Ezra 3 – The Rebuilding of the Temple Begun
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Ezra 3:11
12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet 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 sound was heard afar off.
⇒ Even beginnings are occasions for joy. During the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews lived outdoors in huts or lean-tos. The festival commemorated years of wilderness wandering when God brought them safely to the Promised Land. What a time to celebrate the Jews’ safe return!
When the returnees have settled down in their towns, they reassemble in Jerusalem. They rebuild the altar of sacrifice and celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. W the daily sacrifices reestablished they begin work on the foundation of the new temple. When the work is complete, all the people come together for a great celebration.