Posted by / Wednesday 13 July 2016 / No comments

The rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem

In the first year of the reign of King Cyrus, a law was made that the Jews in exile in Babylon must go back to Jerusalem and to restore the community there and its religion. The king paid glowing tributes to God and declared that He had given him instructions to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He also ordered that every Jew must be helped with gold, silver, animals and free gifts for the house of God.

In fulfillment of King Cyrus’ decree, the desires of the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the Priests and Levites were stirred up by God to go back to Jerusalem. The King himself donated bowls and other items that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and had stored in the temple of his own gods. He appointed Sheshbazzar to lead them back to Judah.

Under the leadership of Sheshbazzar, the exiles returned to Jerusalem. When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jeshua, the son of Jozadak and his fellow priests, Zerubbabel and his kinsmen rebuild the altar of the Lord in order to offer burnt offerings on it.

In the second year of their arrival in Jerusalem, they started rebuilding the Temple of the Lord. When they had finished the foundation, they celebrated their achievement and praise their God.

When the enemies of the Jews heard that they had started rebuilding the temple, they requested from Zerubbabel and the elders of the Jews that they wanted to help. Their reason was that they also worship the God that they worship. This request was flatly rejected. This rejection made their enemies very angry and therefore did everything to frustrate their work.

They discouraged them and made them afraid to rebuild the temple. In the entire reign of King Cyrus, they hired advisors to frustrate them. This continued into the reign of King Darius. During the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, they wrote a letter to the king that the Jews were rebellious people and very troublesome. As a result, the king ordered that the project to be stopped and construction was suspended.

After some time, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied that the project must be resumed. Zerubbabel and Jozadak, therefore, resumed the reconstruction of the temple. The enemies of the returnees challenged their authority to resume the temple project. Ezra told them that the rebuilding of the project was authorized by God and King Cyrus.

The Governor of the Province wrote a letter to the king in Babylon to search the archives of laws passed by the kings down the line to see if there was ever any law passed. The search was made and it was discovered that a law was made under King Cyrus where instruction was given for the rebuilding of the temple with financial support from the royal treasury.

The rebuilding therefore continued and finally the building was completed and the temple was dedicated to God.

1. By offering one’s knowledge freely
2. by offering one’s labour freely
3. By a total commitment to one’s activities
4. By working in collaboration with one’s neighbours
5. By being law-abiding
6. By taking care of public property

1. The people seek the face of God to protect them from their neighbours through the offering of burnt sacrifices every morning and evening
2. They were provided with Cedar logs from Tyre and Sidon
3. King Darius warned that nobody must go against the decree
4. King Darius decreed that every material the exiles needed must be provided to them

1. A leader must do everything to keep work from stopping
2. A leader must be a source of encouragement to his/her subordinates
3. In the midst of difficulties, a leader must remain steadfast and pray to God for support
4. A leader must be bold and courageous in the decisions he takes
5. To dedicate oneself to hard work brings rewards

1. a. Describe the return of the exiles from Babylon during the reign of Cyrus.
    b. Give two reasons for the positive support from the people.
            Reasons for the positive support from the people
i.                    The people felt that there is no place than home.
ii.                  There was a spirit of nationalism in the people.
iii.                When they were in a foreign land they could not freely worship their God.
iv.                 It was a moment to shake off the curse of slavery.
v.                   It was a fulfillment of the promise of God

2. a. Describe the events leading to the rebuilding of the Temple after the exile to Babylon.
    b. In which three ways do citizens rebuild their countries today?

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