Matthew Poole's Commentary
And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.The altar set up, Ezra 3:1-3. The feast of the tabernacles kept, Ezra 3:4. Their continual offerings, Ezra 3:5,6. Workmen hired, Ezra 3:7. Priests and Levites are appointed to set forward the work, Ezra 3:8,9. The foundation of the temple is laid with great joy and mourning, Ezra 3:10-13.
When the seventh month was come, or rather, was coming, or drew near; for the altar was set up after this time, Ezra 3:3, which yet was employed the first day of this month, Ezra 3:6. This was a sacred kind of month, wherein there were divers festivals, as appears from Le 23 for which the people had been preparing themselves, and now came to Jerusalem to the celebration of them.
Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.Jeshua the son of Jozadak, the high priest.
The son of Shealtiel, i.e. the grandson; for he was the son of Pedaiah, 1 Chronicles 3:17-19.
Built the altar; which was of more present and urgent necessity than the temple, both to make atonement to God for all their sins, and to obtain God’s assistance for the building of the temple, and to strengthen their own hearts and hands in that great work, wherein they saw they should have many enemies.
And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.No text from Poole on this verse.
They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;The feast of tabernacles seems to be mentioned synecdochically for all the solemnities of this month, whereof this was the most eminent and most lasting. Otherwise it is not probable that they would neglect the day of atonement, which was so severely enjoined, Leviticus 23:27-29, and was so exceeding suitable to their present condition: See Poole "Ezra 3:6".
The daily burnt-offerings, Heb. burnt-offerings day by day, i.e. every day of that feast they offered as many sacrifices as were prescribed; of which see Numbers 29:13, &c.
And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.The continual burnt offering; thee morning and evening sacrifice; of which see on Numbers 28:6.
Consecrated, i.e. set apart for the solemn and holy service of God.
From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid.To offer burnt-offerings, and the other sacrifices which were to be offered with them upon that day, being the feast of trumpets, Numbers 29:1, &c. Burnt-offerings are oft put for all sacrifices, as hath been observed once and again.
The foundation of the temple was not yet laid; though it is probable they had done something towards the removing of the rubbish, and preparing the way for it.
They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.No text from Poole on this verse.
Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.No text from Poole on this verse.
Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.Jeshua; not the high priest so called, but a Levite, of whom see Ezra 2:40.
To set forward the workmen; by their presence and favour to encourage them to a cheerful and vigorous prosecution of the work.
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.After the ordinance of David, Heb. by or according to the hands of David, i.e. in such manner and with such psalms, or songs, and instruments as God hath appointed by the hands or ministry of David.
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.No text from Poole on this verse.
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:Had seen the first house; which divers of them might very well do, because it was destroyed not quite sixty years ago, as is manifest from 2 Kings 25 2Ch 36 Eze 40:1.
Wept with a loud voice; partly, because of the poor and small preparations made for this in comparison of what was made for the other temple; partly, because this temple was divested and destitute of those things which were the principal glory of the former temple, to wit, the ark, and the Urim and Thummim, &c.; partly, because these foundation stones were far inferior to the former, both for quantity and price, 1 Kings 7:9,10; and partly, because these foundations were of a far narrower compass than the former; for although the foundations of this house of the Lord, strictly so called, were at least of equal largeness with those of the former, by comparing 1 Kings 6:2, and Ezra 6:1-3; yet the foundations of the whole building belonging to the first temple, and adjoining to it, or in the courts of it, were far larger than these.
So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.No text from Poole on this verse.