMES.

I. The Rebuilding of the Altar (3:1-3)

>1. What month was it when those who returned assembpled in Jerusalem?

* Ezra 3:1 "When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem."

* "seventh month" -Tishri in Hebrew. Late September into early October in the Gregorian calendar.

* "had settled in their towns" -

* "Jerusalem"

*

>What had the Lord decreed should happen in this month? (Lev. 16:29-31, 23:23-38)

* Genesis 2:3 "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

* Genesis 8:3-4 "The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat."

* Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

* Exodus 21:2-3 "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him."

* Leviticus 16:29-31 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work--whether native-born or an alien living among you-- because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance."

* Leviticus 23:23-38 "The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.'" The LORD said to Moses, "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Sabbath." The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. ("'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire--the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)"

* See also Leviticus chapter 25, Numbers 19:19, and Numbers 29 as well.

*

*

*

*

>What might have been their purpose in assembling?

*

*

*

*

*

>2. What was the first thing they did? (2)

* Ezra 3:2 "Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God."

*

*

*

*

>Why was this an act of faith? (3)

* Ezra 3:3 "Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the LORD, both the morning and evening sacrifices."

*

*

*

*

>What can be learned? (Luke 12:4-7)

* Luke 12:4-7 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

*

*

*

*

II. The Feast of Tabernacles (3:4-6)

>3. What was the Feast of Tabernacles? (4, Lev. 23:39-43)

* Ezra 3:4 "Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day."

* Leviticus 23:39-43 "'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'"

*

*

*

*

>Why was this important?

*

*

*

*

*

>What does it show about those who returned?

*

*

*

*

*

>4. What did they do after that?

* Ezra 3:5 "After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred feasts of the LORD, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the LORD."

*

*

*

*

>What is the point of all these offerings and sacrifices?

*

*

*

*

*

>What is New Moon sacrifices? (Num. 28:11-15)

* Numbers 28:11-15 "'On the first of every month, present to the LORD a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With each bull there is to be a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; and with each lamb, a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire. With each bull there is to be a drink offering of half a hin of wine; with the ram, a third of a hin; and with each lamb, a quarter of a hin. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon during the year. Besides the regular burnt offering with its drink offering, one male goat is to be presented to the LORD as a sin offering."

*

*

*

*

>What is a freewill offering?

*

*

*

*

*

>5. What is noted about all the offerings that they began to make? (6)

* Ezra 3:6 "On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, though the foundation of the LORD's temple had not yet been laid."

*

*

*

*

>Was this be acceptable to the Lord? (2 Sam. 7:4-7; 1 Kings 8:27-30)

* 2 Samuel 7:4-7 "That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying: "Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?"'

* 1 Kings 8:27-30 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive."

*

*

*

>Why was having one place to offer sacrifices important? (Deut. 12:4-14)

* Deuteronomy 12:4-14 "You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you. You are not to do as we do here today, everyone as he sees fit, since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the LORD your God is giving you. But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name--there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD. And there rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns, who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you."

*

*

*

*

III. The Beginning of Temple Reconstruction (3:7-13)

>6. What was necessary in order to get the needed word? (7)

* Ezra 3:7 "Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia."

*

*

*

*

>7. What did they begin in the second month?

* Ezra 3:8 "In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD."

*

*

*

*

>Who supervised the work? (9)

* Ezra 3:9 "Jeshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers--all Levites--joined together in supervising those working on the house of God."

*

*

*

*

>Why?

*

*

*

*

*

>8. What did they do when the foundation was laid? (10)

* Ezra 3:10 "When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel."

*

*

*

*

>Why?

* "as prescribed by David king of Israel"

*

*

*

*

>What was the nature of the gathering? (11)

* Ezra 3:11 "With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid."

*

*

*

*

>9. Why did some weap?

* Ezra 3:12 "But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy."

*

*

*

*

>What was funny about the mixing viewpoints?

* Ezra 3:13 "No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away."

*

*

*

*

>When doing work for the Lord how does the scene here often play out again and again?

*

*

*

*

CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE