Ezra 3:7-13

They prepare to build the temple

7 The leaders gave money to men who could work with stone and wood. They sent food, drink and olive oil to the people in Tyre and Sidon. This was to pay for beams of wood from cedar trees. They would bring the wood from Lebanon on ships that came to Joppa. Cyrus, king of Persia, had commanded them to do this.

8 The Israelites began to build the Lord's temple two years after they arrived in Jerusalem. In the second month of the year, Shealtiel's son, Zerubbabel, and Jozadak's son, Jeshua, began the work. All the priests and the Levites who worked with them in Jerusalem joined them. All the people who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon helped in the work. The leaders chose Levites who were 20 years old, or older, to have authority over the work.

9 These are their names:

  • Jeshua, his sons and his brothers.
  • Kadmiel and his sons. (They were descendants of Hodaviah.)
  • Henadad's sons, with their sons and brothers, who were Levites.
  • 10 The men who were building the Lord's temple finished the foundations. Then the priests put on their special clothes. They made a noise with their trumpets. The Levites (sons of Asaph) made a noise with their cymbals. They all stood to praise the Lord, in the way that Israel's King David had told them many years before. 11 They sang together to praise the Lord. Group by group, they sang these words:

    3:10Cymbals and trumpets are musical instruments.

    ‘He is good.

    His love for Israel will continue for ever.’

    Then all the people shouted loudly to praise the Lord. They praised him because they had finished work on the temple's foundation.

    12 But many of the older priests, Levites and leaders wept aloud. They were sad because they had seen the temple as it had been before. They remembered how beautiful it had been. At the same time, many other people shouted because they were happy. 13 The happy shouts and the noise of people who were weeping were both very loud. People far away could hear the noise. The different sounds mixed together, so nobody could say which was which.