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EZRA III-THE ALTAR REERECTED

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68 | And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:

69 They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pounds of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.

70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

4 Offerings frequented. 7 Workmen prepared. 8 The foundations of the temple are laid

Chapter 3
1 The altar is set up.
in great joy and mourning.

ND when the seventh month was come, and the children of
Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves to-

gether as one man to Jerusalem. 2 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.

3 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:

4 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;

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and

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EZRA III—THE TEMPLE BEGUN

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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 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:

13 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.

Chapter 4 1 The adversaries, not being accepted in the building of the temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it. 7 Their Letter to Artuxerxes. 17 The decree of Artaxerxes. 23 The building is hindered.

JOW when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that

the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the

LORD God of Israel; 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with

you:

for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

3. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of

Elijah Fed by the Ravens

BY ABRAHAM BLOEMAERT, A DUTCH ARTIST, DEAN OF

THE PAINTERS OF UTRECHT, DIED 1658.

S

And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning."-1. Kings, 17, 6.

UCH a prophecy as Elijah thus abruptly uttered, could have but one human result

upon

the haughty king and queen. Jezebel, who had caused the death of all the prophets of God whom she could reach, would have destroyed this madman also. But “the word of the Lord” came to Elijah, saying, “Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.” Cherith means solitude; so thither to solitude Elijah went. The place was a wilderness, barren and uninhabited; but God had assured the prophet that ravens should bring him food morning and evening, and that he should have the brook to drink from, even in the desert.

The miracle, if miracle it was, happened as Elijah had been promised. The ravens, birds of filth and fear, black of omen in Eastern eyes, came daily with food, plucked perhaps from sacrificial altars through the land. How long Elijah subsisted thus, we are not told. But there, after his first contemptuous rejection by Israel, he dwelt during a period of thought and development, such as had been Moses' forty years of desert life.

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